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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 03-04-14, 08:19 AM   #1
isyphoto
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First SS/Fixed Project

I have just acquired a bike for my first project. It is a Velosolex La Parisienne. I bought it for the frame and forks. I am not yet sure what other parts will be retained. Sorry for the lack of a drive side photo, I was more interested in getting shots of the lugs. I was unable to find any sort of serial number on it and I do not have any idea how old it is, but the best guess is late 1960's- early 1980's. Any info on age would be appreciated.
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File Type: jpg ToBeFixed1 (600x450).jpg (55.2 KB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg ToBeFixed2 (600x450).jpg (49.5 KB, 55 views)
File Type: jpg ToBeFixed3 (600x450).jpg (60.7 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg ToBeFixed4 (600x450).jpg (45.6 KB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg ToBeFixed5 (600x450).jpg (58.3 KB, 51 views)
File Type: jpg ToBeFixed6 (600x450).jpg (40.1 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg ToBeFixed7 (600x450).jpg (45.2 KB, 44 views)
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Old 03-04-14, 08:34 AM   #2
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Looks like your typical low end mid 60s to mid 70s bike boom era French 10-speed "racer." Although those bikes were quite heavy, they were still considered lightweights when compared to the Schwinn Varsity of the day. It's made from straight gage hi-ten steel and is nothing special. I have a similar Mercier conversion:

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Old 03-05-14, 05:07 PM   #3
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Try posting over in the classic & vintage forum. They'll know everything there is to know about your bike and then some.
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Old 03-05-14, 07:12 PM   #4
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Simplex, Mafac, and turkey neck levers put it around 1970, imho. There's a lot of lovers of bikes like yours who will tell you that if it is complete and everything works or is fixable - you should leave it intact.

Whichever you choose, good luck in your endeavor...
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Old 03-06-14, 07:16 AM   #5
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If you choose to convert this, be very careful removing, cleaning and photographing your Simplex derailleurs and shifters. A clean set will go for $75 to a Japanese buyer on eBay. Is the front derailleur's post (that holds the cage) intact? Bonus points.

The brakes that you have are terrific with proper adjustment. Buy the replacement KoolStop cartridges for them.

I'd venture to guess that this frame is an early 70s. Is there a two digit number stamped into one of the headlugs, sort of rearward? The frame will ride comfortably - surprisingly so. The bottom bracket shell will have French threading...

I was an early teen when these bikes were being ridden around. These were a bit rarer than Peugeots and Gitanes.
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Old 03-06-14, 07:51 AM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback. I will be taking it to my local LBS (I get to work on my own stuff after hours) this weekend. I will be re-photographing it and begin the tear down. I will be careful with the components, they seem to be in fine working order. The only problem I have found so far it that there seems to be some play in the hub of the front wheel.

I will take a close look at the headlugs for the digits.
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Old 03-11-14, 11:48 AM   #7
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So far the tear down has gone well. I had to leave the frame at my LBS, I was unable to get the cotter pin out of the drive side crank and I was unable to remove the drive side of the bottom bracket, so the shops mechanic is going to give it a shot. I have had a chance to clean up the brakes and I think they will be usable.
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File Type: jpg photo 2.jpg (39.5 KB, 16 views)
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Old 03-11-14, 11:55 AM   #8
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Mafac Racers are good brakes. Clean them up (they polish nicely) and get Kool Stop pads as someone already suggested.

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Old 03-17-14, 10:00 AM   #9
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Update: The last cotter pin and the bottom bracket has been removed. I was able to polish the brakes and they now have a nice shine like EnzoRWD posted. It is amazing what a little polish will do! The crank arms and chain rings have been cleaned up as well as they can be, by hand anyways. They are not as clean as I would like and may have to look to an alternative to deal with them (either powder coating or re-chroming). At any rate, current images.
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File Type: jpg photo 1.jpg (61.5 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg photo 2.jpg (70.5 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg photo 3.jpg (64.0 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg photo 4.JPG (96.8 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg bigring.jpg (51.9 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg littlewithcranks.jpg (50.4 KB, 34 views)
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Old 03-17-14, 10:54 AM   #10
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^ i hope this comes out nice
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Old 03-21-14, 06:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
If you choose to convert this, be very careful removing, cleaning and photographing your Simplex derailleurs and shifters. A clean set will go for $75 to a Japanese buyer on eBay. Is the front derailleur's post (that holds the cage) intact? Bonus points.


There was no post, but I was able to get everything off and gave it a brief cleaning. I will probably put it on ebay when I am done with the project.



The brakes that you have are terrific with proper adjustment. Buy the replacement KoolStop cartridges for them.
I'd venture to guess that this frame is an early 70s. Is there a two digit number stamped into one of the headlugs, sort of rearward? The frame will ride comfortably - surprisingly so. The bottom bracket shell will have French threading...


There were no numbers there but there was a number of sorts on the rear non-drive side drop out, the first two digits are "18" I think, then a space followed by "51574".

I was an early teen when these bikes were being ridden around. These were a bit rarer than Peugeots and Gitanes.

The frame and forks are at the painters, it will hopefully be completed next week sometime.
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Old 03-21-14, 08:31 AM   #12
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This is exciting. Great job and enthusiasm for your project. Can't wait to see the rest unfold.
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Old 03-25-14, 12:13 PM   #13
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Update: I was able to pick up my frame and forks from the painter last night. I am very pleased with the result. I think he did a great job for $200. Full prep, bead blasted, primer, paint, and clear coat. Here are a few low quality images. Enjoy.
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File Type: jpg bottom bracket lug painted.JPG (81.5 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg drop out painted.jpg (39.1 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg Fork Crown Lug painted.JPG (71.3 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg Forks painted.JPG (81.9 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg Full Frame Painted.jpg (36.6 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg head tube painted 2.JPG (75.1 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg head tube painted.JPG (86.0 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg Seat tube lug painted.JPG (77.8 KB, 19 views)
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Old 03-25-14, 04:55 PM   #14
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Old 03-26-14, 02:11 AM   #15
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I love the excitement of a newly painted bike. Of course, I don't love that awful period of anticipation until you scuff it for the first time
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Old 04-07-14, 06:28 AM   #16
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Slowly but surely parts have started coming in. I was able to learn how to install a headset. The remainder of parts should be in by the end of the week. depending on how my work schedule shakes out will dictate how much spare time I get to spend at the lbs.
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Old 04-07-14, 09:57 PM   #17
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I've been looking to do a similar challenge/build. It'll be interesting to see the final outcome and tally for the build!
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Old 04-07-14, 11:26 PM   #18
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Those center pulls are one of my favorite type of bike brake. I converted my old 60s Sears and Roebuck 5speed to a fixie, nice work. Mine has to weigh around 15lbs.
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Old 04-08-14, 08:17 AM   #19
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ROFLMAO! That was my thought when I saw the new color scheme!

OP don't take any offense by that either, TMNT was a large part of my childhood
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Old 04-08-14, 09:06 AM   #20
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ROFLMAO! That was my thought when I saw the new color scheme!

OP don't take any offense by that either, TMNT was a large part of my childhood
1. No offense taken, it's the internet.
2. I had a good laugh at that as well.
3. TMNT was a part of my childhood and I am very disappointed they are putting out a "live action" version. Hollywood apparently can not make anything but retreads.
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Old 04-08-14, 09:09 AM   #21
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1. No offense taken, it's the internet.
2. I had a good laugh at that as well.
3. TMNT was a part of my childhood and I am very disappointed they are putting out a "live action" version. Hollywood apparently can not make anything but retreads.
Be glad they went the direction they did.. it's bad but the stuff I was seeing a while back was even worse. Semi on topic, have you considered putting a Leonardo face decal on as the head badge?
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Old 04-08-14, 09:33 AM   #22
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3. TMNT was a part of my childhood and I am very disappointed they are putting out a "live action" version. Hollywood apparently can not make anything but retreads.
Where were you in 1990, 1991, and 1993?
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Old 04-08-14, 09:41 AM   #23
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Where were you in 1990, 1991, and 1993?
Damn, totally forgot about those....
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Old 04-08-14, 09:51 AM   #24
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^ I have all those on VHS
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Old 04-14-14, 06:39 AM   #25
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It is getting closer....
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