17 May, 2006

A Randoneusse for the Common Jacques

Even in the glory days of French cycling, not everyone could afford a Singer or a Herse. So what was the French lunch-box-kind-of-guy to do when he wanted a randonneusse. One option was to get a Peugeot PX50, a production randonneur bike.

The photo shows a 1962 model. It's equipped with Nervar cranks, a 4-speed freewheel, Simplex Prestige derailleurs, Mafac cantis, Lyotard pedals, and those chubby 650B tires. It's just the thing for a rough French country road. The front rack is perfect for a handlebar bag and the rear would take small panniers. Also note the Cibie lighting system and the cool brake levers. The saddle is an Ideale 41. Replace that rear changer and you'd have a dependable and superbly capable all-arounder.

I see that the first catalog to list this model is the 1953 edition. It seems to have disappeared sometime between 1963 and 1969. Apparently not many made it to North America, but they were sold in Japan. Here's a link to a Japanese catalog. The photo and information is taken from Cycles Retro Peugeot , a wonderful collection of Peugeot catalogs from 1929 to 1989.

Now look at the second photo. What the heck is that little lid on the down tube for?

It occurs to me that the modern version of this bike might be the new Kogswell Randonneur/Porteur.


David D. said...
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David D. said...

Might that be a port to allow lubrication of the lower headset bearings without disassembling the h/s?

Were the racks originally that green color? I would be surprised if they weren't chromed originally.

It's a neat little bike for sure. The only thing is, aesthetically, the front racks that clip all the way down to the fork end aren't quite so attractive as the kind that attach to the brakes or fork blades, IMHO.

Andrew said...

Interesting bike, not sure about those lugs though. A bit art deco?

My bet is that the lid provides entry into the secret brandy stash.

Anonymous said...


Brandy ? Mon dieu ! It's French - that'd be for absinthe.

I think the real deal was brought out on the CR list - probably a headset lock.

In any case, a neat bike. At one end of the spectrum you have Alex Singer/Rene Herse. At the other, this fine little velo.

Anonymous said...

Hello I got two of them. One get all the original parts. Both are red with black lugs and all the racks are chromed. Original tires are black with white sides.
If somebody is interested I sell it.

Velo Orange said...

Valery, what size is it? And where is it located?


Anonymous said...


If Chris ends up not buying your bike, I may be interested. Same questions - what size, where is it... ?

Anonymous said...

I'm located in Paris, France. For the size : seat tube is 54 C to C. Chris, I got your email.I will send you some photos.

Tarik Saleh said...

This is such a great bike. I have a 70's UE-18 which I think is the 700c bike boom version of this one. It has similar aztecy lugs and similar racks and lights. Pretty nice all told.

What are those spectacularly huge 650B's on this bike? Are they still available?

Velo Orange said...

The tires are Michelins. It also says: "semi-confort". You can read the sidewall in this photo: http://home.wanadoo.nl/retropeugeot/PX50_1962/PX50_1962_06.jpg

Anonymous said...

I realize this is a really old thread, but just wanted to post that the used bike shop I work at in Wilmington, DE (USA) got one of these in. Pretty beat up, but available if someone is interested in a project.

Andrew said...

The little lid on the downtube is for a lock. Turn the handlebars to the left, lift the lid, slide in the brass lock pin, turn and remove the key. The pin is locked in, with the front wheel locked in a left turn.

snook91901 said...

I just got one of these in the beginning of October and have been trying to figure out the little door on the downtube. Funny that recent comment on a 9 year old post would answer my question.

Thanks Andrew!!!