Tuesday, December 25, 2007
I think Ted might have me confused with someone else in that introduction, but I do indeed have a Peugeot PX10 fixie. It's actually a mid 80's Super Competition PX10, which has the odd combination of a french headset but standard BB.
I built it as a city bike that I could feel ok leaving locked up places. My mountain bike being far too glitzy and my road bike just feeling too.. well.. racy? I don't know, never been a fan of race bikes anyways, and I suppose the fixie itch had lingered too long without scratching.
I'm French. I grew up there as a kid, and my father was a full blooded, send the wine back it's crap, French man that shaped me despite his passing away when I was young. I remember in France we had a few Peugeots that we rode everywhere, and my father's was I'm fairly certain a white PX10. We actually moved those bikes to the states, but in my rebellious youth of mountain biking I didn't realize what I had and I think we ended up giving them away at a garage sale. Oh the folly of childhood.
Fast forward ten years and I spend a really rather obscene amount of money building this bike up from scratch. It pains me to say that in the end I poured about $600 into it. This was supposed to be the cheap city bike after all, but a few mistakes here and there (I didn't realize the BB was standard and ordered a Phil wood french BB at a pretty penny) and a general resistance towards having anything outright cheap on it made it pricey in the end.
Fixies are something else. At the same time insane and romantic. I remember soberly reading Sheldon Brown's page on the possible injuries that come from having no freewheel, the disasters of catching a shoelace, a pant leg, the loss of fingers while cleaning the chain.. Despite many many years on bikes doing crazy things I still give SuperVelo his proper respect. I still have a front brake, though challenge myself not to use it, I always roll up my pant leg, I stay in control on the hills.
Just before leaving for Costa Rica (where I am now, more on the bikes here in another post) I had the most tragic of accidents. I had ridden downtown to meet my girlfriend at Outdoor Research to gear up for the ski season. We then headed over in her car to Feathered Friends for their yearly fund raiser for the Avalanche Center and decided to just park at REI. Sadly, we both forgot about SuperVelo on the roof.
The damage was swift but non fatal. The bike was mounted standing up backwards so the seat stays took the damage. One took the brunt of it and bent a bit, but the bike still rides fine, I'm not even sure the wheel base is affected. It broke my heart, this bike more than any other was a real love of mine, it was as if my best friend just lost a leg, still my friend but not the same. My perfectionist side will always nag me to find a replacement frame, but I'll hold out for as long as I can.
There's something about vintage frames that is special, especially frames that in their day were some of the best. You can just imagine the lives they've lived, the races won and lost, smiles brought upon their owners. New bikes let you shape them into something new, but old bikes come with a character all their own.
Maybe SuperVelo just has a bit more of that now, a fuller life, a scar to show off to his buddies when he goes to the great bike yard in the sky.