Sometimes, when a job is finished here at Velo Cycles there is a moment of excitement that is mixed with sadness by our staff. This is what happened when we recently finished Erin’s bike. From a moment when her ambitious boyfriend decided to strip and “rebuild” her lovely 70’s vintage Peugeot Mixte, because it was quote “heavy as balls” he didn’t know what he was getting himself into.
The strip only took an afternoon with a few beers and a close mate, however that is as far as the project got. For almost 3 years.
After far too long without her lovely ‘Pipsqueak’ Erin got fed up and got her other half to bring it to us. Now there was already a clear vision of where the build was going and some things were already done…well, provided.
We had BB and hammered fenders from Velo Orange; one of the only companies on earth still doing French Threaded Bottom Brackets. As well as a beautiful set of SUNXCD cranks with almost the prettiest chainring I have ever seen from a local company called Bespoke Chainrings. As we were going over what needed to be done it was clear this guy loved his ‘cheese-and-kisses‘, advice was taken and no expense spared.
As Erin was not the most confident rider and her riding meant she didn’t use many of the 10 gears that were on the bike originally, it was mutually agreed to keep it simple. So we went with a 3 Speed internal Sturmey Archer with trigger shifters. This would mean there is no reaching down to the old-style downtube shifters, which makes for a much simpler gear change. We needed wheels to house this drive train, but not just any wheels – they had to be hand built. So we called around and found some beautiful 27” Aerohead rims from Velocity (back from when they were made in Qld) and laced them to the Sturmey 3sp rear hub and matching High Flange front hub.
Velo Orange Milano bars were always the right choice for this cockpit, with Ergon grips and minimalist Tektro brake levers that are a very close resemblance to the plastic Mafac levers. This build really pays homage to the classic French designed Mixte. Keeping things like the OG Mafac Racer center-pull brakes, stem, seatpost and saddle, (there isn’t many companies making these old French sized things).
But dropping the old steel rims and heavy cranks make it the perfect balance of original parts and new shiny components. It’s a bike you really want to ride just after the rain has fallen and the sun is poking it way back thru the clouds. You can put to work those damn-pretty fenders but still get to show off the polish to anyone who is looking.
It’s that perfect Sunday ride or a nice leisurely cruise to work. Why wouldn’t you want one!?