|"VINTAGE LIFE CYCLES"
CANADIAN & VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHT BICYCLE
PEUGEOT SPRINT: MADE IN CANADA
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|1980 PEUGEOT SPRINT|
|This 1980 Canadian Made Peugeot Sprint was acquired through the "networking process". It is a very nice bicycle that required only the addition of air to the tires to get the bike road worthy. The bicycle was found set up to go fast and go fast it does.|
|FINDING THE PEUGEOT|
|This Canadian Made Peugeot Sprint�s resurrection started at the Landfill Site on a sunny Saturday morning.
While viewing the scrap metal pile at the local dump, a fellow approached me, lit up a smoke and basically waited for me to say something. After a brief �good morning� our conversation grew, finally shifting to collecting bicycles.
As it turned out, the fellow whose name is Don, was and still is into collecting mountain bicycles, which he refurbishes and then offers for sale. He has little or no interest in the vintage ten speeds featured on this web site.
However, as our conversation progressed, he indicated that he did have a few ten-speed bicycles that he was more than willing to part with. Actually, he just wanted to get the darn things out of his way. With this in mind, I invited him to come by my work shed and take what few mountain bicycle parts and bikes I had on hand.
Less than an hour had passed since we met at the dump and Don showed up in his sports van, eager to see what I had to offer. In my mind, the mountain stuff that I had was junk. But to Don, the mountain bicycles and parts were new found treasure.
After loading the odd and ends, that I had to share, into his van and at his invitation, I followed him roughly twelve miles to his home. To suggest that I was impressed with his inventory of bicycles would be considered an understatement. His yard was, literally, full of bicycles and bicycle related stuff. I can only guess, but I would imagine that he had approximately one hundred bikes in running condition, most stored under tarps, protecting them from the elements.
Don seemed pleased to show me his inventory but not as pleased as I was to view it. A few vintage lightweights poked their handlebars out, here and there. After a fairly in depth tour of his well stocked yard, he started offering me some of the ten-speeds, that he had acquired. (As mentioned earlier, Don has little use for lightweight bicycles, however; he cannot stand to see a perfectly good bicycle left at the dump awaiting final destruction.)
Several ten-speeds came home with me that day, some of which I still have while others have either been passed on to friends or parted out for use on other projects. Since then, Don and I have been keeping each other�s interests in mind and exchanging bicycles and parts in the process.
Some time later, Don called me at home and asked if I had a 700c wheel assembly that he needed for a Hybrid project he had underway. I did have a set of wheels, but they were already on a mid eighties Sekine Toledo that I intend to refurbish and ride. I explained this to him, indicating that if he was in a jamb, I would gladly give him the wheel he wanted. He refused to allow me to break up a set and went on to tell me that he had found an old Peugeot at the landfill site that morning. He offered me the Peugeot, if I wanted it, and asked if he could drop by my shed to see what I had collected in the mountain bikes and mtb parts. I gave Don two mountain bikes, a Raleigh and a Norco, both complete and also passed on a Trek 860 frame and fork set. All of this stuff had come from one landfill site or another.
After helping him load the bike stuff into his van, Don invited me out to pick up the old Peugeot, indicating that I would have to wait until the next day to do so.
Sunday morning came and I headed out, with a friend, to pick up the bicycle. Both my buddy and I were impressed with what Don had set aside for me. The pastel orange Peugeot Sprint that is featured on this page became my new found treasure and one of my favorite bicycles. Junk to Don � treasure to me. Finding is a big part of the fun�
|This bicycle's "as found" condition was remarkable. One can only imagine why a bicycle that is twenty three years old has seen so little use. The bike is practically new. The picture, to the right, depicts the bicycle exactly as it was when it was acquired. There was hardly a mark on the bicycle, the wheels were true and there was not a hint of rust to be found.|
|This Peugeot was probably close to one of the last manufactured in Canada, sporting the nicely pantographed components that were common right from the very beginning on Canadian Made Peugeots. Increasing the Canadian company's bottom line was the likely reason for discontinuing the pantographing of parts. Cranks, steering stems, brake calipers and even derailleurs were identified with the Peugeot name. By 1984, most if not all, of the pantographing efforts had come to an end. Too bad, because these nicely finished fittings added something special to the Canadian Made bicycles.|
|The beautifully pantographed crank arm, to the left, is a perfect example of the kind of quality one could expect from these early Canadian Made Peugeot bicycles.|
|At twenty-one pounds, the Sprint is close to one of the lightest bicycles in the collection. As was the case with most, if not all, of the early Canadian Peugeots, the frame material was Carbolite 103, a high tensile tubing that could in no way compete with the more exotic light weight, thin walled double and triple butted chrome moly tubes that are the most saught after in the bicycle collection interest.|
|The bicycle was found unattended at the landfill site. As a result, the bike's history will probably remain a mystery. Its condition, however; suggests that the bicycle was not used or used only for a very short while. The front and rear sprockets were shiny, clean and showed absolutely no sign of wear. Even the "Rigida" wheel stickers were virtually unblemished, supporting the belief that the bicycle was practically unused.|
|WHY WOULD ANYONE THROW THIS BICYCLE AWAY?|
|The tires, with the nipples still present, further suggest lack of use. A patina of dust covered the bicycle. Other than that, amost everything else was perfect, from a cosmetic point of view.|
|THE RIDER'S VIEW|
|One of the few departures from cosmetic perfection! The handlebars required retaping. The cloth tape was removed and replaced with a modern cork and rubber combined material, common on today's bicycles. The brake cables, though still working well, were replaced because they were so tightly looped to the bars that the rider's right hand had a tendency to get caught, creating an unsafe riding situation.|
|The derailleurs, both front and rear, are manufactured by Simplex and they work wonderfully. Shifting is clean and precise for a friction system. The shifter controls are, all but, works of engraved art and a pleasure to view and use.|
|Though not an effort in "pantographing", the Simplex rear derailleur sports the Peugeot name. The shifter controls were improperly positioned "as found" and have since be re-located where the manufacturer intended. This re-location made it necessary to replace the shifter cables, even though they were working fine.|
|The 1980 Peugeot Sprint was in such good condition that only forty-five minutes were needed to check the bicycle over and get it ready for the road. Absolutely no drag or contamination could be felt when testing the wheel and bottom bracket bearings for mechanical integrity.
The brake cables were too short for this rider�s liking and were quickly replaced after the first test ride, which consumed a distance of some ten to twelve miles. Prior to replacing the cables, the brake levers were repositioned to the rider�s preference and then the bars re-taped. The Simplex shifter controls were improperly positioned and new cables were installed to set this problem straight. The controls now feel and work just right.
Right from the start, this bicycle felt as if it just wanted to go. It requires very little effort to pedal, which came as a surprise considering the high gearing afforded by the small cogs on the cassette. The narrow tires (one inch in the front and one and one eight inch rear) most likely contribute to the feeling of effortlessly achieved speed. Once up to speed, the bike coasts very well. Care must be taken when "drafting" a fellow rider or else one might bump into the rider in front.
The Simplex derailleurs handle the shifting chores nicely and not a single shift was missed on the first time out. This was probably a product of luck when one considers the sophistication of the antiquated Simplex transmission. On that note, other bicycles in the collection using the similar Simplex derailleurs, offer the same kind of smooth shifting enjoyed on the Sprint. It should also be noted that this bicycle does not use the, truly antiquated, �post� style of front derailleur used on this Made in France UO8, which, experience has shown, does not shift all that well.
The seat is a narrow vinyl covered affair, sporting the Peugeot name, however; it is not uncomfortable. (Take this comment with a grain of salt because the bicycle has not, as yet, been taken out for a long ride.) The only complaint about the seat, like all other vinyl jobs, is that it tends to reflect heat back at the rider. Money permitting, the bicycle will eventually be fitted with a Brooks leather saddle, most likely a B17 Standard or B17 Special, like the one being tested on this Canadian Made Peugeot UO9 Super Sport..
The bicycle brakes well, offering no shudder or squeal, when the side pull calipers are activated. The Weinman drilled brake levers are comfortable to reach and the side pull calipers do an effective job of slowing the bicycle down. Quick release mechanisms complete the stopping package.
All in all, the bicycle is very nice to ride even though it cannot, due to its fundamental racing design, offer the comfort that the 1984 Peugeot UO9 Super Sport does. Then again, the Super Sport is more touring oriented and runs on tires half again as large as those on the Sprint.
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