Mystery 80s Peugeot - pic heavy


Retro Guru
Hoping someone can tell me a bit more about this bike.

According to the seller (and this may be garbled by the mists of time) this bike was shown at the 'Harrogate bike show' sometime in the early 80s. Apparently Peugeot imported 20 to the UK, and 'Branches' (or possibly Branch's) bike shop of Wakefield/Leeds area bought one to put in their shop window and gauge interest in such a weird machine.

- Was there a Harrogate bike show? Is there any surviving material or press info from it?
- Was there a Branch's bike shop somewhere in Yorkshire? Seller said it wasn't there long.

Seller bought it and has ridden it ever since. Listing said '1980' but I'm guessing more like 1984. It has:
- Suntour bits and pieces, (the rear mech has been replaced). Pretty sure this is pre-indexed gears; they are not indexed anyway. 6-speed.
- Dia-compe cantis and levers (these look very early to me)
- Bullmoose handlebars (not sure of make)
- Araya rims
- Sugino crank

The listing also said Reynolds 531 frame although there's no label. So to try and find out the type of tubing I've looked at another Peugeot 531 (racer) bike and found the following similarities. (I will try and reply to this with some more pics of the 'comparison' bike)
- similar lugs for head tube, seat tube/stays, dropouts (though the MTB aren't stamped 'Simplex')
- same cable guides attached to BB shell
- seamless tubing looking down seat tube
- same forks as I had from a custom Orbit 531 tandem - same construction, crown etc
- very similar headset with serrated locking washer

I intend to restore sympathetically using as many period parts as I can find. Thinking of looking for an Avocet saddle if anyone knows of where I can get one.

There is some sort of weird varnish-y stuff all over the bike. I don't know if this was a misguided attempt at rust proofing. It doesn't come off with brake cleaner or acetone, you can get at it with fingernail though. Any tips for removal?


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Retro Guru
Comparison bike. Late 70s Peugeot 531 racer.


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Retro Guru
Looks like a Peugeot crazy horse? 82/83. The first ones had those bullmoose bars. Is it Nitto?


Senior Retro Guru
I had an '86 Peugeot Ranger,first mtb.I suspect you're right and this is an earlier model,not familiar with their range.Lot of similarities,frame looks very similar re lugs/stays etc.Not sure about cable guides,can't remember.
Mine had Lee Chi brakes/Sachs-Huret mechs/thumbshifters and Nitto stem with bull horn bars,not one piece like yours.


Retro Guru

On here, 1984 English version. Canyon/urban express . It might have been released earlier in france


Retro Guru
Thanks for this, useful info. Regarding the 1984 catalogue, it is a close match to the Canyon Express. However the frame specs say TIG/pulse welded. This is definitely brazed/lug construction. It's also light silver not dark grey.

I have some more clues. Frame number ARYG 329376. If a bit of research is to be believed, the number after the 'Y' indicates year of construction (for a 1980s bike). There is a 'G' in the way and I don't know what that means, but the next number is a '3'. 1983?

Tange headseat and BB.
The fork is Ishiwata. Pics show the '531' fork from the Orbit tandem which is virtually identical.
Bars are indeed Nitto.

I'll do a bit more digging on the Crazy Horse. Thanks for the steer, Team RB.


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Dirt Disciple
The serial number:

ARY - Araya of Japan
G - Month of frame manufacture. 7 or August.
3 - year of frame manufacture. 1983
29376 - unique number portion of the serial number.

The bike may be a 1984 model year.

Peugeot did source some frames from Araya for some of their original VTT. Manufacturers were scrambling to offer mountain bikes.


Retro Guru
Thanks for this. I didn't know Araya made frames? Is there any more info about their tubesets etc? I guess it matches with the Ishiwata fork, both being Japanese.

Excuse my ignorance, but what is "VTT"?