Vintage Bicycles Done Proper :: Corvallis, Oregon
A good friend of mine has had a gorgeous 1982 Peugeot Centennial Edition (PH12) tucked safely away in his basement since I met him years ago. Whenever I would drop by, I would ask to take a peek at it and he would gladly show it off. He purchased the bike used but from the original owner only a couple of years after its creation in 1982. He rode it throughout his time at the University of Oregon, then, upon graduation, the bike was set aside.
Seeing a bicycle that has obviously been used and enjoyed then has an premature retirement is a sad sight for me, so I offered to breathe new life into the Peugeot and freshen it up in hopes that this bike will once again enjoy consistent usage.
To give a little background info, this bike is a wonderful representation of the mini aero bike boom that occurred back in the 80’s when many manufacturers tried their hand at aero profile tubing for the top and mid and lower ranges of their bicycle model lineup. The Centennial bike, made of Carbolite 103 steel, was basically a “flattened” PH10 frame as it has the same tubing material and stamped dropouts, although it does have some special touches like the internal top tube cable routing (for both internal brake and shifter cables) to add to the aero theme, plus the special Centennial badging. It also shares the now obsolete French type front derailleur brazed on mounting. This cycle is also equipped with the now very sought after, very light and I suspect now rare CLB brakeset along with Simplex Super LJ derailleurs.
The funny thing about this model of Peugeot is that it was supposedly released as a special edition for the Centennial which implies that not as many were built as other models of that single year. However, most of these PH12’s s were bought and lightly ridden or instantly stashed away as collector bikes, the result being many are still out there and are now being sold in the used bike market that are in fantastic condition. In my opinion, this would be an excellent example of that.
Due to the exceptional condition this bike was already in, a revitalization was not too intensive. There was surface rust to clean off where cuts, nicks and scrapes had occurred. Once removed, a thin layer of clear coat was then brushed over to inhibit the recurrence. I then followed up with a layer of high quality wax to coat and bring out the brilliant pearlescent shine of the frame.
While cleaning, I foolishly did not feel it was necessary to secure the plastic cable guide sleeves on the down tube. As a results, one sleeve fell out of the frame. This caused a fair amount of trial and error to thread the sleeve back through the tubing. This was not an overly easy task. I tried multiple methods of pulling the sleeve back through and in the end it took a combination of compressed air and careful usage of a dentists pick to bring it back out again. Whew!
Another challenge was bringing this beauty back to stock. My buddy made it very clear that he wanted the bike as factory fresh as possible, including consumable items (cables, brake pads, tires, etc.). This posed a challenge with some items, most notably the ultra rare, early version CLB aero brake lever hoods. Other restoration experts told me it took them years to find replacement CLB hoods. This certainly dampened my spirits but by the good grace of luck, a friend had bought a few NOS sets from a Swiss eBayer a few months prior and generously spared a pair for the project. Although the set he provided were a silver/grey color and not black, as was originally provided with the Centennial bike. I was not about to get too picky knowing the scarcity of these hoods so I gladly cut my losses feeling extremely lucky to receive the proper period appropriate hoods for these rare brake levers. Plus, they would still look perfectly acceptable combined with the Peugeot’s pearl white paint and silver bar tape.
In fact, the bar tape is the one item that still hangs, leaving the project 95% complete. The original silver Ambrosio bike ribbon has proven to be an item as rare as the CLB hoods, except this time, nobody is coming to my rescue. I still continue to comb through different websites, and of course eBay, eagerly seeking out this specific and now obsolete tape. Once I find the elusive substrate, I will get a final shot of the bike in its entirety. Until then, these shots will have to suffice.
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