B. Carre: Starting the Build

Just a quick update on the Bernard Carre build. I’ve been torn over staying true to the roots and going with a very French drive train or using period Campagnolo because the cable and housing guides make me believe that’s how the bike might have been built up. After going through my parts bins I realized I’d forgotten about a Zeus kit I’ve been saving for.. well, for something. Seemed like a good time to put them to use.

I am using French rims, hubs, and skewers though.


9 thoughts on “B. Carre: Starting the Build

  1. Lovely machine there Mark. Just speaking from an awful experience when I last clamped a nice frame the way you’re doing there – it crimped the tube. Made me cry like a baby. I’ll never do that again. Be careful, very careful where you clamp esp. on higher end frames.

    • Tim, I never fully clamp down on the tube. I’ve got the mech adjusted so that the tube fits very loosely. No way I want to dig into that baby!

  2. Phillip Cowan says:

    I wouldn’t get too caught up in maintaining “frenchness” unless you’re masochistic. The Zeus group is nice.

    • Excellent advice, Phillip. I sold off the vast majority of my French components to avoid that sort of OCD mind set, mostly only hanging on to “size specific” items like bottom brackets, stems, and head sets. And I agree about the Zeus group.

  3. Definitely screaming out for a Stronglight ‘star’ crankset. Yes, the threading is different however I have never fully understood the general disdain for French components? The Mafac centerpull brakes were widely used and considered to better than their Universal counterparts at the time even by top pros. The early 3-piece Simplex hubs were very nice (although pricey and harder to find these days) as well as the Normandy hubs that you have fitted to the build. And I don’t think there was much between the French Ideale leather saddles and the early Brooks saddles back in day.

    • Funny story about the crank… I put my Stronglight crank on that bike to check to see if the spindle was long enough. Turns out it’s not, and it also turns out I should have just pulled it and measured it instead of tightening down on the crank. I went to pull it and suddenly had a gut punching recollection: I loaned my TA and Stronglight pullers to a guy a long time back; both he and the crank pullers are MIA. I don’t think I’ll ever see either again. But that left me having to rely on having someone else to pull the crank (Thanks for the assist, Mark Pace at Pace Bicycle Haven!) Thing is, I should have known … I had to do exactly the same thing about six or eight months ago. I don’t use it often, but I guess I need to track down another Stronglight puller.

      I no longer have any Ideale saddles, despite once having had an entire shelf of them. I do have several black Brooks Professionals though, and I’ll mount one of those without a second thought. I was hoping to build this up with no outside purchases at all, but I’ll have to either trade for or purchase a longer BB spindle in order to use the Stronglight crank set.

  4. I recently restored a Peugeot PX10 and being a complete novice I got a rude shock when I found that the Campy Nuovo record rear mech I was gifted for the build wasn’t compatible with the Simplex drop-outs! What style drop-outs does this have?

    • I know what you’re talking about with that PX 10, though. I’ve worked on a couple of them over the years. The very first one I had in my hands had been modified by a previous owner to accept Campy mechs. The next one had the hanger completely sliced off. By the time I got to a PX 10 that was unadulterated, I wasn’t ready for the limitation of a Simplex hanger. It caught me completely by surprise.

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