Thursday, November 5, 2015

1978 Peugeot Super Competition PXN10LE

I've mentioned it here a couple of times in passing, but I recently acquired a "grail" bike - the bike that you always want, but will probably never find. In my case, it was one of the most popular bikes out there, but the prices were what would preclude me from buying one.

But I found one. I have done blog posts about my other "hobo bike" before. To be fair, I didn't buy either one of these bikes from an actual bindle carrying hobo. First the Raleigh, International and now the Peugeot Super Competition were both very fine collectible bicycles being used as basic transportation by people who were working hard to make their way.

I found the Peugeot outside of a convenience store in my neighborhood. After taking a quick peek at it, I went into the store and asked whose it was. One of the shortest not little people persons I have ever seen raised his hand and claimed it. I know a little Spanish, so I had a talk with him and discovered that he had picked the bike out of a dumpster, and that he was more than willing to give it  up - because it rode like shit for him. I wasn't surprised, because it is a tall frame (58cm) and as I said, he was very short.

This is how the bike was set up when I found it.
The guy was riding this bike with the bars flipped up, a broken jockey wheel on the Simplex rear derailleur, and with zero brakes. The pads were herd as rocks, and were not adjusted correctly. At best, they slowed the bike down (but there was still lots of praying involved).

I paid the man the hundred bucks he asked for, and then went on my way. Over the next few days I did a complete tune up, and replaced the broken jockey wheel with one from a Suntour derailleur. I wanted to wrap the bars with black cotton tape, but had a hard time finding any tape anywhere here in Dallas. I ended up using a dark blue, which I like a lot. Luckily, the store that had the tape (Transit Bikes) also had some replacement hoods for the brakes. I'm looking for some NOS Mafac hoods, but it may be a while before I find them. 

When I was in high school, my first "real" bike was a Peugeot - not a Super Competition like this one, but still a nice bike. I rode it for many years, and loved it, but had to sell it when I was in the Navy and stuck at home on leave without money to get back to my ship. I had always regretted selling, because I loved it. Finding this bike closes that loop for me. 

After completing the tune up, I brought the bike up to the office, where it hangs now so I can thoretically ride it at lunchtime. It's built of Reynolds 531, including the fork. The crankset is a Stronglight with black drillium rings, the brakes are Mafac with drillium levers - just a beautiful bike. I had to find an Ideale saddle for it to replace the comfort POS that was on it. It's not the proper Ideale 2001, but it's my preferred Brooks style. 

ATAX Alloy Stem 

Stronglight Drillum 


I replaced the old red cable housing with yellow, but now that I keep looking at it, I think I need to go with orange to match the downtube logo.

I'm also going to replace the current blackwall tires with some gumwalls so things look right, and then I think I'll be done with it.

This bike has already inspired me to get back in the saddle, and to clean up my garage in order to try to enjoy my hobby again.

It also inspired me to fire the blog back up, tho I have not much to say, so thank you?

I am contacting Southwest Frameworks today, and will run the bike over there probably early next week. When that happens, I will take lots of photos.

As they say in France, Adios until next time, mon ami.

This is my favorite piece of art in the office. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

No, I Did Not Die.

When I last left you, I was riding my Univega home from the office in order to bring my Peugeot Super Competition up to hang on my wall. I am still trying to find the time to get the bike over to Southwest Frameworks so that they can match the paint. However, it is indeed up at my office, as evinced by the photos below.

As I said before, this is my latest acquisition, a 1978 Peugeot Super Competition. I did actually ride this bike up to the office, but I chose not to ride the Univega all the way home. Apparently the rear wheel needs truing, as no matter what I did, every revolution found the pads rubbing the rear wheel. I decided to wait until Saturday, when I rode the Super Competition up here, and just took the train home with the Univega. 

The ride up on the old bike was pretty good - I mostly ride these downtube shifted bikes around the many trails in Plano; this was the first time I tried to ride one in traffic. The ride was  mostly uneventful except for one incident in Richardson on Greenville Avenue, where some old knobhead in a BMW decided to try and scare me. Two lanes available, and this guy in his seven series thought it would be a good idea to pull up behind me and buzz me and honk at me as he passed. Obviously I lived, but I don't understand why he thought that was a necessary or useful thing. He could have just gotten in the completely empty lane next to me and not been slowed down a bit. People like that are one of the reasons that Dallas is called one of the worst cities for cyclists. 

Once I got home with the Univega, I decided that it was time to clean my garage in order to work on my bikes. I did a bunch of mechanic work on a company vehicle last summer, and my garage was much worse for wear as a result - it had gotten super disorganized, and the only way was a complete redo. So off I went. 

This was in the first stages - I had removed much crap. 
 As you can see, I have another project lined up I want to get started on as well; my 1901 Oldsmobile. 

In the course of cleaning up the garage, I got sidelined by another project I have been sitting on for many years; my grandfather's old air compressor. 

Ford CH-1000 Air Compressor
My grandfather had hard wired this in his garage, and when my grandmother died a few years ago, I inherited it - and then proceeded to let it sit for a long, long time. I took a sideline to the garage cleanout and spent some time wiring a new whip in so I could plug the thing in and use it. After some time and study of the original manual (which shows that grandpa purchased this a week after I turned ten) I fired it up for the first time in 15 years.  (Grandpa passed away New Years Eve 1999). 

If you found my blog because you are looking for info on this compressor, I will copy the manual if you need it. 
So, without further ado, here is the sound of a Ford CH1000 air compressor that has not run in 15 years. 

I'm pretty proud of myself for making that work. I'll be back soon.