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  1. #1
    Beach-Bound Collin2424's Avatar
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    French Project Complete - The Phoenix!

    Hello fellow C&V’ers,

    I wanted to share the latest build I just finished today as it’s something I’m both proud of and an interesting story at that. First of all, many of you may recognize this frame and fork from this thread: http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in.../t-634157.html

    I have built this frame up no less than three times now. The first incarnation consisted of a partial Campy Super Record vintage drivetrain. That didn’t go well when I found the cost involved with those components. With the help of many forum members, I decided to just make it “functional” and go with Suntour. Well, I went all out and did a full late-80’s Superbe Pro group and loved it. It rode fantastically. Unfortunately, I came upon a Pro Miyata that needed the group more than this “mystery frame” and back to a frameset it went. I’ve always been so hesitant to build it because I never knew 100% what it was. Thanks for Lynn (CV-6) and a lot of other forum members, we narrowed it down with fair certainty that it was a LeJeune Champ du Monde. It’s French, of course, but has Campagnolo dropouts on the fork and the frame. That tells me that it wasn’t crap, so I decided it deserved to be built. Oddly enough, I got this frame and fork for $60 from a Craigslister that was trying to sell me something else. Why the name "Phoenix?" Well, the definition is self-explanatory!

    Phoenix: a legendary Arabian bird said to periodically burn itself to death and emerge from the ashes as a new phoenix; according to most versions only one phoenix lived at a time and it renewed itself every 500 years

    Anyway, I decided it was time to build this into something that I would actually ride rather than trying to make it exactly period correct and stock. Both times this was built previously, I absolutely loved the ride. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with this thing, but now it’s purely love. I put it on eBay and then took it back down, by the way. It’s just special to me because of what it’s (we have) been through! I forget how this current idea came about precisely, but it had something to do with a few beers, some scotch, complaining to Khatfull endlessly about French bikes and viola, here it is. The fork was bare metal, so I had it powder-coated in “chrome” which really just looks like a nice silver polish. I LOVE it and it came out perfectly. The repaint on the frame stayed and I think they complement each other very well. I also added some French 531 decals, as you can see in the photo gallery.

    Okay, enough talk. Here’s the finished product:




















    Now, I have a LOT more photos and I welcome anyone who is interested to see the bike progress. Here is my hosted photo account, so please feel free to have a look:
    http://collinsacks.smugmug.com/Other...63022519_zzdsF

    Finally, the components are as follows:
    Frame – LeJeune Champ du Monde with Reynolds 531DB, same with the fork
    Levers & Calipers – 2011 Campy Veloce
    Crankset – Campy Record 10 spd triple
    Front Derailleur – Campy Centaur Triple 10 spd
    Rear Derailleur – Campy Race Triple 10 spd
    Wheelset – Campy Mirage with a 13-29 cassette
    Saddle – Brooks B17

    I think that really sums it up. I haven’t ridden it more than a mile, but so far so good. I have to give a huge thanks to Khatfull (Keith). I must have complained to him on a nightly basis for the pain in the *** this thing was right from the get-go. From headset issues, to crank issues, to cabling, he encouraged me to take my time and give this bike the love it deserves. The finished product is leaps and bounds better than I ever thought it would be. I know it’s nothing flashy and I know it’s not a Super Record 11-speed groupset, but what I have is a price-conscious bike that I can enjoy riding for many, many years. It came out absolutely perfect as far as I’m concerned. Another huge thanks for BigBossMan for a deal on some parts that really helped me finish the build. His generosity is greatly appreciated as well.

    I know that was somewhat long-winded, but I’ve been looking forward to this thread almost as much as I’ve been looking forward to riding the bike. There’s just something special about rescuing an old French racing frame tucked away in someone’s garage and bringing it back to life as a modern, smooth-riding machine. I can say with confidence that this has been the most fun I’ve ever had building a bike.

    -Collin-
    Last edited by Collin2424; 01-21-11 at 10:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Beach-Bound Collin2424's Avatar
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    It's amazing that after typing this in Word, proof-reading it and then posting it, the one part I don't do in Word (the title) is where I nail a ridiculous typo. THOE? Wow, smooth move Collin.

    I swear, I did not forget any screws when assembling this bike.

    -Collin-

  3. #3
    Senior Member toytech's Avatar
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    That's is a sweet looking bike! Nice Job!
    "Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day."--Harry S. Truman

  4. #4
    Beach-Bound Collin2424's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toytech View Post
    That's is a sweet looking bike! Nice Job!
    Thank you, Sir! You're local right? Want to take it for a spin? Haha.

    -Collin-

  5. #5
    Mostly Mischief jan nikolajsen's Avatar
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    More than once I wished being able to edit the title...

    Elegant bike, the frame and fork colors go well together. Better craftsmanship, it appears, than most of the French stuff people show here.

    Nice use of low depth of field.

    What rims are those?

  6. #6
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Wow, nice! Nice pics too!
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

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    le prix s'oublie,la qualité reste ,(michel audiard)

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Fantastic looking bike, I wouldn't change a thing.
    My name is Steve and I don't have a bent fork anymore :)

    1979 Raleigh Competition G.S.- mine
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  8. #8
    Senior Member jstewse's Avatar
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    Great looking bike, some interesting details on the frame/fork. Looks like you've got yourself a fantastic rider, a nice mix of function, modern, and classic styling.
    I agree that the fork looks very nice with the color of the frame.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ScottRyder's Avatar
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    Beautiful job Collin, you certainly have an eye for detail and color.

    Scott

  10. #10
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Very classy !
    AND it's FRENCH !
    (- a double win!)
    - Auchen

  11. #11
    Senior Member shrinkboy's Avatar
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    collin- since you opened the door on editing, you used the word 'incarceration' when i am 100% sure you meant to say 'incarnation'... ;~))

    loving your bike, and it gives me a good road map of what to look for as i begin the process of changing my Grandis over to a modern, Ergo drivetrain, though i won't go triple. i've already got the 10 speed crankset....

  12. #12
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
    Very classy !
    AND it's FRENCH !
    (- a double win!)
    Classy and French. Kinda redundant, innit? Majorly sweet bike, Collin. And what, 60 bucks for the frame and fork? You lucky duck!

    SP
    Bend, OR

  13. #13
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
    Classy and French. Kinda redundant, innit? ....
    - Auchen

  14. #14
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    Nice work!
    "Winning is the best deodorant. Someone can look at your bike and say it stinks, but if you win with it, suddenly it's okay." - Jim Busby

  15. #15
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    Elegance personified! Very nice bike and I do love the basic contrasts. Though brightly colored bicycles do have their place, I am most impressed with those that have that subdued, but functionally beautiful, look that you managed to capture.

  16. #16
    If I own it, I ride it CV-6's Avatar
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    That is beautiful. The only thing I would do, and this is just me, is put Lejeune block letter markings on it. It would be in keeping with the understated elegance of the bike.
    Lynn Travers

    Photos

    ISO: Lejeune Champion du Monde Ultra Leger Reynolds 753, 53-55cm

  17. #17
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    If I'd known you were going to hang my beautiful Italian parts on that French thing........

    I can't wait to see it in person. I'm curios about a couple of things:

    What BB did you pair that crank with?

    Who is the powdercoater that you used?
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, it’s the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  18. #18
    FBoD Member at Large khatfull's Avatar
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    Well, I feel like I'm as married to this bike as Collin is! Haha, we went 'round and 'round many evenings on Google Talk figuring out what HE wanted for the bike. I think Campy was a foregone conclusion right from the start. Doing it as a budget Campy build was a bit of a departure for Collin but once he started to see the components come together I think he was quickly convinced. He had considered chroming the fork but that didn't quite fit into the budget nature however I think the result of the "chrome" powdercoat goes really well with the stem, wheels, and other aluminum bits on the bike. There were some obstacles to overcome...wrong headset, challenges with the DIY headset press, figuring out if the BB spindle taper was going to work properly with the modern crank, just a bunch of little things that, in the end, were nicely resolved and what you see is the result. French Reynolds decals really finish it off nice. I think he needs to nail a nice Ideale saddle though

    I told Collin last night and will here too, I'm most impressed by his choices here, the way it came together and, of course, the final result. Applause my friend!

    BTW, the TA bottle cage? That's mine, yeah....I have one bit on the bike anyway

  19. #19
    Get off my lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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    Beautiful

  20. #20
    Beach-Bound Collin2424's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
    If I'd known you were going to hang my beautiful Italian parts on that French thing........

    I can't wait to see it in person. I'm curios about a couple of things:

    What BB did you pair that crank with?

    Who is the powdercoater that you used?
    The BB is a bit of an interesting story. It's a Stronglight French BB with a JIS spindle. The crank, however, is an ISO taper. So, the crank will go onto it, but it sits out an additional 4mm. That's why I went with the triple (along with the fact that I'm fat and out of shape) - the BB is actually for a double, so this worked perfectly. Chainline is good.

    The powder-coater is in San Jose and is called BR&F spray.

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/br-and-f-spray-santa-clara

    Quote Originally Posted by khatfull View Post
    Well, I feel like I'm as married to this bike as Collin is! Haha, we went 'round and 'round many evenings on Google Talk figuring out what HE wanted for the bike. I think Campy was a foregone conclusion right from the start. Doing it as a budget Campy build was a bit of a departure for Collin but once he started to see the components come together I think he was quickly convinced. He had considered chroming the fork but that didn't quite fit into the budget nature however I think the result of the "chrome" powdercoat goes really well with the stem, wheels, and other aluminum bits on the bike. There were some obstacles to overcome...wrong headset, challenges with the DIY headset press, figuring out if the BB spindle taper was going to work properly with the modern crank, just a bunch of little things that, in the end, were nicely resolved and what you see is the result. French Reynolds decals really finish it off nice. I think he needs to nail a nice Ideale saddle though

    I told Collin last night and will here too, I'm most impressed by his choices here, the way it came together and, of course, the final result. Applause my friend!

    BTW, the TA bottle cage? That's mine, yeah....I have one bit on the bike anyway
    Thanks Keith. Yes, this is your bottle cage. The last French piece in your household that you were so eager to get rid of!

    I really appreciate all the compliments on the bike. I think there was a question about the rims and those are CXP21s. Nothing fancy, but they work.

    -Collin-

  21. #21
    Beach-Bound Collin2424's Avatar
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    Almost forgot: thank you unworthy1 for pulling the old cranks off the frame for me!

    -Collin-

  22. #22
    Senior Member BentLink's Avatar
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    Ohhhh that's pretty. Enjoy!

  23. #23
    Beach-Bound Collin2424's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CV-6 View Post
    That is beautiful. The only thing I would do, and this is just me, is put Lejeune block letter markings on it. It would be in keeping with the understated elegance of the bike.
    Lynn, I've looked long and hard for them but never see them. Any suggestions?

    -Collin-

  24. #24
    Larger Chainring Oregon Southpaw's Avatar
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    I like this bike. Very much.

    In fact, its the type of bike that if I encountered it in the wild, I would stare at it. Until someone asked me if I planned on stealing it. I'd probably scratch my chin trying to figure it all out.

    Classic, beautiful, and looks like its ready to rip and roll.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dovetube View Post
    At times my crotch has thought the title to this thread.

  25. #25
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    gorgeous!

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