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I guess French bikes aren't all junk.

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I guess French bikes aren't all junk.

Old 12-10-21, 05:19 PM
  #1  
robertj298
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I guess French bikes aren't all junk.

I have to apologize for those I offended with my French bike post. I really didn't mean
to offend anyone. I just wanted to see how fanatic French bike owners were and see
photos of the various models. It seemed to work by the replies. Oh and to one the member who
likes to troll all my posts to bring up any errors a new guy like me makes and even goes
to the trouble of keeping track of my post count , this is post 342.
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Old 12-10-21, 05:22 PM
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Just say ten Hail Marys and spend a day on this thread: bikeforums.net/classic-vintage/1099305-what-s-so-special-about-french-bikes.html


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Old 12-10-21, 05:24 PM
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Old 12-10-21, 06:24 PM
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Don't sweat the small stuff.
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Old 12-10-21, 06:27 PM
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I am a fan of French frames and French cranksets, and Japanese derailleurs.
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Old 12-10-21, 06:45 PM
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...I am a fan of old episodes of the French Chef, with Julia Child.

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Old 12-10-21, 06:48 PM
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And how can you not love this ?

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Old 12-10-21, 07:01 PM
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I'm waiting for someone to jump in on this thread and post a bunch of pictures of French bikes that are junk.
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Old 12-10-21, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
I have to apologize for those I offended with my French bike post. I really didn't mean
to offend anyone. I just wanted to see how fanatic French bike owners were and see
photos of the various models. It seemed to work by the replies. Oh and to one the member who
likes to troll all my posts to bring up any errors a new guy like me makes and even goes
to the trouble of keeping track of my post count , this is post 342.
It was a valid call out IMO and I am a fan of French bikes, Motobecane, Peugeot, Gitane and plenty others, all fantastic but can be a very slippery slope for the unaware, especially if things go south, stuck BB, SP, stem, lack of proper tools and understanding, skill, etc. the road to H**L if it gets the better of you.

Last Frenchie that I had fun with was a pretty rough PX-10 with generic 9/16 pedals forced way in, had to cut the cages off to get at the spindles with vise grips, massaged and chased the threads back to good so I can use a set of French Campy SR pedals I have on it. BB had a standard DS cup forced halfway in and the puller threads didn't want to let the TA or Stronglight puller in. Again, got it all apart after massaging the puller threads, massaged, scribed and chased the BB threads and installed a correct Stronglight cup and all is fine.

I knew all this going in and still paid a bit too much but it is a big one, Nervex lugs, Simplex SP, cable clips, shifters, original HS and hubs all in great shape so....
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Old 12-10-21, 07:17 PM
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It is nice to see someone learn and have the courage to admit his or her mistakes. That said, some French bikes do fall into the junk category while others fall into the best of the best arena and one even achieves the status of being iconic in nature. That one, the Peugeot PX10, perhaps one of the most collectable vintage bikes and certainly one that offers great ride quality.


Though I might get some flack about this, I have found that lower end bikes, ones that others might feel fall into the junk category, are just as much fun to find, street restore and ride as their top of the line siblings. One of my favorite bikes (I only have four these days - five if you count the one I keep in Jamaica) is an entry level Italian 30+ pound steed. It does not have a light, nimble and racy feel but it is great fun to ride cottered crank and all...


The only bike that I found to offer no virtues what so ever was an early to mid eighties Raleigh Record. Poor workmanship stood out like a sore thumb and the ride quality was the second worst that I have ever experienced...


The worst ride experience belongs to this nightmare...
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Old 12-10-21, 07:23 PM
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It seems to this newbie (me) that folks go French knowing that a challenge may lie ahead, but a reward is usually there even with moderately priced ones.
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Old 12-10-21, 07:27 PM
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mistake? it's not like he made any personal attacks on anyone. he had an inconsequential (in a greater scheme of things way) opinion based on limited exposure. granted, it's not logical that all french bikes (and other things) would entirely be junk. and, what's junk is relative, anyway. hell...the guy didn't even make personal on the french people, culture, or go political. some people around are a bit too easily offended. you gotta admit that. i'm that way myself sometimes. but, the significance of this whole thing is a little over the top to go to public forum apologies and admonition. petty conflicts, imho. ultimately, they're just inanimate objects with no value other than subjective opinion.

Last edited by thook; 12-10-21 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 12-10-21, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
.... ultimately, they're just inanimate objects with no value other than subjective opinion.
...reported.
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Old 12-10-21, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...reported.
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Old 12-10-21, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
While her feet are in a less than optimal placement on the pedals, bravo that the saddle is almost spot on in height. Smart prop master.
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Old 12-10-21, 09:04 PM
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yeah, the frenchies have evoked their fair share of cuss words during repair or restoration. From odd sized bottom brackets, seat post, stem.....I can also blame it on the little money I am willing to spend, most of my Motobecanes, Peugeots or this St,Etienne were under 20 bucks. That also takes the pressure off to do a proper restoration.
While I usually take care of the wear and tear items, I take liberty with the rest of it. This mid '70s St.Etienne is currently just in the mock up stage, but should roll out by springtime. ŕ votre santé

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Old 12-10-21, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I'm waiting for someone to jump in on this thread and post a bunch of pictures of French bikes that are junk.
You mean like Peugeots? Although I've seen pics on here of what seem like decent ones, I've never seen one in the wild that seemed like it had any better purpose than being a boat anchor.
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Old 12-10-21, 09:06 PM
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Old 12-11-21, 03:22 AM
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Living in Paris, this is one of the funniest damn things I've seen in ages. Thank you for posting it!

French bikes, like a lot of French culture, takes some work to appreciate. Like a fragrant Munster cheese though, their attractiveness permeates your thoughts and soon nothing else will do.
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Old 12-11-21, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
Originally Posted by repechage View Post
While her feet are in a less than optimal placement on the pedals, bravo that the saddle is almost spot on in height. Smart prop master.
What tire pressure standards apply in this situation?
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Old 12-11-21, 05:35 AM
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I have traveled in France on four occasions and the thing I find most compelling about France is how well the French take care of their culture and heritage. Compared to the US it is much cleaner and not plastered everywhere with generica.
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Old 12-11-21, 06:42 AM
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Since robertj298 was looking for french pictures, here's a couple of the low end bikes. None are "junk", but I will say the Motobecane/Supercycle is the least appealing in terms of ride quality. The LeJeune is a fun ride and shifts pretty well considering the Huret drivetrain, and of course my AO-8 is a forever bike having owned it now for coming up on 50 years.



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Old 12-11-21, 02:10 PM
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...for the OP:



It's kind of pricey, so if you can find it at the library, that would be good.
I bought one, but at one point in my life I was spending a lot of money on books.
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Old 12-11-21, 02:36 PM
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From junk to Junque. No historical accuracy or legacy worth maintaining to me. Decent frame upgraded to a pretty decent rider. Definitely in the St. Etienne/Manufrance family. Lugs similar to the Le Jeune. When new the bike had a single foil sticker that said CDI. Suits we fine.
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Old 12-11-21, 05:49 PM
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In the past I have owned a Gitane TDF, Peugeot PX-10 and a Mercier Prix De Cannes. I don't know whether I would call them junk but I wasn't very impressed with any of them.
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