Friday, October 3, 2014

Rainy Day Wrenching - Peugeot St. Laurent Express

Our kitchen floor is dated, yet durable and cleans up well. It's seen lots
 of kid art projects, changing of rodent litter cages, and functions
 perfectly as indoor bike workshop surface. I wouldn't
 dream of replacing the linoleum until it wears out. 
It had to happen. When coincidence provided me with another bicycle earlier this year (the silly episode when a neighbor handed me an entire bike, all because I needed a kickstand) I kept the Peugeot St. Laurent Express.

At the time I couldn't part with it; I knew we could store the bike until it was time to donate the bicycle or find a use for it. As my readers know, I'm smitten with old bikes for many reasons. I also loved the color.

The Peugeot sat in our garage in a rather disheveled state too - if such a thing can be said about a bicycle. It arrived without seat and post, plus I pilfered the handlebars for The Ross, Cables, brakes, and shifters hung from the frame.

Patience has paid off. Our oldest son has grown 4" alone this year, surpassing my 5'8" height. His mountain bike is too small. And rather than alter his current bicycle to fit - he is strictly a commuter, and the faster he can get across town, the better - I offered to set up the Peugeot.

Hi face lit up. "Really?"

I smiled. "You like the color? It's unique."

"That's what I like about it."

"You might be the only one of your friends riding a retro bike," I said, just so he would know what he was getting into. "Retro", however, is a word he understands. His father and I can see this 15 year old happily forging his own path through high school. He knows he's not a popular kid and doesn't care.

"Plus, I can put on street tires so you can roll faster." I tempted. Teenagers aren't the most observant (or rational) at times. "And you'll have a rack."

"Finally, a rack!" It wasn't easy to rig a rack on his aluminum framed mountain bike and so, my husband and I never did.

I wrenched in the kitchen, cleaning the bike, removing wheels, placing newer tires, seatpost and seat from our stash of parts. I will transfer his new, comfortable seat from his current bike if our son wishes, later on. The wheels are in great shape: bearings spin freely, no pits or dished wheels. I oiled the heck out of the rusty chain. Even though it lacks chain stretch, it may still need to be replaced if lubrication doesn't loosen its stiffness. I bought aluminum riser handlebars. This is a 22" frame. Our son will have plenty of adjustability on this bicycle when he shoots up another foot.

In another session, I started replacing cables and assessing replacement thumbshifters. I am trying a mismatched set that we had kicking around, but one is slightly broken. As back up I ordered basic Sunrace thumbshifters from Rivendell, which are touted as an inexpensive yet capable replacement shifters. We'll see. It's still a work in progress, one I aim to get done before too much longer.

Until then, our teenager will ride his old bicycle. The one I just noticed has a flat rear tire. Rats.


  1. Hi Annie, That's cool I only wish that I could get someone in my family to ride one of my fixer uppers. One note, if you haven't already thought of it, check the chain for wear/stretch so that you don't have to replace the chain and the free wheel down the line.

    1. Good idea. I had checked the chain and it was fine. I've changed my blog post to clear this up. I'm lucky that this bike has seen little use so I'm not concerned about drive chain wear. I imagine I should breakdown and buy a new chain. It is our son that we are talking about, after all!

  2. Wow! I still haven't attempted to strip down a bike in the kitchen.Very impressed,Ms Bikes!

    1. Hi Ian. We have the perfect linoleum in our kitchen for this kind of bike maintenance. In fact, when I clean up afterwards the floor is often cleaner than normal!

  3. Very cool for your Son to get excited about an older project bike like this. I too like the color scheme. Should make a great bike.


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