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  1. #1
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    Building up an 80's French frame... on the cheap?!

    Heya everyone!

    The main reason I'm posting here instead of doing work... I have an ~'82-83 Peugot frame. To be more specific, I believe it's a PSV10N... (Picture) It looks exactly the same, but I only have the frame and fork.

    If that's right, it's about a middle-upper teir road bike from the time, very light CrMo AND it's MY size... which is a little difficult to come by. =) The frame was given to me as a gift, and I am obligated to build it up. So, the plan...

    I'm going to be buying these things for it:

    * Wheels (700c) + Misc (Skewers)
    * Fork (Maybe. I have the old fork, but I haven't checked the threading on it... the steerer tube on this bike is very long (~7-8in) so I'm worried a cheap replacement won't fit.)
    * Front and Rear Brakes (Hopefully with the click-shifting)
    * Front and Rear Derailers (! - This is a problem, I measured the down-tube and it's 28mm, vs the usual slightly larger British standard 28.6mm, according to Sheldon Brown's site. So most derailleurs will be too large for this. I might be able to make a good shim though, just from sheet metal... .6mm is tiny! Or there is the brazing... I ask about that below.)
    * Front Gearset (Double, triple?)
    * Rear Gearset (9-10?)
    * Headset
    * Stem
    * Handlebars
    * Seat
    * Seat Post? (Maybe optional, I have the original one but it's a bit old and heavy)

    And here's the fun part, as usual: I'm on a super tight budget for this type of project, about $700 - 800 max.

    Impossible? I can do almost anything mechanical myself, and I have the tools. A BB tool or crank puller, maybe need to buy/borrow those.

    Anyhow, questions I have already:

    1a) With rear wheels, how can I tell whether they'll work with a gearset I get? If there is an incompatability, is it a big deal, or not?
    1b) When they say the rear wheel is for "8-9spd," I want to assume they mean that the rear wheel ALONE can take 8-9 sprockets? I haven't really heard of many 8-9 speed bikes lately.

    2) Should I be buying the wheels in a pair, or can I mix and match them? I don't care much for the front, but I want the rear to be good quality.

    3) Are there any guides to picking gear ratios? If not, I can probably look at the ones I currently have and adjust them (I'm a mechanical engineering student, so I know how to do the numbers but translating them into meaning something is different).

    4) Is it worth it to go with a triple vs double? Being on a budget... I thought the double was fine before, but I don't know if maybe in the future as I ride more I'll wish I had gone with the triple.

    5) What is the deal with all the different gearset numbers? Shimano seems to have model numbers and styles coming out of EVERYWHERE, it makes it very confusing when all I'm really concerned about is a) what gear ratios they have and b) whether they're fit the spline on the wheels I get! Is this generally not something I should worry about, or how can I tell whether they'll be compatible?

    6) Braze-on front derailleurs are cheaper than clamp-on, and I have a weird French frame with 28mm (vs the standard 28.6mm) down-tube. I have done brazing before, but I would not say I'm good enough to do this. They need to strip the paint to do it, right? And how much does a shop normally charge to do this?? (OR, do I have this all mixed up and they don't braze the entire derailleur on, but just a mount or something? My frame has a small rivet-looking thing right about where the derailleur should go, so I don't know what that's about.)

    7) I'm mostly thinking of grabbing "Ultegra" branded stuff whenever I cannot find an equivalent (usually Nashbar-brand) cheaper replacement - it seems good and cheap. This would probably be for the deraileurs and gearsets. Good/Bad idea?? Is SRAM that much worse that they're like 1/4 the price most places?

    8) Anyone think I should hold out until I can afford to get Shimano stuff instead of Nashbar-brand? Reviews on their site are good, but they're a bit sneaky imo.. I could see them deleting bad reviews.

    Opinions on these:

    Wheels:
    http://www.bikepartsusa.com/bikepart...gory=wheel-700
    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...9_10000_201533

    Nashbar Shifters/Brakes (way cheaper than Shimano):
    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...1#ReviewHeader


    I greatly appreciate any and all feedback! Thanks in advance.

    --Bob

  2. #2
    Senior Member johnknappcc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_the_normal View Post
    1a) With rear wheels, how can I tell whether they'll work with a gearset I get? If there is an incompatability, is it a big deal, or not?
    Not sure what you mean, but new rear wheels will generally have 130mm spacing, and will be compatible with 8/9/10 speed cassettes. You may need to spread your current frame dropouts a bit to get the wheel in or coldset.

    Quote Originally Posted by bob_the_normal View Post
    1b) When they say the rear wheel is for "8-9spd," I want to assume they mean that the rear wheel ALONE can take 8-9 sprockets? I haven't really heard of many 8-9 speed bikes lately.
    Yes, the 8/9/10 is all the same size freehub (essentially) and you can put a 8/9/10 speed cassette on them. I would recommend looking for either 9/10 speed cassette since, 8 speed is getting hard to find. For your budget you could probably pick up a used 9/10 speed group (with shifters) for 300-500 dollars (Ultegra/105 level).

    Quote Originally Posted by bob_the_normal View Post
    2) Should I be buying the wheels in a pair, or can I mix and match them? I don't care much for the front, but I want the rear to be good quality.
    You don't need to, but it might be cheaper. Look for something like an Open Pro/Ultegra combo, they aren't the lightest, but they are sound wheels, and don't stick out and look goofy on vintage frames. Generally they are going to be 32/32 spoke count, so fairly strong, mine are bombproof.

    Quote Originally Posted by bob_the_normal View Post
    3) Are there any guides to picking gear ratios? If not, I can probably look at the ones I currently have and adjust them (I'm a mechanical engineering student, so I know how to do the numbers but translating them into meaning something is different).
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gain.html
    And it all depends on where you are looking to ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by bob_the_normal View Post
    4) Is it worth it to go with a triple vs double? Being on a budget... I thought the double was fine before, but I don't know if maybe in the future as I ride more I'll wish I had gone with the triple.
    Depends on terrain, if you in the flatlands a road double is fine, if you are by tough hills/mountains a triple might give you more versatility, and a compact double (a good compromise of both). It's a personal choice, and it may well be dictated by what you can find on the cheap/availability. Generally it is easy to change later, double to comptact double, or triple to double (if you are using 105 shifters, since they work with both), Ultegra/DA STI's only work with one or the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by bob_the_normal View Post
    5) What is the deal with all the different gearset numbers? Shimano seems to have model numbers and styles coming out of EVERYWHERE, it makes it very confusing when all I'm really concerned about is a) what gear ratios they have and b) whether they're fit the spline on the wheels I get! Is this generally not something I should worry about, or how can I tell whether they'll be compatible?
    I'm not sure what you mean here by "gearset" numbers, but Shimano's model designations make it very easy to know the a) series b) no of speeds c) compatibility.


    Quote Originally Posted by bob_the_normal View Post
    6) Braze-on front derailleurs are cheaper than clamp-on, and I have a weird French frame with 28mm (vs the standard 28.6mm) down-tube. I have done brazing before, but I would not say I'm good enough to do this. They need to strip the paint to do it, right? And how much does a shop normally charge to do this?? (OR, do I have this all mixed up and they don't braze the entire derailleur on, but just a mount or something? My frame has a small rivet-looking thing right about where the derailleur should go, so I don't know what that's about.)
    It's a clamp that you buy separately from the FD. Problem Solvers and Shimano both make them (actually I think a number of companies make them), you may need a shim for the .6mm, maybe not.

    Quote Originally Posted by bob_the_normal View Post
    7) I'm mostly thinking of grabbing "Ultegra" branded stuff whenever I cannot find an equivalent (usually Nashbar-brand) cheaper replacement - it seems good and cheap. This would probably be for the deraileurs and gearsets. Good/Bad idea?? Is SRAM that much worse that they're like 1/4 the price most places?
    SRAM's great, some say better, but it just depends basically Rival < Force < Red.
    Shimano's also great, Sora < Tiagra < 105 < Ultegra < Dura Ace.
    You can't really mix SRAM derailleurs with Shimano Shifters and vice versa because of different cable pull ratios, and I would recommend, unless you want to frankenbike, staying with one manufacturer, especially if you are new to this. I recommend trying to find a used group on eBay/CL, Ultegra 9/10 speed for a great deal. You can buy piecewise, but it will probably cost a bit more. I would look for a lot on ebay, since you will generally find the better prices there. Ex, I got my brand new Ultegra 6600 STI's for 220 on ebay, when in stores you are looking at nearly twice that. The shifters, BTW, are going to be one of your most expensive components, so you may want to think about that and plan accordingly.

    Quote Originally Posted by bob_the_normal View Post
    8) Anyone think I should hold out until I can afford to get Shimano stuff instead of Nashbar-brand? Reviews on their site are good, but they're a bit sneaky imo.. I could see them deleting bad reviews.
    See above.

    Quote Originally Posted by bob_the_normal View Post
    Nashbar Shifters/Brakes (way cheaper than Shimano):
    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...1#ReviewHeader
    Not necessarily, New Dura Ace and Ultegra's came out a month or so ago. Therefore, the slightly older 6600/7800 stuff are down in price, and like I said above, I got my 6600 Ultegra's for 220 brand new. Do a little exploring on ebay, past auction's, etc., and you can probably find an even better deal than what I paid. I've seen the 6600's go for under 200.

  3. #3
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_the_normal View Post
    * Wheels (700c) + Misc (Skewers)
    * Fork (Maybe. I have the old fork, but I haven't checked the threading on it... the steerer tube on this bike is very long (~7-8in) so I'm worried a cheap replacement won't fit.)
    The fork is most likely French thread. If you replace it, you can use an English thread headset, but if there's nothing wrong with the present fork/headset, why bother?

    * Front and Rear Derailers (! - This is a problem, I measured the down-tube and it's 28mm, vs the usual slightly larger British standard 28.6mm, according to Sheldon Brown's site. So most derailleurs will be too large for this. I might be able to make a good shim though, just from sheet metal... .6mm is tiny! Or there is the brazing... I ask about that below.)
    If your frame is identical to the one in the picture, it already has a front derailleur braze-on. Unfortunately, it the the unique Simplex-type mount which only works with Simplex derailleurs. These are somewhat scarce, but on the other hand they are excellent derailleurs.

    I would advise against removing the current mount and replacing it with a standard mount. Front derailleur braze-ons land on the thinnest part of the seat tube; just one braze job there weakness the tube enough -- redoing it is asking for trouble, IMHO.

    * Headset
    * Stem
    * Handlebars
    If you keep the current fork (I would, unless you run into insurmountable problems) you will want to keep you French thread headset. French steer tubes are slightly different diameter than ISO, but ISO stems can be sanded to fit.

    * Seat Post? (Maybe optional, I have the original one but it's a bit old and heavy)
    French metric-diameter seat tubes may require unusual (by today's standards) seat post diameter. Be sure you measure your seat tube ID before buying anything.

  4. #4
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    Great replies! Thanks very much john and john! I'll be checking out e-bay the next few days.

    I actually do not have the French headset, just the fork, so unless there are places still selling the French threading headsets, I'll have to replace the fork it looks like.

    I took a look at the derailleur mount in the picture... from what I can tell the "mount" on this bike is just a little rivet-like thing with a threaded hole, so the derailleur just sits on the rivet for support and screws into it to secure? There is no other raised metal from the seat tube other than that rivet-like bump. Doesn't seem like much of a mount, but that's my best guess. I'll upload a picture, if needed. Is it still possible to use a clamp with this present, or would I need to grind it off to use a clamp??

    Does the SRAM Force series compare about to the Ultegra series on Shimano? (And what I meant by "gearset numbers" was a set of numbers like 6600, they can be Ultegra 6600, for example, but I have no idea what that means, or if that can be combined with other "number" Ultegra parts, etc. From reading around on here in other threads, it appears you can mix and match and just sacrifice a little smoothness but not lose functionality really.)

    --Bob

  5. #5
    Senior Member johnknappcc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_the_normal View Post
    Great replies! Thanks very much john and john! I'll be checking out e-bay the next few days.

    I actually do not have the French headset, just the fork, so unless there are places still selling the French threading headsets, I'll have to replace the fork it looks like.

    I took a look at the derailleur mount in the picture... from what I can tell the "mount" on this bike is just a little rivet-like thing with a threaded hole, so the derailleur just sits on the rivet for support and screws into it to secure? There is no other raised metal from the seat tube other than that rivet-like bump. Doesn't seem like much of a mount, but that's my best guess. I'll upload a picture, if needed. Is it still possible to use a clamp with this present, or would I need to grind it off to use a clamp??

    Does the SRAM Force series compare about to the Ultegra series on Shimano? (And what I meant by "gearset numbers" was a set of numbers like 6600, they can be Ultegra 6600, for example, but I have no idea what that means, or if that can be combined with other "number" Ultegra parts, etc. From reading around on here in other threads, it appears you can mix and match and just sacrifice a little smoothness but not lose functionality really.)

    --Bob
    Some would say that Rival is on par with Ultegra, but I think you could compare it to 105. I got a Red shifter, but hadn't mounted it yet, and I wasn't fond of the doubletap mechanism. The shift lever only goes in one direction, and a single tap is a upshift and a doubletap (or larger tap) is a downshift. If I had it on the bike I could be a better judge, but I like the design of the Shimano system a bit better. I think it comes to preference. The SRAM shifter was super responsive in the shifting and it requires very little actual movement to shift. The other interesting thing about the SRAM is that you can pull the shift lever closer to your hand position and shift almost like the throttle on a motorcycle (I guess this is good for climbing and shifting aggressively). There is also a difference in the front as regards to trim, but I never thought that was a big deal. I think the SRAM only trim on the large, whereas the Ultegra trims on both, but I barely even notice it, and properly adjusted FD you wouldn't need to use it.

    Here is how I understand the gearset stuff:
    105 = 5 9-speed + 500, 10-speed + 600
    Ultegra = 6 9-speed + 500, 10-speed + 600, New 10-speed + 700 (ergo style cable routing on shifters)
    Dura Ace = 7 9-speed + 700, 10-speed + 800, New 10-speed + 900 (ergo style cable routing on shifters)

    When ever you see a 1 or a 10 at the end I believe it is an incremental improvement, as in the ST-6510 having some minor improvements over the ST-6500 although they are both 9 speed ultegra.

    A 3 at the end as in ST-6603 (means the front shifter is for triple), of a FC-7703 (front triple derailleur), etc.

    Compatibility, with a few exceptions, all road stuff is compatible.

  6. #6
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_the_normal View Post
    I actually do not have the French headset, just the fork, so unless there are places still selling the French threading headsets, I'll have to replace the fork it looks like.
    Ebay is where most people find French thread headsets these days.

    I took a look at the derailleur mount in the picture... from what I can tell the "mount" on this bike is just a little rivet-like thing with a threaded hole, so the derailleur just sits on the rivet for support and screws into it to secure? There is no other raised metal from the seat tube other than that rivet-like bump. Doesn't seem like much of a mount, but that's my best guess. I'll upload a picture, if needed. Is it still possible to use a clamp with this present, or would I need to grind it off to use a clamp??
    Yes, the mounting boss looks rather like a single water bottle mount. The mounting plate on the derailleur sits flush against the seat tube and a single bolt holds it in place. I have one of these (NOS) I can sell/trade if you want. PM if interested:


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    I'm a bit busy with school right now, sorry about the slow response!

    I noticed the recommendation to get a French headset from Ebay. They seem to be pretty expensive or in poor-ish condition. Wouldn't it be easier to just get a new fork, so I never have to deal with the French headset issue again? Not to mention the stem, which if I use the French fork will have issues? Or is there some unforseen issues with replacing the fork completely that might make all the expenses and hassles of finding French parts worth doing?

    And as far as the FR, I haven't had good experiences with old parts (even NOS), so I'm more inclined to do whatever it takes to make a new derailleur fit - if it's not too extreme! Does anyone know if I'd have to grind off that old simplex mount in order to use a clip-on derailleur (with a shim probably), or can I just put the new derailleur above or below the rivet-like nub?

    --Bob

  8. #8
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    I noticed the recommendation to get a French headset from Ebay. They seem to be pretty expensive or in poor-ish condition. Wouldn't it be easier to just get a new fork, so I never have to deal with the French headset issue again? Not to mention the stem, which if I use the French fork will have issues? Or is there some unforseen issues with replacing the fork completely that might make all the expenses and hassles of finding French parts worth doing?
    Replacing the fork would allow you to use an ISO headset, but be careful that your replacement fork matches the original as closely as possible in terms of brake reach (distance from the center of the front axle to the center of the brake hole) and rake (offset from the steer tube axis) otherwise you may run into problems.

    And as far as the FR, I haven't had good experiences with old parts (even NOS), so I'm more inclined to do whatever it takes to make a new derailleur fit - if it's not too extreme! Does anyone know if I'd have to grind off that old simplex mount in order to use a clip-on derailleur (with a shim probably), or can I just put the new derailleur above or below the rivet-like nub?
    You could grind off the mounting boss, but that would leave a hole in the seat tube and possibly further weaken the seat tube if you happen to remove more metal from the tube itself rather than just the boss. The tube is less than a millimeter thick at that point so there's not a lot of room for error. Depending on what size chainring you intend to use you may be able to mount a derailleur above or below the mount. Trial and error will be your guide here.

  9. #9
    Senior Member johnknappcc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    Replacing the fork would allow you to use an ISO headset, but be careful that your replacement fork matches the original as closely as possible in terms of brake reach (distance from the center of the front axle to the center of the brake hole) and rake (offset from the steer tube axis) otherwise you may run into problems.



    You could grind off the mounting boss, but that would leave a hole in the seat tube and possibly further weaken the seat tube if you happen to remove more metal from the tube itself rather than just the boss. The tube is less than a millimeter thick at that point so there's not a lot of room for error. Depending on what size chainring you intend to use you may be able to mount a derailleur above or below the mount. Trial and error will be your guide here.
    Try a clamp, you could probably get away with it below or above. Shouldn't be much of an issue, for shims, you could get Nitto Handlebar shims, which are for 25.4 to 26 bars. That would give you pretty close to the amount you need, altough they are a lot larger than the clamp area, so you may need to snip them down.

  10. #10
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    Also, a peugeot of that era is likely to have Swiss BB threading instead of French.
    You fixed my flat tire and now my light doesn't work, so...

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