Pete’s Pimped-Out Peugeot – a Priceless Piece of Pedal ‘Portation
There are a lot of employee bikes around the shop that pique our interest, but none excite us quite as much as Peter’s Peugeot. He has established himself in our shop as the guy to ask questions about any vintage bike or build, as he has a vast knowledge of parts and compatibility. He is always willing to share what he knows and offer advice for making older bikes live up to the glory they were originally intended for.
Peter’s build focuses on his 1985-ish Peugeot Urban Express frame that he was lucky to find. The Frame, with all its old parts, was left outside the shop. After a search for the original owner came back with nothing (6 months' worth of searching), He graciously adopted the bike as a fixer-upper. The Frame, having been made in the 80s in Japan at a steel fabrication plant, was still in great shape with most of the rust being localized to the components. The frame was manufactured by Tange in Japan, which is world-renowned for its quality and craftsmanship.
The process to bring the Peugeot from its beaten-down state to its current condition was no short work. The bike has seen its fair share of life; Peter even thinks it spent some time at the Burning Man festival in the desert. He describes the bike as having “An especially rusted chain, dry-rotted tires, and a distorted vision of the future.” This did not stop him from making this bike into the piece of art that it is today.
The build process started for Peter with, contrary to the name, unbuilding. The rust on the components started a vicious battle with the weapon of choice, WD-40. That combined with elbow grease and time turned out to be just enough to clean up the frame, and leave the only stock part that is still on the Sugino Crankset. At this point all the Peugeot had received was a long overdue bath, but it had come time for Peter to turn this bike into something truly special.
The first thing to be added was the wheels. Peter chose to do some custom SUNRingle Rhyno Lite rims that he paired up with a Surly rear hub and a Shimano Dynamo front hub. The cool thing that the Dynamo hub provides is that it allows you to run a light that will never need to be charged, as the hub powers the light. This makes it so he never has to worry about a front light and can use the bike whenever he needs, something necessary for a commuter. These wheels are sturdy and reliable which is everything you want for a steel hybrid bike.
For the drivetrain or lack-thereof, Peter decided to do a single-speed build. He preserved the Sugino cranks from the original spec, but then added a White Industries Single Speed Conversion kit for the rear hub. He decided to go with a 44t front chainring paired with a 20t rear cog to give him the perfect gear for cruising through neighborhoods.
The brakes Peter shows are a Paul Components brake set. Paul Components prides themselves on high-quality 6061 handmade aluminum for components. They are made in America and have been proven to be effective and durable. These brakes complement the build with their highly unique look and high precision.
The rest of the build includes some Planet bike fenders, Kalloy Seatpost, and some MKS Pedals. Peter also put on the Brooks Cambium saddle to give the bike another unique touch. The bike, which had seen some tough days, now is one of the cleanest vintage bikes that we see around the shop.
The highlight of Peter’s build is not the retro frame, the original cranks, or the high-quality brakes, but it’s his handbuilt front rack. To say that everyone can’t stop staring at Peter’s rack would be an understatement. He made the rack with skills he picked up at Oregon’s United Bicycles Institute frame-building school. The rack ended up being the most time-intensive part of Pete’s build, which serves him well as a lunch carrier.
Like all cool bikes, this was not a free endeavor. Even with the free frame, the build still set Peter back about $1600, not including the hand-made rack. The quality of the parts ensures that the bike will continue to hold up, and there is no worry of anything deteriorating. If you have an old vintage bike that you are trying to restore, we would be happy to help you source some parts that could make it into the ultimate commuter it was destined for.
Here are the build specs:
|Frameset||Peugeot Urban Express|
|Drivetrain||Singlespeed - Sugino chainring, White Industries freewheel|
|Crankset||Sugino; SKF bottom bracket|
|Front Wheel||Sun Ringle Rhyno Lite rim; Shimano DH-3N72 front hub; Paul Components QR skewer|
Sun Ringle Rhyno Lite rim; Surly Ultra New rear Hub
|Lights||AXA Compactline 35 Dynamo (x2)|
|Brakes||Paul Components Canti Levers; Paul Components Touring Cantilever Brakes|
|Handlebar||Stock (or came with the bike)|
|Stem||Ceramic Speed by SR Sakae|
|Saddle||Brooks Cambium C19|
|Accessories||Spurcycle Bell; Carrion Cargo front rack by Peter Barrett; Planet Bike Cascadia Fenders; Forager Cycles Cable Cherries|
Words by Joseph Bonacci. Images by Carter Hall.