|I haven't seen a bilke with the gear shift at the end of the handle bars. Is this unusual?|
|Trying to post picture again.|
| I have a Raleigh Super Grand Prix that I purchased in the early 80's. It was made in England and the gear shift is at the end of the handle bars. I don't know where to look for a serial number. The only number I have found is 4532. I haven't ridden it in awhile, but it is in very good condition. It naturally needs some cleaning up and the tires replaced. It hasn't been in the weather, just in basement storage. The color is light blue. It is a men's bike about 21." |
| Anyone see this one yet?|
| Beautiful! Thanks for the post.|
| I admit that I have had a lifelong fascination with french bikes. Something about an old Peugeots or Gitanes just seem so much more fascinating than my Raleigh Super Grand Prix or the innumerable Bianchis I see everywhere. So when I saw a nice, vintage custom built french touring bike sticking out of a trash can, I took it as a sign and brought it home. I plan on having the frame restored, fitting it with some racks and using it as a touring bike. |
So I wanted to ask those of you who have owned french bikes, what are they like to live with and use on a daily basis? I do not want to restore this bike to polish and use for an occasional Sunday ride. I want to put some major miles on it. All the road bikes that I have ever owned were Suntour equipped and never gave me any problems.
Huret and Simplex components do not seem to be as highly thought of as Suntour and Campy components, yet they grace some highly thought of bikes. Do they have real shortcomings that are just part of the charm of owning a french bike, or are their derailleurs better than their reputations sugguest?
| I've had a few french bikes: Peugeot, Gitane, Jeunet, Motobecane. I had Peogeots with the carbolite 103 frames.....but managed to sell them all (I suppose they are a good seller). I still have an old U-08 with the Simplex ders. I personally don't like their performance all that great....the Simplex, that is. But I like the bikes. One of my favorite is a Motobecane Jubilee Sport. It came with a Maillard Helicomatic rear cassette.....which was terrible! It seemed to bring down the rest of the bike. I replaced it with a Shimano HG....now the bike is great! It looks good, very lightweight, rides good, and shifts good.|
| It's not reputation so much as the slant parallelogram derailleur which was SunTour exclusive until 1984. My 70's PA-10 with Stronglight cranks and Huret front der shifts as crisply in front as anything I've ever ridden, but the rear der is long since replaced - most recently with SunTour.|
I'm a big fan of SunTour.
| Have ridden French bikes long time....currently have a Bernard Dangre Vitus 85 with most all French components...other bikes may be lighter/faster, but French bikes have a pleasant geometry aligned with adequate drive trains...Stronglight...cool squeeky Mafac brakes..all give a smooth brisk ride...yeah..old Simplex and Huret have their shortcomings, and I have upgraded several older 70's steelies...but enjoy the ride...the Frenchies cranked out bikes with a specific feel no other nationalities could match|
| My daily driver / transporter / commuter is a red 1970 Peugeot UO-8, which I purchased as a bare frame, probably intended for warranty replacement, when I worked in a Peugeot shop. With a SunTour Cyclone rear derailleur, Shimano Titlist front, SunTour ratchet barcons, Sugino crankset, Normandy high-flange hubs, aluminum rims, and aluminum road quill pedals, mine serves me admirably.|
| Here's my 2 cents. Peugeot UO/UE-8's provide for exceptional comfort (stability) without giving up a lot of performance. Fitted with alloy componentry, the weight is high 20's, without racks. This might seem like a lot, but I have found that it costs more energy absorbing the road noise and for constant correcting on a 20 pounder, than it costs to push the extra (mostly non-roational) mass of the UO-8's. Qualify this statement as pertaining to regular riding. Further qualify this as my own personal opinion based on individual specifics for mass of rider, relative fitness and riding style. On topic, sorry, the SunTour rear derailers shift real nice, although my favorite for touring is still the reliable Shimano "crane". I have none that match the performance and dependability of this one. Although there is a lot of cable payout! The SunTour "cyclone" series shift real slick. Even the venerable "V" series shifts well. I prefer the SunTour craftmanship. The Simplex and Huret derailers that are of the regular pantograph style are no match for the slant parallelograms sported by SunTour's, IMHO. Even the entry-level are better, such as the "Seven". I have a Simplex "prestige" that is delicate, but it shifted very well...while it lasted. |
| I've had a UE-8 that I bought new in 84'. Smooth ride, well composed over bad roads, potholes and gravel. Sturdy beast, wrecked a few times. My right crank is still bent a little from 1985, and my left brake lever points five degrees to the center. Simplex not that bad. Left crank arm keeps loosing up, but after all those years, I got used to it. |
Currently building up a vintage Fuji for regular use.
| After owning many makes of VLW's over the years will all kinds of components, my opinion is that the low-end plastic-bodied Simplex derailleurs are junk. Even the metal ones of the same design are not too good, the springs keep on breaking. The rod-operated Simplex front changers are horrible. Maybe the high-end Simplex models on PX-10's are better. Huret derailleurs, in general, seem OK. One the other hand, low-end Campy changers are also junk, I've heard. I know what you mean, all French bikes are kind of funky and likable.|
| heres a question thats bugging me. I have several bikes that are to nice to give away to someone who is not going to care for them as they should, and they are all kind of small for me. a couple have some nice parts. Its that question of, these parts would be great to get some money out of, or else put on one of my bikes, but this bike is all original. just not worth very much. should I hang on to then as they are, or part them out.|
the main one that I am wondering about is a Puch brigadier, 20", with lots of nice alloy parts. not sure the year, but it has a sticker on it saying Puch, 100 years. (that sounds fishy to me, as I thought puch came out in the seventys.) the rest I actually know thier worth.
any thoughts on this? jason
| Steyr-Daimler-Puch and the companies from which it descended go way back, so the 100-year decal may be legitimate. (Capo, the other Austrian bicycle manufacturer which has exported to the U.S., is 76 years old.)|
My usual rule is not to part out a bicycle with all, or nearly all, of its original componentry. However, if you ever obtain a bicycle with a mix of anachronistic aftermarket parts, feel free to part it out.
| Puch has been making great motorcycles for more than 100 years I think that would be a great ebayer!|