French 50's velo de ville build - missing some bits

Imwit
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French 50's velo de ville build - missing some bits

Postby Imwit » Mon Dec 04, 2023 10:19 pm

This is it as it stands..

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I bought is as a frame with headset and crankset. The wheels are 650B 5 speed off an old Peugeot I think.
I picked up the stem and bars, brake levers, chainguard and seat post from a cool bike shop in Paris last year.

But I'm missing some rather important bits.

The brand name is Breda. Not a major player I think and most other Bredas I can find are pretty standard fare.

There seems to have been a tonne of these old velo de villes (city bikes) back in the day so the frame seems pretty generic for the style.
But I don't think many made it out here.

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The brakes are centrepull with the braze ons above the rim.

So something like the Jeay model M..

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Or the Bebolux..

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And then there's the derailleur..

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Probably a 3 speed from Cyclo, Simplex or Huret I would guess. I'm not going to worry too much about the bolts fitting the mount at this stage (that can probably be got around).

That Huret Route Touriste looks pretty nice..

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(And would probably run to 5 speeds) but anything would be great.

Parts are definitely available from sellers in France and England but adding postage, import duties and GST makes them pretty expensive by the time they get here.

So I'm wondering if anyone can help me find these bits to get this old girl back on the road?

cheers
Tim

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WyvernRH
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Re: French 50's velo de ville build - missing some bits

Postby WyvernRH » Tue Dec 05, 2023 6:53 pm

The Huret would fit and work, no problem, but that is a Simplex rear dropout/derailleur tab/mount like the one below:

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I have a couple of these gears with different mountings. Solid, reliable changers like a Cyclo Tourist, over 3-4 1/8" gears (or 5x3/32" if you have the right pulleys)
Also, you may get away with fitting good old Mafac centrepull arms on those bosses.

I'm working on a very similar MotoConfort at the moment, but mine appears to require cantilever brakes of some description. It may be younger than yours :) . It will be a tidy-up only restoration as I love the patina too much....

Richard

Imwit
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Re: French 50's velo de ville build - missing some bits

Postby Imwit » Wed Dec 06, 2023 12:59 pm

Thanks for the Simplex tip Richard. Makes plenty of sense when you point it out. Let me know if you might be talked into parting with one of yours.

Normally Mafac centrepulls have a central mounting bolt only don’t they?

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WyvernRH
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Re: French 50's velo de ville build - missing some bits

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:14 pm

Imwit wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2023 12:59 pm
Thanks for the Simplex tip Richard. Makes plenty of sense when you point it out. Let me know if you might be talked into parting with one of yours.

Normally Mafac centrepulls have a central mounting bolt only don’t they?
I'll check if the second Simplex has that sort of mount. IIRC it is a clamp-on version.

Sorry, not clear about the Mafac thing, you just need the two brake arms and associated springs and washers (removed from the alloy crosspiece). These would then bolt directly onto the spigots on the frame. This setup was used widely for continental touring and town bikes in the 1960's/70's. Your frame may be earlier tho and require a different setup? See pic for example French randonneur bicycle.

Image

Richard

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WyvernRH
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Re: French 50's velo de ville build - missing some bits

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Dec 06, 2023 3:14 pm

Addendum... I was reminded that some of the single cable French Cyclo derailleurs will fit this sort of mount as well. I've seen one like the one below used on a Dutch 'Sports' town bike which had Simplex dropouts like yours. Seemed to work OK.

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Richard

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WyvernRH
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Re: French 50's velo de ville build - missing some bits

Postby WyvernRH » Sat Dec 09, 2023 12:36 pm

So, should have checked the shed first. I have only one Simplex Tourist with that mounting and I need that one. However, I found a few Simplex Tourist/Rigidex derailleurs on e-bay which would do the job. Bit pricey but that seems to be the way with old derailleurs at the moment.
This one looks pretty good, same price as teh tatty ones.

Image

Richard

Imwit
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Re: French 50's velo de ville build - missing some bits

Postby Imwit » Sat Dec 09, 2023 9:38 pm

Thanks Richard. I’ve got a couple saved on eBay at the moment.
I’m away this weekend but when I’m home I’ll put up a photo of the shifter boss. Maybe you might have some tips to help get one to fit.
Cheers
Tim

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Re: French 50's velo de ville build - missing some bits

Postby Imwit » Mon Dec 11, 2023 8:46 pm

Gear shifter boss..

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Would this shifter fit? Does it need to go down over that boss?...
Image

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WyvernRH
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Re: French 50's velo de ville build - missing some bits

Postby WyvernRH » Tue Dec 12, 2023 8:35 pm

Imwit wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2023 8:46 pm
Gear shifter boss..
Would this shifter fit? Does it need to go down over that boss?...
Yes, it looks like it should fit. That seems to be an old style Simplex shifter boss. The backplate fits over the square of the boss and the lever (plus a couple of inner/outer shims IIRC) fits over the round bit of the boss, the cap fits over all and the screw holds it all together.
That spring runs from the top of the derailleur cage (see small hole) along under the chainstay and hooks onto another fitting under the stay near the bottom bracket to tension the derailleur. This is normally a small braze-on, sometimes combined with the chainguard mount. Not sure if your bike has this fitting, but you can buy a clamp-on version. You see them on e-Bay occasionally. I'll go check to see if I have one in the spares box and I'll send a picture. I also have sundry Simplex lever parts from that era in the shed so if you are missing a bit, drop me a line and we will see what we can find.

Richard

Imwit
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Re: French 50's velo de ville build - missing some bits

Postby Imwit » Wed Dec 13, 2023 3:34 pm

Thanks for all your help Richard.

Yes, my bike has a braze on fitting for the other end of the spring.

I had a look at an old centre pull brake I have. Not a mafac, maybe Japanese as it’s with some steel suntour gears. The brake pads would sit below the rim so that one won’t work.
I reckon I’ll bite the bullet and get on and order a Simplex derailleur with the spring and shifter and probably some Bebolux brakes cos they look pretty.

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WyvernRH
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Re: French 50's velo de ville build - missing some bits

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Dec 13, 2023 4:42 pm

Imwit wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2023 3:34 pm
Thanks for all your help Richard.
Yes, my bike has a braze on fitting for the other end of the spring.
I had a look at an old centre pull brake I have. Not a mafac, maybe Japanese as it’s with some steel suntour gears. The brake pads would sit below the rim so that one won’t work.
I reckon I’ll bite the bullet and get on and order a Simplex derailleur with the spring and shifter and probably some Bebolux brakes cos they look pretty.

Good stuff! Here's a picture of the gear spring hook thingy just for the record.

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I'm not gonna promise (I'm going to check after last time) but pretty sure I have a spare set of Mafac Racers in the spares box if you are interested. Maybe if you measure the drop from the pivot to the rim height and I can check the Racers for drop at least.
Having said that, I reckon that a set of Bebolux brakes would look dead cool on that bike tho'.... :wink:

Richard

Imwit
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Re: French 50's velo de ville build - missing some bits

Postby Imwit » Thu Dec 14, 2023 3:36 pm

Brake drop (roughly) from centre of post to centre of rim..
Front 31mm
Rear 27mm

I’m going to do some digging to see if either of the Jeay or Bebolux would match.

Glad you prompted me to do my homework before going shopping :D

Imwit
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Re: French 50's velo de ville build - missing some bits

Postby Imwit » Fri Dec 29, 2023 11:42 am

With the help of Retrobike UK forum, I think we’ve narrowed the brake search down to Jeay.
But in the process I realised that I’ll need some pedals. Old French size 14 x 125.
Anyone reckon they’ve got some spares they could part with? They wouldn’t need to be quill type

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