Rusting Away


Staying on a farm in France for a winter break, I saw this vintage Peugeot road bike stuffed at the back of one of the farmer’s storage buildings. This unit is just a canopy and open to the elements even though it has a metal roof, so the bike has obviously suffered from many damp and rainy days.  Wandering around looking at chickens and goats a couple of days ago, I just happened to notice that unmistakable sight of a 700c wheel poking out from behind a load of storage. Naturally, this piqued my interest and I must confess, I felt compelled to know more.




Is this Vintage Peugeot Road Bike Salvageable?


Not having seen the owner of this farm and bike for a few days, I haven’t been given the permission to go into the storage area for a proper gander. I intend to ask him to sell it to me for a fair price when I see him. But you can tell it’s got a serious rust problem, the dreaded brown stuff runs all along the top tube as well as the stays, and I’m guessing the forks are the same way ( I haven’t seen them ). Maybe some of it is surface rust can be partly removed; in my experience, lighter brown rust can be removed, but dark brown rust is mostly a hopeless case. Even if 50% of this rust was cleared away, the gloss and shine of the paint will be gone forever. Yet, I have seen bikes come back from the brink..


Vintage Peugeot road bike closer image in barn

Even Closer


The Bike


So, there’s the Vitus label on the downtube, between the two shifters. The shifters are Simplex Criterium, braze-on, and I’m practically sure the derailleurs are SX 410, but I could be wrong. I think it’s a PFN10, a mid-range Peugeot from the early 1980’s with Vitus 181 tubing. I restored one last year, you can read about it here. This bike is much bigger than the bike in that particular blog, it looks like its a 60cm, maybe even a 62cm. Too big for me, alas, but I still fancy saving it. It has a Peugeot crankset and Weinmann brakes. Strangely, I think the wheels look in decent shape, and even the tyres look like they’ve somehow survived the years of open air storage. Strange indeed they haven’t perished. I do have a bad feeling that the seatpost is stuck.

Guess What..?


I bought it. The bike wasn’t actually owned by the farm owner; it was the ride of someone who left it where I found it, a person who had died five years ago. This old Peugeot, therefore, actually had no owner and was destined for many more years of slow deterioration. Quite a lot of paint corrosion has set in, however, right across the bike. Whether or not it can be really be cleaned up remains to be seen.


Image of vintage Peugeot road bike drive side

Out in the Open

Close up image of rust on seat lug


Can this vintage Peugeot road bike be restored? Find out by following the link below:

Removing Rust from a Bike Frame: Vintage Peugeot


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