Hicks

Project Peugeot

I mentioned a while back that while I’ve been enjoying the Globe for its comfortable, relaxed style, I’d been thinking of getting a proper road bike for weekend and sunny evening jaunts around the countryside. Not being able to justify the cost of a new bike just yet, and heavily inspired by Simon Clayson’s Peugeot 753 project, I spent a while watching items on ebay, looking for a suitable basis for a project bike. Ideally I was looking for something with a classic style frame with flat top tube that was rideable from the off without needing too much work. I knew that it would probably be something that would need a respray and work done further down the road, but it would allow me to find out if a road bike was ‘for me’, without spending too money up front. If it did work out, I could improve and upgrade it and spread the cost out over time, but if it didn’t, no big loss.

Finally, the ideal candidate turned up, and it was another Peugeot:

Looking back through old Peugeot catalogues, it turns out that it was a ‘Competition’ from 2000, making it about 11 years old.

What made it particularly appealing was the quality Columbus Thron steel frame and silver Campagnolo Veloce groupset. The frame colour was already black (which was exactly what I wanted), so even though it would need a respray at some point soon, it didn’t need to happen right away. The general condition was OK, and it didn’t need any drastic intervention up front.

The initial plan was to make this a retro build, with chrome handlebars (Nitto Noodles), Brooks Honey Leather Saddle and bartape. Here it is in this unfinished half-way stage:

However, after a few weeks I realised that I’d changed my mind, and that my heart was really after something more modern. After all I already had the retro styled Globe Daily. So after some rethinking here’s what it looks like now:

So far I’ve replaced:

  • Front tyre: removing the old yellow stripe type helped tidy up its looks immensely.
  • Pedals: Shimano A530, which have cleats on one side, and normal flat pedal on the other, so that it can be used for commuting as well as road riding. I haven’t got SPD shoes yet, and I’ve got use to flipping the pedals with my foot to get the flat side
  • Saddle: Charge Spoon, which is great value
  • Handlebars and Stem: This was the biggest change. I found the reach and shape of the Modolo bars it came with hard to use, the brakes and shifters felt too far away. Then I tried Nitto Noodle bars, which have nice swept back tops, but the reach was still quite large. Now that I’ve swapped it for a Deda RHM 02 bar (much shorter reach) and slightly shorter matching stem I’ve got it how I need it. In order to fit the Deda stem I needed a quill stem adaptor, but it works really well. I finished this off with some Fizik gel pads and bartape for a comfy hold. This was really nice, but I found the strips that they supply to tape down the ends at the centre not very flexible, and didn’t make a smooth end. I changed this for plain black insulation tape which works much better.
  • I also removed the 90s style graphics, using a hairdryer to soften the adhesive and a credit card to scrape it off, leaving just the Peugeot logo.

Overall, it’s cost me just over £200 for the original bike, plus all the additions (some of which were new, some nearly-new off ebay). I’ve learnt a lot by doing this, but I’ve had to ask lots of questions and some trial and error before getting this far, so thanks again to Simon Clayson, Matt Carey and Tim Barry for putting up with all my questions.

So was a ‘proper road bike’ for me? Undeniably yes. After just 2 weeks of using it, the Globe feels slow in comparison. I never thought the bike would make that much difference, and that personal fitness was a bigger factor, but now I can see that the bike can make a big difference too. I’ve had great fun riding this around local villages, increasing my mileage and how long I can go without stopping for a breather. It’s also been a fun geeky journey choosing parts.

It’s a project that’s still in progress, and as funds allow I plan to respray it and upgrade the wheels, but a more immediate task will be to replace the chain and clean the mucky drivetrain. I’m also starting to realise why cyclists wear lycra, and I’m coming around to the idea. Slowly, but getting there…