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Show your French bikes!

Old 10-03-18, 03:10 PM
  #2851  
desconhecido
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@desconhecido, don't be hasty in removing the stem shifters. Those are very good shifters. Campy bar end shifters (the old friction type) get bad reviews a lot. @ascherer tried them recently and said they suck. Back in the 70s and 80s, stem shifters came only on bikes up to a certain point in the lineup, just below the midpoint. We associated them with crappy bikes. But they work well. If you can over having the doofy look of them, you might like them. Then again, SunTour ratcheting bar end shifters are also very good.
From the seller's pictures, I thought the shifters were Huret. But, when the bike arrived today and I looked, I discovered they are a Suntour variant I was not familiar with. All the old bikes I've encountered with Suntour stem shifters were the Power Shifters on a stem mount. These are massive straight friction and they don't work any better than other old simple friction shifters like the Campagnolo DT shifters and the Huret DT and stem mount or the Simplex (except the retrofriction). So, I have the Suntour barcons cleaned and polished and ready to install.

Other things I've learned in the hour that I've had the bike: the freewheel has a skip tooth 16t big sprocket and 13t 4th. It's a Shimano of some sort but doesn't use the typical Park FR 1, but I've found one that will work on the Bikesmiths site. The seatpost looked in the photos to be rusty steel, but it's an alloy SR with rust colored dried grease on it. Stem and seatpost are free and moving. The Brooks saddle appears almost unused but is very dry and hard. I think I need to go neat hunting. The catalog specs list Rigida rims and there are some that had an oval sticker like the Super Champions so I thought they would be Rigida. But, they are in fact Super Champion -- model 58, I guess. So, 27" Panaracers and Presta Savers are in my future.

The bike is in much better shape than I thought it would be, under 40 years of grime. The chrome socks on the fork have a bit of freckling, but I think it will clean up ok. Decals are mostly ok except the frame 531 sticker.
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Old 10-03-18, 10:42 PM
  #2852  
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Originally Posted by desconhecido View Post
...The catalog specs list Rigida rims and there are some that had an oval sticker like the Super Champions so I thought they would be Rigida. But, they are in fact Super Champion -- model 58, I guess. So, 27" Panaracers and Presta Savers are in my future.
I’d start hunting for a suitable 700c wheelset. You’ll thank yourself.
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Old 10-03-18, 11:53 PM
  #2853  
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I've always really liked the ornate Nervex lugs. They make Prugnat lugs look so plain. Let's face it. Most French bike boom bikes were rubbish. An old frame builder did a repaint and restore on a 72 Gitane TDF for me. He laughed about how they were made by 13 year old French kids in a dank factory in Nantes, and sprayed in about 10 minutes flat. He shook his head and said " They may look rough, but go like stink and for lots of us, the first real road bike we rode". Bear in mind that it was the late sixties when they were built, and there were much worse bikes on the market. I love seeing these survivors, even have a few myself; GitaneTeam Pro, Gitane Super Corsa, Gitane Club racer, Bertin Vitus, Folis, a Motobecane Team Champion, and two Peugeot PX 10s. Yup, they all "go like stink".
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Old 10-10-18, 01:13 AM
  #2854  
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It was time for some new cotton handlebar tape and I went with blue - helped by the fact that no one locally had the red I was using. I had considered it originally and now feel it compliments the bike. Enjoyed a 4 hour ride recently while the weather is still sunny and warm. This particular bike is quite a lot of fun to ride, nimble yet comfortable with very light steering yet tracks nicely and corners effortlessly and I am very glad I decided to buy it.







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Old 10-10-18, 05:01 AM
  #2855  
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Originally Posted by VintageRide View Post
It was time for some new cotton handlebar tape and I went with blue
Nice choice!
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Old 10-10-18, 11:13 AM
  #2856  
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Originally Posted by Vonruden View Post
Rainy day, fiddling with the french
That is an incredible collection....hors categorie….
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Old 10-10-18, 11:52 AM
  #2857  
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French Fender Day ‘18 by irishbx4th, on Flickr
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Old 10-10-18, 01:55 PM
  #2858  
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Originally Posted by VintageRide View Post
It was time for some new cotton handlebar tape and I went with blue - helped by the fact that no one locally had the red I was using. I had considered it originally and now feel it compliments the bike. Enjoyed a 4 hour ride recently while the weather is still sunny and warm. This particular bike is quite a lot of fun to ride, nimble yet comfortable with very light steering yet tracks nicely and corners effortlessly and I am very glad I decided to buy it.






I’m afraid I missed your original thread on this bike. So pretty and so French! Love that head graphic.
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Old 10-10-18, 03:17 PM
  #2859  
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1979 Gemini

VintageRide - your Peschi looks great.

Here is a nice French bike I finally got around to building up. Gemini was the brand of Henri Depierre, who built frames for some top racers including Luis Ocana. His 1973 Tour de France.bike was a Gemini with Motobecane (team sponsor) decals on it.
This frame has some neat details, including the outline of France cut into the head lugs, and hand lettering.
Hey VintageRide - do you recognize the cranks on this Gemini? I've added an inner chainring using a RedClover triplizer.




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Old 10-10-18, 08:20 PM
  #2860  
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^Outstanding. That’s not nearly enough pictures.
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Old 10-10-18, 09:58 PM
  #2861  
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^^^ Agreed!
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Old 10-11-18, 07:36 AM
  #2862  
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@VintageRide, I'm in love. Can you tell us more and show us more pictures?
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Old 10-11-18, 11:04 AM
  #2863  
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Neither Peschi or Gemini are bikes we get to see much here. Both fabulous bikes! ...and not just because I'm a sucker for bikes with pump pegs. @Duke7777 what is the head angle on the Gemini? My very limited experience with French race bikes in large sizes (my size) is that they tend towards steep (75 degrees) head angles. Your Gemini appears not so steep, but that may just be the camera angle.
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Old 10-11-18, 12:59 PM
  #2864  
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I can certainly post more images noglider and hopefully they will meet your approval, speaking of which I concur with due ruote that the Gemini deserves more exposure, Duke7777 hinted at those Campagnolo cranks and I realized they were once attached to the Sabatini that he purchased from me a few years ago, also painted metallic blue that was subsequently sold to another collector, we seem to share this love of very uncommon makes which in all likelihood also were produced in low numbers.


Basically what little Duke7777 could find out about the P. Peschi ( which I bought from him ) is that there might be a connection with Urago going by construction details and the fact that they were both situated in Nice,France. Beyond that there is really no solid information available though I too would be very interested in knowing more. It was not that uncommon for someone to have a one off bike made or another shop had a limited number produced, perhaps that is the case with the Peschi, with the owner having his or her name on the frame, in fact perhaps it was made in the Urago shop, certainly the build details show obvious similarities. I have yet to determine the tubing used, most likely Durifort or Vitus, the handling and ride, with a nice balance of being "springy yet comfortable" and some degree of planing it seems, allows me to go faster and ride up grades in a higher gearing suggests this might be the case. Nice qualities that encourage one to take it out. Doing a search brings up absolutely nothing, beyond enquiries by Duke7777 initially and myself. There is a French forum, the name of which evades me which has been mentioned on BF that might provide further insight, I have yet to give it a try though. The Peschi was in the hands of a collector living in Edmonton, Alberta and perhaps Duke7777 might want to chime in if he would like to. As it was just a frame plus the wheel set there was no clear indication of how it was equipped or even the exact year it was made so I settled on the early '60's, helped by the fact that with the very generous "donations" from Duke7777 I was given most of the needed components, a number for free or at very low cost for which I am very grateful!


So currently it has a mix of French and Italian components with an early first generation Campagnolo Record rear derailleur ( with smooth steel pulleys ) and Gran Sport front - the earlier "matchbox" design, initially we used a Valentino version that he had, which, introduced in 1964 could have been appropriate but not quite in keeping with the higher level Record rear, so I finally sourced the Gran Sport locally via Craigslist along with a small box of parts from a lady that had stored them for years and no longer needed, including a pair of the first generation Weinmann Vainqueur 999 center pulls ( with the name embossed into the metal ) which I am using with Mafac levers, not certain if I will change this combination as it works so well and of course the early Weinmanns are much less common than Mafac Racers so again, something I prefer. They are also better finished from the factory.


I had the Ideale 80 on hand, an earlier Ebay purchase, though was given a very interesting Model 43 but it was very cracked and though usable, not terribly comfortable, whereas the 80 is perfect for me, despite being well broken in by someone else.The period correct Stronglight crank set and axle were from Ebay, along with the Challenge Strada 25mm tubular tires. I have to admit that clinchers would make more sense but as the early period wheels were in very good condition and I love the high flange Normandy design with holes along with Mavic rims I decided to stay with sew ups. They do give a a nice ride and I can only hope I never get a flat!


Duke7777 gave me a stem that proved to be a bit too long so I eventually traded an item I had with a Forum member for a DFV stem, a rather nicely designed one at that. Originally I sourced some French 37mm steel handlebars from a local co op ( betting it was from a Peugeot A or U08 ) but found them to be a bit too narrow, especially given the Pesci's rather light steering ( can you say twitchy? ) so eventually found some aluminum Belieri 41mm that have helped make the bike less sensitive to input.


The pedals are early Record with steel cages ( again from Duke 7777 ) but were a bit rusty though they cleaned up well enough and I came across the Atom 14-26 t freewheel ( who coincidently made the quick release skewers that came with the wheels ) at the co op, who also happened to have on hand a Belt ( Japan ) copy of the Simplex seat post in the 26.4 size I needed so though one might feel that something French would be more appropriate and I do have an Ideale clamp and could source a steel post I suppose at some point but I have taken a liking to the alloy Belt version, and it appears this particular item is a bit of a rarity in itself, or oddity.


The frame was quite marked up, especially on the left side,particularly the lower fork blades, seat stay as well as chain stay, with a lot of scraped off paint. I thought of leaving it as is, especially due to the fact that the paint has a thin translucent top coat over a silver base which gives it a wonderful glow in sunlight but also changes color with less light, such as a cloudy day, making any touch up problematic at best but I decided to give it a try and it has turned out somewhat acceptable. To the unaware and from a short distance it does look quite good and I can live with it, managing to add a few chips myself due to being either inept or careless! As the bike is only original once I could never repaint it, as all of us know, there is a certain quality to these vintage paints that time embellishes further and unless the frame is well past preserving most of us appreciate them as is. I noticed the down tube bands are painted on as well, not decals, so some thought and time went into producing it. Perhaps I should have left it as is but it looked well, rather abused and a bit too neglected. Makes me wonder if a previous owner did not care enough which is a shame really given how lustrous the paint looks. Until I carefully cleaned and waxed it time had produced a rather dull appearance so it was a pleasant surprise to see the final result.


Personally I would like to see some of Duke7777s other French bikes or frames, if he is willing to share, he has posted the odd one on BF and as he has a collection of rarely seen examples I am certain it would be a treat for all of us. In the meantime I will scrounge up more images of the Peschi soon.


Like obrentharris I too like the top tube mounted tire pump and pegs that were more common back then, mindful that shouldering or carrying such a setup can be tricky to put it mildly I also like the fact that the French builders in general had braze on cable guides along with brazed shifter bosses on the down tube,at least on the higher quality frames - forgot to mention I am using Huret levers and also had to scrounge up a modern hangar for the Record derailleur but am on the look out for a proper Campagnolo version.On the one hand there is this perceived notion that cheaper frames did not tend to use forged drop outs with integrated threaded hangar but most of us realize that back in the day many high end builders used for instance the forged Simplex drop out minus the hangar as on the Peschi to allow for more derailleur options. When I first saw them on the Peschi I wrongly assumed they were stamped until I looked closer and did some research. The steeper angle to allow easier wheel removal is a welcome feature, the longer wheel base making it a breeze with plenty of room. I really like the fish mouth style stay and fork ends too.


Of course, I am referencing the period around the early '60's, as frames into the early '50's at least tended to use stamped drop outs on even the better models. If I am mistaken please correct me. For those not aware there is some excellent background history on various components and builders on Classic Lightweights U.K., though I am certain most here are familiar. Found some interesting information on Nervex lugs for instance that are used on the Peschi, apparently the Nervex Professional fork crown was not often used due to cost although it appears it was not quite as strong by design compared to some other offerings by the competition. Properly brazed I cannot conceive of it being a real issue though it does give one pause for thought.

Last edited by VintageRide; 11-09-18 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 10-11-18, 05:22 PM
  #2865  
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I noticed that on Duke7777s Gemini that every other drilling on the rear dropout does not go through, obviously there was most likely concern about compromising the strength - or perhaps they wanted to be different, certainly there are a few very interesting and unique construction details, the seat stay caps harken to those used by Carre in similarity and the through tube cable guides look great. Are those blue anodized rims Mavic possibly Fiamme? I cannot quite make out who made them but they contrast very well with the Gemini's paint color. I was thinking that half chroming the forks and stays on the Peschi would have been a nice extra but it still looks tasteful regardless. I get spoiled looking at other bikes on here I guess!

Last edited by VintageRide; 11-09-18 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 10-11-18, 07:14 PM
  #2866  
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Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
Neither Peschi or Gemini are bikes we get to see much here. Both fabulous bikes! ...and not just because I'm a sucker for bikes with pump pegs. @Duke7777 what is the head angle on the Gemini? My very limited experience with French race bikes in large sizes (my size) is that they tend towards steep (75 degrees) head angles. Your Gemini appears not so steep, but that may just be the camera angle.

Brent

The head and seat tube angles are both 73. The bike rides very nicely in my opinion, not surprising given the credentials of the builder. The frame is a bit bigger than I usually ride, but Geminis don't come along very often and this looked like a nice one. I actually like the feel of slightly large frames, possibly due to their providing a bit more flex. For anyone interested, I've posted more photos in a Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/577760...57674339684285


I can't add anything to what VintageRide said about his Peschi. I was not able to find any info on the builder, and this is the only Peschi I've heard of. There might be something on TontonVelo - I can't recall whether I checked. It's definitely a tidily built and fine looking frame - nicer than the Urago I sold earlier to VintageRide. He did a nice job converting the pile of tired looking parts I sold him into a wonderful looking bike.
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Old 10-12-18, 03:07 PM
  #2867  
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As I have posted some of these images previously I usually do not want to overdue it but as many were attached to Photobucket and disappeared I mind as well do it again.
























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Old 10-12-18, 04:32 PM
  #2868  
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Scruffy-Chic Commuter

I've given my old Peugeot PFN-10, which I've dubbed "Velo de Ville", a bit of a makeover recently. I wanted her to be my perfect (good weather) commuter. She is lightweight, after all, and the riding position suits me to a 'T'.

It occurred to me that I was onto something with the single chainring and 6 or 7 speeds on a vintage freewheel. Here she is in that configuration:



But those elderly wheels had to go, and I came across a nice deal for a pair of Ultegra hubs laced into some medium-V rims, so I bought those. Then, since this was a cassette-style hub, I searched until I found a 9-speed Deore cassette with a matching RD and installed those as well. This is really a winning combination, judging from my first rides over the last couple days. Here's what she looks like now:



Not exactly elegant, like most of the bikes I see in this thread. But she wears her patina proudly, and that Vitus 181 frame feels every bit as good as my British 531 bikes. The mission, after all, is commuting in the city. And this drivetrain/wheelset combination have transformed her from a comfy old gal into a tough Parisian street fighter. She rolls down the boulevard now with a Gaulois hanging from her lips, daring one and all to cross her. She hikes up her skirt and hops the curbs with the boys like she was born to it. (Okay... I'm getting a bit carried away now. It was a long week at work, sorry.)



But today I took her into the woods, and she handled that with savoir faire as well. I won't ride her once the salt hits the roads here, but I look forward to a nice photo-shoot in the city soon.

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Old 10-12-18, 07:23 PM
  #2869  
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Nice build DQ, that tape, looks like cork and a reversed roll of cotton?
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Old 10-12-18, 11:07 PM
  #2870  
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
Nice build DQ, that tape, looks like cork and a reversed roll of cotton?
Yeah, that's actually hockey tape - this is Minnesota, after all. When I finished the build, all that brown up front on the handlebar visually unbalanced the bike, so I used what I had around the shop to tone it down some.

That's the only part of the build I'm not happy with. It's sort of experimental at this point: the cork tape and shellacked twine treatment have worked on other designs, but not on this bike. I might end up going with a standard black leather wrap on this one.

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Old 10-12-18, 11:44 PM
  #2871  
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Thought it looked interesting. At some point I'm going to do a mustache bar project and wanted to try something different. I was looking at this the other day...
maybe with a tight cloth wrap over the top?
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Old 10-13-18, 09:52 AM
  #2872  
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Originally Posted by DQRider View Post
I've given my old Peugeot PFN-10, which I've dubbed "Velo de Ville", a bit of a makeover recently. I wanted her to be my perfect (good weather) commuter. She is lightweight, after all, and the riding position suits me to a 'T'.

It occurred to me that I was onto something with the single chainring and 6 or 7 speeds on a vintage freewheel. Here she is in that configuration:



But those elderly wheels had to go, and I came across a nice deal for a pair of Ultegra hubs laced into some medium-V rims, so I bought those. Then, since this was a cassette-style hub, I searched until I found a 9-speed Deore cassette with a matching RD and installed those as well. This is really a winning combination, judging from my first rides over the last couple days. Here's what she looks like now:



Not exactly elegant, like most of the bikes I see in this thread. But she wears her patina proudly, and that Vitus 181 frame feels every bit as good as my British 531 bikes. The mission, after all, is commuting in the city. And this drivetrain/wheelset combination have transformed her from a comfy old gal into a tough Parisian street fighter. She rolls down the boulevard now with a Gaulois hanging from her lips, daring one and all to cross her. She hikes up her skirt and hops the curbs with the boys like she was born to it. (Okay... I'm getting a bit carried away now. It was a long week at work, sorry.)



But today I took her into the woods, and she handled that with savoir faire as well. I won't ride her once the salt hits the roads here, but I look forward to a nice photo-shoot in the city soon.

.
What bars are those? They look perfect for my project.
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Old 10-13-18, 10:16 AM
  #2873  
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Originally Posted by mackgoo View Post
What bars are those? They look perfect for my project.
That handlebar has attracted a lot of attention lately. I've got a naked one on my Pashley Path Racer as well:



...along with a couple other bikes. The best deal I've found on these is here: Harris Cyclery Action Porteur Handlebar

Amazing, when you consider what a similar item from Nitto would cost you.

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Old 11-09-18, 11:57 AM
  #2874  
Elev12k
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1989 Peugeot Europe Express

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Old 11-19-18, 09:45 PM
  #2875  
Duke7777
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Late 50s Cattaneo

Here's a name I'd never heard of until this frame showed up on ebay.fr a couple of years ago. It looked very nice, although perhaps more Italian than French, with some interesting details and the cut-down lugs one finds on some of the nicer French frames. So I took a chance on it and was pleasantly surprised. It's very light and beautifully made. I finally got around to building it up this week. I've used some newer components to make it more comfortable and practical, as well as slightly lighter. The completed bike weighs 20.1 lb. Anicet Cattaneo was originally from Italy and raced there professionally in the 20s and 30s. Afterwards he settled in Nice, France and had a long career as a frame builder. His frames certainly show an Italian influence.

I have more photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/577760...h/32091440078/



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