Monday, March 11, 2013

It's Puch!!!

Ewww...not that kind! Two wheel variety. I'm not sure how the Italians pronounce this word but the yard guys immediately christened it the "Puke" bike.

Lets start over with the story. A few months ago having a pleasant five-o-five cold one (or two or three!) with my yard guys, the talk came around to bikes. Strange, as the guys are on the four-wheeler, dirt bike and Harley programs when it comes to off work vehicles and choice of beer conversation. Anyway my yard forman told about when he bought his house some fifteen years ago there was a bike left in the crawl space that was still there. This perks up my interest and I ask if I could take a look at it. The next morning he shows up with the bike plus about six wal-mart style bikes that he had bought for his kids that had been wrecked/abandoned over the years as they grew up. He told me to deal with it all as he was happy to have them cleaned out of his garage.
The cream of the batch of course was the crawl space bike. A late 70's, early 80's vintage Puch ten speed. Lugged steel frame, typical components of that era of bike, suntour front and rear, dia-compe center pulls. It was a small frame so no real use for me or anybody in my family, (we're all tall'ies!). One of my young yard guys lives only about a mile from work but ends up having to walk many times because his car is a beater and does not start all the time. He is a short guy so I'm thinking, perfect, a match!

Here is the starting point.
Not too bad. A bit of rust especially through the drive train.
I don't think this bike had that many miles on it. The chain, while rusty was not stretched at all. I got it off and soaked it in some solvent, came back pretty clean. No chipped or worn teeth on the cassette so just some wire brush work with some solvent. If this was going to be a bike I would ride, I would change the chain rings. But Anthony is young and strong so I just left it original with its 52-36 double.

Kind-of a cool head badge on this!
The wheels gave me some work issues. This bike had some kind of house stain dripped all over the frame and the wheels. It cleaned off the frame OK but it took some real elbow grease and steel wool to get it off the rims and spokes. Even still the rims were pitted up a bit, just could not get them all sparkly. I was in my LBS and they had a set of 27 gumwalls, some made in china brand, good enough to get this rolling!

The cockpit
I was never a fan of the cheater brake pulls, but I left them to leave the bike original. Replaced all the cables and housing with a nice black to give it all a uniform look with newbaum's black cloth tape. Kept the original dia-compe brakes with new pads.

After the final clean up and some car wax, here is the final look!

All in all I am pretty happy with getting this bike saved from a crawl space and back out on the road giving service to one of my guys!
He of course really enjoys having a ride even with catching a little big of the play on the name from the guys!
Keep riding everybody, spring, and commuting weather is almost here!!


  1. I hope Anthony appreciates his gift and gets a lot of fun out of it and makes it to work on time. I remember the Puch mopeds quite well; they were everywhere in the sixties, and it seems there were also a few of the ten speeds around.

    Those suicide brakes would be fine if they worked. But they don't. Not very good, anyway.

    All the same, Jim, one more steel bike back in service! Good work!


  2. The only thing those suicide brake levers are good for is that they make you keep your brake pads maintained tight. If not they don't stop you at all! I warned Anthony not to depend on them for a quick emergency stop! For how young and strong this kid is and the gearing, It will be one fast ride, especially on the flats!
    After reading Ryan's last post I'll have to find some of that Mother's alu polish. It would have really spiffed this bike up. I am starting to work on a bike for my daughter to have at college next year because she will live off-campus. It is starting as an old Ross ten speed. I have cool plans for it and will be stealing all the tips and techniques from Ryan and Hugh that I can!

  3. Jim that is one fine looking bike for something that started out as a crawlspace find! Nice work. As for tips just go straight to Hugh I steal all my best stuff from him LOL like the Mothers Alu polish.

    Is your Daughters bike a standard (Men's) frame or a Mixte? My older brother has me on the lookout for a blue Mixte that I can build up, on his behalf and payroll, for his Wife's birthday.



  4. It is a standard frame. It also has a good story behind it, where it came from.
    Thanks for coming by and checking out my story. The work that you and Hugh and others do has inspired me to work on these bikes for people who have a need and interest in a bike.

  5. Glad I could pass along some the inspiration I get from Sheldon Brown, Mytenspeeds, Hugh, and others. Something about taking a neglected object like a bike that was left behind, in say a crawl space, to gather dust and rust and make it useful again. Its just fun to see someone come back from a test ride with a big goofy grin on their face from riding a spiffy rehabbed bike that was junk yard fodder before you put your hands to it. Keep it up Jim your doing a great job.