Welcome to the Francophile club, happens to the best of us. I've been having the opposite problem lately. I, the proud and defiant Francophile have, in the last 6 months, built up a new Bates, nearly built up a Caygill (really must finish this) and acquired curley stay Hetchins, 40s/50s Bates and Epgrave framesets and a complete Raleigh Pro and Falcon San Remo. Glad the French have closed down Devil's Island, or I'd be doing hard time there for these crimes against France. In my defense, I have in the same period acquired a Peugeot (PY-10?) from Kim Klakow, a Mercier Bordeaux-Paris (OK, it was a great deal at $150) and a Rixie (if Rixie is French - I have conflicting reports on this).
As to the sewups (tubulars, sprints, whatever) they really aren't all that big a mystery. I have moved toward clinchers mostly because I'm too lazy or too clumsy with needle and thread to repair sewups and feel guilty just throwing them away when they puncture. My procedure for mounting sewups is to mount them on a spare rim, pump them up to higher than operating pressure, and leave them for a couple of days. This prestretches them so they aren't so hard to stretch onto the wheel after the glue is applied. I learned this in the early 70's after covering myself in rim cement a few times trying to stretch tight sewups onto rims coverd with glue. The Falcon San Remo I just received has original NR wheels with Fiamme yellow label tubular rims and I intend to leave it that way.
I have two terrible confessions to make.
I, arch British bike buff, bought... well I bought a... a French bicycle yesterday on eBay. I don't know what got hold of me but I now own a Peugeot PX-10 circa 1973. I know... how boring and pedestrian can you get? But looks in sweet shape, original components and it seemed an awful good value:
I guess 30 years after I bought a UE-8, I just got that urge to buy a Peugeot again. But I feel 'orrible about it. I mean.. it's French!! I won't even be able to keep it the same room as my Raleighs and Rudges.. which is hard as I live in a one-bedroom apartment with all of them.
Anyway, second and more pressing confession. This machine has Super Champion rims with... Tubular tyres. Now this is really embarrassing, especially with this crowd... but I have never, ever owned a bike or even ridden one with these things. Frankly, they scare the death out of me. That recent exchange about just the right materials and methods of gluing them on was daunting enough! The NASA report on the Challenger disaster I could follow but this...
Now I know real men ride on sew-ups or tubs or whatever you call them. And I want to keep this machine as original as possible. So any suggestions out there as to a good tubular tyre that a) looks traditional... not yellow and orange thanks, b) doesn't cost a bomb (why are these things SO expensive?) and c) perchance has some wonderful material to ward off punctures. For a rank novice like me, I think the Tufu tape seems sensible.
Or should I realize I am a Philistine and chuck in the original rims and find a suitable vintage set of clincher rims??
Or wish I hadn't bought this machine in the first place...
Peter Kohler, way out of his depth Washington DC USA
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