Peugeot one of cycling's oldest and most legendary marques is back with a limited edition range of bikes for 2010 celebrating the company's 200th anniversary – yep Peugeot is older than the bicycle as we know it.
For its bicentenary, Peugeot for whom Eddy Merckx, Bernard Thevenet, Robert Millar, Sean Yates, Stephen Roche and of course Tom Simpson all rode, has produced a limited edition of five “legend” models which, according to the accompanying blurb, are “inspired by this illustrious history and exceptional know-how, driven by innovation, technology and respect for the environment.'” The 'legends' themselves are a road bike, mountain bike, his and hers trekking bikes, and a town bike. This isn't one of those high end limited edition ranges but it is an interesting one.
The road bike, dubbed the Race has a decidedly retro look. The paint job is white with Peugeot chequerboard livery, and that's topped off with a Brooks leather saddle and leather bar tape – well, we're guessing it's leather, for that old school racing look. But this is the now familiar retro with a modern twist. So,the frame is aluminium not steel matched up to a carbon fork with an alu steerer. The drivetrain and controls are Shimano Tiagra and the rims Omega Mach-1's on Shimano hubs. Claimed weight for the bike is 9.2Kg (20.2lb) and that includes the Look Keo pedals supplied with the bike. While no featherweight the Race is certainly not heavy either and compares favourably with similarly spec'd bikes we've tested notably the Giant Defy, the Dawes Sportif and the Condor Agio. We'd expect to pay around £800 but then it is a limited edition…
'Trekking' they might be named, but Peugeot's two hybrids are described as city bikes, confusing because the final Legend is called the 'City'… although the launch blurf says it's a cruiser – an urban cruiser no doubt. Right, back to the Trekking. Available with either a cross bar or as a step through mixte option in either guise it looks every inch the smart urban utility machine. It's fully mudguarded, with the addition of a rack and panniers for carrying stuff, and, an enclosed chaincase gives some protection to your clothes. It also features a no name generic suspension fork for dealing with potholes and front and rear dynamo lighting courtesy of a Shimano Nexus hub dynamo, the Nexus hub also gives a useful seven gears which, matched up to the 38T chainset, should be more than enough to cope with most urban topography.
Extra bump beating protection comes courtesy of aluminium suspension seat post and some nice wide 700x37 tyres (with a reflective sidewall), with all that in place we'd have ditched the suspension fork which only adds weight.
These types of bikes are never light weight and these two are no exception with the step through version tipping the scales at a claimed 18.5Kg (40.7lb), okay you might not even notice losing the suspension fork at that weight, but every little helps.
Possibly the most interesting and of the moment bike in the range is the City, an urban cruiser (well we're saying it is) with a large front rack and 26in wheels and decently fat tyres which puts us in mind of bikes like the Globe Live and some of the machines we saw at the Milan cycle show from the likes of Rossin and Montante, and quite a few others – essentially a delivery bike given a trendy makeover which might on one level sound daft, but could actually be a very practical round-town bike.
Like the Trekking the City has an enclosed chaincase and mudguards front and back, like the Trekking too gears are courtesy of Shimano Nexus, although this time it's the three speed version matched up to a 42T front chainring. For ease of getting on and off the bike is s step through – which seems a sensible option given the size of the front rack. The City's mainframe is aluminium but the fork is high tensile steel so that front end should be strong enough to deal with whatever comes its way – even with a loaded rack. Stopping comes courtesy of a roller brake/V-brake combo at the back and front respectively. Lights are included as is a ding dong bell.
It's a more stripped down affair than the Trekking which is reflected in it's lighter claimed weight, even so at 15.7Kg (34.6lb) it's no lightweight.
Cycleurope who last held the licence to produce Peugeot bikes back in the 90s will produce and distribute the new range of bikes again under licence from Peugeot and the company plans a full range of machines for 2011. Peugeot bicycles will be available from bikeshops and your local Peugeot car dealer. No word as yet on prices, availablilty or just how limited the Legends limited edition will be, but we've asked and we will update this story when we get the answers.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.