When Repainting is Not an Option
I’d been looking for a Peugeot Super Competition for a while, because it’s my favourite bike that Peugeot made. Many would opt for an older Peugeot PX10, which I also greatly admire, but for me this later model is more desirable. I especially like the pearlescent white with orange decals and chrome forks, as well as the later editions of French components like Simplex and TA, the last generation of models in which the French dominated the international bike market.
They’re not all the Same
Like many Peugeot models in the 1970’s and ‘80’s, the Super Competition had different builds from year to year. I believe mine to be a 1983, though I need to confirm it with more research. I owned a Super Competition in the US and it had Vitus 980 tubing, and this, to be honest, would be my choice of steel. Is it lighter? Perhaps, but really it’s just nostalgia that would compel me to want that build again, and nostalgia is the queen in the realms of vintage things.
A Good Price, but..
I saw this bike listed for sale without any reference to its model, to the fact that it had a Reynolds frame, and without any indication that it was a top end bike. In fact, there was only one photograph of it and it was taken in the half light of an underground car park. Details were lost in the obscurity. Nevertheless, I could just make out the name on the top tube and the distinctive logo of the TA frame; it had to be a Super Competition.
Rain and Curfew
It was a 90 minute drive to seller’s place, and let me tell you, it was abysmal. Rain, non stop, flooding the roads and coming down so heavily at times that you couldn’t see the lines of the motorway. Driving for three hours in these conditions for a bike you could barely see in a photo seemed, well, ludicrous. And as I stood outside a block of flats in the rain for 10 minutes, wondering if the guy was going to show up, I was riddled with doubt about the whole thing. Suddenly, though, he appeared, and I felt vindicated. It was indeed a Super Competition.
First reactions tell you a lot when buying something old. In this case, my reactions were “yes! ( Oh no! )” , as I loved the bike but not its condition. The tubes were plagued with surface rust, the brown sorrow of neglect on vintage machines. The pearlescent finish was still visible in some parts, but much of the paintwork was tarnished, like I had arrived 10 years too late. Still, you can’t give up on a bike of this quality, and I had no hesitation to buy it. I just hated the drive back as the bike got just another soaking in the rain..