Peugeot Course Sedisport Re-installation

Once the chain, freewheel and crankset have been cleaned and re-conditioned, then it is time for re-installation on the bike. The freewheel has its threads smeared with anti-seize compound and then is carefully hand threaded back onto the rear hub. If you are unfamiliar with freewheels, be very careful to get a true engagement of the hub threads and the freewheel to avoid cross threading the freewheel and then ruining the hub. Gently hand turn the freewheel until it stops at the end of its travel and is fully seated near the hub flange. (You are not fully finished with this process, there is a following step later in the next instalment.)

The crankset bottom bracket has been re-installed with the axle ends protruding and the bearings adjusted for smooth, non-binding rotation. Slip the crankset drive side with its chainrings back on the drive side axle end and press until there is no further movement. Do the same on the non-drive side. Then, add the bolt and washer to each crank arm and tighten down. Add the plastic Stronglight dust caps and tighten them using a Loonie (Canadian $1 coin) or a plastic ruler to avoid damaging the plastic cap. (A video showing removal and re-installation can be found here.) Some people lube the square axle’s faces prior to assembly to ease seating of the crank arm and others do not, fearing that the axle will slide too far down the axle faces thus seating the crankset too deeply on the axle and, eventually, prematurely wearing out the crank arm socket. I install crank arms dry.

Once the freewheel was back on the rear Maillard hub, the front and rear derailleurs re-attached to the frame and the bottom bracket and crankset re-installed, then the time arrives for the re-installation of the Sedisport chain.  Be sure that the chain is fed over the rear sprocket and through the rear derailleur’s pulleys in the form shown in the diagram, in case you had not taken detailed “before” photos.

Once the chain is threaded properly, drape the chain through the front derailleur cage and over the edge of the bottom bracket rather than on the inner chainwheel (although you can do that.) This allows the chain to be slack and makes matching the two ends of the chain back together much easier. Then, use the chain breaker to push the link pin back into the opposite chain plate. Wriggle the link up and down and side to side until it moves freely. Then pull the chain forward off the bottom bracket shell and set it on the inner chainring. A detailed video is here if you have only used chains with reusable links prior to this rebuild. The final result should look like this but minus the pedals:

With the drive train re-assembled, the next step in the process is to be sure that the  front derailleur cage outer face is parallel to the face of the outer chain ring and about 2 to 3 mm above the large chainring’s teeth. Then the derailleur control wires are carefully routed over the plastic bottom bracket guide and through the outer housing for the rear derailleur. Each wire then needs to be pulled taut using pliers and then tightened down under the 8 mm retention bolts on the front and rear derailleurs.

Fine tuning the throw of the derailleurs and the setting of the limit screws will finish the drivetrain setup but before that can be done the pedals need to be re-built and re-installed on the crank arms.




Peugeot Course Drivetrain Reconditioning

Once the  Stronglight 5470   was cleaned, reassembled and reinstalled on the Stronglight bottom bracket, the next steps were to clean and lube the chain and then do the same to the Maillard/Atom Compact 77, 6 speed freewheel.

The Sedisport chain on the PB 12 was a standard, black version of the nearly universal (on French bicycles) Sedis chain. It was a narrow, bushingless, bulged plate chain

Contours of Chain Links

suitable for use on both standard width 5 and 6 speed freewheels or on the narrow spaced compact designs of the Atom 77 or the Maillard 700 Compact. The Compact design and spacing was like Suntour’s Ultra line of freewheels. Both the Suntour and Maillard systems allowed narrow spaced 6 speed freewheels to fit into a 120 mm wide rear wheel traditional 5 speed spacing . The Compact/Ultra designs also allowed for 7 speed freewheels to fit into normal 126 mm rear  wheel spacings of conventional 6 speed freewheels.

With an older bike you must assess the chain’s condition and longevity before cleaning because if it is worn, the chain and, possibly, the freewheel will need replacement. Take a ruler with a 1 foot Imperial scale and measure the distance from the center of a chain pin to the 12th inch on the ruler. The ruler should be exactly from the center of the first pin to the center of the 12th pin which will show that the chain is not “stretched” or excessively worn. If the measurement is not exactly pin center to pin center,  the chain will need replacement. On the PB 12, the chain was slightly dirty but measured the exact 12 inch

Cyclo Rivoli Chain Breaker

distance from pin center to pin center.  To clean and lube the chain, I removed it with a chain breaker. This involves partially driving out a link pin. Once the chain is separated, place it in a margarine tub with Varsol or CitriSolv and allow it to soak for several hours. Gently agitate the solvent periodically. Then, use a tooth-brush to scrub the links individually (rubber gloves are useful here) and wipe the chain down with paper towels. Warm the chain, if possible, to dry inside the rollers. Residual solvent will dilute your oil when you re-lube the chain. I hung my chain all afternoon in the August sunshine on a 30 degree Celsius day which dried it out quite nicely.

Once the chain is dry, treat each chain roller with a drop of lubricant. Some people prefer Pedro’s Tenacious Oil, others use SRAM products but I use Super Lube. Again, wipe off any excess with paper towels, wrap the chain in paper towels and bag it until ready for re-assembly.

The Atom 77 Compact freewheel had previously been removed from the rear wheel. This freewheel is a 6 speed narrow spacing design of medium range. The cogs run 13-15-17-19-21-24 which is not unexpected in a freewheel on a sport bike with the possibility of being used in entry level racing. Luckily for me, my home area is relatively flat and the freewheel is fine for my purposes. For those of you unfamiliar with freewheels compared to current freehubs, the freewheel has its ratchet mechanism inside the freewheel body not inside the hub body. Instead           


of machined grooves like a freehub cluster, the freewheel body has a screw thread that threads onto the bicycle’s rear hub. The vertical grooves in the freewheel body are the remover tool grooves used by the Atom remover to unscrew the freewheel from the bicycle hub. This is a 20  spline remover dedicated to this type of freewheel and provides a very solid engagement for removal. The Maillard 700 freewheels, for example, use a two prong Suntour style remover. Once the freewheel has been removed, (check here for instructions) you can either tear down the freewheel to re-grease the bearings or you can do it the quick and easy way.

Take the freewheel and clean all the grit and oil residue off the freewheel cogs using solvent and brushes. Once done, place the freewheel in a clean margarine tub and then pour solvent over the freewheel from the back to the front. Leave the freewheel to soak for a day and then blow out the solvent with compressed air, wipe the freewheel down with paper towels and dry it out in bright sunlight or an oven (if you have a compassionate spouse). Once dry, flood the front and rear bearings with lube (I used spray on Super Lube), spin the freewheel repeatedly, re-lube and then allow the freewheel to drain excess lube for 24 to 48 hours.

Be aware that the Atom 77 has a very quiet ratchet system and has only the slightest  of buzzing when spun. I have another 77 that freewheels in both directions so the springs may not engage the ratchet as forcefully as a Maillard 700, for example. Once the excess lube has dripped out and a final paper towel wipe down is done, wrap the freewheel in paper towel and put it in a margarine tub until it is time to re-install on the rear wheel.

The next step is to reinstall the chain and check the shift quality of the derailleurs.


Stronglight Crankset Reconditioning

The drivetrain of the PB 12 is all French, from a time when French manufacturers could still provide all the components to do so. The crankset is Stronglight, the chain is Sedis, the 6 speed cluster Maillard/Atom and the derailleurs are Simplex. Of the companies listed, only Stronglight remains as of the 2018 date of writing this post. When this bike was built in the early ’80s, Peugeot was one of the few French manufacturers which still used all French componentry and, ultimately, was the final one. The struggle against innovative Japanese competition was in full force  by the early ’80s and evidence of this can be seen in the PB 12’s drivetrain equipment.

The first drivetrain reconditioning topic will be the crankset followed by the chain and the freewheel in a future post. The crankset in question is a Stronglight 5470 as seen in the accompanying photos below.

Stronglight 5470 – uncleaned

Stronglight 5470 – swaging

Although  a near visual duplicate of the Stronglight 104, the 5470  is a melt forged crankset which makes use of the  Stronglight 104’s chainrings but with less well finished or refined hardware and bottom bracket. As well, the spider and drive side crank are swaged, a fancy term for being rolled over and crimped instead of the unit construction of the 104. This was Stronglight’s response to Japanese competitors like Sugino’s Maxy and Super Maxy swaged alloy cranksets.

For disassembly, remove the silver plastic Stronglight dust covers from both crank arms using a large coin or a piece of softwood or a wooden ruler. These will be thick enough to avoid damaging the plastic of the cover.  Use a 14 mm thin wall socket or a dedicated socket that usually comes with Stronglight crank extractors and be sure both bolt and washer are removed from each arm. A critical fact about the  5470 is that it uses non-Metric threading. French manufacturers were transitioning to ISO standards in the early 1980s so it is necessary to be careful of which standard is in use on the bike being worked on. Here, the crank extractor is 22 x 1 mm  in diameter and a standard size for “modern” square  taper bottom brackets. The old Stronglight removers used a proprietary  Stronglight threading diameter of 23.35  x 1 mm and do not even think about using the wrong remover in the wrong crank as threads will be stripped out and crank arms ruined. The 5470 crank arms have their pedal holes threaded to ISO as well. (See the photo below.) Screw the remover into the crank arm so that it is fully seated in the crank with no threads showing on the extractor. Screw down the screw or bolt on the extractor thus slowly removing the crank arm from the axle. Repeat on the opposite arm. Bag and mark the cap, washer and bolt for each side.

Stronglight 93 Fixing Bolt

Stronglight 5470 Bolts – Polished

Once the  cranks are removed and the adjustable bottom bracket cup, axle, sleeve and bearings are extracted from the bottom bracket shell, the differences from a Stronglight 93, 104 or 105 can be seen. The cups appear quite similar but the axle is not as well finished although bearing races are high polished. The axle of the 5470 is not drilled hollow, like a 93’s, from side to side but simply tapped for the attachment bolts. It weighs about 1 ounce (30 gm) more than the higher end Stronglight crankset axles. As well, those cranksets have finely finished, chromed and polished chainring fixing bolts like the example on the right.  The fixing bolts on the 5470 are not chromed and polished but plated with some anti-corrosion material, possibly zinc, which do clean up well when hand polished with Autosol but which obviously cost less than the bolts for a 93 or a 105.

Once  completely disassembled, the bottom bracket adjustable cup, lock ring, axle, sleeve and bearings were cleaned in CitriSolv and bagged for storage. Be sure to clean each set of ball bearings separately and then bag each separately. Bearings can vary slightly so avoid mixing the two different sides.

Using a 5 mm Allen key and a straight bladed screwdriver, I undid the chainring fixing bolts and removed the chainrings. Using CitriSolv, Q-Tips and paper towels, road grit and oily deposits were cleaned off the crank arms and the swaged-on spider. A quick buff with Autosol brought the cranks up to a soft, satin finish since they appear to have some kind of anodized surface. The Peugeot name on both crank arms was then highlighted with water based black paint and set aside to dry.

The chainrings were cleaned with a brass bristle brush and CitriSolv. The brass brush was able to remove most of the deposits ground onto the teeth by the chain. The rings were then buffed with a microfiber cloth and reassembled to the spider.

Chainrings Cleaned and Buffed

Once the chainrings were cleaned along with the crank arms, the crankset was reassembled, the fixing bolt snugged down and the assembled crankset bagged to await reassembly with the frameset. The next step of drivetrain renovation is the cleaning and lubricating of the Sedisport chain and the Atom Compact freewheel.




Weinmann 605 Brake Restoration: Addendum

MAFAC LS 2 Caliper

If you are used to installing other vintage brake calipers, you may find these Weinmann 605s to be problematic.  Unlike most sidepull calipers starting from the late 60s Campagnolos to the Modolos, Gran Compes, Weinmann Carreras 400s and others which followed, the 605s do not have wrench flats on the caliper pivot bolt shaft to use for centering the brake calipers over the wheels. Typically, these flats are 16 mm and use a cone wrench to hold the caliper in aligned position while the nylock fixing bolt behind the crown or the rear brake bridge is tightened down to fix the caliper in position. Early Weinmann 500, 600 and 750 sidepulls never had flats and were adjusted by tapping the brake spring with a punch and hammer to align the calipers.

However, at some point in the late 70s or early 80s, Weinmann modified their older designs and added  an adjuster to the front of the pivot bolt shaft which allowed rapid and accurate brake caliper centering or adjustment to take place. It was then that the previous chromed acorn nut at the front of the caliper gave way to the black plastic sleeve that covered a hexagonal key machined into the end of the brake’s pivot shaft. Typically, boxed brake sets came with a special 4 mm wrench which fit inside the black sleeve and over the hexagonal flats. This allowed you to adjust the brakes and center them. If you bought a built up bike with Weinmann 500s or 605s, for example, you needed to buy the wrench and most owners either didn’t bother or lost it soon after. Others, like me, could never see themselves owning Weinmann brakes and they sold theirs.

So, what to do? The brakes are all assembled, they are working smoothly but cannot be centered. Dig out your nutdriver socket set and select the 4 mm socket. Attach it to the screwdriver handle, slip it inside the black plastic sleeve and fit it to the front of the hexagonal shaft. Center the brake caliper over the wheel rim and tighten down the nylock anchor bolt on the back of the caliper. Check the brake action and done.

Weinmann 605 Brake Restoration: Part 2

The completion of the restoration of the Weinmann 605 calipers permitted me to move on to cleaning up the levers prior to re-installing them on the handlebar. As mentioned in Part 1, the OEM Weinmann rubber lever hoods were perished and had to be cut off the levers. Prior to that, having realized that the hoods required replacement, I had ordered replacement lever hoods from Dia-Compe. I liked the shape of the 204 hoods and I bought a package of them. Mistake.

The 204 hoods are incorrectly shaped for the older style Weinmann 144 brake lever body. The  rubber hood does not align with the lever body edges and the upper contour is incorrect around the cable entry and ferrule on the top of the lever. If you are restoring older 144 Weinmann levers, either with or without built-in quick release, you need the Dia-Compe or the  Cane Creek lever hoods. Typically, they are available in amber, white or black. As I had done with the 204 hoods, I had ordered amber coloured 144s to replace my original error.  I chose the Dia-Compes as I preferred the amber colour they offered to the colour of the similar Cane Creek hoods. Once open, the replacement order hoods revealed very clean molding with no flash to trim off and a pliable texture that promised an easy installation.

Now that the hoods had been sorted, I cleaned the lever bodies and the drilled blades with Autosol and a clean microfiber cloth. They both polished up beautifully and I then picked out the Weinmann name on both levers’ blades using the same black, water based paint as on the brake calipers’ labels.  A squirt of Super Lube on the lever pivots and the levers were ready for hood installation.

To install the hoods, I moistened the lever body and the interior of the lever hood rubber with a dilute liquid soap and water mixture. I sourced alloy ferrules (see photo below) for the top of the lever bodies as I have seen the nylon ones crack and chip plus the alloy ferrules fit the hood contour better. With the lever clamps left off, slide the moistened lever hood onto the lever body from the back to the front. See the photo below:

Note:   The lever hood and body are not shown lubricated to ease taking photos.

The ferrule can be fitted after the hood is installed by gently stretching the hood upwards and slipping the ferrule into place in the opening on the top of the lever body. Once the hoods are on, you will find the hood is a very close, tight fit to the edges and to the contour of the body itself.

You can see in the photo above how tight to the lever body edge the hood is above the blade. Once both hoods were installed, they were slipped on to the handle bar. The retention clamp is then covered with black cloth tape as shown in the accompanying photograph below.Trim one piece off each roll of cloth tape that covers the metal clamp and tucks under the edges of each of the rubber hoods.

The next step is to wrap the handlebar with the remaining black cloth tape. Being at the top and wrap down towards the handlebars’ ends as you see in the linked video. Do not wrap the tape from the bar ends to the tops as this leaves you with  loose ends which have to be over taped, bound with twine or otherwise anchored against hand friction. Top down wrapping is the traditional approach and is how the bars were wrapped at the factory. Once the wrapping is done, install the stem/handlebar combination with the levers mounted back into the fork steerer column. Then install the  brake cables and housings being sure the cable routing is free and unimpeded. If you are using the stainless cable and nylon liner combination, you can install them dry or add a bit of silicone spray. If you have the nylon liner and Teflon coated cable, do not pre-lube before assembly as some lubricants will damage the Teflon coating.

When all that is assembled and adjusted, your bars should look like this:

Next, will come the crankset and bottom bracket rebuild.