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Old 11-20-20, 12:51 PM
  #13  
rustystrings61 
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Greenwood SC USA
Posts: 1,871

Bikes: 2002 Mercian Vincitore, 1982 Mercian Colorado, 1976 Puch Royal X, 1974 Allegro No. 76, 1973 Raleigh Competition, 1973 Raleigh GS, 1971 Gitane Tour de France and others

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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
rustystrings61 that story about the ‘78 bike is remarkable, btw! Was it serendipity you found it again, or did you know the buyer from ‘87?
The short form - my Dad bought me this unsold 1976 Puch Royal X in March, 1978, and it was my primary bike until I stopped riding seriously in '83 or so. It traveled around with me from place to place for the next few years, and along the way it picked up a nasty, distinctive scar on the headbadge when I wasn't sufficiently careful with it. In '87 there was this '65 or so Fender Vibroluxe Reverb Amp that I just HAD to have, so I sold the Puch to a friend of mine in Macon. A couple of months later I realized I missed the bike and contacted the friend, only to learn it had been stolen from his back yard while he was inside eating lunch. I looked around but no luck, and I wasn't riding then anyway, sooo ... fast forward to c.1997, when I start riding again, and I started looking for a white 23-in Puch Royal X. Nope. It was a one-year-only freak of a bike that I suspect was offered to allow Puch to use up odd parts inventory - the same frame as the Puch Royal Force AND the assorted Austro-Daimlers, silver-brazed Reynolds 531, but with a dog's breakfast of parts.

Fast-forward again to 2019, when I am playing around with FB Marketplace. On a whim I key in "Puch." Immediately, up pops a 23-in white Puch Royal X, and even with bad pix I know what it is - and it's only $100. It's in Stone Mountain, near Atlanta, so I locate a bike shop that would be willing to ship the bike, make a deal with the seller to have him deliver it there, send the shop the money to pay him and to box it up and ship it to me. It finally arrives, I take it out of the box and get a really eerie feeling. All of the box stock parts that I had left on my old one were on this one; everything I had changed to my personal preference, saddle, pedals, rear derailleur - those are all NON-stock parts, but NOT the parts I put on it. Someone has fitted wheels similar to the stock ones, but NOT the stock ones. But look, someone HAS fitted it with a 6-speed SunTour Ultra (narrow) freewheel that is identical to the one I had .... then I look at the head tube and freak out, because there is the scar on the head badge. It is my old bike, period.

Someday I may get a bee in my bonnet to put it back closer to how it was when I sold it - but that means finding a set of Weyless hubs and some Mavic Montlhery tubular rims AND an old French Ideale 90 saddle, and all of those are pricey collectibles now. For now, it rides beautifully, better than I remembered, apart from having a hard to keep adjusted headset - which I remember from way back when, too.

Anyway, here is the long form of the story, with pix.

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