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Peugeot Tandems

Restoring Maintaining and Updating The Peugeot Tandem
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Buying a Peugeot Tandem
I get lots of emails from people buying and selling Peugeot tandems. By far the best deals seem to be had by those people buying privately from friends or local ads. They crop up regularly on eBay, where they can fetch much higher prices. The disadvantage of auction sites is that having "won" the item and travelled to see the bike they feel they already have an investment in it are are obliged to buy it, even if it is not exactly as described. So an ebay purchase can be something of a pig in a poke.
You have to remember that everyrthing is being sold for a reason. Motives range from bereavement to someone who has bought it cheap and is trying to make a fast buck. You have an advantage with tandems because they often really do have a "genuine reason for sale". Tandems are often bought by couples who are attracted to the idea but dont enjoy it in practice or kids came along, or they are now "too old". So there are lots of genuinely good bikes out there. However please bear in mind that some "shed finds" have been taken off the road because of mechanical failure. Also remember that most owners and the majority of bike shops have little or no experience of tandems or older French bikes.
What to look for
"Original and complete" is always best. Missing parts can be hard to find. I am always coming across tandems, where the new owner rejoices that they have been modernised with "Shimano, this that and the other", but nothing works properly because the replacement parts are incompatible. If you are modernising, follow the guidance of this website (You have been warned!!). Check for play in the rear wheel bearings and both bottom brackets. Check that the pedals are smooth and free running and that the steering isn't notchy and there is no excessive play in the headset. Check the rear hub brake works properly. Wheels should run smooth and true with no rust on the rims.
What to avoid
Inappropriately modified and "improved" tandems with modern parts fitted often dont work well, so insist on a long test ride to make sure the gears and brakes all work properly.
What to Pay
Anything from £50 to £300 depending on spec. and condition. The "standard" price for an original, complete and working Peugeot Tandem in good condition is around £100-£120. (December 2011), but a perfect showroom condition one will fetch much more. You will pay more in a bike shop as they have to charge you VAT and offer some kind warranty.
What to Budget
This is not the same question as "What to Pay". Unfortunately many people decide to get a "cheap" tandem because they just want to try out tandeming and dont want to invest too much money in case it isnt for them. However, unless you are buying a tandem that is still in regular use, it is inevitable there will be additional costs. At the minimum for a "shed find", you should budget for new tyres and tubes, new cable inners and outers and chains so you should budget at least £100 -£120 in new parts and perhaps double that if you are paying a bike shop to do the work. Also the the wheel bearings and bottom bracket bearings will need stripping and regreasing - virtually no cost if you do it yourself, but a couple of hours labour if you are paying someone to do it for you.
Getting it fixed up
First thing to say is that taking you newly purchased Peugeot tandem to your local bike shop for "a service" is often the road to paying someone a lot of money to ruin your tandem. Most bike shops:
  • Never see anything older than a 1990's mountain bike.
  • Dont know that older French bikes have different sized parts and different screw threads.
  • Have little or no experience of tandems and their idiosyncracies
  • Will not have the correct tools
  • Will not have the correct parts
  • Will gladly bodge your bike to "keep the customer satisfied"

So the message is. if you dont have the facilites, time and willingness to learn how your tandem works, then go to a French tandem specialist or dont buy a French tandem. I only know of one French tandem specialist and he is typing this content right now :-)


Horror Stories


  1. Incorrect tyres fitted that kept blowing off the rims.
  2. A Shimano rear bottom bracket spindle fitted with two Raleigh (totally different screw thread) bearing cups. The chainring was cutting it way through the chainstay.
  3. The wrong brake levers fitted resulting in totally inadequate brakes.

All of the above on just one eBay "find".