Nov 22, 09 11:18
Post #1 of 3
Came across this bike a couple weeks ago. Had been looking for months for such a bike. Found it on Craig's List. It had been languishing in a garage for probably well over a decade. A woman was cleaning out all remnants of her Ex it appeared. He had bought it back in the day, and was going to be the next "Triathlete", as she said. But this bike, the triathlon model of the Super Vitus 980, is not a tri bike as they are today. This was the era before the TT bar and clipless pedals. It was merely pretty much the best Peugeot had to offer in the day. The serial number under the bottom bracket is B 512 468 54. From the best I can gather, the 5 is the year (1985) and the 12 the month, the manufactured date.
Old school......1985 Peugeot Super Vitus 980 Triathlon bike
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Researched much from Sheldon Brown. Found out that French bikes have distinct idiosyncrasies. First was the fixed cup. Right hand threaded. Doubtful a sealed bottom bracket is made for these old Peugeots. Fortunately, the bottom bracket was perfect. Merely needed some TLC maintenance. The wheels. Rigida. Very light but flimsy rims. Unable to true. Plus the rear hub and freewheel was the infamous Helicomatic. Just as well that I junked the set. Found some Mavic CXP30s again on Craig's List. 700s. The original bike had a 700 6 speed freewheel. Upgraded to the freehub and put together a 7 speed, 25-12. Used spacers to set the chain line. Like Sheldon Brown stated, with friction shifting, anything is possible. Plenty of travel with the 6 speed rear deraillieur. So ended up with 42/52, 25-12.
The paint and chrome, almost perfect. Minor touchup for the paint and polishing of all the chrome and metal. Color acccents added, red saddle and yellow bottle cages. Interesting that the Triathlon model had bottle mounts underneath the front tube between it and the front wheel! So one could mount three bottles. How one would get the third bottle out while riding is not something I would try. Another weird French thing.......the seat post has a quill for setting the height. Has a special bent allen key for adjusting the height from the top, underneath the saddle. Probably added a quarter pound of uneccessary weight. But the bike weighs out to 21 pounds. Tanita weight scale procedure.
All in all, very pleased. Unfortunately, I won't get to ride it. It is way too small for me. It's a 52 and for my brother as an early Christmas present. My training buddy who is sized to the bike will be my test pilot. He's a good wrench too. I'll get the feedback from him. It should be a great ride for it was made with Reynolds 531 steel, condsidered the finest bike material of the day. I can't imagine that there are more than a half dozen of these bikes still on the road here in the US.