The Chainlink

Bike Resurrection: AKA another "what to do with a great old bike" thread...

Need some help from the community. My Dad has an old Peugeot PX10LE circa 1977 which has not been ridden since Reagan's first term. I finally decided to ask him if I could have it and get it fixed up. He, hoping to clear out some space in the garage and wishing to see a bike he once loved ridden again, happily said yes.
I'm thinking of converting it to a fixed gear to use as my winter commuter. I'm sure that some of the roadies on this site will declare sacrilege and rend their garments at the suggestion, but I've already got a geared bike (Specialized Tricross) and don't need another. I do need a low-maintenance commuter to get me through the grime and slush of winter.

Here's my question: What's the best way to go about converting a ride like this to a fixed gear and what shops can help me out on this (preferably on the North Side). I have enough tools/apptitude to do basic maintenance, but not any significant rebuild/overhaul work.

Specs (per the Bicycling! Magazine Article attached below) are:

Frame: Reynolds 531 double butted tubing with Nervex lugs and Simplex fork, crown and dropouts.
Crankset: Stronglight 42/52 w/ 170mm arms
Wheels: Hubs - Mallard 700 high-flange; Rims - Super Champion Competition

All suggestions appreciated.

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I'm definitely not one to steer people away from riding fixed gear bicycles (see profile pics), but in this case, that bike looks like it is in superb condition. I would clean it up, get it tuned up, and ride it as is. I'm a fan of only tearing down an old bike if it's in unrideable condition- such as broken derailleurs, or just a frame, or if it's just a good frame with crappy parts on it.

Just my opinion mind you- the frame on that rig would be good for a fixed gear. Just know that a winter in Chicago will wreak havoc on it.
I hear you. I do tend to keep my current bike clean and lubed, even through the crappy months, so whether I go fixie or not on this one, I'm going to baby it.

Thanks for the advice. Do you have a good bike shop that you rely on to get work done or are you one of those do-it-yourselfer's?

Chucko said:
I'm definitely not one to steer people away from riding fixed gear bicycles (see profile pics), but in this case, that bike looks like it is in superb condition. I would clean it up, get it tuned up, and ride it as is. I'm a fan of only tearing down an old bike if it's in unrideable condition- such as broken derailleurs, or just a frame, or if it's just a good frame with crappy parts on it.

Just my opinion mind you- the frame on that rig would be good for a fixed gear. Just know that a winter in Chicago will wreak havoc on it.
i converted my old schwinn from a 3 speed coaster brake to fixed and the biggest helps were the guys over at Rapid Transit. they even ordered a special BB converter so I could step into the modern era of multi-piece cranks.
Stewski said:
I hear you. I do tend to keep my current bike clean and lubed, even through the crappy months, so whether I go fixie or not on this one, I'm going to baby it.

Thanks for the advice. Do you have a good bike shop that you rely on to get work done or are you one of those do-it-yourselfer's?


Yeah, I'm a do-it-yourselfer. If I had to take my bike to a shop, I think I'd use Uptown Bikes on Broadway or a shop up by where I work in Northbrook. Should be fairly easy to do though for anyone since by the late 70's I think most Peugeot stuff was English standard rather than French thread.

Also, a few other pics...

1977 Catalogue Picture- http://mysite.verizon.net/imagelib/sitebuilder/misc/show_image.html...

1977 Catalogue Specs- http://mysite.verizon.net/imagelib/sitebuilder/misc/show_image.html...

Looks like it says tubular rims, which if you have would be a pain to work with for a city bike. In that case, a new wheel build might be necessary, so maybe a better candidate for a fixie than I thought. Just save everything that comes off in case you want to rebuild it later.
Can I buy it from you to save this classic from this sad fate?

If not, Cycles Smithy will respect the frame's heritage and understand this project if you need it converted.

One of the reasons these conversions make me sad is that you have one of the nicest cranks of all time there. Not to mention the rest of the drivetrain. And wheels. And Ditto on the winter riding. 531 is great, but 30 year old steel won't last too many Chicago winters with regular use. I ride a 50s Frejus and overhaul + Framesaver it every spring.
I am also with "keep it as is" crowd here...That's a true classic you have there and IMHO it would be nothing short of a crime to turn that into a fixie. A bike of that caliber and condition deserves a second life...

-Ali
Even though I am from the northwest I had to respond. First, what a beauty!!! I had a PX10LE previously ridden by the women's national champ, then I rode and raced it into the late 80's. It actually looks from those brake hoods that yours may be pre '75. I nearly changed mine to fixed a few times but an older member of my club "strongly suggested" that I don't do it. The Stronglight crank and frame are as good as it gets, even now, so do as I did and buy another frame for around-town duty. The tubular tires were oh-so sweet, but get very old very fast (and remember you will have to find a correct patch kit if you replace only the tires). In my opinion your dad has extremely good taste in bikes, you ride this puppy for a while and with a little updating you won't go back. PS - Bet on french threads and, Smithy for sure.

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