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Need gentle help with a Peugot PX-10 story

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Need gentle help with a Peugot PX-10 story

Old 08-01-20, 04:55 PM
  #1  
Danhedonia
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Need gentle help with a Peugot PX-10 story

I have a Peugot PX-10 in the garage that is from somewhere between 1968-1971. I don't need it to ride it - it belonged to my father and has enormous sentimental value to me. In 2004, knowing very little about bikes, I walked into my LBS and asked them to make it roadworthy again so that I could ride it. My LBS turned out to be where Sheldon Brown worked, but at the time I didn't know who he was and I just thought him a grumpy old fat guy who seemed to have a weird like for an old French bike. He moved some stuff around (shifters to bar ends, etc.) and built me a not-fancy pair of wheels on some nice Mavic rims.

I moved thousands of miles away, the bike got ridden but fell apart a bit (cable broke, tape came off bars), and I bought other road bikes and rode those instead. That was primarily because Sheldon had told me how the Peugot would always be a pain to fix because it had parts with different measurements. And as anyone still reading (thanks) can probably tell, I wasn't really a bike guy. I just rode for fitness reasons.

Now it's 2020 and I'd like to rehab the bike. I still have the wheels, and the gruppo seems fine.

Does anyone want to speculate on what it would cost to truly make the bike rideable again? I can change tubes and tires, and do a nice bar wrap, but beyond that I'm not going to be doing any of the work.

Is rehabbing it dumb? As a very important aside, I have two quite-nice road bikes now and don't think I'd ride the Peugot often, but you never know.

Any thoughts more than welcome; I fear it becoming a tar-pit type project.
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Old 08-01-20, 05:00 PM
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This is a great project and no you don't need to sink much money into it to make it work. We can talk you through this. You have most of the bits you need on your bike so you just need to rehab them. The bottom line is that all the parts you need for the bike are relatively easy to find and can be found relatively inexpensively.

By the way, I'm a big fan of French bikes (as are a lot of posters on this site) and I've rehabbed my share of them. Plus there is a lot to be said for riding your father's old bike. I do. I maintain and ride a 1993 Bridgestone XO 2 which was my Dad's bike.

We'll need pictures of your bike and an idea of what kind of riding you would like to do on it. Great story on Sheldon Brown by the way. His website is full of invaluable info on old bikes.

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Old 08-01-20, 05:00 PM
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Great story about Sheldon, thanks. But it'll be useful to know more about what you think it needs. Yes, French bikes are "different", but your bike may only need parts that are relatively standard and/or easy to find. You mentioned bar tape and a cable; those are definitely not particular to this bike. What else do you think it needs?

Any old bike project can become a tar pit. Some are still worth slogging through. There's no dollar value that can be assigned to the family value of your bike. As you proceed, keep that in mind.
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Old 08-01-20, 05:05 PM
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More than likely all it needs is a tune, new tires and tube, new brake pads, and bar tape. They aren't any harder to work on than any other vintage bike. IMHO. If you do take it to a shop though, take it to one with a grumpy old guy. Younger mechanics aren't going to be familar with French threaded pedals, bottom brackets, or cranks that require a special puller.

Think about where you are asking the question. Of course everyone here is going to say that rehabbing an old PX10 is pure genius!
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Old 08-01-20, 05:29 PM
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If the bike is all there, I would suggest new cables and cable casings. New brake pads. New handlebar tape. New tires. That should run between a hundred and two hundred dollars, assuming that you can do the work to install the items mentioned.

The other big issue is lubrication. Grease, left to sit for a long time, can deteriorate. More than once, I have opened a bottom bracket to find rust colored dust and nothing more, except, perhaps, a forest resident...


Take a really close look at your front derailleur, assuming it is the stock Simplex Competition model (this applies to all Simplex plastic front derailleurs), as they have a reputation for failure. As often as not, the crack will appear here and, if a wee bit cracked, will snap completely during assembly or shifting or...


The PX10 is an iconic road bicycle, that offers a really decent ride quality and looks horribly good doing so. Two have come my way, over the years, the one pictured left home last summer when I did an N-all but two...
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Old 08-01-20, 06:12 PM
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More than likely, if Saint Sheldon made it rideable, then there's probably not too much wrong with it now. The "French bits" with peculiar metric threading that give people trouble when refurbishing those bikes are: bottom bracket assembly, pedals, stem, rear derailleur hanger, and if the rear wheel was built around a French hub, then the freewheel -- they're all "French threaded" or some other arcane standard. Of these, the last is perhaps the most aggravating, in my opinion. I don't know where Peugeot was in 1968-1971 regarding the crankset for a PX-10 -- during that time a lot of cycling was still changing from cottered (affects both bottom bracket and crankset) to square tapered. If your crank does not obviously have cotter pins holding the cranks to the bottom bracket, then you'll be fine. Unlike in 2004, there are enough people interested in French-threaded bikes that you can buy replacement sealed cartridge-bearing bottom brackets with French cups (the screw-on bits); they're very reasonably priced. Pedals: can always use ISO/English ones having 9/16-20 threads simply by having the (existing) cranks rethreaded from the French 14 x 1.25 mm. Stems are easy to fix: just carefully sand an ISO 22.2 mm stem column down to 22.0 mm. It's not too difficult to find French diameter seatposts, really, though because they're typically incrementally smaller than what's current, that cannot be "adapted". But it's probably not going to be necessary to invest in a new seatpost unless the current one was trashed for some reason. With regard to the rear derailleur hanger: if it's integral (rather than a separate screwed-on hanger), then you pretty much have to use one of a few different specific models, and the black delrin in the Simplex Prestige models is notorious for breaking after years of use, like the front derailleur pictured above. These integral hangers can be adapted to ISO "Campagnolo standard", permitting a wide variety of derailleur choices, but purists frown on that, and doing so takes a certain knack.

I recommend posting enough times on this forum (ten) so that you can upload photos, and then take some overall and detail shots. People here will ask if they want to see something special photographed once they see the overall picture. Then you'll get some very informed advice on what to do with what. And, you would be surprised how generous Bike Forum folk are with both assistance and materials to get you to the right place, and save another PX-10.

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Old 08-01-20, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Danhedonia View Post
I have a Peugot PX-10 in the garage that is from somewhere between 1968-1971. I don't need it to ride it - it belonged to my father and has enormous sentimental value to me. In 2004, knowing very little about bikes, I walked into my LBS and asked them to make it roadworthy again so that I could ride it. My LBS turned out to be where Sheldon Brown worked, but at the time I didn't know who he was and I just thought him a grumpy old fat guy who seemed to have a weird like for an old French bike. He moved some stuff around (shifters to bar ends, etc.) and built me a not-fancy pair of wheels on some nice Mavic rims.

I moved thousands of miles away, the bike got ridden but fell apart a bit (cable broke, tape came off bars), and I bought other road bikes and rode those instead. That was primarily because Sheldon had told me how the Peugot would always be a pain to fix because it had parts with different measurements. And as anyone still reading (thanks) can probably tell, I wasn't really a bike guy. I just rode for fitness reasons.

Now it's 2020 and I'd like to rehab the bike. I still have the wheels, and the gruppo seems fine.

Does anyone want to speculate on what it would cost to truly make the bike rideable again? I can change tubes and tires, and do a nice bar wrap, but beyond that I'm not going to be doing any of the work.

Is rehabbing it dumb? As a very important aside, I have two quite-nice road bikes now and don't think I'd ride the Peugot often, but you never know.

Any thoughts more than welcome; I fear it becoming a tar-pit type project.
Do not fear the tar pit, be brave!

This is a fantastic opportunity to save a great piece of history, family and otherwise.

My Dad wasn't a cyclist but he rode a little, did make sure I got same good bikes early on and he was a pretty good wrench so he passed that onto me and it has served me very well in many things, bikes, cars professionally, drag racing motorcycles and much else.

I would love to have had a bike from him, very jealous.

A PX-10 is fantastic, all time iconic bike to have.

Dig in and make it so.

Last edited by merziac; 08-01-20 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 08-01-20, 07:45 PM
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Velo Orange is your friend. You should be able to get replacements for French parts there - including brake pads and brake hoods.

Randy is right about the Simplex derailleurs - they're likely to be trouble, due to the effects of environmental degradation, time and ham-fisted wrenching on the Delrin. Inspect carefully and replace as required. By the way - the rear derailleur drop-out is Simplex-specific. You can switch to a threaded rear derailleur, but you will have to thread the drop-out hole with the appropriate tap - and also modify the drop-out using a Dremel or similar grinding tool to take a B-screw. Yes, it butchers the bike. It's either that or risk having a mech come off while pedaling.

PX-10s have "death" stems. These got their name because the French manufacturer failed to prevent crack propagation - so some would snap in half at the worst possible moments. The death stems have to be replaced by French 25mm specific stems with proper stress crack relief - or swapped out in favor of carefully-sanded 22.2mm Nitto or SR quill stems.

If the bike has tubular tires and wheels, keep them. One of the pinned threads in this forum is about tubular tires - or you could just ask us for recommendations.
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Old 08-01-20, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by kunsunoke View Post
Velo Orange is your friend. You should be able to get replacements for French parts there - including brake pads and brake hoods.

Randy is right about the Simplex derailleurs - they're likely to be trouble, due to the effects of environmental degradation, time and ham-fisted wrenching on the Delrin. Inspect carefully and replace as required. By the way - the rear derailleur drop-out is Simplex-specific. You can switch to a threaded rear derailleur, but you will have to thread the drop-out hole with the appropriate tap - and also modify the drop-out using a Dremel or similar grinding tool to take a B-screw. Yes, it butchers the bike. It's either that or risk having a mech come off while pedaling.

PX-10s have "death" stems. These got their name because the French manufacturer failed to prevent crack propagation - so some would snap in half at the worst possible moments. The death stems have to be replaced by French 25mm specific stems with proper stress crack relief - or swapped out in favor of carefully-sanded 22.2mm Nitto or SR quill stems.

If the bike has tubular tires and wheels, keep them. One of the pinned threads in this forum is about tubular tires - or you could just ask us for recommendations.
Yeah, fix it. It won't be hard. We can talk you through this. Don't butcher the derailleur hanger--just install a decent Simplex rear derailleur. They're not too hard to find. Someone here will probably sell or trade you for one. Apart from the sentimental value in your case--which is substantial, it seems to me--the PX-10 is a great bike that's really fun to ride. Add my voice to those requesting pictures.
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Old 08-01-20, 09:24 PM
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Definitely fixable. With a bit of research, sounds like something you could do yourself for under $50, or (I'm much less certain here) about $150 if you were to pay a competent and honorable mechanic. Note that I'm not considering tires - which could be significant if they need to be replaced and depending on what your criteria for that is.

The PX-10 is one of the most iconic models of the 1965 - 1975 era. Unless it is a bike that it can be proven that Eddy rode, you're not likely to reap a great financial reward from this if your objective would be to sell it, but speaking from the standpoint of pure sentiment, and enjoying taking a ride on it on nice days, this could be priceless.
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Old 08-01-20, 10:04 PM
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I'm so grateful to people for the posts. Yes, the sentimental value is enormous. My father is an unusual person, and the bike is an odd connective thread in a strange family history. I will never sell it.

One huge challenge will be my personal limitations: I am not 'a bike guy,' and don't know what a derailleur hanger or cotter pin are. I will rely on others' patience - and pics - to help me get it done. I will do my best to get the pics posted ASAP. (I'm not good at those, either).

I don't need or want the bike to 'look like it did in 1970.' So updated/improved stuff is fine. If this offends anyone's sense of how the bike should be treated, please educate me in the error of my ways. (I am much more familiar with guitars, and do realize that sometimes, messing up a vintage thing is sacrilege).

Here's what I think I want to do?

1. Have the frame re-painted. There's a guy local to me (Albuquerque) who advertises this service. Too many stickers on it in it's current state. (A 70's era legally-required 'bike license' (!!!)).

2. Complete recabling of front/rear shifting systems. KEY: do I want new shifters? I don't like the traditional, separate-location levers. Prefer them on the grips. Am I being small minded?

3. Bottom bracket. BB's terrify me. I want to be told "it's fine" and never think about it again.

4. Pedals. Also a metric issue? Would love SPDs on there. Want to keep the crank set.

Things that I know to be OK:
- Tubes & tires. Has some crazy-ass Avocet tires Sheldon put on the new wheels. They're slick as owl poo, and I like them. In good condition.
- Brake shoes. Were replaced at the time. Brakes are old Campagnolo. I don't know much more than that.
- Chain seems fine.

**********************
If it helps anyone here smile, please know that when I took the bike to the Harris Cyclery (I think that's where Brown worked, this is all from memory from a guy who's had a seizure), I was really into climbing, and didn't realize who Sheldon was or that he was well known until I discussed the bike with my climbing partner, who had raced bikes and said "You're an IDIOT!!! THAT'S SHELDON BROWN WHO DID YOUR BIKE!" when I called him a weird, grumpy old guy.
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Old 08-01-20, 10:51 PM
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No worries on the Sheldon front, we're glad he was there and he helped us as much if not more than many before or since but not all of his advice was always what helped.
That being said, if you have any paperwork, that would be golden.

If the paint is that bad then maybe a repaint, the visual of the bike is strongest visual link to its past so consider carefully that it is only original once, it can be pretty bad and still be made to present well despite that, sometimes.

Campy brakes are an upgrade and a good one obviously but not original so there's that.

The tires may not be okay to ride if that old regardless of how they look.

BB may have to be overhauled, very important and likely.

If by on the bars you mean brifters, on this, it will be major and could be very challenging if you have to change the whole group to accommodate that.

There may be someone here that can help you in Albuquerque and there should be shop(s) that can help but you need a good recommendation for one from someone with personal experience.

Again, dig in, make it so.
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Old 08-02-20, 12:43 AM
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Your memory's fine, it is indeed Harris Cyclery. Sheldon's site is still up and active, and being updated by John Allen and others. Your stories about him and your friend are a hoot.

Yeah, "brifters" would be a challenge, as they're all 7-speed or more. It's more than just the shifters; index shifting requires the right derailleurs, freewheel/cassette, chainrings and chain as well. Also, newer bikes with more speeds in the rear actually have wider spaced frames in the rear triangle. Re-spacing the rear is doable (there are even pages on Sheldon's site on a DIY procedure). But all in all, it's not something for a beginner, and wouldn't be cheap to pay someone to do. Bar-end shifters might be an option.

Lots of people come here knowing little to nothing about bike maintenance. That doesn't matter as much as how much you _want_ to know. Between this site, a metric cr@p-ton of youtube videos, and (where available) a nearby bike co-op, just about any new level of knowledge is attainable.
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Old 08-02-20, 04:08 AM
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Here's what I think I want to do?

1. Have the frame re-painted. There's a guy local to me (Albuquerque) who advertises this service. Too many stickers on it in it's current state. (A 70's era legally-required 'bike license' (!!!)).

2. Complete recabling of front/rear shifting systems. KEY: do I want new shifters? I don't like the traditional, separate-location levers. Prefer them on the grips. Am I being small minded?

3. Bottom bracket. BB's terrify me. I want to be told "it's fine" and never think about it again.

4. Pedals. Also a metric issue? Would love SPDs on there. Want to keep the crank set.

Things that I know to be OK:
- Tubes & tires. Has some crazy-ass Avocet tires Sheldon put on the new wheels. They're slick as owl poo, and I like them. In good condition.
- Brake shoes. Were replaced at the time. Brakes are old Campagnolo. I don't know much more than that.
- Chain seems fine.
Oh oh!

1: Show us pictures of your bike. Repainting usually is a really bad idea. It costs quite a bit and destroys the original nature of the bike. Think this through very carefully! Show us pictures.

2: Shifter choice is a good idea. This does not require damaging the frame set except for re-threading of the derailleur hanger. Changing shifters is a job for someone who knows what he or she is doing. If you wish to keep the bike original, you can get a set of Simplex Barcons (shifters fitted into the ends of the handlebarr.

3: You better open up the bottom bracket, and head set and wheel hubs. The grease is, when in good shape, your friend. When not in good shape, well you can figure that out. Rodents make for poor lubrication. Balls can chip and/or crack in half. Cones and cups, the things the balls roll on, can become pitted from lots of use or damaged just by sitting for many years.

4: Good idea. That is exactly what I did on my X10. You will have to have the crank arms pedal threads cut to fit the SPD. Again, this is to be done at the shop or send me the cranks (I will do it for you but you gotta pay shipping both ways).

The things that you know to be OK might not be OK. Tires and brake pads get old. They can and often do rot or harden, respectfully. Rotted tires can/will blow out and one did on my second PX10 (lucky it was the back and it went with a very loud "bang"). Hardened brake pads can/will damage alloy wheel rim braking surface and won't stop the bike as well. Regarding the chain, were it me, I would go for a new one, a modern eight speed unit (lighter and much easier to install and remove).

Hope that gives you something to think about.
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Old 08-02-20, 04:28 AM
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Agree that repainting is generally a bad idea; there are other ways to deal with stickers you don't like.

Everything else on your list is doable. Some of the things you want to do require some mechanical aptitude and tools. There's nothing wrong with having a competent shop do the work if you'd rather not learn. If you do want to learn, we can talk you through this. You may find it therapeutic to work on this old bike.

A lot of old bikes do get "modernized" which is what you are thinking about if you go with brifters and SPDs. Here is a thread on "retro roadies" with lots of pics and stories. It will give you some ideas:

Retro roadies- old frames with STI's or Ergos

The things you don't want replaced, likely need replacing. Brake pads don't get better with age. It is generally a good idea to change cables and chains on an old bike. There are better tires out there that I would trust more. These are called the consumables on the bike and they do need periodic replacement.
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Old 08-02-20, 05:44 AM
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From a previous post :

1. Have the frame re-painted. There's a guy local to me (Albuquerque) who advertises this service. Too many stickers on it in it's current state. (A 70's era legally-required 'bike license' (!!!)).

I was reading this thread with much interest..until I read that. The sentimental value you spoke of will be diminished greatly if you do this.
Not to mention much of the value of the bike.
What do you mean "too many stickers"? If there's a license on there and it bothers you, it can be removed. With care.
But a period bike license from when your dad rode it can actually increase the bike's charm.
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Old 08-02-20, 09:15 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Danhedonia View Post
...I was really into climbing, and didn't realize who Sheldon was or that he was well known until I discussed the bike with my climbing partner, who had raced bikes and said "You're an IDIOT!!! THAT'S SHELDON BROWN WHO DID YOUR BIKE!" when I called him a weird, grumpy old guy.
Yeah, it's as if you got your crampons sharpened by Fred Beckey.

You'll hear a lot of skepticism about repainting around here. You'll certainly hear it from me. A good job--and it's never worth doing anything less--costs a lot. But cost is actually the least of it. The nicks and scrapes on an old bike, especially one with sentimental value, are part of what makes it special. Clean it up and wax it, put it in top shape mechanically, and ride it. See if you start to like the way it looks. It's peculiarly satisfying to have a bike that's perfectly tuned but looks a little rough to the untrained eye.

The thing is, you can always decide to repaint it year from now or five years from now or ten years from now. But once you have repainted it, you can never unrepaint it. In my early years as a bike dweeb, I had two frames repainted, and have since come to regret it. You might not. But then again, you might.
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Old 08-02-20, 10:06 AM
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I think you should leave the bar ends on there, and get used to them. If you want brifters, get a modern bike. Yeah, I'm one of those guys...

Since you already had it revamped and new wheels made, there probably isn't much else to do except maintenance and replacing the rubber stuff and usual consumables.

Traditional non sealed ball bearings should be regularly cleaned and repacked with fresh grease. After a few decades now of sealed bearings, newer cyclists tend to have a huge mental block about this. In truth, it can be tedious but it isn't rocket science.
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Old 08-02-20, 12:11 PM
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Funny enough, my dad was a rocket scientist (he is retired now and in his late 80's).

I don't mind the opinions, and I don't feel funny making my own decisions. I learn in life by getting the thoughts of people who seem smarter than me (an endless supply) and seeing how those ideas feel when I try them on.

Never knew Fred Beckey, but did see George Hurley in his late 60's waltzing up tough ice routes in NH. Guy is the ultimate inspiration.

On to the pics.
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Old 08-02-20, 12:12 PM
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Old 08-02-20, 12:14 PM
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Old 08-02-20, 12:15 PM
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Old 08-02-20, 12:21 PM
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Practical considerations:

1) I have modern bikes! Two of them: A Specialized Roubaix Elite and a Giant TCR-1 Comp. I also have a Novarra Trionfo, which is a fine (if drastically uncool) bike. The Peugot would be for special days and outings.

2) I know next to nothing about bicycles, but I do know quite a bit about guitars, and understand and respect all of the ins and outs of vintage gear fetishism. That said, something about this bike seems to ask for updating (as has already occurred).

3) Turns out my memory wasn't good about many of the parts on the bike.

4) I think - but am not sure - that I have a ceiling of around $500 I'm willing to spend on this (frame painting may or may not be included in that number).

So - what has to happen, in what order?
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Old 08-02-20, 12:29 PM
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The bike is a bit of a frankenstein mess but the real issue is how low that seat is. If you ride it like that the frame is too big for you.
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Old 08-02-20, 12:42 PM
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3) is right, the bike has had many component replacements.

The BB is a cartridge replacement. How does it spin? It may indeed be fine.

Looks like one Universal and one Mafac brake. Interesing, both "from the period". The pads are Kool Stop salmon replacements, which get high marks from most here, esp. in the rain. They can be noisy, but there are ways to adjust for that. Levers are Shimano 600 aero replacements.

RD is a modern-ish replacement. I always thought the dropouts on French frames had a different position for the B-screw rest, but that may not be the case with your bike. In any event, if the mech hangs in the right position and shifts properly, call it a day.

FD is probably a replacement, since it's shimmed, but is "period". At least it's not the (in)famous delrin Simplex pictured above. Should be perfectly serviceable. Eek, what happened to the front shifter? Are the parts still around?

Crank is the original Stronglight, one of the most beautiful bicycle components ever made. Something special about that star pattern.

Some would call the mix of components a "dog's breakfast", like something a flipper would throw together from found components. But knowing this bike's provenance, it's really just an indication that your father took care of this bike, and intended to keep it roadworthy.
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