MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

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

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

196? PEUGEOT PX10 - INTRO

FINDING THE PEUGEOT PX10

PX10 FRAME SET REPAIR

PX10 TEST BUILDING

PX10 TEST RIDING

RESTORING THE PX10

STREET RESTORED PX10

RESTORED PX10 - ALMOST

 

BICYCLES OF FRANCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE FIRST PEUGEOT PX10 TEST RIDE

Immediately after assembling the PX10, I took the bike out for an around the block test ride.  I had no intention of going far.  I only wanted to ensure that the bicycle would ride properly and it did.  With less than a block behind me, I brought the Peugeot up to speed and slowly relaxed my grip on the bars.  The bicycle offered no tendency to pull one way or the other.  This was a really good sign.  I relaxed my grip a bit more until I was riding no hands.  Riding "hands-off" is not a safe thing to do and I do not recommend that anyone else try riding with no hands.  It is, however, the way I test virtually every bicycle that I build or intend to build.

And the Peugeot felt pretty good.  The around the block ride turned into an around the neighbourhood jaunt and finally around the city.  About a mile from home, I felt a funny thump-thump, sort of like I was riding over the cracks in a sidewalk.  The thump-thump persisted until I stopped for a look-see.  When I got off of the bike, I saw the cause of the problem.  The rear tubular tire had a pretty significant bulge in it and was all but certain to fail in the near future.  I did not, at the time, realize how near that inevitable future was.  And with that concern put pretty much out of my mind, I continued on my way simply because I was at last riding a Peugeot PX10 and it was fun!

With caution all but thrown to the wind, I stopped in at the bicycle shop where I had straightened the frame set.  Peter, the shop owner who had assisted me with the repair was not at the shop that day, but his partner Jeff was.  Jeff was quick to comment on the bicycle and cast an experienced eye over it as he discussed this and that about the bike.  He made verbal note of the fact that the forks looked to be a bit out of true.  We both looked the bike over more carefully and sure enough, the forks were a bit tweaked.  The right blade was not parallel to the left but which one was bent?   I can recall wondering at the time how the bicycle had managed the "no hands" test.  Anyway, I rode the bike straight home, and removed the front forks.  I did take the time to ensure that the grease was cleaned off of the forks, then I stuffed them into my backpack, jumped on my Norco Magnum Special Edition and headed off to a bike shop located in the south end of the city.

The shop where I straightened the frame set did not have the tools needed to true up the front forks.  With that in mind, I headed over to a second local bike shop where I had straightened fork sets before.  I was quickly granted access to the back shop and all the tools I needed to adjust the forks.

I mounted the bare forks in the fork gauge and started measuring.  Sure enough, they were slightly off and I set about the task of straightening them.  About an hour later, the gauge indicated that everything was as it should be.  I thanked the guys for the use of their facility and zipped home to try the repaired fork set out.  The results appeared to be perfect.

It took only a short while to fit the loose bearings into place and install the forks.  With the task complete, I set off on the old French road bicycle for a second time that day.  And what a beautiful day it had turned out to be.

The Peugeot PX10 proved to be a great riding bicycle, thump thumping rear tire and all.  The old bike accelerates very quickly and the handling is incredibly precise.  I felt as if the bicycle and I were one as I got further into the second test ride.  Strangely enough, the bike still rode exactly as it did before I straightened the forks.  This to me is very odd but, in all honesty, a similar situation did crop up once on an early seventies Mercier that also had bent forks, yet rode perfectly well.

It was an absolutely gorgeous Thunder Bay late summer day.  The sun was bright and the air clear and warm.  Wearing my T-shirt and jeans(I never wear my Spandex shorts while city riding), the Peugeot and I set off for another short test ride.  A test ride which, of course, got stretched out a bit.  We rode all the way to the south end of the city for some reason that I cannot recall and then headed towards home.  With about five miles left to go, the rear tire failed dramatically.  Kapow!  The sound was like a gunshot as the 100psi enclosure blew a one to two  inch rip in itself.  I knew this was coming and shrugged the whole thing off.  The tire was shot anyway.  It was a beautiful day for a nice walk.  And I had my cell phone with me.  My wife picked me and the PX10 up about fifteen minutes later, insisting that I hurry up and get into the truck.  I had interrupted one of her hair dying efforts and she needed to get home to rinse some of the smelly stuff out of her hair within a certain amount of time.  Hurry we did...

But the bicycle had proved itself.  It offered a really wonderful ride/feel.  The Simplex transmission worked like a charm and the Dural Forged Mafac brakes proved to be exceptionally "user friendly".  The levers pulled easily and the stopping power was something to draw one's attention.  It had been a while since I had ridden a bicycle equipped with the Mafac style of brake and I was, once again, impressed with the way that they work.  No other center pull brake calliper works as well as those old Mafac stoppers do.  The funny thing is I was aware of the quality of the Mafac system but I had forgotten just how nicely they did their job.

With the test ride out of the way, sort of, I put the PX10 back into the work stand intending to strip it down in preparation for a full cosmetic restoration.  But my resolve failed.  Rather than strip the bicycle, I cleaned up the tubular rims, glued a set of NOS tubular tires into place and spent the next week or so riding the wonderful old French road bicycle that had certainly lived up to its promise of ride quality.  I really liked the PX10 and the way it felt as the two of us tooled our way around Thunder Bay and along some of the quiet secondary highways that crisscross the region.

NEXT - RESTORING THE PEUGEOT PX10

 

 

 

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

 

mail@mytenspeeds.com

COPYRIGHT(2008): mytenspeeds.com