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Old 08-05-09, 04:52 PM   #1
Jasmijo
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Choosing a Mixte frame to retrofit

I want to retrofit a mixte frame to be my daily commuter. I found some cheap mixte frames, but I don't know which to make my project bike and which to pitch. Can I get a little help?

The first is a 1977 Peugeot UO18C. It's 20"/52cm and of undisclosed steel tubing.


The second is a Concord that I can't find any info on. It's 21"/54cm and cheap hi-ten steel.


I'll ride the winner as is for a while while I'm collecting parts, then I basically want to convert it to a single speed and powder coat it, get new wheels, full fenders, rack, saddle, stem and handle bars, etc. And end up with something like this:

A bike uniquely mine to ride off into the sunset...

So is there some criteria for which would be a better candidate? Would either get the job done?
Thanks!
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Old 08-05-09, 05:09 PM   #2
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I happen to like the way the Peugeot rides, compared with bikes that are made of equivalent materials. It's a matter of taste. French bikes seem lively to me, and Japanese bikes feel duller. I can't explain why I feel that way.

But the two look pretty equivalent, and I don't think the Concorde is a terrible mistake.

Those are the two choices, right?
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Old 08-05-09, 05:19 PM   #3
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Yep, those are my choices. Neither have any damage to the frame or paint, they both have stamped horizontal dropouts, the Concord my be a very slightly better fit.

I'm super excited about this project and I want to make the right choice! If it is just a matter of taste then I think I can handle that. ;o)
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Old 08-05-09, 06:16 PM   #4
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Do you have any idea about the bottom bracket threading?

A 1977 Pougeot might have French threads. That'll make it harder to find the bottom bracket that you need when you redo the crankset.
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Old 08-05-09, 06:25 PM   #5
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My neighbor has a beautiful blue mixte Univega. This one has cantilever-brakes, but I'm not sure of the model. I've got to get some pics next time she rolls it out. At least I convinced her to get a good luck.
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Old 08-05-09, 06:27 PM   #6
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I just built up a similar Peugeot for my pregnant partner. She wanted a mixte frame for the easier stepthrough (she traditionally rides standard frames) and a high handlebar to get her upright and give space for her belly. She took the Peugeot for a spin in its stock form and liked the feel of it so I fixed it up a bit and it turned out something like this. This particular one is a 1982 UO-4, which is actually made in Canada by Velo-sport. I've ridden quite a few of these frames over the years (there are quite a few around to fix) and they all handle pretty nicely.

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Old 08-05-09, 06:49 PM   #7
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I like the Peugeot (and the other looks fine too). I restored one recently, and yours looks like it's in far better condition than mine was. Mine came with drop bars also. These are inexpensive North Road style from the LBS, $15 or so. Everything else is original equipment, except tires, which are Pasela TG, grips (ATI) and that gorgeous B67 (tag still dangling). Oh yeah, there's that MOMA basket, added by the new owner.

Btw, whatever the frame is made of works fine, and is not that heavy. You can tell if you strip the frame like I did. The steel wheels aren't too heavy either, relative to alloy. There may be some disagreement here, but I had planned to swap to 700c alloy wheels, and holding one of each in my hands (and swapping), I couldn't tell any noticeable difference, so I rebuilt the original wheels. They spin very smoothly when repacked. I was surprised.


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Old 08-05-09, 07:58 PM   #8
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It's just carbon steel, but that's OK.

I suppose the steel rims that came on the UO-18 aren't terribly heavy, but I still always prefer alloy rims. They brake better in the rain, and they don't dent the way steel rims do.

It's true that finding a crank to fit can be hard or expensive. But if you're not a weight weenie, you can keep the steel cottered crank. It's designed to last a long time. So are most things on the bike, except the derailleurs.
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Old 08-05-09, 08:33 PM   #9
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1977 Peugeot will have french threaded bottom bracket. So if you want to go from the cottered crank to cotterless (a common upgrade), you will need to find a replacement spindle, or pay a hefty price for a replacement french bottom bracket. The head set will also be french sized.

Do yourself a favor and find one of the Japanese mixtes from the 1980s. They pretty much all take common standard parts.
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Old 08-05-09, 08:42 PM   #10
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I like Peugeot mixtes, but I like the Raleigh Super Course Mk II better. They have a plain guage Reynolds 531 frame.

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Old 08-05-09, 08:48 PM   #11
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On reconsideration, I have to agree with the advice to get a Japanese bike rather than a French one with French threads and diameters.

Let's not overload Jasmijo with suggestions of which bike to search for. That's too hard. Mixtes are hard enough to find in the US. He already showed us the choices. I'm not in the mood to shop for him/her, but if you are, go right ahead.
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Old 08-05-09, 08:51 PM   #12
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I like Peugeot mixtes, but I like the Raleigh Super Course Mk II better. They have a plain guage Reynolds 531 frame.


I'd like to get a Peugeot mixte to build, but this Raleigh could almost make me change my mind. Nice job!
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Old 08-05-09, 10:55 PM   #13
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Thanks all for chiming in and showing pics of your mixtes! It seems like everyone thinks I should go with the Peugeot!

The bottom bracket issue makes me think the Concord would be easier to work with. Concords were produced by Kuwahara, a Japanese bike company. Does that qualify as an aforementioned Japanese mixte, or were you talking about Miyata, Panasonic, Fuji, etc?

Would English mixtes have the same difficulties as French ones? I've recently seen a Raleigh and a Kent(?) mixte on CL.
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Old 08-06-09, 05:53 AM   #14
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I learned here on bikeforums that Kuwahara are very common in Canada and a respected brand. I sold them many years ago under the name of Soma. Good quality, equivalent to the Japanese brands you mentioned.

What difficulties are you talking about? The Japanese bikes follow the English standards, which is precisely why they are a good starting place. English standards are now the most common.

Oh, wait, now I understand. You are under the impression that Raleighs and Kents are English. English made Raleighs haven't been around for a while. You might be looking at a real English Raleigh, but you might be looking at one of the Asian made Raleighs. Tell us specifically what you're looking at.
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Old 08-06-09, 05:56 AM   #15
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AND if you're looking at an english raleigh, you might as well be looking at a french peugeot
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Old 08-06-09, 06:46 AM   #16
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Have you considered looking for a bare mixte frame set for your project? It might be cheaper than a rideable mixte, and since you'll be tearing it apart any way, less labor required.
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Old 08-06-09, 06:52 AM   #17
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We were just talking, in another thread, about how prohibitively expensive it is to build up an old frame with newly acquired parts. It doesn't work out well unless you already have a large fraction of the parts on hand.
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Old 08-06-09, 06:55 AM   #18
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If the Raleigh is about 1980 or later is should have standard English threading. If it's from the 70's be careful as it may have Raleigh's proprietary threading. I'm not sure exactly when the transition was made. Avoid anything with French threading unless you are REALLY into a period restoration.

French steel is livelier than Japanese steel? Come on. be serious.
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Old 08-06-09, 07:26 AM   #19
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Peugeot mixte advice

Love the Peugeot mixte frames and I think they make super city bikes. Here's my advice from renovating 3 Peugeots including a 70s mixte. My remarks will enrage Mafac and Simplex fans but it's just my experience. The Peugeot will have some obsolete stem, seatpost and handlebar clamp diameters, so you will definitely need to hold onto any old components until you find upgrades. I recommend you trade over to alloy wheels and 700c's will most likely work with your brake reach but check first. I love the look of the 27" Maillard hubs with Rigida steel rims, but many times the old hub components have failed on me, especially the lock nuts which seem to break. Same with the Mafac brakes...pretty and classic but I've had calipers crack at the pivots! Simplex components shifted smooth when new, but their plastic components fall apart with age. Replace the rear derailleur with a Suntour Honor, but keep the Simplex front derailleur if it's in good shape. French chrome and alloy oxidizes faster than Japanese and American, but a very light sandpaper and polish brings the shine back out. One trick is to find a mid-80s Peugeot with the alloy Nervar cranks, CTA headset, Weinmann brakes and maybe alloy wheels and Shimano components. (I found one on Craigslist for free once.) The frame will be junk, but take the components and move over to your better frame. This will lighten your bike considerably, but keep the "Made in France" intact!
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Old 08-06-09, 07:28 AM   #20
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There are no threading issues with the higher-end Raleighs that were built at the Carlton factory. I stripped the parts off of the Raleigh above and sold the frame and fork for $35. I had built it for my wife and she didn't like it. I learned after 20 years of marriage that she hates green.

All three of my road bikes have French threading. I enjoy a challenge.

There is no front derailer on that Peugeot. That shouldn't matter since you want to build a single speed.

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Old 08-06-09, 08:12 AM   #21
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HillRider, I can't explain why I like the ride of Peugeots better than Japanese bikes of equivalent materials. Maybe the walls are thinner. Maybe the geometry is different. But I do feel the difference.

I happen to love Mafac centerpull brakes, much more than Weinmann, and I have a lot of experience with both. Mafacs are much more work to set up properly, but once set up, they stop better. Never had a problem with the caliper arms breaking, and I have really worked on hundreds of them. Worked on more Weinmanns than Mafacs, though, as they were more common in the period I worked in bike shops.

I agree with you about Simplex derailleurs. They did not last well at all.

An alloy Nervar crank is rare, but if you find one, then good.
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Old 08-06-09, 08:43 AM   #22
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HillRider, I can't explain why I like the ride of Peugeots better than Japanese bikes of equivalent materials. Maybe the walls are thinner. Maybe the geometry is different. But I do feel the difference.

I happen to love Mafac centerpull brakes, much more than Weinmann, and I have a lot of experience with both. Mafacs are much more work to set up properly, but once set up, they stop better. Never had a problem with the caliper arms breaking, and I have really worked on hundreds of them. Worked on more Weinmanns than Mafacs, though, as they were more common in the period I worked in bike shops.

I agree with you about Simplex derailleurs. They did not last well at all.

An alloy Nervar crank is rare, but if you find one, then good.
As to ride quality, the differences certainly could be tubing wall thickness, geometry, etc. It certainly is not in the fact the steel itself was made in any particular country.

Based on all of the above, you are very familiar with French bikes and have worked on many older French and European makes. The OP doesn't have anywhere near your experience or level of expertise so I recommed they stay strictly away from older French frames. Refitting a Japanese or newer Raleigh or any "English threaded" frame will be far simpler.

As to brake calipers, my experience with older ones is limited to Weinmann center pulls on an early '70's Raleigh and I found them flexy and difficult to set up reliably. Once I started working with Shimano, Sun Tour and Dia Compe side pulls, particularly double pivots, it was heaven. And I've NEVER see a broken brake arm with any of these.
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Old 08-06-09, 08:51 AM   #23
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As you can see above, I recanted and reversed my recommendation. Because of French threads and diameters, it's a better risk to get a Japanese frame. The difference in ride isn't worth it, and Jasmijo may not even prefer the ride to the Peugeot anyway.
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Old 08-06-09, 09:58 AM   #24
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Avoid anything with French threading unless you are REALLY into a period restoration.
Well then, that's an easy enough way to choose frames. Since I'm not going for a period restoration at all it seems that I should pass on the Peugeot. Maybe the short answer to my question about the criteria for choosing a frame, for n00bs like me at least, is to choose the one that is easier to update and upgrade, no?
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Old 08-06-09, 04:04 PM   #25
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.......the criteria for choosing a frame, for n00bs like me at least, is to choose the one that is easier to update and upgrade, no?
You have it exactly right. The criteria for choosing a frame for ANYBODY who isn't very well versed on exactly what they are doing, is to "choose the one that is easier to update and upgrade,...".
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