Puch Mistral; a Lugged Tange Triple Chromoly Retro-Modern Build

puch_mistral_top_seat_lugs_www.jpgSometimes you see things on Craigslist that just make you chuckle.  A few months ago, I saw an ad in the bicycles section.  There was no photo, and basically the ad read "Puke classic road bike - $40".   If that doesn't sound enticing, I don't know what does!  Well, I called and the seller said it was an expensive bike when it was new, but since that time I believe it was probably put up a bit wet a few times.  The components were a little rusty, but the frame (inside and out) had no deeper battle scars than a few surface scratches.  This bike is probably about a 1986-1988 model and it came with all of what I believe to be the original equipment - a full SIS Shimano 106 6 speed drivetrain with aero brake levers and a Tange triple butted chromoly frame.   Here's basically what it looked like:

puch_mistral_before-www.jpgI think that photo was taken after i cut off the rusty chain with bolt cutters and probably while I was in process of using the same method of removing the brake and derailleur cables.  The bottom bracket was super-notchy feeling, but surprisingly enough the axle races and cups were not really bad.  The headset was fine but the wheel bearings will need to be repacked before they can be put back into use.

So, what to do with a bike that comes in as a basket case and - without a sentimental attachment to make it original?   A lot of choices came to mind, but this time for me it was time to rob the parts bin of some kinda cool stuff I had scrounged and build a modern-esque bike on the very nice lugged steel Puch frame.    So, a few months later, it came out pretty much looking like this:

puch_driveside1_www.jpgThe wheels were take-offs from someone's "plastic" road bike, the tires, tubes, and fork were on another bike I had (1" threadless steerer).  The drivetrain is a compact double (Campagnolo Veloce) 50/34 crankset matched with a 9 speed rear end with a Shimano Tiagra rear derailleur and brake/shifter set (I know, I know....but the shifters had been pronounced dead & I brought them back to life).  The bars and seat were general shop fodder. The pedals were among a group of old Look pedals I picked up from a parts bin at one of the local shops.  Oddly enough, perhaps, I have something like 10 sets of pedals that use these cleats. With my interest in trying out different setups (thus the compact crankset), I also tried a rather narrow (compared to modern standards) bar width matching my shoulders a bit more precisely than the wider bars I usually see on modern machines.  All in all, it turned out to be a nice ride.  I'm not convinced I like the compact double setup, but it is certainly a different - and perhaps more efficience in terms of gear ratio duplication - experience for me.  Here are a few more pics of the build.

puch_drivetrain-www.jpg puch_bars_www.jpg