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Which 80s steel bike for commuting?

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Which 80s steel bike for commuting?

Old 07-02-13, 08:07 AM
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T Slinger
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Which 80s steel bike for commuting?

I'm riding 15 to 20 mi RT 3-5 times a week. I've been using a FX7.3 that is a stiff aluminum frame and fork. I'm looking for a smoother ride with more hand positioins, and a low theft risk.

I've got my eye on a couple of bikes that look to be in good, if not rideable condition for 100-125 bucks. I plan to upgrade tires, brake pads, cables, bearing packing, and get it set up at the LBS.

There is a an 83 Peugeot PH10s (103 carbolite), which i think is a great looking frame, with fun lion graphics. It's an entry level bike. There is also a 84-85 Schwinn LeTour Luxe too, pretty plain looking compared to the peugeot, but mid level when new.

Question is, should I consider these pretty much equivelant or is one to be favored or avoided? Is there a place to find frame dimensions? Any suggestions beyond these two would also be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 07-02-13, 09:13 AM
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Another vote for the Schwinn.
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Old 07-02-13, 10:39 AM
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I had an 82 PH10s back in the 80's as my first "real" bike, and I loved it. A bike that takes to modding up very well and with the right components, I bet one can even use it as an entry level racer. But I guess the point here is not to race the bike but to have it provide, reliable, day to day commuter transportation. I would say that the Schwinn LeTour might be a better choice to do that as the early 80's PH10s had French threaded and sized components. I think the 83's were still mostly French threaded/sized, so if a breakdown occurs, a LBS might not have the right parts on hand to help you get the bike back on the road right away, where as the most likely English threaded Schwinn will not have that problem......plus I think most Schwinns of the mid 80's and later, were much better made that the ones from the 70's and the very early 80's.....
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Old 07-02-13, 11:23 AM
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Well now... Where will you be storing the bike at the end of your commute...

I would go for a Frankin-Peu (Peugeot) in a heart beat but if I had to leave my bike outside at the mercy of the general public I would probably go for a subdued sleeper bike... Not to classic...
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Old 07-02-13, 11:31 AM
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I love Peugeots which is why the Schwinn is an easy recommendation. The Schwinn is a better bike and it is much easier to find parts for. Both bikes will make great commuters. If the Peugeot were a lot cheaper, I might take it over the Schwinn.
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Old 07-02-13, 11:44 AM
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I would recommend you ride them both, then decide. Everyone has different opinions and different anatomy.

I own and flip a lot of French bikes and it's not like the parts give up the ghost often, except for Delrin derailleurs, but that's no worse than Shimano grip shifters crapping out in the middle of a HILLY thirty mile ride. But derailleurs are an easy swap.
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Old 07-02-13, 11:47 AM
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Schwinn +1
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Old 07-02-13, 12:09 PM
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Your proposed commute is similar to mine. For that kind of distance you could do well with either. Subtleties might make a difference. For example, which fits the best, whether you will carry much stuff like work items, or clothes and towel for a shower, or lunch, or lights, etc.

I don't believe Peugeot used Swiss BBs but perhaps they did for a spell before transitioning to English in the early 80's. Even so, a BB doesn't exactly go bad regularly. With good "upgrade" components like Suntour derailleurs either will last a long time.

If you have to do much climbing then you might want to check their weights. Others may confirm or refute, but I'd expect the Peugeot to be lighter.

I have 5 solo bikes ready to ride - early 70's bike-boom French with lights and rack, mid-price English, and mid-price Belgian with rack, mid-70's very-high-end American Italian, late 80's mid-price Japanese Italian. I have commuted on all of them, which includes some typical New England climbing, fairly steep but generally not very long. I have my favorites but they all do just fine.
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Old 07-02-13, 12:32 PM
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+1 for schwinn since it's easier to find parts.
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Old 07-02-13, 12:34 PM
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If the Schwinn is painted gunmetal and the decals have mostly fallen off (like mine) it's a sleeper. Nice riding frame.
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Old 07-02-13, 12:47 PM
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Have the polls closed? Go with the LeTour. The bikes are likely similar in ride quality and component levels. Does either come with a good cargo rack or fenders? Those would be a plus. Or better yet, bar end shifters? Winner, as this will save you on parts scrounging.
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Old 07-02-13, 08:27 PM
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Thanks to all for the advice. I think I'll try the Schwinn first, and if I don't love it, I'll try the Peugeot. Based on some comments here, i may expand my search a bit.
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Old 07-03-13, 04:46 AM
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Trek 820. Can't kill it, benign looks, will hold your office on racks. Often priced $75-$125.
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Old 07-03-13, 04:53 AM
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If the those road bikes don't work out for you I would suggest expanding to include early rigid mountain bikes. With a set of trekking bars and some good tires they make awesome commuters. They are also generally cheaper than road bikes.
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Old 07-03-13, 12:04 PM
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Thanks to all for your input. I took this info and found this. Nice old Euro frame, upgraded to modern standards for gears/BB. If the headset isn't wrecked, I'm buying it. Current owner is same size as me, rode it and upgraded it over the last 10 year, and decided he wanted a new bike. Hell it's worth it for the parts. Walking out the door now. I'll post pics when i get home.

Here's what he told me.
The frame is 60 CM, Columbus "Tritubi" with the main tubes butted Columbus chrome-moly. Has a mix of Shimano 600 components. wheels have been replaced with more-modern Shimano items and the rear frame spread to accept an 8-speed gear-set. I replaced the original steel crank with an aluminum model in the more-modern 39/52 size.
Last season, I installed a new sealed bottom bracket, and replaced the worn-out downtube shifters with Shimano brake/shifter units.
I just installed two new tires and tubes, and the chain is new as well. It's ready to roll.
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Old 07-03-13, 12:25 PM
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I had an '84 Le Tour that made a great commuter. It was a Plain Jane, but that's a good thing for a bike that will be locked up outside daily.
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Old 07-03-13, 12:54 PM
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Schwinn Passage-Tours and commutes, does both well, Italian tubing( Columbus Tenax )
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Old 07-03-13, 03:43 PM
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I have a 1988 Schwinn Voyageur, very smooth ride, terrific commuter.
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Old 07-03-13, 06:48 PM
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I've an 81 Voyageur I had to commute on a couple of times. Great commutes for a chromoloy bike. Handlebars were too narrow, planning repaint and upgrades over summer. Great riding bikes, all the Voyageurs.
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Old 07-03-13, 07:59 PM
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A couple of my favorite steel bikes have been 80's Columbus Schwinns. Riding this one right now, as my main ride. A little fancy, yes, but I also never lock it up anywhere. 1985 Schwinn Super Sport. Pearl orange powdercoat, and Shimano Sante group from another 80's Schwinn. A 1988 Circuit.,,,,BD

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Old 07-05-13, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikedued View Post
A little fancy...
Man - Love a clean ride...
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