I have an old Peugeot Vagabond. It's been sitting out in the New Mexico weather for more than a few years. I'm wondering if it's worth trying to fix up, or if I should just go get a new bike?

I tried to get the chain off (yes, with a chain tool), but it's not going to come off without considerable effort. Both sprockets are very rusted. And the derailers. I know I'll need new cables, brake pads, cable tube things. I'm pretty sure the rims are still true-ish, but I'll probably need new bearings. The handlebars also are significantly stiff when turning. I'm thinking the only thing still salvageable is the frame.

Ask for more pictures if needed.

(Please suggest appropriate tags. I tried.)

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3 Answers 3


It might be salvageable but the cost of:

  • new chain ($10)
  • new tires and tubes ($25)
  • rear cluster (maybe; $20)
  • new brake cables and pads ($10)
  • new derailleur cables ($10)

which is the minimal repair, is going to be around $75 in just parts, that’s if you get the dirt cheapest versions. If any of your bearings or hubs are seized, you’ll need to rebuild them which isn’t expensive in terms of parts (just bearings and grease), but is labor intensive and requires special tools.

You’ll quickly get to the price of a good used bike if you have to pay labor and even if you do it yourself, you’ll quickly rack up a bill.

I’d sell the frame to someone who wants to rebuild it and already has all the parts — or find a donor bike with a cracked frame that you can steal all the parts from.

  • I hadn't though of getting a used bike and making some kind of Frankenstein combination
    – CDspace
    Commented Jun 23, 2018 at 22:22
  • The bearings aren't seized, but probably need some work. If I can do it myself is another question.
    – CDspace
    Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 1:26
  • First check if the derailleurs are still working and have no broken springs If they are just seized they might come back to life. But if you need to replace these bits too you'll have to start hunting at auctions.
    – Carel
    Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 7:51

I've seen far worse. Go to a paint store and buy some "wood bleach". Be sure to get the stuff that's a liquid and contains "oxalic acid". Put some of that in a spray bottle and spray down all the rusted bits with it, getting them thoroughly wetted. Wipe well with paper towel or rag. Next spray well with WD-40 & wipe. Finally, oil thoroughly with a good "medium" chain oil, wipe, then oil again.

Of course, you need new tires, and the bearings may need to be taken apart and greased, but that's for another question.

  • I'm pretty sure the bearings will need to be worked on, but first I need to see if it's even worth it. I'll get some of that stuff and try it.
    – CDspace
    Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 1:24

Fundamentally, it’s the frame. If the frame just has a little cosmetic rust or paint problems, but is fundamentally sound, it will be definitely not-not-worth-it.
You definitely need some new tires. A little Phil Wood grease in the right places helps a lot

In many ways you have a lot of freedom. WD40? why not. A pressure wash? just take apart after. Patience an persistence works. Try riding it as soon as possible .

Liking a bike is the real answer. It doesn’t need to be perfect and you should know in an hour worth of riding. Does it feel like it can go faster. How does it feel in a turn.

  • Those question can be answered once its ridable again. Need to replace a lot of parts first.
    – CDspace
    Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 0:25
  • Both Phil Woods and WD40 suggested in the same answer? Certainly covers both extremes.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 5:19
  • Pressure washing is generally a bad idea, unless bearings are immediately rebuilt afterwards. Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 12:54

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