Gloria, The Peugeot HLE Premiere


A Peugeot. 

I think that’s what this frame is, and boy-oh-boy what a frame.


Hints of magnesium, titanium and other alloys make it a solid contender for the intended purpose: becoming a solid Peak District tourer and local shopping go-getter. 

Another Peugeot HLE Premiere in-the-works. This great frame is similar to the new unbadged project.

Many thanks to Chris in Nottingham for this new frame. Chris has been the source of my recent steel frame projects, including the Dawes Lightning of which parts were used and built into a supreme 84 km/h fixed gear firecracker.

A year or so ago, I also picked up a rare Emmelle from Chris, and that comfortable frame is up for restoration soon.

52mph cracked on vintage Dawes Lightning parts sourced from Chris (Nottingham)
Project Emmelle coming along nicely
The de-badged Peugeot HLE Premiere (picture credit: Chris in Nottingham)
Peugeot bikes always looks good in black (picture credit: Chris in Nottingham)

The new frame arrived in solid black, de-badged with a few scratches and scars due to age and use. Chris and I were of the conclusion that it might be potential Peugeot steel due to design specs common with French frames of the same era. Being the owner of a similarly designed HLE Premiere, albeit in navy blue – I agreed – so a new project began. 

Peugeot described HLE (Haute Limite Elastique) as a “micro alloyed steel” which is comprised of manganese, niobium, aluminium, carbon and titanium, and offers a lighter, yet stronger frame structure.

Early Peugeot catalogues from the 70’s mention that these fine elements were commonly used in the production of aeronautical steel to dramatically improve the mechanical properties of the frame, as compared to more conventional steel.

Apparently, according to Peugeot, the strength to weight ratio of HLE tubing was far superior to that of conventional tubing, and improved performance and reliability.

As with all new projects, I massaged the frame with some turtle wax before rolling out a few test spins around our local village. However, the weather and rain has turned summer 2023 into a miserable horror show lately. So the turtle wax should offer some protection from the puddles on the back roads in the next few weeks. Test rides on all “new” frames are necessary so I can listen out for the usual pings and pangs that may need to be adjusted before the full restoration begins. 

Saying so, the bike felt solid on the ride home from town. Lively, fast, with light alloy wheels turning on the spot and comfortably cruising on bumpy lanes with ease. Classic as expected from Peugeot, so I hope this rebuild turns out great. 

Peugeot HLE Premiere steel in all her glory.


I think I’ll call her Gloria. 

Gloria joins fellow Peugeot classic, Lucy, an eccentric 1976 Peugeot Du Monde


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