Vintage Bikes from Days Gone By

I’ve enjoyed riding, restoring, and selling many vintage bicycles.  Some of them are not as well known as the more popular marques or models.  Here are a few of those examples.

Austro Daimler:

1976 Austro Daimler Mixte with BCM lugs

This nice A-D mixte came with a Suntour drive train, SR cranks, and a Regina freewheel. It weighed in at 26 lbs.

Centurion:

1976 Centurion Super Le Mans mixte, with Shimano Arabesque shifters and derailleurs.

The Centurion mixte, with its iconic orange paint, is one of my favorite restorations. I sold the bike a number of years ago, but miss it now.

Schwinn:

Huret Duo Par rear derailleur

1986 Schwinn Passage Touring bike – Columbus double butted tubing, forged drop outs, and lots of braze-ons. A very nice touring machine.

Trek:

A beautiful 1984 Trek 830 “mountain bike” which I converted to a city commuter. Reynolds 501 frame with lovely lugs and fork crown.

This Trek was really fun to ride, with its long wheelbase and stable geometry.

Davidson:

1984 Davidson with Campagnolo dropouts

I toured on this Davidson all over Oregon. This photo is from a trip to the cranberry bogs in Bandon, on the Oregon coast. The frame is made with Tange Champion tubing.

Rudge:

The iconic Raleigh Rudge headbadge.

This early 1960’s Raleigh Rudge 3 speed was in excellent condition. I donated it to a charity auction and I hope its new owner is having fun with it.

Peugeot:

I have worked on many Peugeots dating from the 1920’s to the 1980’s. This is an especially nice looking 1985 mixte. It is built with Carbolite 103 using internal brazing- a technique mastered by Peugeot which eliminated external lugs and brazes, for a clean appearing joint.

Peugeot Crank with built in chain guard.

Raleigh:

This 1974 Raleigh Sprite was  fun to ride – very “sprightly”.

While this bike looks like a non-performer, I found myself keeping up with road bike cyclists while commuting. The bike is a conundrum, having a relatively heavy frame and components, but feeling responsive while riding.

Nishiki:

Nishiki headbadge, Dia Compe centerpulls

This Nishiki International touring bike included a SunTour drivetrain and Sugino cranks, as well as other quality components of this era.

There are more bikes that are equally worth considering for restoration, but I hope the examples above serve as inspiration for the cyclists and restorers who want to preserve and ride these quality machines.

1980’s Peugeot 650c Conversion

 

Peugeot Canada

I came across this Canadian Peugeot on eBay. Before I converted it to a 650c city bike, it was equipped with a mix of Shimano 600 and 105 components, and even sported some brifters, which of course had failed some time ago.  Probably, the bike was garaged after this and that is why it was in pretty decent shape.  Thank you, Shimano.

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There was a little bit of rust in the bottom bracket shell, so I decided to treat the frame with Weigle’s frame saver.  It was nice to see the vertical drop-outs, and the cutouts on the lugs were a surprise.  Most of the finish work is very good, except for the sloppy work on the seat stay brake bridge.  Of course, the serial number is  meaningless, except the “Y” makes me wonder if this was a PY model.  Canadian Peugeot’s were manufactured by Pro Cycle beginning in 1978.  The company used lug construction vs. the French models which were internally brazed.   The frame and fork are Reynolds 531.  The fast back seat stays and the unicrown fork, as well as the style of the Reynolds stickers (which are in French) made me date this bike to the mid-80’s.  I’ve never seen a Peugeot in British racing green, but I really do like this color.  There are even some gold racing stripes on the left side seat stay.  So, it doesn’t look as French as it does British.  (And, I guess that’s why it’s Canadian.)

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I salvaged the nice Shimano 105 rear derailleur by inverting the b-screw, a la Sheldon Brown.  That made it possible to use a 32 tooth cog on the rear cassette.  For this city drive train I used a 45 tooth SR ring, a Velo Orange chain guard, and a 165 mm SR Signature crank.  With this wheel size, that yields a gear inch range of 34-93 with the 12-32 7 speed cassette pictured.  That’s just about right for any kind of city riding that involves hills.  I used Tektro’s long reach brakes, which are what I use for all my 650c conversions, and 650c Terry Tellus 28 mm tires. These tires ride quite well and are virtually bullet proof.  The wheelset is comprised of 28 hole Dura Ace hubs laced to Mavic XP12 rims in a 2 cross style.  This wheelset came off of a late 90’s titanium triathlon bike. While this set may seem positively robust by today’s standards, I am a big fan of strong wheelsets with at least 3 cross lacing and 32 spokes front and rear.  However, for a small and light-weight rider, which is who I designed this bike for, this wheelset should work just fine.

Peugeot 531 City Bike Conversion

For the rest of the build, I chose an upright position using Velo-Orange’s Monmartre handlebar with reverse Dia Compe levers.  I had some matching Shimano 105 shifters, so used those to complement the rear derailleur.  They can be used in friction or index mode with this 1 x 7 drive train.

The standover height is 29 1/2 inches.  The bike weighs 21 lbs as pictured, so it will make a very nice and responsive city bike for a small rider.

For sale now.

Peugeot 650b Mixte Restoration

1930's Peugeot Mixte

Spanning several years, my work on this restoration project is now complete.  This 1930’s (or possibly 1940’s) Peugeot came to me like this:

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The frame was pretty dirty, but seemed otherwise intact, with all the brazing in good shape and no serious dings or dents.  It is made with Vitus “Rubis” tubing, a type used on higher end bicycles in the 30’s and 40’s.  As many enthusiasts know, Peugeot serial numbers appeared to follow no rhyme or reason and cannot be used to successfully date older models.  So, the main clues to its provenance are the “H” in front of the serial number, the tubing type, the decals, and the components.  The drive side chain stay has a braze-on for a derailleur spring, but when I purchased the bike, it came with a Simplex Tour de France derailleur, a model which doesn’t use such a spring.  I think this was a later upgrade to the bike, as these derailleurs were first introduced in the late 40’s.

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Peugeot Serial Number

Vitus Rubis tubing

Vitus Rubis tubing

In two previous posts I documented the process used to create a rideable machine out of the original bike plus as many period-specific parts as I could source.  I added 650b wheels, hammered fenders, a Henri Gauthier leather saddle,  a polished aluminum stem, custom levers, and aluminum handlebar with wood grips.  My final quest was to set up the lighting.  I needed a full lighting system, and after going through a number of possible dynamos I finally found a Ducel fork mounted system that was NOS from the 50’s, that looked just about perfect.

 

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Ducel fork mount dynamo

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Ducel headlamp

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Ducel rear lamp

Riding this bike is really fun – it is very comfortable with its super long wheel base and the 650b tires.  It is quite the attention getter and conversation starter and was really rewarding to work on.  Here is the bike now, and it will be up for sale in my new on-line store – coming soon.

Aluvac pedals

Aluvac aluminum pedals

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Very light cottered crankset

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Simplex Tour de France rear Derailleur – working perfectly

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Through the frame cable routing to the Jeay brakes

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Henri Gauthier leather ladies saddle

 

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3 speed Cyclo freewheel

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Pivo stem – highly polished and very pretty

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Buy now!