Alan approached us on the recommendation of Doug Mitchell, who had come to us last summer to modify his Bridgestone. Alan's situation was similar. Like Doug, he had bought his bike new in the 1970s and rode it a lot. He eventually set it aside and moved on to high-end full suspension mountain bike - which he hated - and was now longing to get back on his old road bike. What he brought in looked like a very rough Peugeot UE-8 randonneur. He said that it never had the fenders and the lights, but there were bosses for a generator and racks on the seat stays. We think that the original bike shop might have removed everything owing to the popularity of more racing-oriented bikes in the early 70s.
Like Doug, Alan is beyond his years as an aggressive rider needing drops, so we worked with him to pick out the exact build for his needs - a comfortable city bike with relaxed riding posture and light gearing.
The first thing was to strip everything down and bring the bike to our powdercoater. Alan chose a deep metallic grey called Argento. We tossed aside the usual assortment of dubious bike-boom era Peugeot components - a cracked Simplex front derailleur, the Mafac brake levers with their exaggerated curve, and the noisy and unstoppable textured steel rims.
We set him up with a new set of alloy 700c wheels with our top-selling Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tires - which will give him a much smoother ride. We removed the cottered steel cranks and installed a nice ornamental SR crank that suits the bike just fine. The original Simplex rear derailleur was pretty rough, but we had a match in our bins. We accented the red in the Simplex graphics, and washers on the Mafac brakes with red cable housing. Mafac brakes are beautiful and offer a good long reach for vintage frames, but are notorious for squealing - a problem easily solved with some Shimano canti pads. For a bit more flourish, we lined those unique Peugeot Aztec lugs in silver.
One of key elements to whole job was the addition of upright Velo Orange Montmartre handlebars. These bars, based on those used on old French city and delivery bikes, have extended Alan's enjoyment of the bike by several long years while keeping the French character of the original.