Just an old guy restoring an old bike to cycle on old roads

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5: Principles of my restoration

Given that I now knew (or thought I knew) the issues that I faced, I had to make decisions on how I would restore things. So these became my principles, and are particularly significant as they define what is important to me in this restoration.

  • The bike was for using not showing.
    The main consequence of this was that I did not need it to look perfect, and also I did not need it to have matching componentry or all from one manufacturer or country. (I did not need it to have a complete French groupset, for instance). This principle was aided by having a CFX-10 frame (rather than the frame of a PX-10) - PX-10s were shipped with Simplex components and other French parts, whereas the identical CFX-10 was sold as a "frame only" for the buyer to kit out with his own favoured parts. So following this logic, I could restore my CFX-10 with my chosen parts, whereas if it had been a PX-10 I might have been more inclined to use French parts.
  • The bike was for entering in L'eroica (but also for local use).
    The main consequence here was that it needed to conform to L'eoica principles and as these were not absolute or overly strict, I decided that period correct would do. And for the purpose of "period correct" I used the 1980s (1980 to 1989) as appropriate. But where there was advantage (cost/ease of use) I would slip into the 90s a bit if necessary.
  • I would keep the frame as original as possible.
    The paint and decals were 35 (almost) years old and in great condition. This did not mean perfect condition and they did look their age. This "patina" looked good and I would retain it. So, rather than repaint the frame as perfect, I would touch it up and make do. This was made possible by my first principle above.
  • I would fit performance parts.
    The frame was a professional racing frame of the highest calibre. I would attempt to fit appropriate high-quality performance parts.
  • I would fit Campagnolo parts where possible.
    Gene Mangan (winner of Ireland's Ras Tailteann - Amateur Tour of Ireland, in 1953) and from whom I bought a frame in the 1980s, once said to me "All bikes should have at least one piece of Campagnolo on them" - he said this to justify (to himself, I think) the act of giving me a free Campagnolo Nouvo Record Derailleur for the frame).
  • I would fit French parts where possible.
    Due to the frame being French, I would look to fit some French components. This was not incompatible with the Campagnolo principle.
  • I would be pragmatic when it came to making decisions.
    This principle would override all others. I would exercise pragmatic options when obtaining parts which would allow me take opportunities where they presented themselves, or to work around problems which presented themselves. This could include breaking some of the knock-on consequences of any of the other principles.

With the above principles, the first one to get pretty well knocked on the head, was the one about fitting Campagnolo parts. Of the Bottom Bracket options that presented themselves in light of the damaged threads in the frame, I felt that the threadless option made the most sense - and the threadless bottom brackets that were available had fittings which suited the Japanese Standard (JIS) for the crankset. This forced me to think of Shimano Crankset/Chainset and that snowballed. Also, Campagnolo components where extremely expensive. So, bit by bit I dropped the Campag objective. I could have swapped a few very desireable Campag bits from my Alan bike, but I did not want to cannibalise this one as we go a long way back together. The top half of the headset is Campag, as are my pedals with toe clips, so that meets the Gene Mangan principle. And I will watch for opportunities in the coming months (a nice rear mech would be good).

I set about buying parts and components whilst restoring the frame - I'll cover those components in detail in the section "7: Component Gathering & Sourcing".

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I am happy to respond to queries about the restoration, why I did what I did, to provide further detail or explanation, or to suggest solutions to similiar problems.
For any query which may be of help to others, I will also add a synopsis into the appropriate webpage so that it can be shared