Peugeot Collector Edition £950

Retro road ride

BikeRadar score 2/5

Peugeot used to be the pre-eminent French brand, with a pro team full of star riders on top-end steel and pioneering semi-carbon bikes. The recently revived range includes this retro styled, enjoyably friendly ride, but it’s desperate for upgrading.

The company are remaining tight-lipped about the frame’s aluminium and the round, fat tubes are free from fancy shaping except for the curved seatstays. The front end is an inset straight-gauge setup rather than tapered, with just carbon legs on the fork.

Neither fork nor frame is light, and the paintwork on our sample was roughly finished too. While it’s not a direct retro team replica, the chequerboard detailing evokes classic 1980s colourways. The Brooks leather saddle and bar tape, complete with cork bar end plugs, reinforce the classic appeal.

The thick leather Pro is very heavy at 530g – twice the weight of most saddles – and not helped by the 370g seatpost. The rock hard, super-slippery initial feel will put a lot of riders off, but treat it right and it’ll transform into a fabulously comfortable, custom moulded perch that will last 20-30 years or more.

Make sure you change the rolling stock as soon as possible, though. The four-spoke bunch arrangement certainly makes the Mach 1 wheels look different, but the first few rides sound like you’re cycling over a pile of harps as the wheels twang and settle into shape, and they’re very heavy.

The wire-bead tyres are 466g each and feel more like old bits of hosepipe than performance rubber, which kills any chance of responsive acceleration. They're tough enough to handle rough cyclepath/towpath miles without worry though, and the soft wheels are equally at home on rougher surfaces.

Considering its big, basic pipes, barely padded bar tape and super-firm saddle, the whole bike is surprisingly comfortable and its handling is equally reassuring and friendly. The Shimano Tiagra triple chainset helps you cope with the high overall weight and hefty wheels on climbs.

However, but it’s definitely a bike more suited to gentle social rides than competitive outings. The lack of mudguard and rack mounts undermines the obvious touring potential and, while we enjoyed riding it leisurely, there’s a lot you have to forgive for the money.

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