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Due Diligence - Considering a PX-10 Build

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Due Diligence - Considering a PX-10 Build

Old 12-02-19, 09:15 AM
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cqlink 
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Due Diligence - Considering a PX-10 Build

Hello all,

Considering a PX-10 build and was hoping a few of you who've been down this road can help me determine if it's worth the time, effort and $$$ (I'd like to keep cost down and I'm not concerned if some components don't match what Peugeot put on these bikes back then).

If I go through with the build, I'm starting out with a frame and fork (nothing else, no headset, BB, etc.). I do have a Campy NR RD, Brooks Professional saddle, Campy brakes (which I don't think will be long enough to use) and SunTour bar-ends. I'll find a wheelset locally. As mentioned, I'll need to source everything else.

As some already know, the French approached building bikes a little differently. I've learned I'll need to modify the rear dropout to use my Campy RD. Not sure if a standard clamp-on FD will work unless I shim it. As for the BB, unless I can find one, I was thinking about the approach on Mr. Brown's site:

"YST, a Taiwanese firm, makes a cheap copy of the older Mavic bottom bracket that has it's own internal sleeve and doesn't require using the bottom bracket threads at all. You merely tighten the ends and they pinch the bottom bracket into place."

Can anyone share a bit more detail on how this works and what size I should be looking for? Will a Stonglight 93 crankset fit this type of BB? If I find a MAFAC BB, can anyone provide the sizing I'm looking for?

As for the headset, I think I need a 1" French threaded assy. Is the Stonglight headset my only option if I keep the original fork?

If I ditch the fork, will ANY 1" headset work?

If I find a Stronglight, French-thread headset, I think I'll need to find a matching French stem. Can anyone tell me what I'll need to find?
That's it for now. If anyone has any links to a similar build, parts or parts sources and other tips/ advice, it's highly appreciated.
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Old 12-02-19, 09:31 AM
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Yes, I think you should many of the components of the px10 are common with other models and can be sourced fairly easy and not expensive.

The stem and bars are Pivo or Atax.

On the bb, the Mavic is not that simple as just wrench on. It, mavic, needs to have the bb shell chamfered.

Last edited by Mr. 66; 12-02-19 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 12-02-19, 09:56 AM
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Piecing together a PX10 from a bare frame is unlikely to be economical. It is doable, but it's either going to be slow, or expensive. Pick one. 30 years ago, it was different, since there were still old French bike parts in the junk boxes of the LBS. Aside from the derailleur hanger, you need to deal with French threaded headset and BB, and source an old style above BB cable guide.

Depends also to a large degree on how period correct the build is. At a minimum IMHO a PX10 needs a Stronglight 93 crankset and Mafac Racer brakes.

At any rate if you can find one mostly or all complete, it's going to go a lot easier.

RE the bottom bracket, 93 cranks will fit on JIS spindles just fine, if you can find one the right length. VO sells one but it's $50. Phil available for much more.

Last edited by Salamandrine; 12-02-19 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 12-02-19, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
Yes, I think you should many of the components of the px10 are common with other models and can be sourced fairly easy and not expensive.
Not really. MAFAC Racer brakes yes. The rest, no. Fancier hubs, bar and stem, seatpost, saddle, pedals, crankset, etc.

Prices on old Frenchie stuff have come down a bit, but they're still pretty high. Simplex seat post for example is $125.
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Old 12-02-19, 10:09 AM
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I went through a period of working on alot of lower end 70s French bikes and I would echo the above much easier to start with a complete bike when wanting to keep costs down.
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Old 12-02-19, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Not really. MAFAC Racer brakes yes. The rest, no. Fancier hubs, bar and stem, seatpost, saddle, pedals, crankset, etc.

Prices on old Frenchie stuff have come down a bit, but they're still pretty high. Simplex seat post for example is $125.
A build such as PX 10 really?! Did they have the Simplex post I thought those came with a basic chrome steel pillar, maybe even sleeved. I do admit that building a PX 10 it would be wise to be patient. For sourcing parts the best suggestion would be haunting local coops.

My main favorite coop, BikeWorks, they have to junk the French stuff. Not because they're trashed but it's not consistent with the threadings. Even the stuff they don't trash right away will sit until they chunk it. UO 8, strait to recycle no prob. If I get there first I'll throw few bucks out. UO 8 has almost the same parts as the PX the main difference is the cottered crank, steel bars and steel rims.

If I were to build a PX 10 I would not use the Deldrin Simplex parts.
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Old 12-02-19, 10:56 AM
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My opinion, take it or leave it:

Every model had what we can see today, in hindsight, as flaws. Good example: the stock PX-10 seat post sucks (heavy, ugly) and the off-sized hanger sucks too, but it's what was chosen at the time.

Pricing above seems unreal. I had a hard time selling my Simplex seat post here on BF for $35 just last year, I think I ended up trading it or giving it to another member, I can't remember. There are people asking exorbitant prices, those are the same pieces that tend to go several cycles before selling with a best-offer. Granted, some of the Stronglight cranksets will set you back a mint. Hard to get into anything for less than $50-75 if it's in fairly decent shape. I've got a stockpile.

I WOULDN'T use a Mavic 610 BB or even anything in its style, it requires a 2mm-3mm chamfer on both sides of the BB shell, which basically cuts a 45șish angle out of the BB shell, removing the first few threads, and the tool to make the modification is practically unobtanium. There are other ways, my friend! I don't think this is required if you do Velo Orange's BB, but ... if you want to run Campy, just get Campy french-thread cups. I probably have several French thread BB cups, but I suspect others here do too. You can also buy French-thread cups from Action on Amazon all day long. I don't know about YST but suspect their product will be similar to Velo Orange.

MAFAC doesn't make BB, they make brakes.

I think you may be confused about the relationship of headset to stem and steer tube, but nonetheless, again, just get a French-thread headset and move along. Campy, Stronglight, EDCO and many others make them. You just need to be aware French stems have a very tiny difference in quill diameter and often (always?) take a slightly smaller bar, although important to know, there are workarounds, but still plenty availability of suitable stems. I have a stockpile. Don't replace the fork! That's crazytalk!

I'm a bit of a purist so I find it "barbare" (barbaric) to drill out the hanger so you can put some Italian or Japanese mech in there. It's tough to find unmolested PX-10 dropouts. Almost getting to Unicorn status after all these decades, actually. So, take it with a grain of salt. I say stick with French mechs that will fit, with Delrin or without, assuming the Delrin is still intact and actually black, not greyed out.

I'm also sad to read what @Mr. 66 says about trashing bikes at the co-op. Just the jockey wheels on those old Simplex RDs when all teeth are intact can pull $5-10/pr easily on the auction site before shipping, or even here. If y'all are throwing away mechs, keep them in a box and I'll give you FedEx labels to send boxes of them to me. They'll get used. There are so many bunged up Simplex 410/610/630/810 lockwashers and springs out there from people who don't know to avoid removing using the bolt behind the hanger (vs. the tension bolt) that those keyed washers alone are becoming a commodity.

But yeah, OP, there's no reason you can't pull this off without a stockpile of parts. If you get stuck somewhere on a part, if you don't get anywhere in the ISO/WTB thread in the sticky list at the top of the forum, ping me directly (I don't always look in that thread regularly).

You can absolutely do this. French isn't "obscure French stuff", it's just "METRIC everything". Nothing to be scared of there. No crazy threading or anything, metric is just as well adopted in the USA as the imperial system, and not all bike manufacturers opted to use it, but it's no less weird than Italian threading, for example. Ok, maybe Italian is weirder.
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Old 12-02-19, 11:05 AM
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EDIT - I am with Francophile above. French bikes are AWESOME, they just require a little thought. I would probably have a PX-10 in my stable right now except I have the metric-gauge geared bike covered with an old Allegro and the speedy French thing covered with a Gitane converted to fixed-gear.

Headsets can be somewhat challenging but not horrible. If you're more interested in function than authenticity, you can bodge together all sorts of things. I wound up using the top half of a basic, generic Motobecane headset for the thread bits combined with a basic Tange something or other off eBay to resolve headset issues on my metric-gauge and -threaded Allegro - I think my total cost was around $35 to solve that. All the PX-10s I recall seeing used Stronglight V4s, which are something like a 38 mm stack height. If you get a shorter stack height headset, spacers are your friend. Campy (and probably Velo Orange) will be taller, like 42 mm or so.

You COULD run any other fork and then use a standard English/ISO headset, but don't. Part of the experience is the fork, which contributes to the French-ness of the Peugeot.

You've trawled Amazon, right? They have the Action brand French threaded bottom bracket cups and bearings for $14 or so. Find a spindle to fit whatever cranks you choose and you're good to go.

Seatpost will be a 26.4 in all likelihood. Zoom made some, Kalloy too. I've got an old SR Laprade in my old Gitane. Anyway, there are options and not too pricey ones.

If you don't want to run some form of Simplex rear derailleur (the alloy ones can be found if you're patient), you could consider threading the Simplex dropout and running certain early Shimano derailleurs; or you could thread the derailleur hanger ear and file a notch, which is considered cheating in some circles. Some folks have just run a derailleur claw over top of the stock dropout, which moves the rear mech out a few millimeters but leaves the frame unaltered. If it is still unaltered, there are still alloy Simplexes out there from where someone just HAD to convert his 80s Gitane to Shimano clickety stuff.

Stems are NOT as challenging as everyone says they are. Most Nitto quill stems will fit just fine without sanding. Depending on your headset, you may have to open up the very top of the locknut to allow the quill to fit through, but that's not a tough job, either.

Everything else is pretty much basic stuff.

Which variant of PX-10 are we talking, here? Do you have an early one with Nervex Pro lugs, a '72 with the plain DuBois lugs? Do you have the really steep-angled variety from c.1973-74 that has almost criterium bike angles, or the classic 72-degree-ish ones that are awesome for long days on bad roads?

Last edited by rustystrings61; 12-02-19 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 12-02-19, 11:30 AM
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Regarding the bottom bracket, I have used similar ones in other builds. The ones that I used insisted on machining a taper into each end of the bottom bracket housing, The machined taper matched the tapers on the bottom bracket nuts. Make sure that the ones you are interested in do not require machining of the frame.

For my money, get French bottom bracket and be done with it. Same goes for anything else. Example, use the Simplex transmission, don't modify a wonderful frame set to suit the demands of a few dollars. My opinion, only.
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Old 12-02-19, 12:12 PM
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Thanks for info everyone. I think I'm going to go for it but take my time.

The frame and fork are circa 1972.

If anyone has parts I'm looking for in their stockpile, please PM me. I'll ping a few of you outside of this thread.

In the interim, I'm chasing a Stonglight 93 crankset now. $19.95 shipped. I'd like to find a Simplex RD and FD but I saw an example of the claw someone used to mount another RD. I can live with that mod.

As mentioned, while I'd LIKE to keep as original as possible, cost is a factor with this build. Low priced alternatives are a priority so I'm not counting on getting many Campy parts cheap.

I'm going to try to find a French headset and stem that fits, in order to keep the original fork on the bike.

Thanks again
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Old 12-02-19, 12:15 PM
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...I've redone three or four of the 70's PX10's, but never started with a bare frame. As others have said, there are threaded sealed unit BB assemblies that will work with the Stronglight square taper crank that came on these. I've replaced all the front derailleurs on mine, because they were either broken or were certain to do so soon (cracked). On a couple I used Campy NR fronts, and don't recall needing to shim them, because they had enough adjustment to clamp on the metric tubing.

The simplest solution for the rear deraillleur is to just use a Simplex. Most of them seem to do OK, but it is true the all alloy ones from a little later are probably the most durable. As stated, there are plenty of seatpost alternatives in the size that fits this metric tubing. I find them over at the bike co-op, usually the Laprade, which is a nice, functional post. I have replaced the bar and stem on all of mine, because the originals are a little iffy compared to stuff made later on. The simplest solution for me has been to find a Japanese or Taiwanese made forged alloy stem, and sand down the insertion part of it until it fits. Besides a higher quality stem, you also get to use a slightly more modern, steel sleeved bar in a commonly available diameter.

If what you want is a rider, and are not trying to reproduce something identical to the original, there are used high flange hubs all over the place that can be built into more modern rims like those from VO or Sun in the 700c size.

These used to sell here as complete bikes in the very approachable $400-500 range here. I'm not sure that's still the case. Sometimes you can find a donor French bike that will give you all the stuff like crankset, wheels, headset for less money than shopping around for the individual parts.

If it's an 80's PX-10 (The Super Competition), the stuff on those was different.
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Old 12-02-19, 12:29 PM
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Does anyone know if this one will work?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Bik...wAAOSw-89d4ZKz

Would this be the claw I'm looking for to use a different RD?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Sim...AAAOSwceZcbHgX
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Old 12-02-19, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cqlink View Post
Does anyone know if this one will work?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Bik...wAAOSw-89d4ZKz
Housing is cracked, look on the right-hand side.. This is likely what was on yours originally though, down to the date code.
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Old 12-02-19, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
Housing is cracked, look on the right-hand side.. This is likely what was on yours originally though, down to the date code.
Nice catch. I missed that.
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Old 12-02-19, 12:57 PM
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If seeking a stem and seatpost, let me know sizes and hopefully I have something to send your way.

Cheers
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Old 12-02-19, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
If seeking a stem and seatpost, let me know sizes and hopefully I have something to send your way.

Cheers
Not sure if I'm measuring correctly (and hoping someone familiar with a '72 PX-10 frame will chime in) but I'm measuring the seat tube ID with my calipers somewhere around 26.8 or 26.9mm.

I'm 99.9% sure I'll go with a Stronglight 1" french threaded headset. I'm not sure what diameter stem is needed (again hoping somene will chime in) but I prefer a short reach (somewhere around 90-100mm).

Thanks!
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Old 12-02-19, 03:35 PM
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The quill diameter of a French stem is 22.0, vs 22.2 for the more common size. If you don't mind veering from French-made parts, SR made a very nice forged stem in that size. I have one on my Motobecane GJ. Otherwise, Pivo, Atax are out there. I've got a couple French headsets in my watch list now.

I have three French bikes and I like each one very, very much. Parts are not as hard to find as people often claim.
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Old 12-02-19, 03:57 PM
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cqlink

The fog of uncertainty always clouds judgement that has not been tempered with experience, in other words, take your time, stay the course, embrace and learn to expand your wheelhouse. Once you get the quirkiness of this French thing it will help you from now on.

We/they got you, you know that.

As an aside I have a PX-10 Nervex lug in my big 62cm? size. Pretty ratty, overpaid for it AND it had standard pedals jammed into the original Stronglight with cross threaded BB both cups. Vise and Vise Grips got the pedals out, self made pedal taps fixed the threads, VGC Campy pedals converted to French spindles, BB threads chased with self made rethreader cups, original Stronglight Competition BB installs just fine now, all good.

I was determined to restore the french threading because it should be so imho, and so it is.

Last edited by merziac; 12-02-19 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 12-02-19, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cqlink View Post
Not sure if I'm measuring correctly (and hoping someone familiar with a '72 PX-10 frame will chime in) but I'm measuring the seat tube ID with my calipers somewhere around 26.8 or 26.9mm.

I'm 99.9% sure I'll go with a Stronglight 1" french threaded headset. I'm not sure what diameter stem is needed (again hoping somene will chime in) but I prefer a short reach (somewhere around 90-100mm).

Thanks!
They almost always take a 26.4 seatpost. Occasionally they'll be one that takes 26.6, presumably because it needed some extra reaming at the factory.

You should be able to scrounge a Stronglight french HS for pretty cheap. Another stem that will often fit are old 3TTT; even if they are nominally 22.2 they are often undersized. There's always sandpaper.

The point of a PX10 was to sell a race bike that was for all practical purposes performed as well as any racing bike, but at a fraction of the cost. They put money only where it mattered for function. 531 DB frame and some light sew ups is really all you need.
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Old 12-02-19, 04:24 PM
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You don't need to overthink this as parts are available and reasonably priced if you are flexible.

Headsets are easy to source ($30 for a VO headset) and you can find French cups cheap, https://www.amazon.com/s?k=french+cu...ref=nb_sb_noss

Also stronglight cups and spindles are well made and last a long time. They show up on the C&V for sale forum on a regular basis at reasonable prices. Plus the spindle length is more or less the same for all the doubles (118-120 or so I think).

Stem is easy to sand down to fit. For the RD, just run a suntour on a claw and call it a day (or find a crane and tap the hanger).

Stem, HS, BB, and RD and you're done with the odd French parts you need to source.

Last edited by bikemig; 12-02-19 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 12-02-19, 04:29 PM
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Thanks to all for sharing your knowledge.

French bikes are Verrry Interesting....

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Old 12-02-19, 05:26 PM
  #22  
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After cursory digging the bins, I think I can help you out on Stronglight cups and Stronglight V3 or V4 headset if you've got no other leads.

Had to get some stuff out to other BF'ers these last couple of days so haven't had a ton of time to dig. Still behind several inquiries right now. Holidays really monkey-wrenched me.
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Old 12-02-19, 10:57 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by cqlink View Post
Not sure if I'm measuring correctly (and hoping someone familiar with a '72 PX-10 frame will chime in) but I'm measuring the seat tube ID with my calipers somewhere around 26.8 or 26.9mm.

I'm 99.9% sure I'll go with a Stronglight 1" french threaded headset. I'm not sure what diameter stem is needed (again hoping somene will chime in) but I prefer a short reach (somewhere around 90-100mm).

Thanks!
Just verified. SR Laprade (stock later Peugeot) in 26.4.

MAFAC Racers centerpull brakeset.

Also have a later French sidepull brakeset (levers and calipers, pads, hoods) CLB model GL -65. The brakes work far better than the old Campy and are lightweight. I used them for a very short time, most impressed but vanity made me hunt down the even sweeter CLB Professional.

Last edited by crank_addict; 12-02-19 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 12-03-19, 04:27 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
Just verified. SR Laprade (stock later Peugeot) in 26.4.

MAFAC Racers centerpull brakeset.

Also have a later French sidepull brakeset (levers and calipers, pads, hoods) CLB model GL -65. The brakes work far better than the old Campy and are lightweight. I used them for a very short time, most impressed but vanity made me hunt down the even sweeter CLB Professional.
I'll shoot you a PM. Do you have the brake hangers and a seat post bolt?
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Old 12-03-19, 04:30 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
After cursory digging the bins, I think I can help you out on Stronglight cups and Stronglight V3 or V4 headset if you've got no other leads.

Had to get some stuff out to other BF'ers these last couple of days so haven't had a ton of time to dig. Still behind several inquiries right now. Holidays really monkey-wrenched me.
Lost out on an eBay headset. Please shoot me a PM. I'd like to grab yours.
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