Turbo and Gallet 33 Saddles for the PB 12

Once the SR seatpost restoration was completed, the next logical step was to fit the seat to the post and then the whole assembly back on the bike. That necessitated a close evaluation of the original equipment Gallet G 33 leather-covered saddle.
One of the most attractive things about the PB 12 when I found it was that the bike was remarkably original and complete. The only missing items were a Peugeot branded bar end plug and the left rear Simplex dropout adjusting screw. I was pleased and surprised that the Gallet saddle had remained since a saddle is a highly personalized matter of fit and comfort and, usually, one of the first things changed.

Since the Gallet had been disassembled from the micro adjusting SR post, I gave it a close going over. As I had noticed when buying the bike, the saddle’s leather cover had a few scrapes and minor gouges. None of the damage went down to the thin padded layer under the leather cover nor to the resilient nylon shell below that. The damage was minor and cosmetic and could have been cured with a quick coat of black polish and a good buffing. The odd thing about the Gallet was that it was the “wrong” saddle for the Course. The 1980s Peugeot dealer catalogue that I have shows the PB 12 Course specced with a vinyl covered Gallet G 31. The leather-covered G 33 was OEM on the Competition and the Ideale 2002 on the Super Competition. In truth, the only difference between the G 31 and the G 33 was the difference in the cover material.

Once the Gallet was flipped over, the construction details became clear. The nylon shell is molded onto a one piece saddle rail assembly with a twin loop attachment at the saddle’s cantle. This system is lighter than the ones used on other molded saddles that I’ve seen and that has consequences in terms of durability. This particular saddle is in the




early stages of failure. In the photo on the left side of the page, the close up reveals a crack propagating from the cantle attachment point towards the location on the shell where the rider’s sits bones are located. This is a common failure with the Gallet series saddles as you can read about here, towards the bottom of the page. Since the Gallet had been uncomfortable on the initial test ride, this gave me all the incentive I needed to decide on buying a replacement.

In the mid-to-late 80s, I had ridden a Selle Italia Super Turbo and since the company had recently reissued their classic Turbo saddle, I decided upon one of those in black to match the original saddle colour.  SJS Cycles had them on sale in black suede and I ordered one from them along with a few other restoration items. Shipping was fast and uncomplicated and the items were in my hands in about a week. (Atypical for Canada Customs!) My product review is here, should you wish to read it.

The seats compare in this way:

                                                   Turbo                                                         Gallet G 33

Width                                  146  mm                                                         135 mm

Length                                 275 mm                                                          270 mm

Weight                                280 gm                                                           288 gm

Once the Turbo had arrived, I attached it loosely to the SR post and installed it to the same height in the seattube as was the case on my other bikes. This avoided the possibility of damage to the post’s walls. Once height was locked in with the allen key Simplex fixing bolt, I set the saddle’s forward location and then leveled it using a spirit level so that it conformed to the set up on my other bicycles. A short, subsequent ride (between blizzards here in Canada) revealed the Turbo to be as comfortable as I recalled. Next step will be the handlebar and stem.


Peugeot Course Seatpost Installation

After the completion of the installation of the shift levers and their control wires, the next step was to refurbish and install the alloy SR Custom ST-P5 seatpost. The use of a micro adjusting seatpost had become a basic expectation for sport bikes in the 80s so it is no surprise that the PB 12 had one considering the aspirational aspect of the bicycle’s marketing. What is somewhat surprising is that the post is a Japanese made SR brand (Sakae Ringyo) given that Cycles Peugeot’s usual commitment was to French component makers.  This is the earlier style SR post as can be seen from the round transition between the post and the adjustable head, later posts having a wave-like, swoopy transition at this point of the post’s construction. What possibly drove the choice was that French made quality steel road frames typically came with 26.2 mm, 26.4 mm and 26.6 mm diameter seatposts. The exception was Vitus 979 alloy road frames with their 25 mm posts due to the thickness of the aluminium frame tubing. French utilitarian and sport bikes were made with hi-tensile, plain gauge steel like Peugeot 103 / Carbolite  and these frames (Peugeot AO-8, UO-8 etc.) often came with 24 mm steel seatposts and a shim to fit the seat tube.

Since the PB 12 was built with 103 tubing, it did not conform to the normal French seatpost sizing conventions and its unique 25.8 mm seatpost diameter would not have fallen in the conventional range of sizes made by companies like Simplex and JPR. Hence the SR post.

As explained in an earlier post on frame preparation, the out of round condition of the seat tube and the lack of de-burring and honing at the post opening produced scratching of the post when it was installed and more later when I removed it. (Click on photo for details.) As explained in that linked post, framebuilder Jody Lee reamed, honed and de-burred the seattube in preparation for reassembly of the bike.

When the post had been removed by me during disassembly, it was scratched even more than it had been previously. It had not been possible to spread the ears of the seatpost lug to allow the post some clearance so the classic zig-zag scoring pattern of stuck seatposts was produced when the post was wiggled free. Even pre-soaking with large amounts of penetrating oil did not help and the post was damaged. The removed post is shown below. (Click on the photo for expanded details of the removal damage to the post.)

The above photo shows that the majority of the damage had occurred on the seatpost’s drive side although there was some slight damage on the opposite side as well. Obviously, refinishing was necessary since I had never seen a 25.8 mm seatpost  in the aftermarket until I searched EBay and discovered the shocking range of prices and the narrow selection for these posts.

Once the post was extracted, it was cleaned of penetrating oil and dirt with CitriSolv and then disassembled.  Measurement with digital calipers showed slight out of round at the top, the centre and the bottom of the post which was fine as the post had to be sanded anyway. I used Norton Black Ice sand paper for this and it was outstanding.

I had determined that I would sand the full post from top to bottom using 600 Grit paper to cut down the scrapes from the post’s removal from the frame. I precut a piece of Black Ice in 600 Grit which circled the post with a small overlap. I then held the post clenched in my fist, rotating it with the other hand. I sanded the post under running water using a rotary motion. When finished a section, I lifted and moved the paper when going to the next section until the whole shaft had been sanded. This avoided cross hatching the machining lines on the seatpost’s shaft.

Since the original finish on the post was a matt aluminium one, I decided to retain it and only re-worked the damaged shaft of the seatpost not touching the head or clamp. Once the 600 Grit had knocked down the worst of the scratches, I cut a similar sized piece of 800 Grit Black Ice and, under running water sanded only the upper portion of the shaft which would protrude once the seat was installed. This was to avoid reducing the post diameter excessively in the lower shaft where the clamping to hold the seat would take place.

This left the lower shaft still showing the removal scratches but the upper post was clear. A final going over of the upper part of the post with 0000 steel wool put on the final finish which looked identical to the original machined satin finish from SR including leaving the machining lines. A smear of Autosol polishing compound and buffing with a microfiber rag left the post as seen in the photo.

The restored upper section of the post is clear of damage as you can see in the photo and I was able to hold the post within spec as can be seen from the digital caliper reading. Since the sanding and polishing were done, the post was reassembled and the large chrome adjusting bolt was treated with anti-seize paste to ease future disassembly. As well, the saddle was trial fitted to the post at this point and the seatpost fit in the seat tube was also checked. That fit was perfect thanks to Jody Lee’s efforts. Seat installation follows in the next post.

Simplex Retrofriction Lever Installation

With the front and rear derailleurs mounted to the frame, the next step was to add the Retrofriction levers and the derailleur control cables. The lever bosses had previously been converted from the obsolete  M5 x 1.0  thread standard to the “modern”, Retrofriction compatible M5 x 0.8 threading. Details regarding the lever preparation and repair are in a previous post located here. 

As mentioned previously, the type of shifter cable chosen for installation is critical. Simplex levers have a drilled hole to accommodate the cable head but the configuration is different from modern levers. Current cable heads are cylindrical in shape and are flat on top and also flat on the bottom where the cable head is retained by the lever body. OEM Simplex cable (completely unobtainium, of course) is configured cylindrically but it has a rounded/domed base where it is retained against the shift lever body. If a SRAM or Shimano cable is used, the larger head diameter (4mm) will jam in the Retrofriction lever cable mounting hole and will likely  need to be drilled out when service is required later.

You need to use Campagnolo-style stainless, mandrel drawn cable with the 3.8 mm head. Grease the head or coat it with anti-seize  compound before installation. Although the Campy cables do not have  rounded bases, you can approximate this by filing the edges of the cable head into a rounded profile. (The photo to the right shows the original factory supplied cable head profile.) Hold the cable with a pair of pliers just below the head to steady it and file away the sharp edge while slightly rounding the profile. With these precautions, you should not have serviceability problems later.

Once the levers are mounted and the cables installed into the Retrofriction shift lever bodies, you need to thread the cables over the black molded cable guide below the bottom bracket and on the proper derailleur. Note that the properly sized cable head sits below the level of the lever’s body. SRAM/Shimano cable heads will not fit or, if forced, will stand above the level of the lever body.

The Simplex  SJA 102 front derailleur has a cast in cable housing stop which is unneeded in the PB 12’s case. Slip the cable through the opening and guide it under the lever arm and bolt fitting. Hold the shift cable taut across the bottom bracket cable guide using pliers to pull on it near the fixing bolt and then use an 8 mm wrench to tighten down the fixing bolt.

All of that assumes that the derailleur has previously been bolted to the seat tube with its cage parallel to the big chainwheel  and having about 2 to 4 mm of clearance over the chainwheel’s teeth.

As mentioned in the introduction,  assuming that the rear Simplex LJ 1000 is bolted into the derailleur mounting tab on the driveside rear dropout, run the rear derailleur shift wire across the under-bottom bracket black plastic guide and then through the chainstay stop for the derailleur cable. For my application, I chose to use a 21 cm  (8.25 in) section of lined brake cable housing for the rear derailleur cable housing. Since this is a friction and not an indexed shifting derailleur, this arrangement works really well. Indexing would, of course, require the non-compressible special conduit needed for that purpose. Once the stainless cable is threaded through the housing, it threads through the LJ 1000’s Delrin body and then into the pivoting mounting post on the derailleur. Pull the cable taut with pliers and using an 8 mm wrench, tighten the fixing bolt on the derailleur.

Once finished that, add 2 small crimp-on aluminum end caps to the derailleur cables to stop the wire unravelling and your hand getting skewered by sharp ends. Set up the front and rear derailleurs’ inward and outward throws, tighten down the shift lever  screws and  you are finished. However, there is to be no sitting on your laurels as the next step is to restore and then install the SR seatpost followed by the new Turbo saddle.

Simplex SJA 102 Front Derailleur Installation

Simplex SJA 102

The Simplex SJA 102 front derailleur is one of a family of four front derailleurs offered by Simplex in the late 1970s to late 1980s. They were made from chrome plated steel for the cages with alloy frames and bands and so they are much more robust and long-lived than their Simplex Prestige plastic predecessors in the older Simplex model line. The SJA 102 on the Course was a twin chainwheel shifter with its sibling, the SJA 103, being made for triples. The SJA 222 was

Simplex SLA 222

a braze-on type front derailleur which used a unique Simplex attachment system that bolted up to a standard, single  bottle boss braze-on on the seat tube. I have used one on a Peugeot PF 40 and it was excellent. The SJA 222 was accompanied by a triple version as well, the SJA 223 with a deeper cage just like the  SJA 103 triple.  The bolt-on versions had no pivot and hinge built into the attachment band. This was an area of failure in both the Pestige/Criterium Delrin models and on the steel and Delrin SJA 100 front derailleurs as well. It was not anticipated by Lucien Juy that his derailleurs would get 30 or 40 years of use  and plastic gets brittle and failure prone the longer and harder that use is.

Like the Simplex line of rear derailleurs, all four front derailleurs could be found with Gipiemme, Peugeot (like this PB 12), Simplex or Spidel brand labels in gold with black script, silver also with black script and, rarely, black with gold script. It so happened that I had a spare Simplex label and I used it to replace the original Peugeot label that came on the SJA 102. I lifted the old sticker off with an X-acto chisel bladed knife and used 3M double-sided tape to attach it to the recessed mount on the front derailleur’s arm. The result was that the “new” label now matched the gold and black  details and the Simplex name on the rear Simplex 1000 derailleur.

Cleaning the derailleur before the re-labeling was straight forward. The Delrin guide simply unscrewed to allow full access to the cage interior. The attachment bolt on the front face plate undoes but the unhinged face plate then comes apart via a tongue and groove arrangement. A tooth-brush and CitriSolv cleaned everything up nicely followed by Autosol and a micro fiber rag. The cleaned derailleur was lubed on its pivots with  Super Lube and reassembled on the seattube of the Course. The derailleur cage was set at 3 to 4 mm of clearance above the big chainring and parallel to the chainring face. Once that was completed, the next step would be to thread the shifter wires and set up the derailleur throws for accurate and controlled shifting.

Simplex LJ 1000 Rear Derailleur Installation

Once the Retrofriction levers were installed, the next logical steps were to add the front and rear derailleurs back onto the frameset. The rear derailleur is a Simplex LJ 1000 and the coordinating front derailleur is a Simplex SJA 102. The LJ/SLJ design of derailleurs came out in the early 1970s and the core versions were the entry-level LJ 1000, the LJ 4000 and the top of the line SLJ 5000/5500.  (Long cage touring variants were also made.) The LJ 1000 shown on the left is the OEM derailleur on the Course. The 1000 series had black Delrin  plastic knuckles, chromed steel pivot bolts, an alloy parallelogram and a chromed steel cage with Delrin pulley wheels. The 4000 used the same knuckles but had alloy in all the other places (reducing the overall weight) and the 5000/5500 had alloy in the knuckles as well.

Many people have a prejudice against Simplex Delrin derailleurs but the LJ 1000 is a crisp shifting, reliable derailleur. If your Course came equipped with one and it has not be subject to drops, scrapes and obvious abuse, once you clean it up it will provide good service. The pivots are self lubricated by the low friction of the Delrin body and the knuckles are robust. To remove the derailleur from the rear dropout only use the black Allen bolt at the rear, inner face of the dropout tab as shown in the photo seen to the right of the page. The upper and lower chrome plated Allen bolts on the front of the derailleur are used to tension the upper and lower pivot springs and SHOULD NOT BE MESSED WITH. Unless you are very familiar with Simplexes you will ruin the balance between the springs and the derailleur will not function or it will function badly. To clean the derailleur and allow greasing of the pulleys’ sleeve bearings, undo and remove the upper and lower pivot bolts holding on the pulleys. Dismount the rear chromed cage plate and leave the  front cage attached to the derailleur’s lower pivot. IF YOU REMOVE  THE CYLINDRICAL BOLT SITTING ABOVE THE CAGE, THE CAGE WILL UNWIND AND THE SPRING WILL DE-TENSION. The example in the photo to the left is from a spare parts LJ 1000 derailleur. The example in the exploded photo of a parts derailleur shows the major pieces minus the pulley wheels. The black plastic item is a chain pusher plate that can be seen on some LJ 1000s but not on others. This PB 12 did not have a pusher plate from new unlike the spare parts example.

I used a CitriSolv type cleaner, a tooth brush and Q Tips to clean the body, the pulley wheels and the cages. Q Tips will also get you inside the parallelogram to clean and then re-grease and also allow you to grease inside the pulley sleeve bearings before their reassembly. I also added a drop of spray Super Lube to the pivots to make sure everything was really smooth. Chrome and alloy parts were cleaned with Autosol and buffed with a soft microfiber rag.

Once everything is re-lubed and polished, re-assemble the LJ 1000 and then re-attach it at the Simplex derailleur hanger on the bike being sure to use an anti-seize coating on the black bolt’s threads before doing so. The  setting of the cage throw and tuning of shifting performance will be finalized after the front derailleur is mounted and the shift wires installed which is what comes next.