Saturday, June 16, 2012

Peugeot Design Lab II

At the launch of Peugeot Design Lab , as well as the bicycles, we also displayed some of Peugeot's other products, created over 200 years of industrial adventure. As I mentioned in my last post, Peugeot is known by many people in France for it's salt and pepper mills. Lift up a pepper grinder in many French restaurant and you'll find the Peugeot name on the underside. What is less well know is that Peugeot have created products as diverse as radios, food mixers, rifles and crinoline, and it is this history that serves as a launch pad for the Peugeot Design Lab adventure.
On the entrance to the small display was a two handed saw, one of Peugeot's first real products. Up to that point Peugeot had manufactured sheet steel so the creation of a saw must have been a fairly straightforward and logical step and of course it was in tune with the needs of the time. Next in the display was a wooden coffee grinder and then a superb sewing machine on a plinth. There wasn't room for a boat or an airplane but there was a propeller and a brochure for the boats that showed Peugeot's diversions into these other transport areas.
Of course, Peugeot still have a thriving scooter division and on display were three scooters from different eras. Lastly a food mixer hinted at the huge range of household goods that have been produced over the centuries.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Peugeot Design Lab

Peugeot Design Lab was launched on the 12th June 2012 at Place Vendome in Paris. There's been a small group of us working for Design Lab for a while but it was finally made official last night. Cathal Loughnane, who heads it up has been working all hours to make films of some of our first designs and these were projected onto three huge screens. 
On entering the event everyone was invited to take a short tour that helped to explain the history of Peugeot thanks to a few carefully chosen pieces from Peugeots museum in Sochaux. I think that many of the French guests were familiar with Peugeot coffee and pepper grinders and, of course, bicycles but there were other objects from Peugeots incredibly rich history that helped to explain why Peugeot Design lab is such of logical and natural extension of it's car design activities. 
The two bicycles on loan from the museum were the Grand Bi, or penny farthing, from1882 and Bernard Thevenets Tour de France winning Peugeot from 1977. It doesn't take much imagination to see how Peugeot really has an unsurpassed history and needs to reassert itself as a leader in the bicycle market.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Quest n°1

This was my first modern, lightweight aluminium frame. I bought it from the North Harrow bike shop around 1998. At 1400g it was stupidly light compared to my 753 and with carbon forks too the whole package was much lighter than the bikes I was used to riding. A-head headsets were not yet widely available on road bikes but I bought a very light Profile quill stem, Cinelli bars and ITM ali stem. 
I finished it off with a Dura-Ace 9 speed groupset.
The frame came in bare aluminium but I had it painted yellow at first with my own graphics, with matching yellow tyres and bar tape. Later I painted it Alfa Romeo blue, also with matching tyres, tape and saddle. Eventually the frame cracked at the bottom bracket though the shop changed it for an even nicer frame without question.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Alan carbon

Back in the early 90s the roads weren't flooded with carbon fibre superbikes so this was quite a rare sight. Alan aluminium frames had been around a while and to create this model this simply replaced the aluminium with straight, round carbon fibre tubes, glued in place. 
I think it looks quite cool and the weight was OK but I did find it a bit whippy in sprints. 
I fitted it with a complete Campagnolo Chorus 8 speed ergo groupset, which was quite new at the time. 
Ergo bend bars had become the fashion and everyone still ran sprints and tubs. The Flight saddle was de rigueur. 
I had a bit of a shock after a couple of years of riding this bike when I realized that the down tube was pulling out of the headtube. To their credit, Alan fixed it, though I have suspicious they just sent me another frame!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Colnago Low Pro

This bike came from a club member who sadly passed away at a young age. I got it through a friend, never really knowing the owner and my mate was too tall to ride it. I paid £600 if I remember rightly, then changed the wheels a couple of times, firstly for some three spokes then for a Zipp disc and deep front (650 of course). Funnily I did my best rides on the wheels it came with, which were nice but not especially aero. 
I was told that the bike was an ex-pro team bike but I have no idea if that is true. I had the bike repainted by a mate in Yorkshire (Chris Marshall, great frame builder) in Mapei colours.
It was fitted with Campagnolo Record throughout, including the now sought after Delta brakes. Record from that era really was super quality and seemed indestructible, but really the bike was all about the frame. It's probably quite collectible now and with reason. It has Columbus, Gilco, or clover leaf section tubing, chrome lugs and forks as well as lovely curved seat and top tubes. In the picture I have the Zipp wheels. Here I'm riding a not very organised Team Time Trial. We won so I guess we got it together at some point.

Friday, June 1, 2012

1950s Peugeot

I picked this little beauty up from a Decathlon Troc (second hand sale) for the princely sum of 5 euros!
It's from around 1956 and it's almost completely original, right down to the lights and pump. I changed the saddle for a period Brooks which is much nicer than the, clearly later, plastic affair.