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: