Coming back to life

The feeling of bringing another bike back to life never gets old, but when I manage to turn it round in the course of a day, it feels like a real boon.

I picked this Carbolite 103 Peugeot thanks to a Facebook follower who no longer had any use for it.

Having been stood in a garden for some years, all the usual parts were toast, including the wheels, cassette, chain and cables.

So I did what we do best here at the VBC, strip it down, clean, cut polish and wax the life out of it to reveal a frame with plenty of life left in it.

The beauty of having your own shop is the ability to run around picking up lovely new and refurbished parts right off the shelf, so after a mini spree, new wheels and other parts were fitted.

we replace rusty old parts for quality items on this retro bike
rusty bits bound for the bin

All the shiny stuff coming back to its best

With the new parts fitted, gears and brakes needed setting up, as the simplex gearing was replaced for shimano items.

the bike was topped off with a new saddle and sram super cork bar tape.

Quick selfie as the bike takes shape - despite the heat in our workshop

With the bike finished, all that is left to do is test ride - one of the best parts of the job!

Heading off down our drive, the 28c tyres make for a smooth ride and got the bike up to speed well.

Shifting was crisp and the bike was soon flying down our drive.

What always surprises me is how many cyclists suffer from steel snobbery, overlooking the likes of these carbolite frames - when they actually make a great platform for a build, with smooth lugless welds and a great paint job too. They're also pretty lightweight and are more than suitable for training or commuting - or just whipping around town looking slick!

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