MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

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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 STREET RESTORED PEUGEOT PX10

My guess would be that I spent about ten hours, cleaning sanding and painting the frame set and to be honest, I could have applied one more coat of paint.  The white paint is quite difficult to get even but, overall, the PX10 frame and fork set looks just great!  I am more than happy with my hand painted paint job and it shall remain on the Peugeot for as long as I own the bicycle.

Once satisfied that the paint work was acceptable, I turned my attention to the PX10's art work.  Though I have made my own decals for other projects, I decided to purchase an aftermarket set of decals from a fellow in Australia.  Glen, the decal maker offers a really nice product and in a considerable variety of designs.  For example, there were several Peugeot decal sets to choose from, although none were a perfect match for a 1963 Peugeot PX10.  With that in mind, I selected a set that most closely resembled what I thought to be correct for the bicycle, sent my PayPal payment off and received the decal set a couple of weeks later.  That set sat in its protective envelope for a couple of months until I was ready to apply the art work.  Why a couple of months?  Because winter came soon and suddenly!  With three feet of snow covering the ground, there was hardly any need to hurry to finish the bicycle.  Anyway, the art work...

Even though the decals are fairly "user friendly", application does require some skill and the only way to develop skill is to practice.  Well, you do not get a great many practice shots to get decal application right.  However, in all fairness, the application instructions that accompanies each decal set is pretty good, offering one option that allows for little goofs and quick repair.  And that option is to simply wet the target portion of the frame set with soapy water.  A few drops of dishwashing liquid mixed into a small quality of water does the job very nicely.  I probably used a bit too much soap for my first attempt at applying the decals, but the application proved to be very successful.  The results - stunning!

Though I did make a mistake or two during the application process, I did manage to do a fairly acceptable job of applying all of the decals and they look just great.  Following the application procedure was fairly straight forward but I did contact the manufacturer with a question or two just to be absolutely sure of what I was doing.  At fifty bucks for a set of decals, I did not want to screw things up.  And of equal or even greater importance, I did not want to damage the paint job that I had just completed.

Once satisfied that the cosmetics were all that they were going to be, I entered into the final assembly stage of the build and this stage would last little more than a couple of hours.  The term "final assembly" is a bit misleading.  I do not have all of the original and period correct components for the bicycle and there is a pretty good chance that I never will.  Judging from recent auctions of Ebay, the Simplex rear derailleur required will likely cost a great deal to purchase.  That, and other non-standard issue components will mean that my 1963 Peugeot PX10 might always be in the final assembly stage.  But I will still be riding the bicycle, mismatched components and all.  And guess what?  Only truly knowledgeable will be able to tell the difference.

The wheels presently installed are period correct but not quality correct.  I am looking for a set of Normandy high flange Competition hubs to lace to a nice set of Mavic tubular rims that are tucked away in The Old Shed.  But for the time being, the wheels pirated from an old bent frame Mercier will do the job just fine.

The steering stem is an PIVO unit and not correct for the PX10.  The correct stem is the infamous AVA "Death Stem" and my search for one continues.  Of course, I must ask myself why use a component that has demonstrated absolute failure so many times that it earned itself a nasty nick name.  I will be content with the PIVO stem that is presently mounted.  It certainly looks appropriate and is in great shape.  And it is safe to use when compared to its period and issue correct cousin, the AVA unit.

The correctness of the saddle is in question.  It is not a Brooks Professional and that is what was called for.  Though the present Brooks BSN looks and feels just fine, it will one day be replaced with an appropriate perch.  But that day will arrive only when a low cost leather perch arrives at The Old Shed and it must be in good cosmetic and structural condition.  Fortunately at the time of this writing, a gorgeous saddle has presented itself.  An early seventies Brooks Pro is wrapped in soft cloth, waiting to be installed.  Where did the saddle come from?  I removed it from an early seventies Falcon that I picked up for twenty five dollars while out riding one sunny afternoon.

So to suggest that the PX10 is complete is somewhat less than accurate.  In truth, until that last elusive component is found and installed, the bicycle is still in its final assembly stage.  And that is one of the things that I like about finding and street restoring vintage road bicycles.  It seems as if I am always keeping a hopeful eye open for "this" or "that" to complete one of my vintage road bicycles.  However, the PX10 is ready to be assembled and an incorrect component or two is certainly not enough to keep me and the bike off of the road.

Assembly was a straight forward event and did end up spanning less than two hours from "bare frame" to "ready at last".  Though the paint and art is less than perfect, the bike presents an awesome image.  Long have I adored the PX10's white and black team colors.

The bottom bracket, cosmetically challenged with a bad case of peeling chrome, was in sound mechanical condition.  It was the first piece to be installed and adjusted.  Next came the Stronglight Competition head set, which once again was suffering from a minor case of "not the best looking".  Actually, the head set look worse than it actually was.  A good cleaning with a wire brush, coupled with a bit of aluminum foil polishing and "voila!" a nice clean head set emerged from the grime and poorly applied green paint.

The brake callipers were next to be fitted, but only loosely since they would need to be set up to the wheels which would not be fitted until after the transmission and drive chain had been installed.  I believe the Dural Forged Mafac callipers to be correct for the Peugeot.  Each calliper was stripped, thoroughly cleaned and then polished with a soft brass brush.  The callipers both turned out looking just great!

I had to search The Old Shed carefully before I finally found a set of Mafac brake levers that were good enough to use in the build.  Actually, I never did find a perfect set from a cosmetics point of view.  The best set I could find had some nasty scratches on each lever.  However, a bit of filing with a really fine file, followed by a polishing with a well used brass brush proved equal to the task of returning the levers to their former cosmetic glory.  I had been lucky enough, but only after persevering for a several weeks, to find a nice set of NOS half hoods for the bicycle.  I had seen several sets go for far more than I was willing to pay, but patience paid off and I scored a beautiful black set, complete with period correct adjusters for a really good price.  The trick was to mount them using the handlebar tape that I had selected for the bars.

And taping the bars proved to be a challenge!  I tried the period correct cotton cloth tape that would have been installed in the mid sixties.  Nope!  Cloth tape is very difficult to warp with since it has minimal elastic quality built into it.  The cloth tape is difficult to apply without getting gaps or even wrinkles, two problems magnified if Barcon shifters are part of the plan.  To that add the fact the the cloth tape offers almost no cushion value.  After a couple of tries, I dumped the cloth tape and went with a more modern cushion offering that is both easier to apply and gentler on the hands.  For an old man with carpal tunnel in both wrists, the cushion tape is the way to go.  However, the task of wrapping handlebars fitted with Mafac half hooded levers presents its own set of problems.

To do a good job of wrapping the handlebars, I had to position the levers where they best suited me and then secure the mounting brackets in place with electrician's tape.  That done, the levers themselves were removed, leaving the brackets in place.  The bars were then wrapped and the levers installed after.  By this time I had decided to forget the Barcon shift levers.  Even though I do like using Barcons, the extra cables cluttered the appearance of the Peugeot and I decided to go with the conventional down tube shifter levers.  Once again, I looked high and low for a period correct set of levers and had considerable trouble finding exactly what I wanted in The Old Shed.  To make matters worse, after I had found and cleaned up a reasonably appropriate set of shifters, I discovered that I had been walking right by the perfect set every time I went to look in the shed.  As it turned out, I had a sixties something Claude Butler sitting in the back porch and it was fitted with the Simplex levers that I had been looking for.

The nice old and nearly correct Simplex transmission was a breeze to install, as was the drive chain.  As mentioned, the transmission is neither period nor model correct but it will work and does not look out of place on the Peugeot.  I have seen the odd correct derailleur offered on Ebay and the prices those items fetch is scary.  Hundreds of dollars for a single piece.  Chances are I will have to wait until I find an old road bicycle with the correct components mounted, if I am ever to get the correct Simplex transmission.

Next came the beautiful old Stronglight 49D cranks which slipped easily onto the bottom bracket spindle.  I should comment on the crank set acquisition.  It took three tries to get the set I wanted.  I started with a half set, the drive side only in my possession.  A good on-line friend sent me a complete set but the crank arm that I needed was stretched and tended to bottom out on the spindle.  I continued keeping my eye open for a decent left side crank arm and finally one surfaced on Ebay with a not too bad "Buy It Now" price.  I snapped it up and I considered my crank set problems were a thing of the past.  Unfortunately, the crank arm never arrived.  After contacting the seller over a month later, he informed me that the crank arm had been damaged in the mail and he refunded my purchase price without even asking me if it was acceptable to do so.  Needless to say, I will not do business with that fellow again.  In my mind, it was not his right to decide what to do with a part that I had already paid for.  Back to the crank arm drawing board...

With a bit of work and creativity, I managed to make the left crank arm work.  Time will tell if my creative repair will suffice but if it doesn't, so what.  I still have the mismatched crank arm and it will at least get the Peugeot and me on the road.  Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your point of view, both crank arms are fitted with French pedal threads.  This creates a problem for a guy like me who prefers to mount modern clip-in pedals on all of my bikes.  However, the PX10 is a bit different and I decided to go with the French threaded period and issue correct pedals.  The pedals will be fitted with clips and straps and I will learn to like the set-up.  Sure, for twenty dollars, a local bike shop will cut new threads into the crank set but I prefer to not alter a bicycle or component irreversibly.  With that in mind, the set of Lyotard platform pedals, French thread and all, will become the final selection for the bicycle.

The Peugeot PX10 has great collectible value and was considered to be one of the better racing bicycles of the day.  With this in mind, I wanted the bicycle to be as original as I could get it without spending a lot of money to get it that way.  I decide to go with rat traps and straps and force myself to get used to using them.  Time will tell if I can live with this decision or not. I have tried to go this route before and failed miserably to stick to my decision to used old school power transmitters.  The only other bicycle I had been determined to use original pedals on was my 1971 Carlton Professional.  I tried the Rat Traps for a couple of days and then said to heck with it.  The Carlton was such a great riding bicycle that I wanted to optimize ride quality.  With that in mind, the old school pedals were soon swapped out for a set of modern clip-ins.

The Simplex seat post is one of the few original issue components that came with the PX10 when I acquired the bicycle.  Though I do not necessarily like the post and saddle clamp design, the Simplex unit is an improvement over other similar systems.  With period correctness, appearance and originality in mind, I decide to use the original post.  Again, this is one of those "user friendly" issues that might have to be addressed once I begin to ride the bicycle.  If the original seat post does not support my weight safely, it will be hanging with the rest of the "as found" stuff in The Old Shed.

Just about everything else that came with the PX10 was of little or no use at the time.  Most of the parts that came with the bicycle are still hanging somewhere in The Old Shed.  But I did have everything needed to complete the "final until I find the next correct part" build.

NEXT - FINALLY - THE RESTORED PX10

 

 

 

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