A new project: ) Hurray!
This is a recent ebay find & will be my ‘Winter Project’ this year, 2015. Listed as a Peugeot, but appears to be a French Diamant. (As opposed to the German & Belgian Diamants)
Always liked mixtes, but the ones with curved laterals appeal best to me. This one comes needing a refinish, but seems to be mostly complete & original otherwise. Some nice, small touches: Like the owners name & address details on a tag beneath the stem bolt. Lots of braze-ons for brake & gear cables, even for the dynamo cables under the down-tube. 650B Chrome steel rims (584mm) with new Michelin World Tour tyres, Atom hubs. & great shaped, period bars. Nice, stylish alloy guards with built in lamps both ends. It just looks French & very pleasing to my eye.
Looking to be mid/late 1960s to me. Has braze-on for down-tube lever so probably a 4/5 speed originally. (Came to me with single speed freewheel) I am therefore intending to find a suitable French threaded 5 speed block for it. (I now know that it takes English threaded blocks: )
The frame has been over-painted at some point, including the rusting chrome bars, brake calipers, levers, bell, alloy stem & seat-post…. Would be a problem for some, but I like the idea of using the original parts where possible, & replacing/updating the rest. For example the brake calipers. Alloy calipers would be better IMO. I have the feeling that alloy rims would be a useful upgrade, & 700 rims may possibly fit. The idea is to have a bike that will have period charm & looks, but the best available braking & gear-changing. IE. A retro machine, but with modern usability & safety.
Currently (21 Sep 2015) the frame is mostly stripped of its paint.
Was taking it slowly, in the hope of finding hints of decals/lettering under the over-paint. (I never thought it was a Peugeot; ) I now see it is a French Diamant: ) The submerged head decal helped here…. The original paint was Polar White main-frame, with Carmine Red lugs, BB, highlights, etc. Right now I’m thinking of a similar Ivory & Carmine theme. (Or coffee & cream: ) Lugs look interesting, so why not emphasise them a little?
Ivory & Carmine were the colours of a certain British Railway Company in the steam era…. That’s one of the possible colour combinations in my head currently.
Need to check that one. Thinking of decals on a refinish, with no hope of getting ‘originals’?? May as well use my own ideas….
Did check the V-CC ME (Marque Enthusiast) for ‘French Bikes’ but it was a total waste of time…. A proper Chump, (Cordoned or otherwise) or plain Plonker is the mildest Anglo Saxon description I want to use here for family viewing. Anyone else got any negative experiences with the V-CC? (Let me know. Had plenty to date…: ) They, the VCC ‘Officials’, spend most of their time bickering & grandstanding in my experience. Lions led by donkeys comes to mind here. I’m clearly an ex V-CC member now….
Have to say though, that most other V-CC MEs are doing a wonderful job. I can thoroughly recommend the V-CC Royal Enfield ME, for example. A proper gentleman & a true Marque Enthusiast. In the best sense of the word.
Recent news (3rd April 2017) is that BikeForums has closed a thread I started on there about feedback from V-CC members….
(I have copies of the pre ban content, just to be fair: )
No free speech on BF then? Bike sites closing ranks to defend, are we? We will see; )
Would be nice to have some original looking decals that are correct for the bike, but it is not vital for me.
Latest iteration of this machine is here, with 3 speed AM gears, (Had the rear wheel rebuilt with the SA AM Hub) it rides very nicely: