Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Peugeot PX-10E Singlespeed Conversion, Part 1

Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Today I've started converting my brother's old Peugeot PX-10E road bike (that he used to race back in '72) to a "singlespeed" (freewheel, not fixed) bike for around-town riding. Here's a picture of it part way through the process:

There's a new wheel on back with a freewheel/17-tooth cog. I've just pulled off all of the gear-shifting components (revealing a bit of rust, but otherwise giving the bike a nice, clean look). Front chain-ring is a 45, which, at the moment, seems to be a good compromise between the original 52/42 pair when used with the 17 rear cog.

The bike only really needed a new rear wheel (with a track hub to keep the chain in line) -- my brother already had the 45-toothed chain-ring. I purchased this and a matching front-wheel (yet-to-be-installed) from the Bicycle Shop Santa Cruz -- the wheels were less expensive than if I had purchased a pair of Velocity or Weinmann wheels (they had been pulled off an SE single-speed bike: Alex rims and SE hubs -- perhaps from an "SE 700C Lager" bicycle?), and I prefer the more classic look of the Alex rims to the "deep-v" rims one often sees on fixies.

The chainline between the outer chain-ring position and the freewheel matches up very nicely, so no weird gyrations were needed to get them to match. Overall, it's been a VERY painless conversion thus far.

The handlebar tape is shredded, so it ought to be replace, but I'm seriously considering changing the handlebars and seat so that the bike can be ridden in a more upright stance -- perhaps add a Brooks B66 saddle and Nitto Albatross or Dove handlebars. Hey, I'm getting old!

Brakes are the original Mafac centerpulls, which I'll keep on the bike. Crank is an old Campagnolo -- probably one that I pulled off of my Pogliaghi after my headon-with-car crash back in the late '80's (after which I borrowed my brother's PX-10E). At least, this makes sense to me, for although I no longer recall swapping out the crank, I just found a Stronglight crankset in my bike junkbox, which undoubtedly was from the Peugeot.

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