Peugeot Bicycle capable of being a touring bicycle?
I am looking to take a 1980s steel frame bike and outfit it to be used for a self-supported coast-to-coast tour this summer. While I recognize that a touring bike would be better, I cannot find one within my price range right now, so I thought this might be a good alternative. The two bikes I am considering re-outfitting are a Peugeot U09 (10speed) and a Peugeot PH10L(12 speed). I don't know much about these bicycles and would appreciate thoughts and comments about whether or not these bikes would work for me, particularly comments on whether or not I can add a rear cassette, triple crankset, new brakes, etc. (Both are the correct size and about the same price.)
Way back in the day (1972) I rode a Peugeot PX10e across the USA from MA to CA. I still have that bike and am in the middle of my 2nd rebuild of it, although most of the gear is still original (cranks, BB, wheels, seat) I did replace the derailleurs and just upgraded to a 6-spd freewheel. I don't think you will have any problems with the frames on either bike. I did own a U08 that was stolen and liked it a lot. The reason for the PX10e was to save the weight - when my bike was fully loaded it weighed in at 45 pounds! The bike was only 21 of that, so between myself and the gear the bike took a pounding.
I had to 'de-tune' the bike to make it into a touring model - you know, wider gear ratios, added fenders, different tires, pedals, a Campy GT, etc. That was money well spent. I don't recommend upgrading to expensive gear - the less spent the better in my book. I remember turning my nose up at the Japanese derailleurs that were just coming into the west coast when we arrived. Boy was I ever dumb!
The touring issues are covered in spades here so I will limit myself to the issues of the bike. Some problems we had were fixing flat tires - tubulars are a nice ride but a real pain to repair. The occasional broken spoke was a nuisance. The pannier racks broke and we had to have them welded back together, but that is not because of the bike. We wore out the brake pads, had to replace broken cables - normal maintenance stuff. The Brooks saddle took forever to break in, but from that point on it was my best friend.
Net - I think you would be well served with either bike, but am partial to the P-series. I wish you good luck!
Yes, those frames would do the job, but I recommend setting your sights a bit higher. Look for something made of chrome-moly or something equivalent like Reynolds 531. It will be a little lighter and a little better for climbing hills.
There's no reason you can't make an old Peugeot work. I guarantee many cross-continent tours were done on those very bikes in the heyday of the 70s European bike boom in NA.
You will not be able to put a modern cassette hub in those dropouts without cold setting (spreading) the rear stays, however. There are still freewheels available and you should be able to find one with a good climbing gear. If you want to convert to triple, again this is possible, but will likely require new derailleurs and bottom bracket, as well. Not an inexpensive project, but doable.