Saturday, June 21, 2014

1979 Peugeot Sports (UO-8) Part II-.....sometimes you just have to walk away

Earlier this month I revisited the Peugeot Sports.  While I knew I had money coming in from the new job it hadn't made through all the channels to me at that point so I thought I could quickly turn around the "Sports" and get some cash in my pocket.  I should have know better.   As I mentioned I got this bike relatively cheaply knowing it had some issues, and I thought, incorrectly, that I had all those issues covered.  You would think after doing the number of old 10 speed rehabs I have done that I would have a sharper eye for issues but I guess there is always room for learning and for humility.

At first things went pretty well; Pedals went on, the headset got rebuilt, I cleaned up, greased and reinstalled the seat-post and stem.  I got the original broken down Simplex stem shifters off the bike and replaced them with intact SunTour power ratchets.

The one armed bandit wouldn't work for a 10 speed
And then I got the old dried up bar tape off so I could clean up the bars.
When I got the bike it had no front derailleur and I had planned for that but before the day was through I would have issues with both the front and rear derailleurs.  I got the front mounted and thought I was well on my way.

Later, however when I thought I was ready to mount the chain I realized I had an issue with the front derailleur.
An "open" system doesn't work so well went you want to be able to shift your chain from small to large  I was able to fix this with some parts from the bin, but my troubles weren't over.  The rear derailleur which I thought was fine presented an issue when I started to run the shift cables.
The pivot in the middle of the picture above is supposed to to have a cable guide running through it but the part where the cable housing is supposed to run into was sheared off.  Fortunately I had a new Shimano 6 speed RD on hand that was intact.
Problem, but more on that in a bit.  Now I was ready to move onto the wheels.  Since I was building this up as a low cost commuter I was going to use some low mileage Specialized Tri-sport black walls 27 X 1/4" tires I had left over from the Peugeot sports.  The front wheel went off with out a hitch but when I got to the rear I realized I had over-looked something kind of important.
Yep the front wheel was 27" but the rear was 700c, they are close in size but not identical with a ISO sizing of 630 and 622 respectively.  I had other tires that could work and the different wheel sizes wouldn't materially affect how the bike worked but it did pose another issue, brake reach.  The Peugeot branded rear brake that came with the bike didn't have a long enough reach to hit the 700c rims-which might explain why it was missing a brake pad.
Once again the parts bin came through as I realized that I had a longer reach Weinmann center pull squirreled away that would accommodate the reach I needed.
my what long legs you have
Now that I had both derailleurs and the rear brake issues resolved it was time to run some shifter cables and mount the chain....and run into more issues! The free-wheel on this bike was a wide range 5 speed and the new long cage Shimano RD should have worked with it, but it didn't.  When I tried to move it into the low gear (largest cog) the whole system would jam up.  I thought I could fix that with a smaller range free-wheel so I mounted a six speed FW I had available to try it out only to realize that the extra gear meant the chain didn't have the frame clearance it needed in the smallest cog.
Not enough spacers to give the chain clearance on the smallest cog
That was the last straw and the point at which I decided it was time to walk away, so I could come back another day with no frustration, renewed energy, a fresh perspective and without the desire to break something.

With a few days away I realized I had another 5 speed FW with a smaller range cog set that might solve the issues I had experienced.
Original wide range 5 speed FW on right smaller range 5 speed on the left
Now might be a good time to share a couple tricks I have come across that can make getting a 30 year-old freewheel removed from the rear hub less of a headache.  First its important to note that there are a number of different freewheel removers out there to work with all the different manufacturers of Free-Wheels who each used a different interface to mount/remove their FW.  Standards anyone?  I have tools for Shimano, Falcon, Atom/Regina, SunTour, Maillard, and a few others and still run into FW I don't have the right tool for.  You will notice that in the shot above both FW use a two tooth interface, others use a spline some use 4 tooth and it goes on.  So step one is make sure you have the right tool, if you don't your local bike shop probably does.  Now even if you have the right tool sometimes it seems like you need to have as many arms as  Kali to hold the tool in place, secure the wheel and use a crescent wrench to apply pressure to the loosen the FW.  I find that using the quick release to hold the tool in place helps immensely, you want to tighten it enough to hold the tool firmly to the FW but loose enough so the FW can come unscrewed when you apply pressure.
The other issue is that since the chain moves clockwise it is constantly tightening the FW to the hub.  In the normal course of operating the bike thats a good thing as you don't want your FW coming loose while riding, however, when you want to remove the FW that means its on there tight!   This where the breaker bar is your friend.  I don't recall how much I paid for a length of pipe to slip over the end of my crescent wrench, it wasn't much but it was worth every damn penny.  So far no FW has been able to resist the added foot in leverage I get from this pipe.
I am close to the finish line on the Sports and hope to be able to report success in my next post.  Until then Happy Summer and remember to ride, smile and repeat.


  1. You are a more patient man than me. I'd have thrown in the towel at the brake arm debacle. FW removal like cotter pin removal is almost an art in itself, I sometimes wonder if Park tool isn't behind all the nonsense for needing different tools for different generation bikes...

  2. Hey John thanks for stopping by, its taken me a long time to learn patience and also the wisdom of walking away instead of swinging a hammer ;-) I blame the legion of manufacturers for not standardizing on a single interface, Park tool though certainly is happy to make 6 different tools though. A wrench at the local bike co-op told me once that at her old shop they had something like 15 different FW tools! Fortunately the 5 of 6 FW tools I have cover most of bikes I come across.

  3. I absolutely know what you mean about walking away from a project...frustration and unfroreseen complications can do that. I must get a pipe extender! Great tip.

    1. Glad to pass it along Annie, the leverage of the pipe has helped me a number of times.

  4. Back when it all began I spent a lot of time not killing my bicycle. It was the Voice that saved the day, saying "step away from the bicycle," usually when I was holding a 2x4 or a big pipe wrench (my personal favorite FW removal tool...)

    All the parts are in for the Little Miss Dangerous II project. I gotta grab a can of matte black and one of semi-gloss and get started with the paint phase, which should already be done but my motivation is running low, for some reason.

    Florida Summer and my new job, mostly. It's danged hot out there and I am pretty tired most evenings. But soon...

    My policy with bike repair these days is to enjoy the process, expect all manner of dismal surprises and to keep myself lightly lubed while wrenching. We do, after all, do this for fun, mostly.

    Did you see Nicholas Carman's (Gypsy by Trade) bad-ass build for his new Krampus? Man!


  5. You hit it bang on TPC - "enjoy the process... its supposed to be fun" I have not seen Gypsy's new ride but now I am going to have to check it out. Looking forward to seeing and hearing more on the LMD rebuild, btw I got the shifting dialed in on the sports..finally.. and now just have to do the brake cables and some bar tape.

  6. Walking away, for me, usually means I prevent injury to my self vs. the bike I am working on. It does take a lot of patience, especially when you think it will come together and it does not and you start over.....arrrgh.

    1. Hey Jim thanks for stopping by. It took me way to long to learn but I have found that's less frustrating to walk away and comeback fresh than it is to keep on pushing until I break something on the bike or my person lol.