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Peugeot Iseran mixte project

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Peugeot Iseran mixte project

Old 08-30-15, 07:11 PM
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Peugeot Iseran mixte project

DSC_0122 by Eat More Plants1, on Flickr

Since I've gotten back into bikes, I've definitely developed an affinity for two things: 80s Peugeots and lower to mid-level bike shop bikes. This is both; it's an 86 (I think, but you never really know for sure with Peugeots) Iseran mixte. There's something about mixtes I just love. Maybe that there's just so much going on--so many tubes and stays and angles.

IMG_0029_2 by Eat More Plants1, on Flickr

This is how she came home in the fall, although I had already removed the crankset. Unfortunately, despite heroic efforts the Nervar double did not survive, and had to be destructively removed. And while most conventional wisdom on Peugeots is that by the mid 80s the factory had fully transitioned to English threading, it was not so for this Iseran--Swiss threading. No worries, though, the bearings were still in good shape and the grease was clean when I took everything apart. I picked her up for $20 from a woman who said the family was moving to North Carolina and was ridding out the garage. She said she bought it new when she worked at a local bike shop while going to college. It was a neat little bit of history.

IMG_0034_2 by Eat More Plants1, on Flickr

The first real obstacle was getting this Kryptonite lock off. It was like some twisted advertisement for the locks. I broke a car jack and went through a bunch of reciprocating saw blades and Dremel cutoff wheels before finally discovering the "reinforced" Dremel cutoff wheels, which did the trick. As you can see in the pic, the paint was in rough condition, rougher than it looked in the Craigslist pics. It was a complete bike, though, which appealed to me, although I ended up needing a new crankset and front wheel (the Rigida rim was hopelessly out-of-round).

IMG_9491 by Eat More Plants1, on Flickr

Getting the old paint off was where I started to see what people here and in other corners of the Internet say it's just too much of a pain when you can just get it powder coated. At first I tried some "environmentally friendly" paint stripper, which basically means it doesn't work that well but makes a huge mess. But one cool discovery that is just so Peugeot is that stripping the original paint revealed a sub-level that had a painted-on Peugeot logo. Weird. I wonder if it was some factory changeover or something where they took bikes destined for somewhere else and had them repainted for certain markets. Who knows? Anyhow, the Peugeot lion on the headset and seat tube were also revealed as I stripped, sanded, and wire-wheeled my way to the base.

IMG_9566 by Eat More Plants1, on Flickr

Life is crazy, so what initially started as a hopeful fall project turned into a 20-minutes-at-a-time-over-a-year project. I did finally get to bare metal of the "HLE" frame, and it was really nice looking under there. The HLE frames weren't too high on the totem pole of frames back in the day, but it's not heavy, and under all that paint and surface rust it was in really good shape.

DSC_2939 by Eat More Plants1, on Flickr

I used a few coats of that "Painter's Touch 2X" stuff in hunter green before clear coating, wet sanding, polishing and waxing. That I guess was the big takeaway from this project--it was my first paint job (although since childhood I have on and off done plastic scale automotive models, which teaches you a lot of technique). Originally I planned on touching up with pearl white since I dearly love those 80s Peugeot paint jobs and decal layouts. But once I started it just wasn't coming out right, and since it wasn't a daily rider or anything, I figured why not.

DSC_0135 by Eat More Plants1, on Flickr

I was really happy with the crankset I picked up for this project. It was a triple, I think it's a Takagi Tourney. Since I didn't want to get into the weeds replacing the Swiss bottom bracket and/or spindle I just took the small chainring off and I think it goes really well with the rest of the bike. It has an Atom 6-speed in the back, and Shimano friction shifting. It works really, really well. The pedals are Atom as well, as the Lyotards that came with the bike weren't serviceable, which was disappointing.

DSC_0141 by Eat More Plants1, on Flickr

This Cinelli tape was a cheap add-on to a Nashbar order for consumables (including the Prima 2 Plus or whatever tires, which I used on another project and are very nice for the $ IMO), but I think it lends a bit of class overall. It's not a great match but I wanted some sort of natural color for the saddle, too, so I order a $12 Retrospec off Amazon.

DSC_0143 by Eat More Plants1, on Flickr

This bike rides really, really nice. It's too small for me, which is the case for most mixtes, which is a shame because they are classy, elegant designs that really hold up. But it's very quiet, and soaks up the road like you would expect out of an old comfortable ride like this. The brakes are terrible and were probably terrible out of the factory, but I just didn't have the desire to splurge on a set of dual pivots or whatever. They're good enough, I guess, although my wife's Univega mixte has those center pull calipers, which I think are underrated. Love those brakes.

So this was a fun project, completed just a few days ago with a sweet set of aluminum crankset dust caps (shhh...don't tell anyone they're Motobecane caps!). It made no sense in the whole scheme of thing; it's still just a mid-80s Peugeot mixte. But I wanted to see what I could do, and I wanted to see if I could wring a little more potential out of this nice little bike. My Paris Express is the Peugeot that got me back on a bike in 2012, and I think even at the lower end of Peugeot's offerings, there was an innate knowledge of how to make a nice-riding bicycle. They have really good DNA, is what I guess I'm trying to say.

This one has no place in my stable, so it is moving on. I've got another winter beater in the works (another Trek bonded aluminum castoff--another weird subgroup of bikes I can't stay away from), but I would love to get my hands on a higher-end Peugeot offering as my next project. Nice bikes.
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Old 08-30-15, 07:20 PM
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Nicely done, I rarely would approach a bike in such tortured original condition.

A 4" angle grinder with an abrasive wheel makes a Kryptonite lock or any other locking device disappear in 45 seconds. $20 at Harbor Freight
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Old 08-30-15, 07:50 PM
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Really nice work on the paint and building it back it. Looks nice. Just sold my wife's 86 Avoriaz. It was a fantastic bike but just not being used lately. Amazing how light they are considering the extra tubing.
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