MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

P-TOWNSEND  -  INTRO

FINDING THE P-TOWNSEND

BUILDING THE P-TOWNSEND

RIDING THE P-TOWNSEND

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

  

BUILDING THE PROCTOR-TOWNSEND

When it became apparent that the Campagnolo Veloce grouppo was a no go (for the time being), I began to think Shimano 105.  I wanted to try out the bicycle, and I intended to build up the P-T temporarily.  However, if I was going to build it, and since I had to change the left shifter anyway, I decided, to do my best, to complete the 105 grouppo, without spending much money.

As I thought about the impending build, I began to see the Proctor-Townsend as my daily rider.  The "user friendly" transmission was perfect for around town use.  The bike was Canadian made, and certainly appropriate, as a regular ride.  The blotchy chrome plating and nondescript coloration, would do little to attract thieves.  And, if left unpainted, the half painted/half primered appearance should add even a bit more theft protection.  At any rate, that is the way that my reasoning went, at the time.

The Old Shed produced a clean Shimano 105 crank set, that quickly replaced the very nice Shimano 600 "Golden Arrow" one that was mounted "as found".    The 53/42 ring set, driving a medium range eight speed 12-24 freehub, would do the job for me, reducing most hills to manageable bumps, on the Thunder Bay, and surrounding area, landscape.  That said, I knew that there were at least two hills, in the city that would humble me, even at the best of times, with this gearing.

The stoppers were the next issue.  "As found", the P-T was fitted with 105 callipers but they were dated, and cosmetically challenged.  I had a great set of dual pivot,  later vintage 105 callipers, that would work perfectly, with the Total Integration sifters.  The brakes selected are tissue soft to apply and very effective in their stopping power.  They are easy to install and tune.  And, to me, they look really good.  What else could I ask for?

About the only issue, that cropped up, during the brake installation, was getting the left shifter to work, even after I had replaced the shifter, with one purchased a couple of months earlier.  Finally, with the help of some of the vintage road bicycle enthusiasts on Bicycle Forums, I learned that these shifters have a tendency to gum up and, often times, can be made to work well again, with a simple flushing with WD40.  The sweet smelling penetrating oil did the trick.

I searched for a set of handle bars, that seemed to fit the aesthetics of the bicycle, but to no avail.  Finally, after considerable consideration, I decided that the "as found" bars would be fine, for the temporary build, even though I really don't like them one bit.  That said, at that point in time, I was not fully convinced, that this would be the last build.  That said, I know now, for sure, that these incredibly ugly, and cosmetically challenged, handlebars must go.  I am pretty sure that I have a nice anatomical set stored away, at the summer cottage.

Of course, it would only make sense to replace the "as found" front derailleur.  It was a no-name model that might have worked OK, but, to be honest, I never even tried to shift it.  Since there was a pretty nice matching Shimano 105 front derailleur, close by in a box, I figured - why not?  And, the next thing I knew, the no-name was no where to be seen, replaced with a very pretty, and perfectly functional, 105 unit that matched the rest of the assembled grouppo, very well.

Both wheels were pulled.  The Shimano Ultegra hubs were stripped, cleaned, inspected and found to be in perfect mechanical repair.  A fresh dab of grease, followed by correct assembly and adjustment, would be all that was required, in this area.  The rims, however, presented a more serious problem - from a cosmetics point of view.  Though both Mavic rims, they were different models.  Once again, The Old Shed released its treasures, and a matching wheel rim surfaced.  It was a simple matter to switch the newly found rim into the wheel and the Ultegra hubbed, Mavic rimmed running gear was set to go.  All that was needed, was a decent set of tires.

Again, hidden treasures, of The Old Shed revealed themselves, and a pretty nice set of Vittorio skins popped up.  Though a bit worn, they were selected to replace the Continental Sport 1000s, that came with the bicycle.  I should have left the original tires mounted, since they were, all but, brand new. However, I had already decided, that I wanted to mount the blue tires on a earlier Proctor, that I acquired a few days after purchasing the Proctor-Townsend.  Sadly, the Continentals were too tight, to fit the Wolber Deep-V rims, mounted on the Proctor and have since become one of the treasures, hidden in TOS.

Though, I generally prefer a suspension leather saddle, with the Brooks Pro heading the list of favourites, I decided against it.  For practical reasons, such as rain snow and possible theft, I didn't want to go that route.  I have, however, come to appreciate the feel, and even the appearance, of the Turbo saddle, that made its mark during the eighties.  I happened to have an old Turbo, that sported a patina of age which, all but perfectly, blended in with that offered by the P-T.   That old Turbo replaced the Fitzik, that came with the bike.  Though I liked the appearance of the "as found" perch, it was not particularly comfortable.  With that in mind, the on-hand Turbo was the perfect choice and, once again, sported a patina of age, that blended in perfectly with the Proctor-Townsend.

It took only a short effort, to mount the saddle, to the SR indexed alloy seat post.  I set my initial saddle position with a tape measure and a level these days.  On the road fit tuning begins, a few moments into the test rid,e and might well continue for a few rides after that.  Unfortunately, the "as found" SR seat post was not holding, tending to slip down into the seat tube, ever so slowly.  As it turned out the 27mm seat post, that came with the bicycle, should have been a 27.2mm, in diameter, to properly fit the P-T.  The seat post box, in my little shop, produced just the right post and the slipping post problem became a thing of the past.

That about covers the building of the Proctor-Townsend.  No effort was invested in the bottom bracket, since it was of cartridge design and turned buttery smooth.  I gave the bicycle one more going over, and prepared myself for that first ride, on a newly acquired vintage bicycle.

NEXT - RIDING THE PROCTOR-TOWNSEND

 

 

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