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Which French Mixte - Peugeot or Gitane?

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Which French Mixte - Peugeot or Gitane?

Old 09-11-17, 08:12 AM
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Which French Mixte - Peugeot or Gitane?

I'm heading to check out two mixtes this evening, this gorgeous Peugeot:
ht tps://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/bik/d/1970s-peugeot-mixte/6299199762.html
(urls broken because I don't have enough points, sorry for the inconvenience)

And this Gitane:
ht tps://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/bik/d/bike-gitane/6298049882.html

It looks like they are both from the same era. Price is about the same since I will be putting on upright bars and a rack on the back on Gitane, both of which the Peugeot already has.

I'm curious about whether there is anything I should know about either brand (or model specifically, if you can tell from the photos) or if there are specific things to look for when checking them out. (beyond rust, dents, etc...)

Thanks in advance. (and thanks for everyone who has posted info on here in the past, this forum is an amazing resource thanks to you!)
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Old 09-11-17, 08:31 AM
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IMHO, the best french mixtes were made by Motobecane. Why? Because they made mixte versions of most of their models, went pretty far up their product line. Others tended to just make mixte versions of their entry level bikes. And in the 1970s, entry level was really low end.

In addition, Motobecane tended to use Suntour derailleurs, which are about a million times better and a million times more durable than the craptastic plastic Simplex derailleurs found on other french brands.

Most of the Motobecane mixtes came with alloy rims, bars, stems, and seat posts. All in all, really much nicer bikes at similar prices.

I should note I have never had a problem selling low end Mixtes like the Peugeot. Buyers just like the look! And it came in some nice colors like the yellow one you posted. If I had to choose between those two I'd take the Peugeot.

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Old 09-11-17, 08:36 AM
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Of those two, the Peugeot is from 1974-1975 and is in remarkably nice shape. I have Peugeots from that era and they are splendid bikes to ride. The Gitane looks to be rougher.

The things you should be aware of are that the wheels on those bikes are steel. They will be heavy and will not stop well in the rain. Also, the old Simplex derailleurs are not the best. A common improvement is to swap them out for decent Japanese derailleurs such as Suntour or Shimano. So, if you get either bike, keep in mind that you may want to find some replacement bits to improve the bike.

Fwiw, I like my Old Peugeot well enough that I completely remade it. As it is now, other than the bar tape:
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Old 09-11-17, 08:38 AM
What??? Only 2 wheels?
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They both look nice. If you are going to use an upright bar in the first place save yourself some trouble and cost by going with the Peugeot.

I knew someone who rode the Peugeot mixte, really loved it. Both bikes appear to have similar components but if the Peugeot's rims are Rigida Cro-Lux they will probably be a bit better than what looks like a lesser rim on the Gitane. But Gitane made nice bikes too.

Go with whatever color strikes your fancy!
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Old 09-11-17, 04:58 PM
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Peugeot is the better value based on below and well priced given overall presentation. It is slightly taller than the Gitane.

Upright bars
Great cosmetic condition

Check the rear derailleur jockey wheels where the chain runs through, to make sure they are round and not worn. Otherwise, ask for a $25 adjustment on price.
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Old 09-11-17, 05:38 PM
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+1 on the Peugeot - way more classic.

But then I'm biased!
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Old 09-11-17, 07:49 PM
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there are a couple of lotus mixtes, chromoly framed at my local co-op for 90.00 each. they are in peoria illinois however.
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Old 09-12-17, 06:52 AM
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Thanks for all the advice. I went and checked out both and didn't end up buying either one. The Gitane had a Peugeot dérailleur on the back and the front derailleur at all, and various attempts at shifting the rear wouldn't stop the chain from grinding somewhere (despite the seller's noble attempt at spraying WD-40 everywhere).

The Peugeot had been fixed up by the seller: he didn't have the front derailleur calibrated correctly and I immediately jammed it between the gear and guard when shifting. He also didn't have the back wheel set up quite right, so whenever I put some force on the pedals the wheel shifted over and started rubbing on the frame. We tried adjusting it a bit while I was there but it kept happening.

I might still go back and get the Peugeot but I wasn't sure I'd be able to get the back wheel in right. The wheel seemed to be true enough, so this video makes it look like the worst case scenario would be a dishing issue:
ht tps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MHBHFu4CrA
It could just be though that the spacers are off (he had a quick release axle on the back may have been a bit too long also).

Thanks for any further advice!
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Old 09-12-17, 07:22 AM
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I'd go for this Mars for 80 bucks:


Looks like a classic Euro city bike, with fenders, alu rims, though it may take an odd size tire. Needs some servicing, but you can do that at your local DC/VA co-op.
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Old 09-12-17, 12:53 PM
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Look for an early 80's Japan made Raleigh, Bianchi, Fuji, or other.

Better bikes.
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Old 09-12-17, 01:03 PM
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Which color do you like? They are very similar bikes.
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Old 09-18-17, 06:15 AM
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Just an update: we ended up finding a 1985 or 1986 Nishiki Custom Sport mixte for $125--it was in really good shape and already had upright bars (with a chromoly frame and nice alloy parts).

Thanks again for all the advice!
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