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Help a Nube! Upgrade vintage or buy new retro?

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Help a Nube! Upgrade vintage or buy new retro?

Old 04-04-14, 08:07 AM
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littleredcat
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Help a Nube! Upgrade vintage or buy new retro?

Hello all.

I am very new to bicycle maintanance but have been collecting evidence for a bit before posting.

So I recently been given my mother-in-law's 1970s (I think 74) UO-18 mixte Peugoet with the intention of upgrading it. It has all original parts and the frame itself is in good condition, but after a few decades in her basement it would do well having most of the parts replaced (see pictures). I have started intense internet research and have plans to bring her to my local coop this weekend to be checked out and get my parts list approved. I am planning to upgrade to 700c wheels and tires, replace the freewheel with a 6 speed Shimano tourney, replace the derailer and chain with parts to fit the new freewheel, replace the brake and derailed cables and housing which is totally corroded, and brake pads, update the crankset and BB with a V-O french thread and a single speed chainring/ new crankset (I hardly ever use my current 10 speed's bigger chainring and ditching the front derailed etc seems like a good idea). It's a lot of new stuff and I'm coming from hardly knowing how to clean my chain and change a flat, but I've been thinking of it as a learning experience and I love the feel of vintage bikes. My budget is about $500.

Now, after all of my research and interest, I found this Cooper Aintree bike on ebay at a really excellent price: Cooper Bikes Ladie Woman T250 Aintree Blue Road Bicycle 48cm 52cm Sizes New | eBay

It has some things that I would love to have on my Peugoet rebuild (internal hub, brooks saddle, Mavis rims), but which I just can't afford. And it's less than my rebuild. I can't find a lot of information on this bike, but the parts seem legit.

SO NOW I am confused. Should I go for the Aintree? Another option would be to buy the Aintree, which comes unassembled and treat it as a kit to upgrade the Peugoet, as it's cheaper than buying the parts separately and I could potentially sell off the parts I don't use but that seems a little silly as the Aintree frame is Reynolds 531 which the Pug is not.

Also- am I over my head with a whole bike rebuild as a nube?
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Old 04-04-14, 08:14 AM
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Think about what your purpose is in the rebuild. You have planned to replace somethings that may not need replacing(like the crankset), and will take away from any collectability. I would instead replace the cables, brake pads, chain, and see if the derailleurs are working properly, and take it from there.

I'm old enough to know that we had fun on bikes before we had a gazillion gears. That is a nice bike, but it will never be a race bike, so it is for a comfortable ride for someone.
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Old 04-04-14, 08:29 AM
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Those Pugs can bring big $$ in bicoastal metro or university towns. I would recommend you do minimal changes for appearance and comfort, saddle and silver handlebars. Velo-orange.com

Have the cables and housing(white) replaced and ride the bike for a while. Lube the rest of the bike and ride it regularly for 30-60 days, then re-evaluate.

I buy and recondition Peugeot and Motobecane Mixtes often and find them to be very enjoyable.
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Old 04-04-14, 08:39 AM
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Help a Nube! Upgrade vintage or buy new retro?

The Peugeot looks pristine. Very rare to see them in such nice condition. It's a cool vintage french bike, leave it as is. The ride may surprise you. I doubt if it needs anything new to make it a very FUNctional bike. And new parts don't necessarily mean "upgrade" in my book. That crankset will last your lifetime. The brakes are some of the best ever made. The frame is a thing of beauty. Peugeots like yours are the type of bikes I seek out and prefer over newer more expensive bikes. The ride is fantastic after a lube and tune. I only replace parts that are bent and broken, and then I use vintage period appropriate(non-japanese) components.

If you want to experience a new bike get the Cooper. Trying to make the Peugeot into the Cooper doesn't make much sense.
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Old 04-04-14, 10:10 AM
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I agree with the others. There is no need to go nuts with an upgrade. I'd replace the cables, housings, brake pads, Chain, tires and probably the freewheel. Re-grease where it needs it. Then you're good to go for more like $100 instead of $500!
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Old 04-04-14, 10:52 AM
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Give this mixte a chance.
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Old 04-04-14, 11:05 AM
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+1

I'd replace the cables, housings, brake pads, Chain, tires
Lube the stem and seat post, dial in the fit and ride the snot out of it.
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Old 04-04-14, 11:17 AM
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I bought my first used bike, a Motobecane 1974-75 and was new to bike wrenching. I knew nothing about French tube sizes, thread pitch, etc. and I dove in replacing almost everything trying to make it what, to me, looked good on paper. I learned a lot and the project was fun, but when it was all done I never rode it! I have come to the conclusion that I need to reinstall the original drop handlebars, etc. I went on to buy several used bikes, and with each one I immediately went out and bought all sorts of perceived upgrades/new components. Long story short is that I came to the conclusion, that I should allow the initial excitement to subside before I go spend a ton of $$$ buying parts just because.
So...does the Peugeot fit you well (google bike fitting if you're not sure)? Knowing what I know now, I would clean it up, maybe put new chain, brake pads, cables, clean and lube everything, then ride it a lot for awhile - like maybe a month. Once the initial excitement subsides you'll be in a better place to make a decision. Most collectors will want original parts, so if you do change anything out keep EVERYTHING.
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Old 04-04-14, 11:30 AM
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That Cooper is real nice and with free shipping makes it temping.Only downside I see is that it has no eyelets for mounting fenders or racks.

Here,mixte's can bring a premium.Less for those with cottered cranks.

I have that same Pug in yellow in similair condition as yours and its my kids favorite.

One by one have been replacing the drivetrain componets as they have not faired very well.Granted my oldest is built like a brick and can easily test parts to their outer limits.
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Old 04-04-14, 12:06 PM
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That Peugeot is lovely the way it is. I would not mess with it. Service and ride it, or sell it as-is and use the proceeds to buy the Cooper.
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Old 04-04-14, 12:23 PM
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A bit more background:

I am looking for an all around bike, mostly for urban cycling, commuting or just getting around and the occasional (or hopefully not so occasional) pleasure rides on bike paths. I don't race or anything but 10+mile rides are pretty normal.

My current ride of the last several years is a similarly aged Fuji Sport 10 in much rougher condition. I'm hoping to increase performance and lighten the load a bit.

The Pug cleaned up really nicely (I was excited to show my Mother in Law who saw all the dust and grime and thought the bike was unfixable- ha!) and fits me well, but isn't in quite as perfect condition as the pictures show. There's a bit of rust (particularly where someone- presumably my father in law- decided to carve the serial number into the down tube) and the wheels are original steel and a bit rusty. After riding steel rims on my Fuji for years (and having some scary moments!) Alloy rims are a minimum upgrade.

A question on the cranks- I've read so much about how cottered cranks are the worst and must be replaced, but I haven't seen anyone explain why (except presumably weight). Besides leaving this bike as original as possible and saving the $$, what are the pros and cons of changing the crank (and presumably the BB with it)?
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Old 04-04-14, 12:45 PM
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Weight is the main reason to change the cottered cranks, also it's easier to work on non-cottered ones. But I wouldn't change it.

I agree alloy rims would be a great upgrade.
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Old 04-04-14, 03:23 PM
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If I were you, and not scared to do a little wrenching, I'd keep the Peugeot.

I'm currently working on a Peugeot UO-8 myself, roughly the same age. The UO-8 and UO-18 are basically the same bike, except yours is a mixte with flat bars and the UO-8 is a road bike. Based on my own experience with the UO-8, here are my thoughts:

Your bike looks like it's in good shape and will probably clean up easier and better than you expect.

You mentioned rust, but if you're comfortable enough mechanically to tear it down all the way, rust removal is easy. You can submerge the frame in a weak oxalic acid solution for a few hours and the rust will be gone. Just wash the bike afterward and add spots of touch-up paint as necessary. Oxalic acid is often sold as wood bleach. I picked up a tub of Savogran brand wood bleach for $8 from my local hardware store. Mixed with water, it was enough to fill a kiddie pool.

The cottered cranks on your bike are heavy. About 1200 grams just for the arms and chainrings. Swapping them for an inexpensive alloy set should lighten the bike by a pound or so. But if you're not racing the thing, a pound probably isn't a big deal. The other down side to your cottered cranks is serviceability. For those of us accustomed to other kinds of cranks, it's a little bit of a challenge to get cottered cranks on and off. I've found it's not nearly as difficult as I had feared, though. I don't have a cotter pin press and didn't want to hit the bike with a big freakin' hammer, so I opted for "Plan C" and used a vise to press out the pins. It wasn't too difficult to get them out and it doesn't seem like it would be too hard to drive new ones back in similarly. Finding the right replacement pins, buying them, and filing them seems like a bigger challenge.

But there's also an up side to those cranks. First of all, you wouldn't have to buy a replacement. Secondly, those chromed cranks clean up VERY nicely and look so appropriate on the bike. After removing the rust on mine, I have to admit I briefly thought about reinstalling them. I probably would use them if I was using my bike like you're planning to. If you want a single chainring up front, you can easily unbolt one of the front rings, but the ideal ring size for a single chainring would probably be between the 40- and 50- tooth rings on your Peugeot.

You mentioned a bike coop. Will you have access to tools there? If so, they might have a cotter pin press and other bike-specific tools you might find handy. You'll need a freewheel remover and chain whip to remove your freewheel. (If you're planning on new rims and a new freewheel, you may only need to remove the old freewheel if you want to transfer your chrome spoke protector.) You'll probably need a bottom bracket lockring wrench to remove/reinstall your current bottom bracket. You'll need a different tool to install the Velo Orange bottom bracket if that's what you decide to use. You'll need cable cutters to trim cables and housings.

Like you, I'm also swapping the steel rims for alloy wheels. While looking for options, I found some budget-priced wheels at Niagara Cycle. 700c wheels can be had for about $65/pair (you can search their web site for the wheels' SKU numbers: 9708 & 9815). Slightly nicer double-walled 27" wheels with cartridge bearings are $96 (SKU 447959). But through the coop, you could likely find better used wheels at a good price.

If your bike has plastic-bodied Simplex derailleurs, you've definitely got the right idea about ditching them. The derailleur body and pulleys seem to be brittle and you don't want to worry that yours could crack or break st any time.

if your original brakes are Mafac Racers, Kool-Stop makes replacement pads that'll fit in the original carriers.

Make sure you regrease all the bearings (bottom bracket, headset, wheel hubs, & pedals) since yours is almost certainly all dried out.

It'll be a little work, but since you said you like vintage bikes, it'll be worth it in the end!
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Old 04-04-14, 03:32 PM
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I'm in the middle of replacing the cranks ect.The spindle is shot from being ridden with a loose cotter pin and finding a replacement?they do not make them any more.Were going with a three piece mostly cause maintanance is simple.

...and to help meet the minimum required picture posts per thread...

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Old 04-04-14, 07:15 PM
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@ Michael K - Your Pug is a breath of sunshine! haha...but really, it's gorgeous.

I've been afraid of bikes with cottered cranks because I don't own a cotter press and despite having access to about 80+ bike shops & several coops, I don't want to have to drive all over town trying to hunt a place down just to do a bit of tinkering with my bottom bracket.

To OP, let us know what you decide.
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Old 04-04-14, 08:16 PM
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It's my opinion the Cooper is head and shoulders better than that Peugeot. However, I am saying that based on the specs, as I have never seen or ridden one. It is 531. It is lighter. It will be livelier. The Peugeots look cool but whenever I've ridden them I thought they were heavy and felt "dead".

It has great components - Team Pro saddle, Mavic rims, 5 speed Internally geared hub. If you want a maintenance free bike, it's hard to beat an IGH. I don't know about those particular brakes but I haven't seen a bad brake in a very long time. Maybe someone else can comment on their performance. I like the little chain guard, too.

Now for the important question - do one of the two sizes fit you properly? They have only 48 and 52 cm.

And, for the bottom line, do you have the $500 to spend for a Cooper?

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Old 04-05-14, 12:46 PM
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Keep the Peugeot. It has history and class (two things that you cannot buy).

Like many others have stated, only replace the parts that are non-functional or consumables (tires, brake pads, cables, etc.). I would keep the cottered cranks - their weight becomes insignificant the moment you sit upon the bike - you become the heaviest component.

My grandmother told to buy land "they're not making any more", same thing with Peugeots.
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Old 04-05-14, 08:34 PM
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OK. I've decided to go with the Peugeot. And keep the cranks, at least for now (you serious vintage enthusiasts have had an impact on me). I went to my coop today and they do indeed have a cotter press so I am in luck. The mechanic I talked to made similar suggestions to what you have all said. I have a few questions for the experts before I start ordering parts as he was a little vague on my order list. I am currently looking at new wheel set and tires, chain, freewheel, rear derailer, cables and housing, and brake pulls (maybe unclear in the photos but one of the brake pulls is broken).

I am planning on a Shimano Tourney 6 speed freewheel (MF-TZ20). Now that I'm not changing the crankset I'm a bit confused on what chain to get. Can someone suggest?
The guy at my coop also suggested that I stick with 27 inch wheels. I'm not sure I agree- there is clearly room in the breaks and having a standard wheel size seems beneficial, but more experienced advice would be useful. Stay 27 or go 700c?

Thanks so much for your help! Assuming I get the parts in time I'll be putting it together ne
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Old 04-05-14, 10:16 PM
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this is probably going against the general consensus, I know how these c&v'ers think, but Id recommend buying new.

The cooper has internal gears & brand new modern components. The wheels wont require re-packing (like the pug may). the frame material is very nice, and although the uo 18 looks to be in great shape, it still needs a complete overhaul and parts replaced. the cooper is rideable now.

As odd job points out, you can sell the peugoet for decent money. sometimes taking on a resto project, especially for someone who doesnt have a box of extra parts and years of knowledge, can turn into a big, time consuming, expense.
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Old 04-05-14, 10:56 PM
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If by brake 'pulls' you mean you levers tektro make some that look similiar to the originals.

Tektro FL750 City Brake Levers for 22.2 dia Bars - Levers - Brakes & Parts - Components

With 700c you'll have more tire options and should have no problems fitting.I'm currently running 700x28-32's and plan on going a little bigger.
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Old 04-05-14, 10:57 PM
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I know a thing or two about blowing absurd amounts of money on a project that doesn't make any sense. I've done more than my fair share of those. Having said that, here's my two cents:

When acquiring a new bike, I tend to divide them into two separate categories: Project bikes and Restorations/period-pieces. A project bike is one that isn't worth much to me in the condition it's in, but has the potential to be rebuilt into something cool and personalized. A good example of a project bike would be a bare-frame off a low-end ten speed to build a fixie out of, or a decent 80s racing bike with none of it's original drivetrain components. No collectibility, nothing to worry about preserving. Meanwhile, a restoration candidate would be something of a decent vintage, in pretty clean condition with all or most of it's original parts. Even if this bike isn't particularly GREAT, there's something inherently valuable about a 40 or 50 year old bike that's still rolling on it's original equipment. Why change it if it works? A variation on this would be an old bike upgraded with parts that make sense being on it. For example, I've done a number of changes to my 85 Univega, but every part makes sense on an 80s Japanese bike. All brands and vintages are appropriate and plausible. But that's just how I do things.

With your particular bike, I think there are more compelling reasons to leave it as is than there are to change it. A new freewheel probably isn't going to make as much difference as you think it will. New wheels will lighten it up, but you'll spend a lot of money getting them, and it will most likely screw up the whole vibe this thing has. My primary concern is that you're going to dismantle this pristine survivor of a bike, and you're going to end up with something that, at best, won't be a significant improvement. Do the bare minimum to get it rolling, and ride it for the summer, see what you think needs to be done then, and then buy yourself a proper project bike to spend your savings on.
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Old 04-05-14, 11:30 PM
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My wife's Peugeot, a Canadian made Supersport with a 105 Carbolite frame... new 700c wheels with a dynohub, new tyres, triple crank, new Sachs drivetrain parts, Brooks saddle, new stem, bars, MKS pedals, grips, Dia Compe centre pull brakes, and a custom built rack.

It did have a BSA bottom bracket and square taper cranks so the cartridge bb and new crankset was a simple replacement whereas older Peugeots require a pricier VO or spindle replacement before a modern crank can be used.

The parts cost nearly as much as her off the peg Breezer Uptown 8 (which also has some upgrades now) and I did all the work and rack building...the only original parts are the frame and fork and fenders.

I own a shop so did not have to pay for the work and got paid in smoochies instead.
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Old 04-05-14, 11:33 PM
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The best improvements to make to an older French Peugeot is to change the wheels to alloy to improve the braking and replace the fragile Simplex derailleurs, swapping the freewheel will also improve shifting greatly due to the improvements in freewheels from the time the Peugeot was built.

Swapping the crank will shed weight and give better crank / gearing options.

My step son's UO8... he commutes on it daily through the year.

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Old 04-05-14, 11:51 PM
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Japanese #5 spindles can be used to replace the cottered spindle on a Peugeot, these are designed for a 70mm Italian bottom bracket but the thin walled French cups will not take a #3 (JIS 68 mm).

Harris Cyclery also stocks new French thread bottom brackets (traditional) for $19.95 in case your French cups are toast as well as cotter pins for French cranks.
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