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Old 01-20-09, 10:33 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ashland, VA
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Bikes: The keepers: 1958 Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix, 1968 Ranger, 1969 Magneet Sprint, 1971 Gitane Tour de France, 1973 Raleigh Tourist, 3 - 1986 Rossins, and a '77 PX-10 frame in process.

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Likewise, here. When I saw the thread title, I immediately expected to see a 50cc French moped, engine mounted above the front wheel. Which means, you've got something unique. Unfortunately neither rare nor valuable, but unique. Worth taking care of.

Looking at the pictures, the wheels seem to be the standard French low-buck-but-quality setup from the 70's: Rigida rims and (I'm guessing) Normandy hubs. Which means your talking the same wheels as the Peugeot UO-8, Gitane Gran Sport, Raleigh Gran Prix . . . . . . and lord knows enough other bikes that sold in the $125.00 range back then. You've got a couple of choices.

Find another set of wheels off of a 5-speed freewheel bike - that'll take care of the 120mm rear dropout spacing. Have a new rim laced in on your current hub, although you'll probably have to go alloy, as steel rims have gotten kinda scarce nowadays. Not a bad thought, though. Going to alloy wheels is the biggest single weight and performance improvement you can make for that bike.

By the way, the biggest negative I've got to my UO-8 is a back wheel that sounds like its in the same condition as yours - there's a noticeable wiggle, well past what I'd normally put up with, and it's not truing out anymore. Just the same, I still put 7-800 miles a year on the bike.

“No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”

H.L. Mencken, (1926)

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