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Show me your Boom Era, Entry Level, Punching Above It's Weight, Beater French Ride

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Show me your Boom Era, Entry Level, Punching Above It's Weight, Beater French Ride

Old 04-05-21, 05:33 PM
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uncle uncle
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Show me your Boom Era, Entry Level, Punching Above It's Weight, Beater French Ride

Title says it all... keep it entry level, obscure if you can, pulling current duty, ugly Betty, upgraded, under-the-radar but above it's-weight-category, ride it all the time and don't know why, French bicycles. I haven't seen any of them, but I'm sure I'm gonna love them all.
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Old 04-06-21, 10:04 AM
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John E
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My 1970 UO-8, or as we called them at the shop, "You Owe Nothing." I bought it as a bare frame and custom-built it for my wife when I worked at Bikecology, subsequently repurposed it as my transportation beater when she decided she preferred mountain bikes and trails to riding in traffic. It is looking pretty tired and rusty these days, but it serves its theft-resistant workhorse purpose admirably, and I like my SunTour barcons with the Cyclone II rear derailleur and Shimano Titlist front, with practical 45-42/13-15-17-20-23-26 half-step gearing.


My UO-8 with barcon cables routed between the rack and the cylindrical Bellwether front bag.
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Old 04-06-21, 10:43 AM
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Late 60s/early 70s AO-8 I have had since 1973 (recently posted this same photo in Green Bikes)....This bike has gone through innumerable iterations over the years: it was my platform to build a true racing bike in the early 70s (as I could afford component upgrades I did them, including things like lacing tubular rims to the original hubs and converting the wingnuts to quick release), until ultimately replacing the frame with a proper english racing frame in glorious 531DB throughout (Wes Mason), Since then this has been repurposed as an upright bar tourer, a 3-speed runabout, a 3-speed racer and finally a semblence of its former self. Always a sweet ride.


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Old 04-06-21, 11:53 AM
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1974 UO-8 - Bought new while in the Army (Huntsville AL - Outdoor omnibus bike shop) Been with me ever since. I wanted a PX-10, but couldn't afford it. Not much original left on it. Replaced the plastic Simplex derailleurs with metal back in the 1980's, new Brooks saddle in the late 1990's, new paint (several times over the years) Originally was orange. Just last year I found a source for decals.

A few years ago, I found on fleabay NOS brake levers/hoods.

I remember thinking I was really something with my new French racing bike.

I still ride it quite a bit, mostly when I want to ride a bike path.
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Old 04-06-21, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by markk900 View Post
Late 60s/early 70s AO-8
Love this Mark. I had the exact same bike in that unique green. I figured mine to be around a '67 based on the font, decals and colour.
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Old 04-06-21, 01:12 PM
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I don't have this one anymore -- as you can see, it was way too small for me -- but I still miss it sometimes.

1977 Gitane Gypsy Sport



I got this when the ss/fg craze was still in full swing and I wanted something cheap to find out what it was all about. I rode it to work a lot and even did a couple of singlespeed cyclocross races on it. When I bought it, it was so rusty I was able to break the chain with my bare hands. "Barn find" often means something very bad in the rainy PNW. The frame was in good condition though.



The sticker on the downtube says "tubes legers" which I believe is French for "trust us, it rides fine." Pretty fancy lugs for an entry level bike, huh?
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Old 04-06-21, 01:18 PM
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Not sure what this seventies' Mercier's official designation was here in Europe, but it would have been a "100" on your side of the pond.

Besides a clean & lube and some new consumables, I removed the "protection" hardware and replaced the saddle with a used Brooks Professional, but otherwise kept it original:

As it came:



As it is now:



The geometry makes for nice handling, and the steel cranks for a smooth ride. One of my nicer bikes for "a day in the country". Especially if it's a nice country. Pictured here in Bordeaux, during a cycling vacation in France:

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Old 04-06-21, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Love this Mark. I had the exact same bike in that unique green. I figured mine to be around a '67 based on the font, decals and colour.
Mine is definitely post 1967 as it has the World
Champion rings on the seat tube decal; so 1968-1970. I suspect 1969 myself!

But that green is unique isnít it. I found it on a much earlier Peugeot with the Aztec Lug frame (the person claimed it was 1963) but not many other places. The more emerald green that was more common is also also lovely.
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Old 04-06-21, 01:27 PM
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I've had this 70s UE 8 sitting around too long. My plans are to turn it into a commuter. I have the parts on hand. This is the bike as found in the wild. I had a UO 8 that I turned into a commuter that was ripped off. I liked it a lot. This is the replacement.

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Old 04-06-21, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
Title says it all... keep it entry level, obscure if you can, pulling current duty, ugly Betty, upgraded, under-the-radar but above it's-weight-category, ride it all the time and don't know why, French bicycles. I haven't seen any of them, but I'm sure I'm gonna love them all.
Let's hope this thread doesn't get derailleured by some poster who doesn't understand why people sometimes refer to hi tensile steel as gas pipe tubing,
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Old 04-06-21, 02:05 PM
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So this thread made me go out for a ride on the Peugeot, and putting it away I thought I had beat post this cool Lejeune from around 1974/5 - itís a model 15F mixte. I havenít spent a lot of time on it and I set it aside for my wife but thought you might enjoy some recent pictures...




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Old 04-06-21, 02:17 PM
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Early 70s U0-18 single speed upgraded to almost all alloy components.
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Old 04-06-21, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by markk900 View Post
So this thread made me go out for a ride on the Peugeot, and putting it away I thought I had beat post this cool Lejeune from around 1974/5 - itís a model 15F mixte. I havenít spent a lot of time on it and I set it aside for my wife but thought you might enjoy some recent pictures...
"I love me some mixte, long time." Mixte's have their own history of being scoffed by some, but that's not me.
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Old 04-06-21, 06:31 PM
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Great looking Peugeot there, nice to see that metallic green color!
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Old 04-06-21, 07:22 PM
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Gitane Grand Sport Deluxe
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Old 04-06-21, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by markk900 View Post
Mine is definitely post 1967 as it has the World
Champion rings on the seat tube decal; so 1968-1970. I suspect 1969 myself!

But that green is unique isnít it. I found it on a much earlier Peugeot with the Aztec Lug frame (the person claimed it was 1963) but not many other places. The more emerald green that was more common is also also lovely.
I can't find a pic but I think mine had Aztec lugs. I'll keep looking.

My only french bike is an 83 PBN10s that needs frame adjustment. The largest high end bike shop in NS has a collection of 40 vintage bikes displayed in a great space but they won't adjust anyone's steel frame or fork. Missed opportunities.


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Old 04-06-21, 09:38 PM
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PX10. Not impressed.

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Old 04-07-21, 10:47 AM
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I've posted it before, but I love this Puegeot, Carbolite 103 and all. Just a great riding bike.

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Old 04-07-21, 03:15 PM
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One thing I like about this thread is that is encompasses the answer to a question that we Dutch hold close to our hearts:

"Can I get 80% of the thrills at 20% of the price?"

Yes, we are cheap.

And that is one reason a fair number of the aforementioned French entry level bikes have been sold here. But the Japanese were also pretty good at that game. Last week I bought this Miyata 750SR for €50. Excellent build quality, good paint, nice racy geometry. There's even room for a pair of fenders. It just weighs a couple of pounds more than a €500 bike. In terms of bang for your buck it doesn't get much better than this.

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Old 04-07-21, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
One thing I like about this thread is that is encompasses the answer to a question that we Dutch hold close to our hearts:

"Can I get 80% of the thrills at 20% of the price?"

Yes, we are cheap.

And that is one reason a fair number of the aforementioned French entry level bikes have been sold here. But the Japanese were also pretty good at that game. Last week I bought this Miyata 750SR for Ä50. Excellent build quality, good paint, nice racy geometry. There's even room for a pair of fenders. It just weighs a couple of pounds more than a Ä500 bike. In terms of bang for your buck it doesn't get much better than this.
It's my opinion, based on my own sometimes non-science biased testing and oftentimes unsubstantiated personal observations (sometimes delivered with beer in hand), that as the decade of the 70's lingered on nigh almost 10 years, that Japanese entry level bicycles got better and better. I like the Japanese bicycles of the era too, I just thought it'd be fun to highlight France's output.
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Old 04-07-21, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
It's my opinion, based on my own sometimes non-science biased testing and oftentimes unsubstantiated personal observations (sometimes delivered with beer in hand), that as the decade of the 70's lingered on nigh almost 10 years, that Japanese entry level bicycles got better and better. I like the Japanese bicycles of the era too, I just thought it'd be fun to highlight France's output.
Sorry, I didn't mean to derail the thread. And the French were way ahead of the Japanese in this respect. This particular Miyata is a bit of a strange beast, and may even be the proverbial exception to the rule. My guess is that it was based on the Koga "race series" design, but not deemed profitable or flashy enough by Koga to make it to their catalog. Miyata ended up flogging most of them through their Canadian dealerships, or so I've read.
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Old 04-07-21, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Sorry, I didn't mean to derail the thread.
No, it's all good. Any discussion of bicycles is good discussion. I'm not familiar with that particular Miyata, the 750SR; what frame material are we talking here? In fact, I'm not sure I've ever seen a Miyata bicycle out in the wilds. We see certain brands quite often here, like Schwinn, Peugeot, Cannondale, Trek, Fuji, etc., mostly because I think that was what was sold locally during the 70's and 80's. But Miyata must not have been carried around here, because they rarely come out of the woods, or dumpsters.

I've road a few early 70's, entry level, Japan bicycles. And, they were all competent; they just seems a bit, well... "slow". It's been explained to me that the Japanese bicycles of the time reflected the thinking of the Japanese designers, who favored rugged frames over lively frames. I hope no one feels slighted by my choice of descriptive words here. I think as the 70's played out, the Japan companies learned to tailor their product to the likes of the American market.
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Old 04-07-21, 05:10 PM
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Who you callin' slow?
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Old 04-07-21, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
No, it's all good. Any discussion of bicycles is good discussion. ....
I've road a few early 70's, entry level, Japan bicycles. And, they were all competent; they just seems a bit, well... "slow". It's been explained to me that the Japanese bicycles of the time reflected the thinking of the Japanese designers, who favored rugged frames over lively frames. I hope no one feels slighted by my choice of descriptive words here. I think as the 70's played out, the Japan companies learned to tailor their product to the likes of the American market.
I'd say that's a fair description. Japanese engineering of the era was capable of brilliant work (Honda CB750, anyone?) But overall, it was deliberate to the point of conservative
Case in point, my 1976 Bridgestone Superlight: it's an all-aluminum 'classic' ten-speed that still manages to weigh almost 30 lbs. Wonderful, long-legged bike: can be fast, but definitely not quick.
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Old 04-07-21, 06:30 PM
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A beautiful 70s Gitane tandem that I bought because I liked the color. The previous owner updated the seats (which my wife likes) and I intend to install butterfly handlebars because we both find the originals to be uncomfortable. It is a bit noodley but it’s just for city riding.

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