The French utilitarian classic was ridden to countless big victories
“It was a tool to do a job, plain and simple”
In the 1960s and 1970s, if you wanted a bike just like the Continental pros rode, there were two established ways to do it. You could get a bespoke frame from a specialist frame builder and hang it with as much Campagnolo equipment as you could afford. Or you could buy a Peugeot PX10.
The PX10 was Peugeot’s off-thepeg team-issue bike, the bike that equipped the superteam of the time, BP Peugeot, as well as their feeder team at ACBB in Paris, and any number of smaller teams around the country. Built with good — but not flashy — tubing and good — but not flashy — French components, it was designed to survive the constant use and abuse that hard-working pros would dish out on a daily basis. At a time when elaborate lugwork was still the norm in Britain, and flashy paint, chrome and pantograph work was coming into fashion in Italy, the PX10 looked basic, plain and a bit boring. But it was never built for show — it was a tool to do a job, plain and simple. The PX10 first appeared in Peugeot’s line-up in 1959, and its spec hardly changed over the next 20 years. Reynolds 531 double-butted tubing was joined together by Nervex professional lugs, and Simplex forged dropouts front and rear. Stronglight headset, bottom bracket and chainset, Mafac centre-pull brakes, Simplex gears, Mavic rims and Maillard or Normandy hubs were all standard fare and a standard PX weighed in around 10 kilos.
Apart from the curly
Nervex lugs, the only apparent concession to aesthetics was chrome to the halfway point on the forks and rear stay; even that had a practical purpose as chrome wasn’t so easily damaged by frequent wheel changes.
Those early PX10S were painted blue, with the lugs picked out in yellow, but when the BP Peugeot team debuted their now-famous black and white livery for the 1963 season, the PX10 followed suit, adopting white paint and black lugs and logos. That scheme lasted well into the 70s and carried BP Peugeot riders to the majority of their big wins — including three Tours de France, two Vueltas, three editions of Milan-san Remo, one Paris-roubaix and umpteen National and World Championships, notably Tom Simpson’s title in 1965.
Peugeot PX10: a trusty workhorse for pros and serious racers