Peugeot HLE, Beziers

 

With its undeniably 1980’s paintwork, this Peugeot was one of the few vintage bikes I saw around the town of Beziers, in south west France. I don’t think the owner of this bike has much concern about the originality of its components, much of it has been replaced with very mediocre modern parts. Check out the large horn on the handlebars, the cheap lock and the added rear rack. The rear wheel is a replacement too, but the condition of the frame seems quite good for a bike that is obviously a workhorse. I actually beleive that with a careful rebuild, this bike could look great again.

 

 

Motobecane Mixte with a Bent Fork, Nice.

 

Look closely and you can see that this bike has been in a front end crash, leaving it with a bent fork. It’s not so obvious in the photograph, but it was very noticeable when I saw it parked in the old town of Nice. It is a shame, as this was a pretty good ladies’ bike when it was new, which was probably bought around 1983. This one has Motobecane’s basic proprietary tubing, as well as an SR crank rebranded as Motobecane, which was common in the 1980’s. Quite a lot of it is original, but that fork is a disater.

 

 

White Peugeot Mixte, Arles

 

This is a cool bike, with its classic Peugeot paintwork, cool aluminium mudguards and lights, white walled tyres and original parts. It looks like a five speed as it has no front derailleur and a single shifter on the downtube. It’s been well cared for and looked great parked up on a busy corner of the French town best known for ita artists. With its old stone streets, this thicker tyres and comfortable saddle makes a lot of sense for getting around.

 

 

Rebuilt Vintage Mercier, Aix-En-Provence

 

Very little remains of the original Mercier bike that has been adapted for getting around this town in southern France. Even the fork has been replaced without real care for matching it to the frame. At least it’s not a fixie, though the straight handlebars and modern wheelset is step in that direction. It has a heavy triple crank which looks like it has been taken off a mountain bike, but lacks a front derailleur to travel across those three chainrings. A strange set up ( I hate the blue tape on the top tube ), but its owner must see, first and foremost, it as a practical machine.

 

 

Bertin with Missing Wheels, Avignon

 

Why is this Bertin missing its wheels? Did the owner take them with him as an extreme anti-theft measure? Or did someone steal them? I think the latter is more likely, as this good quality bike had the air of being abandoned. The frameset was built with Columbus tubing, and it would have been a good mid-range bike with Japanese components. It was quite a sad sight amongst the many vintage bikes parked up in Avignon.

 

Twisted Peugeot Mixte, Annecy

 

Annecy is filled with vintage bikes, many of them used by students for just getting around the centre historique. I noticed a lot of mixte bikes, but this one above stood out from the crowd. It was twisted as if in agony, and had  been subject to some catastrophic blow. Perhaps a lorry ran over it, but it was a strange sight in a town that really appreciates the value of keeping old bikes on the road.

 

 

Two Peugeot Mixtes, Annecy

 

These two Peugeot bikes were in lovely condition, parked together in one of the beautiful bridges of the city. I got the impression that their owners really cared about them and kept them in good riding condition. They both look from the same era, perhaps late 1970’s, and the bikes really compliment the beautiful old streets of the Alpine town.

 

 

Peugeot HLE, Carcassone

 

I found another excellent example of a Peugeot mixte in the historic and very beautiful town of Carcassone. It must be obvious in this particular blog that I’ve come across more mixte bikes than men’s bikes in these towns. The simple fact is, there seems more of them around on French streets. This one is a beauty: pearlescent white with green decals, Simplex SX 410 derailleurs and a Stronglight crank, all branded Peugeot. I like the details around the headtube lugs, the front rack and mudguards. A superb bike, the only vintage machine I found in Carcassone, even though I walked the city for a whole afternoon.

 

 

..besides this Cadillac.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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