Alan and Peugeot
Niaz wrote to me recently with some pictures of his superb French bikes, with some excellent informative background about them. He’s kindly agreed that I can share them on this site, as they are two great examples of the best French bike engineering of the time. Below is his email to me with the story of his beaux vélos avec tubes Vitus.
“I enjoyed reading your review of the Vitus.
The history of these bikes is amazing, it’s sad that Simplex, or Vitus don’t exist as they once did. It’s clear Mavic were cleared out by competition from Shimano and Campagnolo.
My bikes are very special and evolutions. The first is a 1984 ALAN Competzione (A1), the next is an ALAN Carbonio (A2). A1 was truly built to take the teeth chattering longer endurance rides. It takes away the bumps and cobbled roads jar! Whilst the A2 was progress and a 1989 example of the stiffer Carbon frame. It is lighter. Both cockpits feel the same, garnished with Cinelli, it is very comfortable on the bars. Below is the A2, before I changed the seat to white. The plan is to have white bar tape by Fizik (classic) and MAFAC/Campagnolo white cables to match the period/era.”
The 1984 Competizione
“The Alan A1 had Campagnolo originally, so I put Super Record levers, a Nuovo Record rear derailleur and Simplex shifters and will ensure it’s all period correct. Only the cranks left to change. The A2 is precise and all C Record.
I enjoy all 3, it’s like marrying 3 sisters, each as it’s assets.”
The 1973 Alan Competizione
“Here is another A1 ( below ) with an earlier 1973 frame, which has much thinner front forks. Research I have done of the few owners I found online, all were slighter bigger (6 foot 2+) heavy harder riders. They broke the frame at the top of the stem. If you have the stem too high, that also can occur, from the few I spoke with. It’s more an ornament, as it may not withstand a heavy rider.”
Building the 1984
“Some bits added to the A1, the Fizik handlebar tape and a CXC Maillard Aero pedal sources for the Peugeot. Its amazing how a little TLC use of NXT Metal Polish or Mother’s Pride, goes on the lugs to create a brilliant shine.
Mine is stamped 1984 and is in excellent condition for its age. I put on Continental Grand Prix 25mm tyres.”
A good place to read about Vitus 979 tubes is here”
The Peugeot Vitus
“The other end, the top end, lies my Peugeot Vitus, 1985. It kicked out all competition. It feels as light as a 979, it has Campagnolo Victory Cranks, but dérailleurs were 105s (!) with Super Record brakes. I have since bought a Victory DR, but not installed it. The Carbonio is the most loved for its looks by others. In trying to identify my Vitus bike, I think it’s a PY 10 DU, it cannot be FC, but it looks like the frame in the catalogue.”