Sunday, June 25, 2017

1988 Peugeot St. Laurent Step Through

The Peugeot St. Laurent is a companion to my son's bike. Same year and model. How cool is that?
Introducing my next commuter bike: a 21" Peugeot St. Laurent! A Craigslist purchase, I found this bicycle close to home from an avid cyclist ready to pare down his fleet. The bicycle was originally being sold with fenders and ergo grips, but the seller accepted a lower offer and kept those items for himself.

The bike has the usual frame wear a 30 year old bicycle should have, but it's structurally solid. Wheels are sound, spokes are tight, with flat rim walls. Front wheel is original Weinmann while the rear is a replacement with a newer Shimano freewheel. The frame has typical fender and rack eyelets of a 1980's bike.

The Shimano thumb shifters are the nicer version than currently on my Ross, though the seller couldn't find a missing cap. I'll try to source this locally or online, but as a last resort I could transfer one from my Trek (now a parts bike). As is, the current shifter functions well but I wouldn't want to expose the inner parts too long to the elements as my workplace bike parking is outdoors. Interestingly, the bike has SIS shifting (index shifting), a bonus and similar to my Trek. All parts appear to be original Shimano components, other than the rear wheel.

The right shifter is missing a cap.

Curiously, both sets of brake pads appear original, using the metal-clad brake shoes, but that seems unlikely for the age of the bicycle. Perhaps someone has gone through the trouble of re-soling the rubber?

I spent a couple hours cleaning what I had hoped was surface grime, which fortunately, turned out to be true. Wheels spin fine, headset seems tight, crank spins well. I will not do a thorough overhaul unless a problem crops up in the future. I will pop on a new chain. I plan to transfer racks, fenders, and handle bar, grips and pedals from the Ross plus, most likely a Pasela tire to replace a wider, slightly worm and nubbed front tire. I haven't decided whether to swap the Peugeot's rear wheel because both freewheels are 28 tooth low gear so I don't think I'm gaining anything by swapping the rear wheels, as much as I love Araya rims.

I'm delighted to have a commuter bicycle frame that's not black, fits me better, and a side benefit: I sit more upright on the Peugeot, which I hope will better prepare me when I transfer to bike touring on my Clementine.

For the curious, a link to the 1988 Peugeout St. Laurent specs.

14 comments:

  1. Very Cool, Congrats on new bike day! I know you have been looking for just such an 80s MTB in that size for a while. You now have a large enough stable you could even go with a fendered commuter MTB and an MTB with MAX rubber -I'll bet you could get 2.5" wide on any of those MTB's at least. Have fun with the new Pug.

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    1. I'm planning to keep the wheels from the Ross but will donate the rest to Bike Recycle.

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  2. Nice looking bike. Tried a Peugeot mixte once and it fit great. Nice when you can find something local.

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  3. I'm impressed, as much with your knowledge and capabilities as with the bike! I'm learning - slowly - but am curious to know how you've learnt so much! From other people, from husband, the internet, doing bike maintenance classes??

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    1. Hi Lizzie. I'm fond of this vintage of mountain bike and have owned and tinkered with them for years. The components are all very similar so one gets to recognize them on various bikes. And mostly, I try to save money and do most of my own maintenance.

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    2. Great find! I really like mountain bikes of that era, as they are more versatile and practical than the ones made today. Plus, some--like your bike--were offered with step-through frames, which you almost never see today.

      I, too, am impressed with your knowledge. I fully expect you to catch me in a mistake on my blog. Of course, it will be our little secret! ;-)

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    3. As much as I like some newer commuter bikes - Jamis and Breezer come to mind - you can't beat the cost and functionality of mountain bikes of that era. I've been looking for about 3 years for a larger-sized older step through! Yes, quite rare indeed.

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  4. Nice bike. I love that style of thumb shifter. They are so easy to use and make it simple to replace the cables when the time comes. I've had two bikes with canti brakes, which I love using, but find really hard to get adjusted properly. A friend at the co-op suggested using a little wood clamp (like the kind you can find at just about any hardware store) to hold them tight against the rim while making initial adjustments. That plus a decent amount of colorful language usually gets the job done.

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    1. Kendra, agree on the style of shifters. Easy to maintain and replace cables. Shimano made some functional, strong, and good looking components in the 1980s - so nice that they have held up well after all these years!

      As for cantilever brakes, well I'm used to their finicky nature. Sure they're not easy to dial in the first time around, which necessitates fine tuning. It takes me 20 minutes of adjusting per set. As a side note, my husband has special type of cantilever brakes on his 1993 Bridgestone that adjusts with one allen wrench - very simple design. I specifically bought a set of small open ended wrenches to make the process of adjustment a whole lot easier - to think I used an adjustable wrench for years before the switch!

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    2. Colorful language is a necessity when adjusting canti's Kendra! As Annie said they are finicky and take time to dial in. The first time I tried them they frustrated me so much I changed over to V Brakes which are easier to work with, however now 50% of my fleet is Canti's and yes the wood clamp trick can work as a "third" hand.

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  5. Congrats on your new old bike. Very nice.

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  6. Great find. I am always on the look for 80s mountain bikes and frames to build up for people who request an all around bike. You may find you prefer this to your Clementine:)

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    1. Hi Chris. Great to hear from you again. It has crossed my mind that that had I located this bike earlier, who knows whether I would still have ordered a Clementine... Timing is everything!

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