There’s been a slight change of plan.
As much as I like the Holdsworth, I’ve struggled with it. It’s been less of a mechanical challenge and more time-based. Put simply, though there’s nothing on the bike I can’t fix/know someone to fix it for me, the sum of all those little jobs is a huge timesink, too much for me to really get any of it done in any meaningful quantity.
Tottering through ebay last week, torturing myself by looking at the lovely old bikes for sale, I spotted something. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m very partial both to Peugeots and randonneur-styled bikes, and sure enough, right there for a reasonable price and in very good condition, was a Peugeot PX50 – the super randonneur! It was also, for probably the first time ever on ebay, possible for the bike to be delivered rather than pick-up only. Having just recently had my hours in work bumped up in a very positive way, and the old PX50s being the bike with everything I’ve always wanted, I couldn’t stop myself…
Looks all original, nicely kitted out, and practically roadworthy from the moment I put it back together. Normally, when I buy an old bike, I start to list all of the things that need to be adjusted or fixed and find a sense of dread creeping up on me – not with this bike. As far as I can tell, a new chain, new cabling, a little polishing, and this thing would be ready for nice long rides. That said, I’m going to tart it up a little and give it a few nice accessories to really make it stand out and give it that ‘proper’ randonneur vibe.
The condition of this bike really is extraordinary. I can’t find so much as a scratch in the paintwork, and though the chain has some rust on it I’ve measured it with a chain gauge (the chain still moves freely) and it shows minimal signs of wear. My guess would be that this has been bought, ridden a handful of times, then spent a long time sat in the back of someone’s shed or shop. Special points of interest are the original chromed mudguards, bell(!), and lights, along with the original bike shop’s frame sticker. I guess my luck has finally turned around!
I’ve got a little gameplan to get this bike ready, cosmetic stuff really, but the one big job on the bike is the electrical side of things. Being a lovely late 70s/early 80s bike (and a randonneuring bike) this Peugeot’s lights are dynamo-powered, and the bike’s frame is designed with the wiring in mind, but this had to be cut for delivery when the bike was taken apart. It’s a shame, but it’s also an opportunity to overhaul the whole thing, put nice new wiring in and get some LED bulbs for the old lights.
It’s not likely that I’ll take this bike out on any rides for a good while yet. In theory a few new cables here, a few derailleur adjustments there, and I’m good to go, but I want the whole thing at 100% and good to go before I start taking it out properly. The arrival of this Peugeot should mean that I can start doing some proper bike work, though, so expect nice, regular updates as to how this bike is getting along!