I bought this old French ladies’ town bike on eBay. When I got her, she looked like a wreck. As I started to clean her up, I realised that she was in mechanically excellent condition and had probably done less than 60 miles in the last 60 years. The only missing component was the original push-rod and sliding derailleur. So I set about cleaning her up and restoring her.
A great way of studying the history of bicycle design.
Mmmmmmm – hand painted line work.
This is the “AntiVol” – under that cap you can slip a lock which engages a slot in the steerer tube. This locks the steering at an angle, making it harder to steal.
Mmmm. Aluminium chainguard to match the mudguards.
There is a great view in the cockpit, with the original bell. Ting-Ting.
That is a 1960s push-rod derailleur. This part is new-old-stock, not quite original.
Nice headlight. I installed an LED bulb, so it’s bright. I still have the working original bulb.
Dynamo-powered tail light.
Those brakes have beautiful style – those are the original brake blocks.
This is the original metal badge from the shop that sold the bike in the 1950s. Why don’t modern bike shops do this?
There is a French dude who bought the Michelin moulds when they stopped making 650B wheels. Once a year he has a batch of authentic wheels made in SE Asia.
On the back of the saddle is the original tool bag.
Complete with the original tools.
The guarantee runs for 2 years from date of purchase. Those tire patches are still in there, although I think they may have dried out by now.
Yes, I changed the lever to a 1960s new-old-stock. But just take a moment to admire the original hand-painted line work.
Four Goliath butterfly-nuts hold on the wheels.
That bottle-dynamo has a cute little mechanism to engage and disengage the wheel and a streamline cover so it doesn’t trap your clothes.
Condition before restoration
Here’s what it looked like before I restored it. A proper eBay barn find. I thought it was a wreck and that I was going to do it up as a fun runabout-town. Then I saw it and realised that it was something special.