Edith

The old girl and I got out the other day and I thought a picture update was in order; I had re-laced the front wheel quite some time ago and after a long search had found a Soubitez lens to replace the one that was missing which took quite a few years since these are not a common piece.

She is a 1957 Peugeot PLX8 Grande and would have sat toward the upper end of the line of touring / randonneuring bicycles that Peugeot offered and as such, suspect that production numbers were lower and after 57 years there are not many of these left. I have only come across one other that was in really battered condition that had most of the original parts missing.

That Soubitez headlamp is run from a bottle dynamo at the rear and works like 1950’s lighting technology with a 3 watt incandescent bulb that throws a warm light that will help you be seen, but is not much for seeing where you are going.

The rear light is a little brighter but does have a little crack in the lense so I need to keep an eye on that and of course, look for a replacement.

A friend and I swapped saddles the other day with him taking a Brooks Professional for his British made Ron Cooper and I received a French made Ideale Model 92 Diagonale which is a very comfortable saddle although it is not the original Model 3, which is another hard to find saddle.

Her derailleurs are the most interesting parts with the rear being a Simplex JUY 543 and the front is a Simplex Competitition rod shifter that uses no cable or lever.

The JUY543 is one of the holy grails for collectors, it shifts like it is indexed and uses a helicoil and a push rod instead of the conventional springs seen in modern derailleurs. It is a work of mechanical genius which Lucien JUY was.

The Competition is as simple as can be with a simple rod that is used to move the cage to and fro but it works very well and has a certain elegance.

Edith is not a daily driver and has seen very few miles since I saved her from the dumpster some seven or eight years ago but it is always a joy to take her out on weekend rides and do a little time travelling.

She is more than capable of covering 60 to 100 km in a day (and probably more) and the ride quality is exceptional while she is also a rather quick bicycle that climbs and descends well, her only limitation is her gearing range which is middling and best suited for moderately paced adventures.

Of course, I like moderately paced adventures and we have many of those ahead of us.