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Old 05-14-04, 03:12 PM   #1
chowderhead
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tiny peugeot road bike -- a question of values

Hi, I'm looking for some perspective. I'm a small guy and I wanted a small beater road bike to do errands around town (every day) and to do the odd distance ride (50-60 miles/day, say once a month) with my sig. other. I had trouble finding a used bike that both fit me and I could afford, until I pounced on this bargain: a barely used but then nicely refurbed peugeot road bike (see pic). With a 17" frame and 24" wheels, it must have been a kid's model in the early 80's (a sticker says "103" tubing), but it fits me pretty good. Til now all I've changed is the pedals.

Now here's the question: should I give in to the temptation to beef up this cool little bike-- e.g. replace steel wheels with alloy -- or should I just leave it be itself? If I start changing stuff out, those distance rides will probably be easier, but then the bike will no longer be a bargain. It's currently heavy as a rock, but it's got its own kind of style. Your opinions welcome.

Chowderhead
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Old 05-14-04, 08:16 PM   #2
sch
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I vote for leaving it alone. It is nicely done as is and changing the wheels won't
make a big enough difference to be worth the price. As is the bike is nearly
bullet proof for ordinary use. With your luck I would hunt around for something
lighter for longer rides, some WSD type bike abandoned by a disillusioned owner.
Looks like the chain may be a bit short? Steve
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Old 05-14-04, 08:43 PM   #3
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If it fits well, you can't afford a new bike, but you can afford some upgrades, replace the rims. Steel rims are generally considered unsafe these days because of their poor wet weather braking. Sun and Velocity make 24" road rims. If you're mechanically inclined, disassemble the current wheels, get new rims, spokes and nipples and take a wheel building class. Otherwise, expect to pay around $150 to get get the hubs rebuilt with new rims and spokes by a wheel builder.
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Old 05-14-04, 09:28 PM   #4
chowderhead
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Thanks for the ideas. I'll keep an eye on the chain, but I think it's okay (in the pic it happens to be on an extreme gear) -- it shifts well, anyway. Next time it rains (it won't be long, i'm in Portland Oregon) I'll try the brakes. I guess if they don't feel good that would be a definite reason to make some new wheels. I've made a few MTB wheels before and I love doing it, but those quality parts can be expensive -- the right (28 hole) sun rims are about $50 apiece, plus spokes, and some shop time down at the local bike collective ( http://www.bicyclerepaircol.net/ )-- those wheels will cost more than the bike itself. And the aesthetics will be messed up. So you see how I hem and haw. But rain braking is a good test-- aesthetics won't matter if I run into a truck. Cheers! Chowderhead.
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Old 05-16-04, 08:05 PM   #5
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From what I've found, "making" a bike into what you want is a slippery slope money wise. I'd try it like it is, and stay on the lookout for a deal on a complete setup you like. They do come along. Very nice looking bike by the way.

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Old 05-16-04, 10:28 PM   #6
chowderhead
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From what I've found, "making" a bike into what you want is a slippery slope money wise. I'd try it like it is, and stay on the lookout for a deal on a complete setup you like... Very nice looking bike by the way.
Thanks, I thought it was cool too; I just couldn't resist. I know what you mean about repair jobs being a money sink. My goal was a beater, right? But after getting comments here and trying the steel wheels in the rain, I decided to make two changes. I had another stroke of luck at the used-only bike shop where I got the peugeot -- I found both some aluminum 24" road wheels with nice shimano hubs and a better-fitting stem. And got out of there for <$80. My total so far, including the bike itself, is $220. Considering it was completely refurbed when I got it, I'm still doing good. And I'm swearing that's it for parts swapping. Check back with me in 6 months to see if I've resisted the siren song of additional "improvements."

By the way, I really dug the kabuki logo on the one you just found. Cheers! Chowderhead
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