Yep, another romantic diehard... Anyhow, assuming my early 70s model has a rear hub with English threads and the old Rigida wheels, what's the simplest way to get a lower geared set on it. Thanks in advance.
1992ish Davidson Impulse, 1981 Apollo Gran Sport SS, 2006 Salsa Las Cruces, 2010 Soma Double Cross
I don't think an early '70s UO-8 would have an English thread freewheel. I just removed a freewheel from an early '70s UE-8 (sport touring version of the UO-8) and it was a French-threaded Atom, which is very limited in terms of what you can replace it with.
If it does turn out to be English, you could source out any Suntour, Shimano or similar 5 speed to replace it with. It depends on how much range you want. For example, I had a nice 5 speed 14-34 Suntour Winner Pro on my touring bike until I upgraded to 7 speed.
If it was a US market bike it will be English freewheel threads. You can find SunTour freewheels for next to nothing at any decent bike store that works on vintage bikes. SunTour perfecte or similar freewheels were available up to 32 or 34 teeth. I have one on my UO-8. I think it cost $3. SunTour did also make French freewheel bodies for the same cogs but you'd have to hit eBay in all likelihood to find one. I have one on a French-thread Normandy hub on another bike with a 32 toother on it.
French-threaded hub threads are rare on Peugeots in the U.S. because the U.S. spec bikes had BSC-threaded hubs. I've been into French bikes since the mid seventies and I've never encountered a French-threaded hub.