The Times has launched a campaign to improve the safety of cycling in the UK.
The main aims of its campaign are:
Lorries entering a city centre should be required by law to fit sensors, audible turning alarms, extra mirrors and safety bars to stop cyclists being thrown under the wheels.
The 500 most dangerous road junctions must be identified, redesigned or fitted with priority traffic lights for cyclists and Trixi mirrors that allow lorry drivers to see cyclists on their near-side.
A national audit of cycling to find out how many people cycle in Britain and how cyclists are killed or injured should be held to underpin effective cycle safety.
Two per cent of the Highways Agency budget should be earmarked for next generation cycle routes, providing £100 million a year towards world-class cycling infrastructure. Each year cities should be graded on the quality of cycling provision.
The training of cyclists and drivers must improve and cycle safety should become a core part of the driving test.
20mph should become the default speed limit in residential areas where there are no cycle lanes.
Businesses should be invited to sponsor cycleways and cycling super-highways, mirroring the Barclays-backed bicycle hire scheme in London.
Every city, even those without an elected mayor, should appoint a cycling commissioner to push home reforms.
Being a cycling based business, we can do nothing but support this cause which is why we have added a logo and link to our pages.
To sign up and put your weight behind the campaign check out this page.
Simplex was started by Dijon shop owner Lionel Juy in the 1920’s and finally ceased trading in 1985. One of the innovations that M. Juy came up with was using plastic to reduce the weight of the components. Whilst the shifting action of his derailleurs was said to be sweeter than those by Campagnolo, they also had a bad habit of the plastic bits breaking.
We’ve the following Simplex Prestige levers in stock at the moment:
We had a delivery of NOS MAFAC toolkits in today. Which we’ve added to our store.
MAFAC is one of those names (like Simplex, Huret and Maillard to name a few) that dispeared during the early eighties. The company developed one of (if not the) first cantilever brakes in 1946, the basic design which was used on mountain and cyclo cross bikes.
Probably their most famous product was the MAFAC Racer centre pull brakes.
Introduced in 1952 and originally stamped Dural Forge, Racers were popular with many riders including Jaques Anquetil. In 1974 Racers were updated to the short drop ‘Competition’ and long drop ‘2000’ models. Around this time MAFAC’s brake levers became shorter and were drilled.
We’ve started putting up our stock online – more should follow in the following days and weeks. We’ve decided to go with Paypal for the moment for our payment provider. I know Paypal is not perfect and has it’s critics. But so do most banks.
To keep things simple we’ve set our carriage charges for delivery to UK addresses free for orders over £10. Below that it’s £2 to cover our costs. International orders do cost a little more – but it is a longer bus ride.
We’re putting up on site a mix of new, used and NOS (new old stock).
Opening a store is hard work ! We have been selling stuff via eBay for a while now, but thought we would expand into our own website. With eBay it’s fairly simple – buy stuff (new or second hand), sell it (hopefully at a profit).
Opening an online store is a whole different ball game. You have to source reliable suppliers (we have a few of them in France). Our main problem with buying and selling older ‘obsolete’ parts is finding a consistant supply as there are normally only a finite number of items. When the parts do arrive, we have to check the quality of the items – several items we have bought as new old stock, are not.
We have also had to design the site to try and get the right feel to it. I hope you like it !
On a more fun note I dropped off a Peugeot PV10 frame to be restored today. The PV10 is the slightly less glamourous brother of the legendary PX10 frame that was ridden by Tom Simpson, Eddie Mercx and Bernard Thevenet. The main difference is instead of being completely 531 tubing the rear stays are not. It was introduced in the 1979 model year and is branded ‘Super Competition’. The frame is in not bad condition to start with, but I’m intending on using it as my uber best bike.
Congratulations to Mark Cavendish on winning sports personality of the year.
Love him or hate him Cav winning this award can do nothing but good for cycling and encourage more folks out onto the roads.
There was a debate running on Talk Talk on whether cycling is actually a sport. I would challenge the Talk Talk radio presenter to ride his bike on the Tour and say it wasn’t. Cycling can also be a mode of transport – thats the great thing about the bike, you can use it at whatever level you like.
Whatever your view, it’s great that Mark Cavendish has been recognised for his achievements.
I was finding the existing handlebars a little narrow, plus the brakes were the ‘wrong way round’ so off to eBay again and have purchased a pair of Belleri handle bars. Like my Mercier these bars started off life in St Etienne which was one of the reasons I chose them. They’ve got quite a deep drop compared to modern bars but feel light compared to the existing chrome steel ones.They also have a very slight outward flare.
To finish the job of I’ve fitted some black bar tape and Velox rubber end caps. I’m also on the lookout for some replacement brake lever covers as the ones that are fitted seem very fragile.
Another find from eBay (this time from a bloke called Jerome in Paris) is a Stronglight TS bis chain set. I’ve always liked the drilled chainsets from Stronglight and was on my wishlist from the start.
Fitting a replacement chainset has thrown up a few quirks about buying an old French bike:
I need to change the bottom bracket from the existing one which is on that’s designed for a cottered crank. However old French bikes have a uniquely French thread which means I either fit an old original part or buy a new style sealed replacement.
Older Stronglight chainsets have an ISO square taper fitting, however modern square taper bottom brackets have a JIS taper which is slightly shorter. This means instead of using a 122mm bottom bracket I should be able to get away with a 118mm.
Stronglight bottom brackets have a unique thread which means buying a specialist tool.
Ok I’ll admit I’m a bike nut / anorak. Ever since I was eight or nine I have had an (un)healthy fascination in racing bikes and the Tour de France.
Looking for a winter project I decided I was going to buy a vintage bike of eBay. I came accross this Mercier, paid my cash and picked it up from a bloke called Dave in Barnsley. Part of my project was not only to upgrade / restore the bike using as many parts from the correct era as possible but also research the bikes history.
This is where the fun starts as their is no definitive history that I could find via Google (or Goggle as they call it in France). I’ve therefore started this blog to share what information I have found to help other Mercier (and French bike) enthusiasts.