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Lejeune project complete

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Lejeune project complete

Old 07-15-20, 06:42 PM
  #1  
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Lejeune project complete

I took the newly built-up Lejeune out for a ride this afternoon. I obtained the frame from BF member big chainring, and the tubular rims from Andy_K. The rest of the components came out of my parts bin or off my Gitane TdF, which I partially cannibalized for the occasion. The frame is beautiful--full Reyolds 531 with willow-leaf caps on the seatstay ends. It also has what I regard as the perfect amount of patina--some evident wear on the waterslide decals, and a few tasteful paint scratches (including some evidence of long ago chain suck), but not a particle of rust. The chrome is about perfect, and the paint has a lovely shine to it.

It rides very nicely--corners well and has no tendency to wander off-line when going straight. The gratuitous drivetrain photo is to show that a Simplex SX610 shifts onto a 32 tooth cog with no issues, somewhat to my surprise. (This is the "T" model, with the pivot at one end of the cage.)

My only concern about this bike is that it's really too good for me, at least in terms of cosmetics. Most of my bikes came to me in substantially rougher-looking shape. This will have to be my good-weather rig, I guess.

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Old 07-15-20, 06:45 PM
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Is this a red or orange frame? Either, it’s sure is Purdy!

Hoping you beautiful days for a very long summer!
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Old 07-15-20, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
Is this a red or orange frame? Either, it’s sure is Purdy!

Hoping you beautiful days for a very long summer!
It's clearly red, but toward the orange end of red. It's been nice here lately, but I haven't been able to ride much for a while as a result of a nasty cut on my shin (gardening accident, don't ask). But I'm back in action as of today.
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Old 07-15-20, 08:12 PM
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Great looking frame and setting for the photo.

Is that a Motobécane logo on the rear mech? Pretty rare. I think I'd cross the stem with both brake cables, so the rear enters its nds housing stop from that side of the head tube.
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Old 07-15-20, 09:52 PM
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You're hooked now.
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Old 07-16-20, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by CV-6 View Post


You're hooked now.
Ees vair-ay Fronsshh, no?
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Old 07-16-20, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Great looking frame and setting for the photo.

Is that a Motobécane logo on the rear mech? Pretty rare. I think I'd cross the stem with both brake cables, so the rear enters its nds housing stop from that side of the head tube.
Good eye! Yes, it's the Motobecane logo, though the derailleur is still Simplex branded. Thanks for not pointing out that the tire labels are on the non-drive side. I was so hyped up over my first-ever mounting of a set of tubulars that I forgot all about label placement. I'm lucky they at least ended up on the same side.

I'll take up your suggestion on the cable routing. It doesn't show up well in the photo, but I drilled the stem to serve as a cable stop instead of using the usual headset-mounted Mafac hanger. The French headset that came with the frame--and is about the right age to be original--had less than half a turn of engagement for the locknut with the hanger in place, so I removed it to create more space. Drilling the stem would have seemed iffy to me, but in Jan Heine's tutorial on doing so--in BQ #51--he notes that he showed the drilled stem to Mr. A. Yoshikawa, the president of Nitto, who deemed it safe. That's good enough for me. Eliminating the flex from the usual hanger gives the brake a much stiffer feel, which I like.
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Old 07-16-20, 05:39 AM
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Looks Great! Well done.
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Old 07-16-20, 07:18 AM
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Great looking bike and I like the build. Those are Lyotard Berthet platform pedals? I have a Mercier 300 I need to build up and I plan on using those pedals. I have a Moto branded simplex rear derailleur as well.
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Old 07-16-20, 09:05 AM
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Assembled Well.
not a fan of all black tires but with the black elsewhere it all balances out.
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Old 07-16-20, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
I drilled the stem to serve as a cable stop... The French headset ... had less than half a turn of engagement for the locknut with the hanger in place, so I removed it to create more space.
Nice customization. I would have never trusted myself to pull that off, but there's not much else you could do and still use the headset and center-pulls.
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Old 07-16-20, 12:58 PM
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Beautiful color on that bike. It makes me want to pick up a vintage for my first road bike.

Enjoy
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Old 07-16-20, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
Good eye! Yes, it's the Motobecane logo, though the derailleur is still Simplex branded. Thanks for not pointing out that the tire labels are on the non-drive side. I was so hyped up over my first-ever mounting of a set of tubulars that I forgot all about label placement. I'm lucky they at least ended up on the same side.

I'll take up your suggestion on the cable routing. It doesn't show up well in the photo, but I drilled the stem to serve as a cable stop instead of using the usual headset-mounted Mafac hanger. The French headset that came with the frame--and is about the right age to be original--had less than half a turn of engagement for the locknut with the hanger in place, so I removed it to create more space. Drilling the stem would have seemed iffy to me, but in Jan Heine's tutorial on doing so--in BQ #51--he notes that he showed the drilled stem to Mr. A. Yoshikawa, the president of Nitto, who deemed it safe. That's good enough for me. Eliminating the flex from the usual hanger gives the brake a much stiffer feel, which I like.
How about a quick and dirty summary of the drilling for those of us who do not have that resource?
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Old 07-16-20, 01:52 PM
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Great job with the build. I coveted that frame when Big Chainring had it for sale. Enjoy that thing.
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Old 07-16-20, 02:17 PM
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Damn, that's awfully nice. I remember admiring those bikes back when they were sold. I saw quite a few in Central Park.
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Old 07-16-20, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by CV-6 View Post
How about a quick and dirty summary of the drilling for those of us who do not have that resource?
The article appeared as a two-page spread in the magazine. I hope these two photos will make the whole thing readable. I used to write and edit a lot of instructional stuff like this (though not about bikes). It's a nice concise, well-photographed little story.

The key things, I thought, were starting the hole in the right place so it's centered from side to side in the stem extension, and along its length so the cable runs parallel to the headset between the stem and brake. Heine's directions about how to measure for that are useful. The only change I made was to the drill bit sizes. The author says to use a 1/16 or 2mm bit to make the through-hole for the cable. I found that a 1/16 was too small--the cable I had didn't quite fit--so I upped it to a 5/64, which is just a couple of thousandths (of an inch, sorry, mixing units) smaller that 2mm. I also found that a 5/32 was the right size for the shallow counterbore that accepts the stripped end of the housing--it gave a nice non-sloppy fit. The suggested bit size would have been a bit big for the cable I used. I would check the hole with a block of wood or whatever before drilling the actual stem--different brands of cable housing probably differ slightly in size.

When drilling the cable hole, it really helps to clamp the stem in a vise as suggested, so the quill is vertical. That way you just have to eyeball the drill bit so it's vertical, which is a lot easier than drilling at an angle.

It would not be hard to make a simple plywood fixture that would let you do all this with a drill press, but the cheap old Sears press in my shop didn't have the capacity for it. Attacking an expensive (by my standards) piece of hardware with a hand drill was a little unnerving, but it came out fine.





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Old 07-16-20, 05:18 PM
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This tutorial is so damn timely I can’t believe my good fortune!! Beautiful build job.
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