MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

SITE INDEX   FINDING   BICYCLES   WORK SHOP   TRADING   WHAT'S NEW?

MY "TEN SPEEDS"  

FRENCH PROBLEMS - INTRO

SIMPLEX PLASTIC

FRENCH TUBING SIZE

STEM & HEAD SETS

BOTTOM BRACKETS

FRENCH CRANKS

WHEEL HUBS

PROBLEMS - SUMMARY

 

BICYCLES OF FRANCE

 

 

FRENCH RESTORATION PROBLEMS

Wow!  Different thread counts and diameters?  Unusual tubing sizes?  Plastic that does not stand up well to use?  Stem and head set diameter and threading issues?  Bottom brackets that will fit only French bicycles?  Cranks demanding different pedal spindle sizes?  And, of course, wheel hubs that demand unique thread counts for freewheels?  The list, though incomplete at the moment, would appear daunting to anyone considering restoring an old French bicycle.

The differences can cause some nasty maintenance problems, but they do not have to.  And the reward - wonderful vintage French bicycles that all but demand to be ridden and viewed.  Beautiful bicycles that offer wonderful ride quality, collectable value that is increasing as you read this account of what to watch for when restoring, or simply refurbishing, an old made in France bike.

So, fear not about taking on a French bicycle.  Armed with the knowledge offered here, you can go out and purchase some really wonderful bicycles, be then of entry level quality, such as the legendary Peugeot UO8, or its top dog brother, the PX10.

Be prepared to appreciate the artistic beauty of the Motobecane, with its lovely contrasting, but elegantly stated, paint and art work.  Enjoy the ride quality of these wonderful old bicycles and know that they are just a sought after as any other bicycle, be it made in France, England or Italy.

Spend some time reviewing some of France's more unusual Velo offerings, such as the Vitus 979, or an old French roadster, similar to the lovely old Mercier affectionately referred to as a Gentlemen's Roadster.

Keep in mind that the French bicycle was offered in every form offered by other countries.  Men's and women's frames were common.  Mixtes bicycles were equally easy to find and purchase.  Even tandems and other speciality bicycles, all poured out of France during the Old School days.

Keep in mind, also, that some truly beautiful French components are available, not just for the French bicycle, but for all others, as well.  Simplex transmissions found their way onto English and Italian bicycles, not just made in France steeds.  The gorgeous Stronglight cranks of days gone by, coupled with the incredibly effect Mafac stoppers, offered on most French bikes.  Wheel rims, hubs and an assortment of Old School components, all designed to work and look just fine.

And keep one last thing in mind.  Compared to Italian, English, Asian and what ever, there are plenty of French made vintage bicycles to go around.  Not just in Europe, but thanks to a strong marketing strategy, in North America, as well.

 

 

 

 

SITE INDEX   FINDING   BICYCLES   WORK SHOP   TRADING   WHAT'S NEW?

 

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