One sizing caveat for women and short-torso'ed men applies to most of the European mixtes and their imitators: the functional top tube length is very long. (My 1973-ish UO-18 has a 53 CM center-to-top seat tube, or 52 CM c-c, and a 56 CM top tube equivalent measurement. A 54 CM ctc Peugeot UO-18 will have a 57 CM top tube equivalent measurement.) Your friend's daughter may be much better off, depending on g her proportions, riding a smaller European mixte frame with a longer seat post and stem in order to have the optimal reach.
I would argue strongly in favor of using a Peugeot UO-18 mixte (or a similar Gitane, Frejus, Nishiki, etc.) on the UC Berkeley campus rather than a nicer (531, Columbus, Ishiwata, Tange) "collectible" double-butted frame. An obviously nicer bike will be a theft magnet, Kryptonite U-locks notwithstanding.
My own experience with UO-8s long ago and my current UO-18 Peugeot (appx. 1973 vintage) is that they ride and perform quite well as long as one changes out the steel rims for alloy and the Simplex plastic derailleurs for alloy. Finding French-thraded headsets, stems, seat posts, and bars can be a headache but is far from impossible here in the Bay Area,
A used Peugeot mixte will run about $180 - $200 in Berkeley, depending on its condition and equipment. Even starting with a steel-rimmed version a very nice and affordable ride can be had for under $500 including the needed racks and upgrades. IMHO Santa Rosa is way too far from Berkeley as a destination to buy a local campus bike when local CL ads here are full of them:
Several of us on this list have upgraded and restored Peugeot and other less-costly European mixtes and can share our expertise if needed.
Jon Spangler in Alameda, CA USA where I am surrounded by Cal Bear alumni but hold fast to being a University of Oregon Duck alumnus
++++++Robert Shackelford wrote:
Message: 3 Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2011 10:18:12 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: [CR] WTB Mixte of decent steel OT? To: Benjamin Power <email@example.com> Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Uncle Crusty in Santa Rosa has a silver/grey Peugeot Mixte all set to go. Used, in okay condition, with basic replacement wheels.
Robert Shackelford San Jose, CA USA
Quoting Benjamin Power <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
> Dear All,
> I'm enquiring for a friend who is looking for a nice campus bike for his
> daughter to take to Berkeley in a couple of weeks - she's been bitten by the
> vintage lugged mixte bug, but all that is for sale around here is what
> appears to be a UE18 in 103 tubing, which is, in fact, probably a little
> I'd really like your advice whether that seems like a decent machine if
> anyone knows about those, but even more, if anyone has something mixtewise a
> little better - preferably in 531 or some such, I'd very much like to hear
> about it. She's a fairly long legged girl - inseam of 33" or so, so probably
> looking for a 54-56 in a frame - full bike even better I think.
> Many thanks (and for all the splendid advice and information on this list),
> and happy new year.
> regards, (and hopes he's got the format right for his first CR post)
> Ben Power
> San Diego, CA