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Old 03-14-08, 02:08 AM   #1
Dawes-man
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1975 Peugeot PX60 - work in progress

The Peugeot PX60 frame with Tange forks arrived from Holland in record time the day before yesterday. I was stunned by its shear beauty - can you get kicked off this forum for waxing lyrically? It's simply gorgeous. However, while admiring its soft gold glow I noticed the head tube was not quite as glowing. On closer examination I found what looked to me like evidence of accident damage - apart from the dull paint, the fit of the upper and lower lugs around the tube looked odd, as if they were too big and had been 'made' to fit. They were off-round with a peak in the middle at the front of the head tube and 2 at the sides with the parts between flat flat. Sort of 'squared-off'.

I immediately sent the seller a message telling him of my concerns, that the bike had been in a crash and repaired, but told him that if the bike rode straight it wouldn't be a problem. He was great, replying immediately that he must have missed what I described and promising that if there was any problem with the frame I could return it at any time for a complete refund. He added that he'd never rode it but that it had belonged to a collector who had and as far as he knew it had never been repaired.

The following morning I took the frame to Mr Sugiyama at my LBS. He immediately took the frame out into the sunlight and eyeballed it while running his fingers lightly over crossbar and down tube where they joined the head tube. He said, 'No problem! It hasn't been in an accident...' Phew! was my reaction. He went on to say that it had been repainted at some time, maybe due to surface rust breaking out on the head tube. Much relieved, I asked him if he minded if I left the frame at his shop while I ran a couple of errands. 'No problem!' he replied.

When I came back a couple of hours later I found Mr S hard at work on the frame with a file. He had already filed the top lug perfectly round and had discovered that the varying thickness of the lug was due to excess brazing solder that they hadn't filed off at the factory. There was brass and copper solder there. He also found a some surface rust under the paint. A pimple under the paint was a splash of solder that had been left. In fact, all the lugs on the bike are a bit lumpy compared to either my Dawes or Trek. I guess 1975 was not a particularly good year at the Peugeot factory.

I left the frame at the shop and returned yesterday to find both head lugs all taken down to bare metal and perfectly round and smooth . The last thing I'd said when I'd left it the day before was for him to make sure he charged me for the work as he sometimes takes it on himself to do stuff and refuse payment afterwards, like when he fitted a close-ratio freewheel to my Trek. When I asked him how much I owed him he said 3,000, around $28. I complained it was too cheap but he explained that for him doing the work had been a lot of fun. I suppose it's a welcome relief compared to all the minor repairs to rusty-chained run-abouts that occupy most of his time.

I'm going to use this frame for a touring bike with a triple crank, racks etc and expect I'll have a few questions along the way... as they say here, 'Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!'

In addition to the thumbnails below there's an album of photos at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/2298367...7604108077202/
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Old 03-14-08, 04:26 AM   #2
stronglight
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Congratulations!

I noticed that auction and I think you got a great deal on the bike. Of course, everyone is enraptured with PX-10s of the 1960s-70s [I'll admit I have two], but I think that your model is far more to my liking these days. Yes, over the decades, I've mysteriously become too fat and old to race or even to concern myself with how fast I ride.

I was very surprised to see that bike had Reynolds tubing. In the US there seems to have been a dramatic drop in the quality of the bikes imported during the 1970s. Beyond the PX-10 race models they simply offered the substantially lower range bikes with relatively heavy tubing. The European buyers were clearly more discriminating. As far as build quality, I think you are correct. During the frenzied bike boom of the 70s there seemed to have been a lot of sloppy work pushed through the factory doors. Not only Peugeot, Raleigh also comes to mind. Nevertheless, that bike seems to overall be a real gem.

You are very fortunate to have an old gent at the LBS who actually appreciates bikes and enjoys working with them. In this town, it is extremely difficult to find any shop employees who care anything about older bikes... which is probably why I get referrals from various shops which simply can't be bothered to take the time to fidget with old French bikes. I must be the US equivalent of your bike mechanic - who spends far too much time losing money on bikes I simply like to work on. Blunder over to my apartment with a set of Mafacs on your bike and you'll probably leave with new cables and housings in lieu of a cool beer (just cuz I can!).

In Japan you certainly have wonderful vintage-style accessories to choose from... and more vintage French components seem to reside there now than in France. Hope you'll have Honjo mudguards on that bike in future photos. I'll be anxiously awaiting progress reports. And keep the photos coming! Enjoy!
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Old 03-14-08, 05:16 AM   #3
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The hole you mention for wiring is not for wiring. That particular hole is 'vent' for hot brazing gases. If your PX is drilled for wiring it should have small exit hole on the bottom left side of the downtube. I dont recall where the entry hole is.
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Old 03-14-08, 07:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stronglight View Post
Congratulations!

You are very fortunate to have an old gent at the LBS who actually appreciates bikes and enjoys working with them.

In Japan you certainly have wonderful vintage-style accessories to choose from... and more vintage French components seem to reside there now than in France. Hope you'll have Honjo mudguards on that bike in future photos. I'll be anxiously awaiting progress reports. And keep the photos coming! Enjoy!
I am very lucky indeed. Mr Sugiyama has been working with bikes since the 60s and was in the 1968 Japanese Olympic cycling team. He is now coach to the Japanese national mountain bike team and judge at a load of events in Japan. He is also a frame builder and used to make 'em at Katakura Silk in the 70s - here are some of his frames:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/2298367...7603923490742/

Just spent too much time looking at your bikes - that Frejus is simply beautiful and I love that black Motobecane. All the time I lived in France I thought they just made mopeds.

You're right about French parts here - there's a shop owned by a Mr Hasegawa (an old friend of Mr S) full of Huret and Simplex stuff. It's a real junk shop but very expensive and has a huge amount of NOS. This is his shop... you might like to sit down before viewing :
http://www.flickr.com/photos/2298367...7603923860868/

When the bike is built you can be sure I'll post photos. At the moment I'm undecided whether to fit all French parts or just fit what I have and works well. We'll see...
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