After many years of stops and starts, I’m finally completing my restoration of the 1947 Camille Daudon that came into my possession about 5 years ago. The above photo shows its condition when I first acquired it. The frame had been re-chromed, but the rest of the bike hadn’t been overhauled. There was seemingly not that much to do, but one thing that hadn’t been set up by the previous owner was the Cyclo derailleur, which uses a one-piece cable set up that can be challenging to master. There were a few other mishaps that made the process longer than I imagined – but that is kind of the norm when it comes to restoring bicycles from this era.
I’ve previously written a great deal about this wonderful bicycle, but haven’t yet described its components, so I’ve included a compendium below. The bike as pictured weighs about 20 lbs, and as you will see, all components were selected for their quality and light weight.
Wheelset – Pelissier Plume hubs on unbranded 650b alloy rims with Huret drilled winguts
Bars – Unbranded alloy city style bars, with wood dowels.
Stem – Camille Daudon lugged stem with hidden tool kit. The stem clamps directly to the steerer tube.
Brake calipers – LAM Super Dural Model H with original pads. The interchangeable hardware allows for reversing the direction of the cable (for mounting on a mixte-style frame). The caliper arms have no up-down adjustment, meaning that brake bridge and fork length precision was required.
Brake levers – Unbranded alloy levers
Headset – Stronglight – model unknown
Cankset – Stronglight 49 with Rosa 42 tooth ring, 165 mm arms, anodized blue.
Bottom Bracket – Unbranded alloy with hollow axle and reverse thread left side threading, weight 197 grams.
Derailleur/shifter – Cyclo Standard, Daudon modified shifter
Freewheel – 4 speed J. Moyne – 14-24 (identification thanks to reader Bruno)
Grips – Original Velox grips replaced with Felt Grenoble
Saddle & Seatpost – Ideale Model 65 with duralumin frame and alloy clamps (broken). (The broken clamps spurred an unsuccessful years long search for a replacement, and I ended up modifying some clamps designed for tubular rails). Unbranded alloy stem with closed top.
Pedals – Unbranded with alloy cages
Camille Daudon was known for modifying existing components and creating his own. It is possible that many of the unbranded pieces were created by him. These Daudon-created parts might include the seatpost, bottom bracket, brake levers and maybe even the pedals and rims.
The final step is setting up the Cyclo derailleur and shifter – a daunting task. Fortunately I recently discovered a technical guide dating from the 1930′s on the disrailigears website, which has proved very helpful. Stay tuned for the results of the last step in restoring this wonderful machine!