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:
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.