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Advice on a Peugeot Triathalon

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Advice on a Peugeot Triathalon

Old 08-24-10, 03:25 PM
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bumpalong
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Advice on a Peugeot Triathalon

I'm thinking about buying a Peugeot Triathlon (an 86 I believe - pictured below, and not too clear as it was pulled directly off CL) and would welcome any information and perspectives on a few fronts:

- Was the Triathlon related to any of the 'P' models? In the 86 catalog it is the only bike that doesn't seem to have one, though it seems to have the same geometry and tubing as used in the PSN ‘Mont Cenis’.

- The catalog frame and fork descriptions end with the acronym 'BSA'. Does this indicate that British threading was used for bike (you can’t blame me for hoping…) or something else?

- How does this bike's component set (Huret New Success derrailleurs, Stronglite 200 Deluxe crankset, Modolo speedy brakes, Atax stem and seatpost, Mavic Velotech rims) perform? They are all new to me.

- Anyone have any experience with one of these? How does it ride? Do you recommend it?

I'm on a bit of a soul quest for the fabled 'classic French ride’ experience these days (if there is such a thing) so I'm interested in any perspectives. To date, with the exception of a recent Motobecane Grand Jubile purchase (mine is one of the ones with the missing second ‘e’) I’ve been wary of threading compatibility issues, but also because I’m a CL shopper and in the ads I often can’t tell one Peugeot from another. I plan to keep and ride it as is, with all original equipment, so how well that equipment performs is of interest to me.
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Old 08-24-10, 03:40 PM
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By '86 the threading shouldn't be an issue (all english). I've been keeping an eye out for a '86 or '87 Triathlon. Should have the Super Vitus 980 frame material and, thus, quite light and responsive. I had a '84 PSV10 back in the day that was the same frame material and it was a blast to ride.

If the price is good - go for it.
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Old 08-24-10, 03:43 PM
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BSA does refer to British threading so your good to go from that perspective. In my opinion the French components on the Triathlon are nothing special. The ride is very nice, later models came with Reynolds 501 tubing versus the lightweight Super Vitus the bike your considering has.

The Triathlon should have a 'P' designation, I dont know what it is but to be honest I wouldnt worry about it. Super Vitus bikes were called PSV10 and PSN10 (N=clincher tires)
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Old 08-24-10, 04:24 PM
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Earliest Triathlons (1985?) were pretty much just repainted PSVs with a different component group and different seat post securing method.
Peugeot wanted to cash in on the then hot Triathlon trend and turned the PSV range into the "Triathlon" to do so.
The "Triathlon" name on the bike actually affected the bike's popularity later as people sometimes wrongly thought that it was a proprietary bike for that type of event. Even today, the prices on used Triatlhlon bikes are slightly lower than PSVs in the same condition, which is good for prospective buyers like you that can take advantage of the slightly lower pricing that will still get you the nice Super Vitus tubed frame. If other posters ar correct, the Triathlon possibly having English threading will make it easier to mod up the bike as French and Swiss threaded compnents, as used on the PSVs are now getting rare and expensive.
You can always find a long enough sticker to go over the "Triathlon" decal if it bothers you. Michelin gives out nice decals in thier auto tire stores for free that seem to be just the right size and legnth.

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Old 08-24-10, 05:32 PM
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Ackk! I just passed up a nice 86 model in red for $150 yesterday. Have a bit of non-buyers remorse today but I figured I needed to swap out the wheels - it was for a single-speed project and had a helicomatic hub - and then it wasn't so cheap anymore.

I did a bit of research on them yesterday and the general consensus I found was that the ride was quite nice. There were some comments about large frame (>60cm) sizes being whippy but others liked that ride and just called it lively. The comments I found on the components labeled them as decent but not great and not rare/collectible/valuable.

If you're after the 'classic French ride' I think this one would be about as good as you're going to find.

Last edited by Iowegian; 08-24-10 at 05:33 PM. Reason: 86 not 88
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Old 08-24-10, 07:39 PM
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I think it was the red '86 that was "Computer-Designed." It may have been a later model. It is a very nice bike. I rehabbed one for a lady and am planning on talking her into doing some upgrades...
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Old 08-24-10, 08:04 PM
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Excellent. Tremendous information. I really appreciate it.

Thanks for putting a word to something I was looking for in that 'French ride'. 'Responsiveness' sounds about right.

If the geometry and tubing on these worked, then British threading really opens up the possibilities. P or no P I'm signing up...


Iowegian - Funny you mention it. In the catalog I read they called that 'Tulip Red'. Made me pause and a second over the difference between 'tulip red', Ferrari red, Colnago red, my daughters red Specialized Hot Rock mountain bike ...

Chombi - I probably wouldn't have focused on that great big 'triathlon' sticker shouting from the top tube but now that you mention it, dang it, I may have need for an appropriate dressing to it and I could have labored months before coming up with something as fitting as a Michelin. Useful advice.

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Old 08-24-10, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
I think it was the red '86 that was "Computer-Designed." It may have been a later model. It is a very nice bike. I rehabbed one for a lady and am planning on talking her into doing some upgrades...
You might want to keep in mind that computers seem partial to tulip red...

Last edited by bumpalong; 08-24-10 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 08-24-10, 08:31 PM
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as i've heard/read the Super Vitus Triathlons may not be all Super Vitus Tubes. Either the forks or stays (can't remember which) are made with an undocumented material. Could be vitus, but don't know. I'd still love to have one.
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Old 08-24-10, 08:58 PM
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My 1988 Triathlon is Reynolds 501. Components were originally Shimano 105 with 12 Vitesses! It's now sporting a Gruppo di Partsbox with a Sugino triple.

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Old 08-24-10, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by brandon98 View Post
My 1988 Triathlon is Reynolds 501. Components were originally Shimano 105 with 12 Vitesses! It's now sporting a Gruppo di Partsbox with a Sugino triple.

Le Partsbox Gruppo looks suberbe. That is quite a rise on that stem too. Over 45 degrees?

So what did you find you wanted to replace/upgrade first?
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Old 08-24-10, 09:48 PM
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The stem is a 30 degree rise QBP cheapo threadless stem that I put on when I had a lumbar injury that wouldn't let me stretch out without sciatic pain.

Here's the contents of Partsbox SSC Gruppo:
Brakes: Tektro levers and RX100 47-57 calipers. Bars are Salsa Bell Lap MotoAce. FD is a Campy Racing-T, RD is a 105 Long cage, shifters are RX100 8 speed. Sugino XD500 crank, cheapo UN?? cartridge BB, and LOOK pedals with world champion stripes.

Wheels came from the wealthy neurotic feuding gay guys (WNFGG) across the street who throw each other's stuff out on the curb next to the trash bin when they fight and one moves out for a week. They're too proud to take stuff back when offered. I'm hoping for another tiff: I know one guy's got a nice high end ScubaPro setup and set of DeWalt Cordless tools,but I digress..... They're Wheelsmith-built Dura-Ace 9spd (with 8 speed SRAM cassette) laced to Open Pros. Vittoria Rubino 700x23 with yellow shoulders.

Frame was a swap meet special that came with the 105 HS; just needed grease.

B
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Old 08-25-10, 06:06 AM
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I sold a 1986 this past spring. Full Super Vitus and light as a fart!

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Old 08-25-10, 08:55 AM
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Brandon98 - I've taken some notes from what you've done there. Sounds like this frame may be worth building up a little. I have a set of 105 8 speed STI looking for a new home, as well as an Ultegra / Open Pro wheelset that I put on a Centurion that I don't ride enough because it is a hair too small. I'll see how it rides as is then decide.

By the way - your's look to be a 60cm+ frame. Have you noticed any significant frame flex at any point in it?
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Old 08-25-10, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 20grit View Post
as i've heard/read the Super Vitus Triathlons may not be all Super Vitus Tubes. Either the forks or stays (can't remember which) are made with an undocumented material. Could be vitus, but don't know. I'd still love to have one.
FWIW in the 1986 catalog the Triathlon is spec'd with Super Vitus throughout, including the fork.

I just noticed something though - is this not a lugged frame?
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Old 08-25-10, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bumpalong View Post
FWIW in the 1986 catalog the Triathlon is spec'd with Super Vitus throughout, including the fork.

I just noticed something though - is this not a lugged frame?
If its Super Vitus its lugged. The later triathlons with Reynolds 501 were not lugged.
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Old 08-25-10, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Noah Scape View Post
I sold a 1986 this past spring. Full Super Vitus and light as a fart!

That's a perfect match for the one I passed on, maybe even the same size. The guy selling it said it was a 62 but the catalog I looked at only showed 60 and 64? It was for my son's BD present since he wanted a 'light' single speed. It would have been perfect but I couldn't stand the thought of it being tossed into the bike rack every day.
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Old 08-25-10, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Noah Scape View Post
I sold a 1986 this past spring. Full Super Vitus and light as a fart!
Beautiful bike! I have the same one but it was in a bit worse shape when I got it so I'm not using all original components - new brakes, shifters, stem and wheelset. The New Success derailleur works just fine with a Hyperglide freewheel.

It's a 60cm frame and I've noticed a little flex but nothing serious (I'm not much of a masher.) There's occasional "ghost shifting" but according to Sheldon this can be remedied by lubricating the rear der cable where it traverses the bottom bracket cable guide. Otherwise, the bike is a joy to ride.

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Old 08-25-10, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
If its Super Vitus its lugged. The later triathlons with Reynolds 501 were not lugged.
Thanks - that clarifies it. Brandon98's 88 threw me off for a second.
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Old 08-25-10, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by rcschafer View Post
Beautiful bike! I have the same one but it was in a bit worse shape when I got it so I'm not using all original components - new brakes, shifters, stem and wheelset. The New Success derailleur works just fine with a Hyperglide freewheel.

It's a 60cm frame and I've noticed a little flex but nothing serious (I'm not much of a masher.) There's occasional "ghost shifting" but according to Sheldon this can be remedied by lubricating the rear der cable where it traverses the bottom bracket cable guide. Otherwise, the bike is a joy to ride.

Yours is a real beaut too rcshafer. This tulip red is really growing on me, and the white tape, cables, bottle holders and saddle really complement it nicely.

Now is it just me or are the head tubes on these somewhat shorter in proportion to seat tube sizes than on most other bikes of the period? When I first saw the bike (that I'll be picking up tomorrow all going to plan) in the photo I thought it was roughly a 56cm (one cm below my comfort riding range), but the seller confirmed 58cm. Looking at yours I thought 58cm, but you mention 60cm. Is it just me or is this a characteristic of the PSV's/Triathlons geometry?
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Old 08-25-10, 12:28 PM
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I guess while everyone is posting up pics of their Triathlons, I might as well post up a pic of my 84 PSV, which "begat" the Triathlons for reference.
Note very relaxed 72 degree geometry and the unique curve of the forks (curve occurs higher up the fork legs), compared to then contemporary designs. This didn't seem to have made it over to the Triathlons. I think these characteristics contributed to the bike's very nice ride qualities.

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Old 08-25-10, 02:27 PM
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Wow. Beautiful bike Chombi. That frame and all the alloy look brand new...

So let me guess the size. I would have called that a 56, but if your bike is consistent with the shorter headtube to seat tube impression I referred to earlier this must be a 58? Or am I just disoriented?
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Old 08-25-10, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bumpalong View Post
Wow. Beautiful bike Chombi. That frame and all the alloy look brand new...

So let me guess the size. I would have called that a 56, but if your bike is consistent with the shorter headtube to seat tube impression I referred to earlier this must be a 58? Or am I just disoriented?
Uhmmm....It's a 56CM. at least that's what I remember it to be, certainly not a 58. I do remember though that the Peugeot catalogues for the 84 model year might have mentioned sizes like 56.5CM, so this might fall into that size measurement.
The components are new, as I had been upgrading the bike since I got it in 84. It went through its original Simplex, then Suntour, then Campy NR/Simplex, then Suntour again, then the present Mavic/Spidel/ tubular wheels component phases through the years. This last change over is only about two years old. Not sure what's next, but I might have already reached the upper limit on what I can practically do to mod up the bike, considering it started it's life as a mid level model from Peugeot.
The Frame, I guess I was just always a stickler about taking care of the bike, as it was the only one I had for a long time and was my first ever "good bike". It was never put away wet after use. Back in the 80's and 90's when I used to ride much more, I always broke the bike down totally to totally dry it out, inside and out and re-lubricate all parts after any rain rides. Call it obseesion? I guess, yes, but you can see the fruits of those efforts.

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Old 08-25-10, 04:45 PM
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Brandon98 - I've taken some notes from what you've done there. Sounds like this frame may be worth building up a little. I have a set of 105 8 speed STI looking for a new home, as well as an Ultegra / Open Pro wheelset that I put on a Centurion that I don't ride enough because it is a hair too small. I'll see how it rides as is then decide.

By the way - your's look to be a 60cm+ frame. Have you noticed any significant frame flex at any point in it?
It's a 60cm. It's relatively supple but not noodly under my 230lb lbs. Compared to my 59cm Bridgestone RB-2, it's relatively rigid but there's BB flex out of the saddle compared to my 60cm 853 framed Peloton. It's a nice all-day machine and it actually rides very similar to the current production Reynolds framed Schwinn LeTour Legacy. I like the fact that it has eyelets on the frame and fork in case I befender it. It's not a collectible but there's something about that obnoxious Crockett and Tubbs era paint scheme that appeals to me.

B
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Old 08-25-10, 05:01 PM
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Well perhaps I'm just seeing things when it comes to this shorter head tube theory. I did check again with the seller and he confirms 58cm so I'm not going to worry about it.

Yes - I'd say your efforts have paid off Chombi. That is a sight that warms a cyclist's heart.

Perhaps it is a common trait of C&Vers. I too very much like to keep a clean bike, and I've noticed from the photos in this subforum at least that we don't seem alone in this 'obsession'. I was raised in an environment where nice things were often imported and/or hard to come by (in the Northeast of Brazil in Salvador, Bahia) and by parents with Scottish backgrounds to boot (fruuuuugal), so taking good care of my possessions often made the difference between actually having one of that sort of thing in the future or not. It was also a sandy and salty (sea spray) environment and to keep my Caloi single speed going (not imported) I needed to constantly clean and lube it. In any case, I get real joy from fixing things and from maintaining them properly. On some gut level it feels like the right thing to do.

Last edited by bumpalong; 08-25-10 at 05:07 PM.
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