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Automoto Champion du Monde cleanup/build thread

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Automoto Champion du Monde cleanup/build thread

Old 08-12-21, 10:19 AM
  #26  
juvela
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-----

Skip -

it's clear you have done a good deal of research on the Automoto marque already

would encourage you to keep exploring as it is one of those vintage french marques with numerous examples to search out online
a good deal of the marque history has been covered in forum & blog posts; there is moderately good documentation as compared with some other gaulic marques 'o yesteryear

don't miss the francophone fora - they are a marvelous resource...

i visit Tonton, velo-retro-a-go-go & velo-retro-course at proboards

for readers with Chrome on their device you can ask it to translate for you

---

note on BB spindle -

can tell from its finish in the photos that it is a good deal later than the cycle
verot cotterless spindles of the era of the cycle had a different finish and a distinctive two-digit marking on one of the taper flats:



thanks very much for sharing this project; enjoying following along as you move forward...

-----

Last edited by juvela; 08-12-21 at 10:21 AM. Reason: spellin'
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Old 08-12-21, 11:30 AM
  #27  
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Vitus Frameset Weight

Originally Posted by smontanaro
From the Bureau of Weights and Measures:
  • Fork - 778g
  • Frame - 1903g
  • Seat tube - 60cm ctt
  • Top tube - 54cm ctc
  • Chainstay - 42.5cm
Thanks very much for checking that and satisfying my curiosity. Those are very light weights for a 1950's era frameset. A 60 cm 1970's PX 10 in 531 I had weighed 789 gm and 2,175 gm respectively and my 1960s 60 cm Bertin C 37 is 757 gm for the fork and the frame is 2,088 gm, all 531. I am looking forward to your ride report.
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Old 08-12-21, 02:01 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by juvela
note on BB spindle -

can tell from its finish in the photos that it is a good deal later than the cycle
Yeah, I could tell that as soon as I opened it up. Here's the spindle which came with the bottom bracket:



From the other similar bikes I've seen, I'm almost positive this would have been delivered with a cottered crank.
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Old 08-12-21, 03:59 PM
  #29  
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A bit of cleanup around the seat lug:


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Old 08-12-21, 06:44 PM
  #30  
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Really interesting bike, Skip, and a cool old project. Got any photos of the entire frame? The finish looks almost intact enough to save. If you do refinish, I don't know where you'd find replacement logos. What are the plans for this thing?
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Old 08-12-21, 07:00 PM
  #31  
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No specific immediate plans other than to see if it works for me (it's kinda small). All the photos are in this Flickr album. The frame and fork were separated when I got it.
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Old 08-12-21, 08:37 PM
  #32  
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Really looking forward to see how this turns out. I bought a 1954 Champion du monde last year (made a thread on here) with the intention of restoring it but haven't done any progress since. Sadly, mine has been sort of badly repainted. The components are pretty mixed up too. Would love to follow your progress, might inspire me. Just learned from you that the R on the dropout meant Reynolds!

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Old 08-13-21, 04:34 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by jonny7
Really looking forward to see how this turns out. I bought a 1954 Champion du monde last year (made a thread on here)...
Thanks for the thread reference. Reading that allowed me to find the serial number sleuthing thread on Tonton Velo with alain2908's spreadsheet. That suggests mine is probably from late '54 or sometime in '55.

Edit: Also jonny7 you should feel lucky yours has its head badge intact. Mine's missing. When I hunted around, I found one on eBay which the seller has listed for around $300!
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Old 08-15-21, 12:11 PM
  #34  
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The stem cleaned up nicely, though not without a bit of drama:



There are absolutely no markings, otherwise it looks a lot like a steel Cinelli #1 stem. Did somebody make a clone of that stem?
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Old 09-08-21, 06:21 PM
  #35  
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An update...

I asked over on Classic Rendezvous about the stem. The consensus was that it *is* a Cinelli steel stem. Apparently, they were delivered on Paramounts in the early 60s, sometimes with no stamping. The frame has such a short top tube, I'm going to keep it even if it is 10 years too new for the frame.

I broke out the wood bleach and the kiddie pool a couple days ago and set it up in the garage (it gets pretty dang hot in there on a sunny day).



Then I dried it out for a few hours in front of the garage and gave it a coat of wax.



I don't think it really looks much better, but it lightened up the bare spots so they stand out better from the remaining rattle can black paint better. I think I could spend the rest of my life scraping off that black paint!



I also secured a Simplex Tour de France rear derailleur, Huret shifter (both from @rhm) and a Simplex Competition lever-operated front derailleur (from @r0ckh0und).





Now to give wheels some thought. What would be period-correct French hubs, Exceltoo or Normandy? (I think Maxi-Car or Prior hubs would be too pricey.)
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Old 09-08-21, 06:36 PM
  #36  
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Pelissier made beautiful hubs. That's what was on my Drysdale, but I never found a single one, let alone a pair. I settled for Atom.

Pelissier hubs, main
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Old 09-08-21, 06:49 PM
  #37  
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Cool bike. I couild see myself getting tempted to fall into a rabbit hole like this. I hope the size works for you.
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Old 09-09-21, 01:08 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by smontanaro
From the Bureau of Weights and Measures:
  • Fork - 778g
  • Frame - 1903g
  • Seat tube - 60cm ctt
  • Top tube - 54cm ctc
  • Chainstay - 42.5cm
What a great bike! I don't know how I missed it first time around.
A very short top tube. I've run into this same sort of geometry on a couple Italian bikes of the era. I wonder if the Italians and the French only made bikes with tall seat tubes for the North American market and hadn't figured out that many riders with longer legs also have long torsos/arms.
In contrast, my 1957 Carlton has a seat tube 62 ctt and top tube 59 ctc. My 61 Allegro has a 61cm seat tube and a 60cm top tube.

You might try removing the black paint with progressively stronger solvents. I've had decent luck with this approach. I've discovered that, even with as strong a solvent as lacquer thinner, the original paint often remains intact while the rattlecan paint comes off. I'd start with mineral spirits and other paint thinners first though.
Brent
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Old 09-10-21, 09:10 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by obrentharris
A very short top tube. I've run into this same sort of geometry on a couple Italian bikes of the era. I wonder if the Italians and the French only made bikes with tall seat tubes for the North American market and hadn't figured out that many riders with longer legs also have long torsos/arms.
I wonder if it's more that they fit frames and riders differently. So-called "French fit" might explain the seemingly short top tube. Instead, if the seat tube is considered to be long, the top tube might be right.

I will make this "fit" with that long Cinelli stem.

Thanks for the tip about solvents. I'm unlikely to do much more paint removal, but might give it a whirl around the seat cluster.
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Old 10-26-21, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by smontanaro
Thanks for the thread reference. Reading that allowed me to find the serial number sleuthing thread on Tonton Velo with alain2908's spreadsheet. That suggests mine is probably from late '54 or sometime in '55.

Edit: Also jonny7 you should feel lucky yours has its head badge intact. Mine's missing. When I hunted around, I found one on eBay which the seller has listed for around $300!
Here's a badge reasonably priced ! https://www.ebay.ca/itm/384464269847...cAAOSwHDhhdsRv
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Old 10-26-21, 03:21 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by jonny7
Thanks. That's the fourth one I've seen in the past few weeks. All have the rivet holes torn out, including the one for three hundo $230.
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Old 10-26-21, 03:29 PM
  #42  
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Doh! Hadn't noticed. Pretty obvious men I compare with mine.
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Old 10-26-21, 03:35 PM
  #43  
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@smontanaro

I asked over on Classic Rendezvous about the stem. The consensus was that it *is* a Cinelli steel stem. Apparently, they were delivered on Paramounts in the early 60s, sometimes with no stamping. The frame has such a short top tube, I'm going to keep it even if it is 10 years too new for the frame.

I broke out the wood bleach and the kiddie pool a couple days ago and set it up in the garage (it gets pretty dang hot in there on a sunny day).

Then I dried it out for a few hours in front of the garage and gave it a coat of wax.

So isn't it prescribed to flush out and rinse off the residue after a soak like this before drying?
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Old 10-26-21, 03:57 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by smontanaro
As I understand it, that color was very common for Automoto, and perhaps other French companies.
Yes Lavender was the Automoto colour, the pre war racing team also had jerseys like that. Later, Mercier used it as well.
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Old 10-26-21, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by smontanaro
Thanks. That's the fourth one I've seen in the past few weeks. All have the rivet holes torn out, including the one for three hundo $230.
That one looks to be still pretty usable, cover the damage with just the right size screw heads. Might have to glue them in place then stick the badge on with 3m emblem tape, they have some that is very thin now days.

Of course then you would have to patina that badge or suss out a full restore to match it.
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Old 10-27-21, 03:48 AM
  #46  
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Automoto badges are a dime a dozen on any french flea market... The company was big and sold millions of bikes. Finding the correct one for your year and model might be a challenge, though.
https://www.ebay.fr/sch/i.html?_nkw=plaque+automoto+velo

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Old 10-27-21, 07:13 AM
  #47  
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Then I dried it out for a few hours in front of the garage and gave it a coat of wax.
Originally Posted by merziac
So isn't it prescribed to flush out and rinse off the residue after a soak like this before drying?
Yeah, I neglected to mention that step. I flushed the heck out of it before drying.
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Old 10-27-21, 09:35 AM
  #48  
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Don't be fooled by the frame's short top tube measurement.

These frames have really steep angles, up north of 76 degrees on my example (and which adds several cm to the frame's reach dimension!).

A longer stem will calm the quick steering though, so perhaps best to keep an open mind about stem length choice, on account of the radical geometry.

A similar situation occurs with PX10E and LE models from around 1973-1975, again where the ST angle is 76+ degrees!
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Old 10-27-21, 10:25 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by dddd
Don't be fooled by the frame's short top tube measurement.

These frames have really steep angles, up north of 76 degrees on my example (and which adds several cm to the frame's reach dimension!).

A longer stem will calm the quick steering though, so perhaps best to keep an open mind about stem length choice, on account of the radical geometry.

A similar situation occurs with PX10E and LE models from around 1973-1975, again where the ST angle is 76+ degrees!
Right you are. I hadn't paid any attention to the angles, but the bubble level app on my phone suggests the STA is right around 76 and HTA might be pushing 77. I am completely ignorant of stack and reach. Is that a simple calculation for our vintage frames knowing angles and tube lengths? (I see an online calculator at https://www.bikegeo.net/ but it would seem to require at least a frame with an installed headset...)

I wonder about the (lack of) saddle setback with such a steep angle. My plan was to start with a nominally a straight seatpin-style seatpost, Brooks-stye clamp and prolly an Ideale 80 saddle. The extra 3 or so of STA is going to push me (and my knees) quite a bit forward. If I did my math right, for a 60cm seat tube, a 76 STA moves the top of the seat tube forward about 3cm compared with a 73 STA. That, coupled with the short top tube is going to necessitate a longer stem to provide the same cockpit length, yes?
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Old 10-27-21, 05:47 PM
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These frames are designed for a rider-forward type of fit, most suited to shorter, more-intense racing efforts, so less of an everyday ride.

Moving the saddle rearward, combined with a short stem, little weight will be on the front wheel so the bike will likely feel very twitchy.

It is what it is (it's a French racing bike).
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