Friday, February 3, 2012

Winter Project: Starting the Rebuild

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am working on an early-80s era (possibly late 70s?) Peugeot Course road bike over the winter.  I hope to have a fully functional machine by spring, and my intention is to use the winter to find good deals and sales on the parts that I need so that the build will be relatively inexpensive.  My first order of business was to trash the old Motobecane center-pull brakes that had been added by the previous owner.  These were replaced with a pair of inexpensive Nashbar long reach road brakes.  I've always been a little wary of Nashbar products, as I've heard a number of horror stories from friends, but I have to admit that I've never had bad luck with any of their house products.  And at $29.99 plus shipping for the brakeset with all necessary hardware, including shoes and pads, I just couldn't pass these up.  I had to do some drilling on the frame to open up the brake mounts to make these fit - evidently modern road brake mounts are a bit different than they were 30 years ago - but within minutes I had the new brakes on the bike.

Next, I took a trip to my LBS, where I picked up some new headset bearings and a bottom bracket.  Interestingly, when I took the headset apart last fall, I found that the top bearings were caged while the bottom bearings were loose - or maybe vice versa.  I decided to go ahead and replace both sets of bearings with brand new caged bearings.  With the headset and front fork installed, I moved on to the bottom bracket.  A little elbow grease was required to get the cartridge bottom bracket threaded into the shell, but once in place, getting the original Peugeot cranks bolted on was a snap.

This was the point at which I ran into my first major problem:  it would appear as though the taper on the old BB axle is not the modern JIS square taper.  Because of this, the cranks did not slide as far up onto the new axle as I had expected and I'm worried that I'll be left with a really poor chainline once I get the rest of the bike put together.  As for now, though, I'm going to go ahead and leave the bottom bracket alone until I know for sure that it won't work.

I should also mention that I purchased a new saddle for the bike.  It's a Cardiff Cornwall in tannic brown.  I picked it up online for a fraction of what I would've paid for a Brooks, but I've read that the quality is notably poorer than even the bottom-of-the-line Brooks saddles.  Once I get the saddle on the bike and put a few miles on it, I'll address this a little more thoroughly.

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