Remove a Quick Link or Master Link from a Chain – Video

  Removing a Quick Link   They are a clever piece of modern bike technology, simple and effective, but they can be a real pain to remove once they...

Peugeot PFN 10 Stuck Seatpost – Conclusion ( Video )

The Impossible Task When I took possession of this rather beaten Peugeot bike I could have never envisioned the problem I was about to face. This...

Bottom Bracket Cup Removal Direction: A Visual of French, British, Swiss and Italian Threads

  Pre-1982 French and Italian Drive Side Cups   It's easy to forget which direction bottom brackets cup turn for removal. I thought I'd provide a...

Sometimes They Come Back: Wrecked Atom 600 Pedals

Destined for the Junk Bin I wrote a blog recently about finding an abandoned Peugeot in a barn, and it so happens that these Atom pedals were on...

Look KG 271 Carbon- Regretfully Sold

  1986   Tour De France, mid 1980's, and that rivalry: LeMond v Hinault. It's become one of the great events in the history of the race, and I was...

Welcome to The Velo Collective

The definitive resource for vintage French bikes.

A Closer Look at the Triplex Professional

A Closer Look at the Triplex Professional

  I, Triplex   Wasn't it Claudius who said "Isn't it more important what a man says, than how he says it?". Well, can't the same be said of bicycle components? Isn't it their purpose to function efficiently, and not look pretty and expensive? Ok, if you can get both...

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A Note about Stuck Seatposts

A Note about Stuck Seatposts

  Buyer Beware   I imagine it's fairly uncommon, but it's actually really important; when you are about to buy a bike, you really should check if the seatpost moves in the seat tube. I mean, why not? Ok, I suppose it could be construed as being a bit pushy and perhaps...

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Poor Old Peugeot in a Barn

Poor Old Peugeot in a Barn

  Rusting Away   Staying on a farm for a winter break, I saw this old racing bike stuffed at the back of one of the farmer's storage buildings. This unit is just a canopy and open to the elements even though it has a metal roof, so the bike has obviously suffered from...

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Road Bike Test: Modern Versus Vintage

Road Bike Test: Modern Versus Vintage

  Why this Test?   This road test between a vintage and modern road bike came about entirely by accident. I didn't sit there on the couch thinking of a blog to write, or contrive to throw something together to waffle about during this period of inclement cycling...

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How Many Ball Bearings..?

How Many Ball Bearings..?

  Ball Bearings are Confusing   Note to self: don't write a blog about ball bearings in bike parts, it's a bloody nightmare. In fact it would be a mammoth task for anyone to precisely evaluate the amount and size of ball bearings for each component over the years. To...

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Tubular Tyre Repair: Gluing the Side Trim

Tubular Tyre Repair: Gluing the Side Trim

  Saving that Old Tubular!   Sometimes old tubulars look beaten and worn out, ready for the bin. Yet, often they are in better condition than they look, as good quality vintage tubulars were well made tyres. Old tubulars can look scruffy, often they can have...

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French Freewheel Specifications

French Freewheel Specifications

Maillard Course  1981 6 Speed Weight: 388 grams 13 - 21 Cog British Threaded, 1.375 x 24 TPI Removal Tool: Park Tool FR2 ( Two Prong )     Sachs Maillard 6 Speed 1981 368 grams 14 - 20 Cogs British Threading 1.375 x 24 TPI Removal Tool: Park Tool FR2 ( Two Prong )    ...

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Creaking Noise When Pedalling – Fix

Creaking Noise When Pedalling – Fix

    The Deceptive Problem   When your car starts making a weird noise, you know immediately what you're in for. Unless you're already in suspicion, or have been expecting a particular problem, finding the source of a bump or squeak can be a real challenge. A car has...

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Stuck Brake Cable in Brake Lever – Fix

Stuck Brake Cable in Brake Lever – Fix

  The Jammed Cable Head   Your heart sinks when your brake cable won't come out of its lever. After years, perhaps decades, of pulling on the cable as well as from the build up of dirt and rust, the nipple end of the cable can get squeezed deeper into its barrel hole...

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Riding the Avenue Verte on a Vintage Bike

Riding the Avenue Verte on a Vintage Bike

  Ferry and Bike   Imagine being able to cycle from London to Paris on a dedicated bike trail. It sounds amazing, but it's not yet a reality. Riding The Avenue Verte, as its called, may not offer a compete route for cyclists yet, but is a great trail for discovering...

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The Loose Bottom Bracket Fiasco

The Loose Bottom Bracket Fiasco

    When a 5 minute Job Becomes 5 Hours   Damn that annoying play in bottom brackets, when things have got bad enough to feel that side-to-side movement through the crankset! Inside the nicely designed cups of this Mercier was a Stronglight Competition bottom bracket,...

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Some Bernard Dangre Bikes

Some Bernard Dangre Bikes

  Who was Bernard Dangre?   I must admit, I always thought Bernard Dangre was a professional rider. I imagined he was another of those French cyclists, tough and gnarly, who turned to making bikes after a career on the road. Well, that was wrong! Dangre was not a...

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Some of My Favourite Bikes – All Under $400

Some of My Favourite Bikes – All Under $400

    1985 Peugeot PSVN 12   In pearlescent white and with chrome forks, built with Super Vitus 980 tubing, this bike was a joy to ride. I had the pleasure of riding it on a beach in South Carolina for miles on end, the sand being firm enough to provide an thrilling...

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Changing a Tubular Tyre – Video Tutorial

Changing a Tubular Tyre – Video Tutorial

https://youtu.be/5S3E8h2IeqI  Changing a Tubular Tyre: the Basics   Changing a tubular tyre doesn't require any tools or special skills, and if a tyre has been mounted before it is generally much easier to refit it back onto the rim. Contrastly, new tyres can be a...

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Restoring a Cyril Guimard

Restoring a Cyril Guimard

The unrestored Guimard   The Bike   Stablinski, Poulidor, Anquetil..some great riders have lent their names to bikes over the years, many of them being mass produced and cheap to buy. Most Anquetils and Merckx bikes you see around are as cheap as chips, fitted with...

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Shifter Problems With My Vintage Peugeot

Shifter Problems With My Vintage Peugeot

  The Shifting Mystery   It's always really disappointing when you build your bike and get it primed for the road, clean and freshly greased, only to find on your first test run that it's unrideable. When you change up a gear for the first time, and.. crunch..the...

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Clincher Wheelset or Tubular?

Clincher Wheelset or Tubular?

  Weight Weenies   A beautiful wheelset completes a bike. But let's face it, nowadays the cost of a high quality wheelset can be astronomical. The desire, the obsession, for such spectacularly lightweight wheels is obvious when visiting bike shops selling Dura Ace,...

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A Review of the 1977 Huret Allvit

A Review of the 1977 Huret Allvit

  Moving the Masses   The Huret Allvit was a workmanlike transmission set and could never be described as inspiring or beautiful. It was mass produced for millions of cheap bikes in the 1970's, including my own first bike as a kid. From the big French brands like...

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A Rare Francis Poirier Bike

A Rare Francis Poirier Bike

  The Marque   There's very little information about FR Poirier bikes on the internet, even on French websites. Search for "Poirier" and you will come across an old French firm that used to make some bizarre tricycles and pedal powered cars, as well making wheelchairs...

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Vintage French Wheelsets Compared

Vintage French Wheelsets Compared

Alpin Hubs and Super Champion Competition Rims   I really liked these Alpin hubs: hi flange, beautifully made, a French tubular wheelset of high quality that was very light. I polished them up as they were a little dull after decades of service, and they ended up...

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The Short History Of Spidel

The Short History Of Spidel

  The Final Throw of the Dice     Things looked bad for the French bike parts industry. The year was 1984, and the market was rapidly changing; the reign of French components, once so dominant in the bike boom, was now being eroded by competition from Europe and...

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French Stem Sizing 22.0mm

French Stem Sizing 22.0mm

22.0mm Sizing   French stem sizing is a quirk of the vintage bicycle era. Bikes made before 1983 will likely have a different steerer sizing than other bikes. Instead of 22.2mm, which is the standard steerer size for most bikes, vintage French steerers take a 22.0mm...

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Mystery Bike.. Restored

Mystery Bike.. Restored

 The Mystery Bike     It was in a shoddy state. Unridden for a long time, I'd guess for more than twenty years. The tyres were flat, the rear derailleur was locked up with thick dirt; the chain was off; the Stronglight headset was rusty and so loose that the whole...

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Repairing a Vintage Huret Rear Derailleur

Repairing a Vintage Huret Rear Derailleur

  Spring Tension     Repairing a vintage Huret rear derailleur, I have to admit, wasn't a job I was sure of. I really believed that this 1978 Huret Eco rear derailleur was broken, after taking it off an old French bike. It had no spring tension and it seemed lifeless,...

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Vintage French Seatpost Sizes

Vintage French Seatpost Sizes

    The 26mm Issue   Vintage French seatpost sizes..or simply called "why didn't they just make one bloody size of seatpost?"  Yes, beware the French bike, for there are a surprising number of difficulties that can easily stand in your way to building that great...

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An Eighties Hinault, Possibly

An Eighties Hinault, Possibly

  Where Did All the Decals Go?   This is the first thing I always think when I see bike removed of its branding. Do they just fall off in time? Do people take them off to protect their bikes from being stolen? Do they just somehow slip off in the rain, or while...

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Regretfully Undersold: Peugeot Triathlon

Regretfully Undersold: Peugeot Triathlon

Recapturing My Youth   When I was growing up in my city, no one had a good bike. A Peugeot Triathlon? You're kidding. None of the kids I knew rode anything decent, none of the adults I knew had a half decent bike, and you never saw anyone whizzing by, like you do now,...

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1968/69 Raleigh Carlton Longfellow

1968/69 Raleigh Carlton Longfellow

  First of all it's really hard to date a frame when the serial number is meaningless. This was the case with this Raleigh Carlton Longfellow, a model built at the Worksop facility in small numbers from about 1964-69. My best guess is that it was a 1968 model, though...

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Peugeot Galibier v Raleigh Record Sprint

Peugeot Galibier v Raleigh Record Sprint

Mid Range Flamboyancy   I wish I had more pictures of these late 1980's bikes, a Peugeot Galibier of 1987 and Raleigh Record Sprint of 1985. Unfortunately, I've lost the other, more detailed, photographs I took of it one spring day in Seattle in 2012. Named after the...

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More 531 Peugeot and Motobecane Frames

More 531 Peugeot and Motobecane Frames

Classic French Bikes   I thought I'd present some vintage French 531 frames and a Motobecane  Le Champion that I sold this summer, and I thought I’d put a few of the most interesting ones on here. My favourite was the gold framed Peugeot pictured above, I can’t say...

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St Etienne Cycles

St Etienne Cycles

  The Brand   Who were St Etienne Cycles? There's little information on this obscure company, even on French websites and forums, which is a sign that this marque was never a significant player in the great city of bicycles in France. They're rare enough that the most...

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More French 531 Frames

More French 531 Frames

  The Gold Peugeot   I sold some nice French 531 frames this summer, and I thought I'd put a few of the most interesting ones on here. My favourite was the gold framed Peugeot pictured above, I can't say what model it is because I find the Peugeot catalogues...

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The Bike Boom Effect: A Sleeping Giant Awakes

The Bike Boom Effect: A Sleeping Giant Awakes

The Japanese Revolution   The bike boom in the early 1970's must have been a wonderful period for bike manufacturers and component makers in Europe. Exports of bikes to the USA rose from 7 million in 1970 to to 14 million in 1974. Demand for European bikes and parts...

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The Mercier Rose – A Featherweight Mixte

The Mercier Rose – A Featherweight Mixte

  A rose by any other name.. A very nice example of French bike building for the more discerning female rider, this Mercier rose mixte is a real head turner and as lightweight as some of the higher-end men's bikes of its era. Even with its mid-range French components...

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Shimano Arabesque, 1978-1983

Shimano Arabesque, 1978-1983

  Like it or loathe it   The Arabesque or 600 EX is always deemed a bit of an oddball, a strange foray into the exotic by Shimano at the end of the 1970's. There is little information out there as to why they chose to create such an elaborate design to an edition of...

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The Best Vintage Pedals

The Best Vintage Pedals

Undoubtedly the Campagnolo Super Record groupset is the undisputed king of the most desirable vintage components of today. You only have to look at EBay listings to see how highly prized these components are, even though it is well known that in terms of actual...

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1976 Mercier Rose "Service Des Courses"

1976 Mercier Rose "Service Des Courses"

The Velo Rose Why did Mercier choose pink as the iconic colour for their road bikes of the '60's and '70's? I don't know the answer, but le vélo rose is one of the most distinctive and eye-catching bikes of any era. This particular bike came with its original receipt,...

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Peugeot PX10, Possibly

Peugeot PX10, Possibly

This frameset was in beautiful condition. The paint was glossy and free from bad scratches, and the half chrome forks and stays were shiny and free of the rust and weathering so typical of bikes of this era. I believe this was a PX10, I owned it in 2010 and sold it in...

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