PEUGEOT YALE – A LIFE STORY
This "lovely" bike started life as a perfectly normal Peugeot Yale town bike, complete with some gears and brakes and stuff. Then, it was abandoned like a stray puppy. But, rather than send it to the knacker's yard, I decided to give a new life...
It has been a bit of an ongoing project. So, I thought I'd lay down some of its transformation over the last couple of years.
At its core is a fairly trusty steel (CrMo) frame, which formerly came with canti-brakes, 21 gears, twist grips, funky adjustable stem, an arm chair of a saddle and some round things covered in perished rubber. Fortunately, I had a shed full of odds and ends that were totally inappropriate. So, on they went!
First job was to remove 20 gears. Off came the Shimano something twisty whirly bits and lots of cable. Now, the next bit should have been easy - grab pretty much any fixed hub rear wheel, slip in frame, etc. But, no. Of course, no. 130 mm chainstay spacing meant a bit of a search. After a bit of a search and a short wait, a pair of Single Speed Components 32-spoke wheel arrived at my door (bearings on original front were knackered, so went for new wheel = shiny). Keeping costs under the radar was one of my main objectives. So, having shot my bolt on new wheels, I dug around the shed and found a Token 18t sprocket, BrevM 48t chain wheel, Sugino Pista (170 mm) cranks, some Clarks levers to use with the original Shimano canti brakes, a Selle Italia SLR saddle with fally off cover and flat bars and bottle cage from a scrapped 90's Raleigh MTB. Finally, having splashed out on a new chain, some brake blocks and a pair of On One lock-on grips, I was ready to do some commuting.
It took 1000 miles to realise that the stripped down saddle was not the most ideal commuting solution. To make things a little more comfortable it now has a Planet X Superlight (via a cheapo Velo saddle, which gave up the ghost after 10000 miles), which is much kinder to my nethers.
For a bit of fun and to make it more compatible with family rides in the summer, I reduced the gearing to 42/18 and popped some Schwalbe G-One 700x40c tyres. That all made it great for some light duty off road stuff and keeping the speed down for riding along with my daughters. But, for commuting, it was just rubbish – I didn’t get anywhere. So, it’s now back up to 44/16. I’ll probably notch that up to 48/16 when I next replace the chain. That’s not too far off, as I only seem to be getting around 2000 miles out of a chain. What do others get out of theirs?
Since I’ve had two rather embarrassing and surprising front brake cable failures, I thought I’d try something a bit different and whack a disc brake on the front (no need to do the back with fixed, I reckon). Of course, that also required getting a new fork and wheel. So, it now has an eBay special “slap on whatever brakes you like” fork, Avid Elixir brake and Mavic Aksium wheel. And, since the back wheel was on its way out, had more new spokes than old and, most importantly, was the wrong colour, that has now been replaced with a black rimmed Santa Fixie wheel. The tyres have replaced with 700x40c Schwalbe Citizens, which seem to do the job for what it’s used for. The disc hasn’t increased stopping power. But, it is more consistent and doesn’t suffer from poor brake or wheel alignment. Plus, I shouldn’t get cable failure!
I’ll probably keep it much as it is with a few mods here and there as things go pop. But, that’s it – for now.
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