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Carbolite 103, what is wrong with this type of frame?

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Carbolite 103, what is wrong with this type of frame?

Old 06-20-14, 06:45 AM
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Carbolite 103, what is wrong with this type of frame?

Ok, I have an old 80's Pug with the above type of frame, I got it cheap (ish) and spent more putting new tyres and a saddle on it than it originally cost me to buy, I actually have my eye on another which is in slightly better condition but will suit my size better. The thing is that in almost every forum I have visited when searching for parts the general theme is how bad these frames are, now I am no expert and I defer to those in the know but I can't understand the level of antipathy towards these bikes, surely they cannot be that awful? is a Pug Carbolite from the 80's selling for 50 in good condition really so bad when compared to a similar bike of the era on a Reynolds frame?
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Old 06-20-14, 07:21 AM
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Visually the construction process was just too close to a cheap cheap utility frame. Different process but it did not appear that way. Frame tubing was not very special, in comparison to Peugeot's history the bikes just did not visually measure up.
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Old 06-20-14, 08:28 AM
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The Mixte. Sometimes a compromise in the attempt to please the greater amount winds up pleasing the lesser. Mixte or otherwise, Carbolite was not what Peugeot enthusiasts were accustomed to seeing.

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Old 06-20-14, 08:44 AM
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As long as you enjoy it, that's all that really matters. Every time I get on a Peugeot road bike, whether a U-08, U18, Carbolite or HLE derivative, I am amazed at the ride quality and effortless acceleration. But through reconditioning and selling a bunch of them, I can now afford a PX-10 and also love my PGN10!
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Old 06-20-14, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
As long as you enjoy it, that's all that really matters. Every time I get on a Peugeot road bike, whether a U-08, U18, Carbolite or HLE derivative, I am amazed at the ride quality and effortless acceleration. But through reconditioning and selling a bunch of them, I can now afford a PX-10 and also love my PGN10!
I would love a PGN10, however I am yet to come across a nice retro Pug (in my size 54) in anything other than HLE or Carbolite frames, what price is a PGN10 in good condition?
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Old 06-20-14, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by SH27 View Post
I would love a PGN10, however I am yet to come across a nice retro Pug (in my size 54) in anything other than HLE or Carbolite frames, what price is a PGN10 in good condition?
I paid $125 for this 2 years ago, but typically, more like low $300s. But remember I look pretty much 24 X 7.
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Old 06-20-14, 11:15 AM
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There are bad low priced C&V bikes and there are low priced C&V cheap bikes, Peugeot bikes with Carbolite 103 frames and internally brazed construction happen to be good bikes. and people who tend to put them down just on the basis of them being made out of high carbon, high tensile steel tubing, just don't know what they are talking about and most likely never even rode a Carbolite 103 framed Peugeot in their lives..... I've owned two Carbolite framed Peugeots back in the 80's and despite them not being as light as my higher model Peugeots, they still are some of the best riding bikes I've ever ridden, despite their very humble place in the Peugeot model line. Most attribute it mostly to the frame geometries that Peugeot used, but Carbolite 103 seems to provide a ride that does not end up dead and heavy like a lot of other High Tensile, High Carbon steel tubing does.
Best thing to do is to try them out yourselves and hopefully your doubts can be erased.
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Old 06-20-14, 11:31 AM
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Nothing wrong with Carbolite 103. In terms of value for money (or ride for your buck, if you will) it is actually very, very good.
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Old 06-20-14, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
I paid $125 for this 2 years ago, but typically, more like low $300s. But remember I look pretty much 24 X 7.
Lovely bike, is it upgraded much from original spec?
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Old 06-20-14, 05:39 PM
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It's nice to read something positive! I don't have much to compare it with but I enjoy riding my Carbolite and I reckon it's a good bike to learn some simple skills with. Ok I'm really displaying my ignorance but how do Peugeots in general place alongside such names as Cannondale or Bianchi?
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Old 06-20-14, 05:46 PM
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Please pardon my ignorance but what exactly is carbolite? Is it chromoly or a fancy name for hi-tensile steel? I just picked up an 88 Montreal Express low end mtb and this thread is making me wonder what kind of steel ot is made of. This is my first Peugeot and I know very little about them.
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Old 06-20-14, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SH27 View Post
Lovely bike, is it upgraded much from original spec?
.

Just cleaned, polished, overhauled, with cheap CST tires and new bar tape. It has new hoods now too. paint is immaculate.

Originally Posted by trailmix View Post
Please pardon my ignorance but what exactly is carbolite? Is it chromoly or a fancy name for hi-tensile steel? I just picked up an 88 Montreal Express low end mtb and this thread is making me wonder what kind of steel ot is made of. This is my first Peugeot and I know very little about them.
Catalogs available at retropeugoet.com. Carbolite introduced in 1980 +/-.
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Old 06-20-14, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
There are bad low priced C&V bikes and there are low priced C&V cheap bikes, Peugeot bikes with Carbolite 103 frames and internally brazed construction happen to be good bikes. and people who tend to put them down just on the basis of them being made out of high carbon, high tensile steel tubing, just don't know what they are talking about and most likely never even rode a Carbolite 103 framed Peugeot in their lives..... I've owned two Carbolite framed Peugeots back in the 80's and despite them not being as light as my higher model Peugeots, they still are some of the best riding bikes I've ever ridden, despite their very humble place in the Peugeot model line. Most attribute it mostly to the frame geometries that Peugeot used, but Carbolite 103 seems to provide a ride that does not end up dead and heavy like a lot of other High Tensile, High Carbon steel tubing does.
Best thing to do is to try them out yourselves and hopefully your doubts can be erased.
No. 1. They were great bikes. I've owned a UO-8 (sadly ripped off) and a UO-10 (my first touring bike) and a Motobecane with 2040 steel (high tensile steel). They were all first rate bikes. Almost every bike in my fleet at this point has high end double butted steel. If I could find a Peugeot UO-8, UO-9, or UO-10 in my size that was in good shape, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. They're that good.
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Old 06-20-14, 06:20 PM
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He! I can't help thinking "I just bought a Peugeot Carbolite", sort of like "I just bought a Peugeot Record du Monde." The Carbolite model was priced between the Atrophy and the Alsoran, or something.

AH, OJ2's link should probably be retropeugeot, not retropeugoet. There are a dozen or more ways to spell Peugeot but I'm pretty certain only one is correct! And I can't tpye eihter.

I've never ridden one of the later Peugeots but I do like my UO8.
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Old 06-20-14, 06:25 PM
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A 1982 Peugeot catalog had a vague description of Carbolite 103, calling it "a special, thin-walled tubing made from a composition in carbon steel unique to Peugeot. This tubing combines strength and resilience and produces the unusual durability of our bicycles."

I've never seen detailed specifications for Carbolite 103, but have seen speculation (without any specific references) that it is similar to AISI 1030 carbon steel.

AISI 1030 (UNS G10300) Carbon Steel chemical composition, physical properties, and mechanical properties
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Old 06-20-14, 06:46 PM
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Its high ten steel. Its a low end Peugeot.

It won't have collectible value like a PX 10.
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Old 06-20-14, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
Its high ten steel. Its a low end Peugeot.

It won't have collectible value like a PX 10.
Yeah? And...? The fact remains that the old low end Peugeots are GOOD BIKES. Just ask anybody who rides one.


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Old 06-20-14, 06:59 PM
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Really? A low end bike won't ride as nice as a bike with high quality tubing. You do get what you pay for.
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Old 06-20-14, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Nothing wrong with Carbolite 103. In terms of value for money (or ride for your buck, if you will) it is actually very, very good.
1+ I would agree with this simple assesment. As for high carbon steel tubing Carbolite 103 was very similar to medium strait gage Reynolds 501 and 531 tubing.
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Old 06-20-14, 07:28 PM
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I think there are still enough bargains in really good complete bikes, that settling for a heavy, entry level C&V is just not necessary. If you already have a less desirable frame (bike that is) and like the ride; then spend what you want on it and ride the hell out of it.
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Old 06-20-14, 09:39 PM
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A significant difference between 1030 carbon steel, 4130 chromium-molybdenum (like Reynolds 501 and 525), and Reynolds 531 manganese-molybdenum is the strength - both the ultimate tensile strength and the yield strength.

AISI 1030 - UTS=525 MPa, YS=440 MPa
AISI 4130 - UTS=700 MPa, YS=600 MPa
Reynolds 531 - UTS=803 MPa, YS=695 MPa

Reynolds 953 ultra high strength stainless steel has a UTS of 1,750 MPa and a YS of 1,450 MPa

The stronger the alloy, the thinner (and lighter) the tubes can be drawn. The downside of thin walled tubes, though, is that since the modulus of elasticity of all steel alloys is virtually the same (~200 GPa), the thinner walled tubes will be flexier. In order to make thin-walled tubing stiffer, oversized (OS) tubing with slightly larger outside diameters was developed in the late 1980s. To get really stiff lightweight frames, "double OS" tubing with even larger diameters came to market.

EDIT - There is absolutely nothing "wrong" with Peugeot Carbolite 103 frames. They're typically a little heavier than frames made with stronger alloys, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
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Old 06-21-14, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
A significant difference between 1030 carbon steel, 4130 chromium-molybdenum (like Reynolds 501 and 525), and Reynolds 531 manganese-molybdenum is the strength - both the ultimate tensile strength and the yield strength.

AISI 1030 - UTS=525 MPa, YS=440 MPa
AISI 4130 - UTS=700 MPa, YS=600 MPa
Reynolds 531 - UTS=803 MPa, YS=695 MPa

Reynolds 953 ultra high strength stainless steel has a UTS of 1,750 MPa and a YS of 1,450 MPa

The stronger the alloy, the thinner (and lighter) the tubes can be drawn. The downside of thin walled tubes, though, is that since the modulus of elasticity of all steel alloys is virtually the same (~200 GPa), the thinner walled tubes will be flexier. In order to make thin-walled tubing stiffer, oversized (OS) tubing with slightly larger outside diameters was developed in the late 1980s. To get really stiff lightweight frames, "double OS" tubing with even larger diameters came to market.

EDIT - There is absolutely nothing "wrong" with Peugeot Carbolite 103 frames. They're typically a little heavier than frames made with stronger alloys, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
It's a personal thing but I prefer the style of the older bikes from the 80's era, the narrow tubes and the steelwork, it's as if some of the character of their builders has been transposed onto the bike itself adorning it with its own personality (sentimentality overdrive I know). Today's bikes have none of that charm, it's very much like comparing a steam locomotive with a modern electric, there is a reason why my son loves the old engines, it's personality, they have it in abundance.
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Old 06-21-14, 02:36 AM
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Your comments were very interesting btw Scooper, thanks for posting.
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Old 06-21-14, 03:21 AM
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But on the other hand, I seem to think that heavier frames ride a little smoother too. It takes more energy to get/keep the bicycle moving. But I think less tranmission of road "noise" is the pay off of a beefier frame. If your an fat, old coaster like me; I don't mind an extra pound or so; if I enjoy the bike more.
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Old 06-21-14, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
A significant difference between 1030 carbon steel, 4130 chromium-molybdenum (like Reynolds 501 and 525), and Reynolds 531 manganese-molybdenum is the strength - both the ultimate tensile strength and the yield strength.

AISI 1030 - UTS=525 MPa, YS=440 MPa
AISI 4130 - UTS=700 MPa, YS=600 MPa
Reynolds 531 - UTS=803 MPa, YS=695 MPa

Reynolds 953 ultra high strength stainless steel has a UTS of 1,750 MPa and a YS of 1,450 MPa

The stronger the alloy, the thinner (and lighter) the tubes can be drawn. The downside of thin walled tubes, though, is that since the modulus of elasticity of all steel alloys is virtually the same (~200 GPa), the thinner walled tubes will be flexier. In order to make thin-walled tubing stiffer, oversized (OS) tubing with slightly larger outside diameters was developed in the late 1980s. To get really stiff lightweight frames, "double OS" tubing with even larger diameters came to market.

EDIT - There is absolutely nothing "wrong" with Peugeot Carbolite 103 frames. They're typically a little heavier than frames made with stronger alloys, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
I agree Scooper save the late 80's part, Masi had the oversized tubed Tre Volumentrica in the early 80's, super thin walled oversized tubing and chain stays.
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