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Old 04-30-12, 03:56 PM   #1
jyl
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How To Fix Up (What To Do With) Daughter's UO-8?

Late last year, I bought a 1975 (?) Peugeot UO-8 for my daughter. It was old, but rideable and still being actively ridden. I did a minimal amount of fixing up – cleaned and lubed the drivetrain, installed a used Terry seat, fitted new brake pads, made some adjustments and re-wrapped the bars – but nothing else, since I wasn’t convinced she would even ride the thing.

It was a shaky start. She knew how to ride a bicycle, but not well and not a ten-speed. At first there was much wobbling around and “I’ll just walk/take the bus/get a ride/stay home”. In recent months, however, she’s really taken to her bicycle, the freedom and fun it affords, and the miraculous ability to transform a hour’s tedious walk into 15 minutes’ breezy pedaling.

Now my daughter comes home from school, gets her bike from the garage, and rides herself to the vintage clothing boutiques, grocery store, ice cream shop, bookstore, etc. We still have rules about riding after dark (verboten), she’s not willing to ride on busy streets or cross the bridges yet (that’s okay with me), and for her recent photography class assignment, she did an picture essay on Portland’s ghost bicycles which provided all sorts of teachable moments on safe riding in traffic.

Last weekend, we went to Mt. Tabor, which is the closest convenient riding hill in my neighborhood. The route up the west side is roughly 280 vertical feet in 0.85 miles, or 12-13% grade. Usually a beginning rider has a pretty hard time getting up the hill. My daughter struggled the first time up, but after she realized that she could do it and the mental chains were broken, her second lap was pretty easy. Ah, to have the natural strength of a 15 y/o.

Naturally she has been bugging me to fix up her bike, and as I’m almost done with fixing up her little brother’s 1971 Peugeot G50 (thread coming soon), my thoughts are turning to the UO-8. What should we do with it?

Pictures of the bike are here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-New-quot-UO8?

Intended use: Fun riding around town. Light errands and shopping. Casual weekend rides, maybe 10-20 miles at first. Next year, maybe riding to school where the bike will be U-locked on an outside rack. Probably not going to see a lot of grim night death rides in the rain at 35F – frizzes the hair, you know – but bike and rider will likely be caught out in light showers and after dusk, no matter how mad dad gets.

Budget: Let’s call it a couple hundred bucks. I overspent on the G50

700C alloy rims, like a basic Sun rim? (Not sure if the Mafac Racer brakes will still reach) Shiny fenders? Porteur front rack? (Never had one of those – are they better than rear racks?) Different bars (how can you have a porteur rack with drop bars?) Inexpensive, not very steal-worthy, LED head-and-taillights? Change out the plastic Simplex derailleurs before they fail, or wait for them to fail? She has requested brake levers on the bar tops (extensions or cross levers), and really wants better braking.

Insipration pictures or threads would be very welcome!

Wild card: Daughter is going away to a camp in the Sierra mountains for the summer. Yes, her first paying job, she’ll be a camp counselor which in this case means working in the kitchen and maybe the kid’s center, living in the tent cabins with the other teenagers, and hopefully having a great time (and they even have wireless, donchaknow). I haven’t cleared this with the camp director, but if permitted I might bring the bicycle to camp for her. Not that bicycle riding is permitted in the camp (it is not), or that there is any legal single-track there (none AFAIK), but the nearest grocery store is about 2 miles of mountain road away, and it seems to me that having some way to get out of the camp and explore the (paved) back roads might be pretty nice. Of course, the nearest bike mechanic will be 100 miles away, so she'll have to learn how to change a flat and use/carry basic bike tools. Anyway, if we do this, does that change anything?

Last edited by jyl; 04-30-12 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 04-30-12, 04:24 PM   #2
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I built this Peugeot UO8 for a fellow in the US. The guy was in his seventies and wanted a vintage bicycle that did not demand a racing style crouch or seating position. This is what we talked about and what he ended up with. He sent me some pictures of him riding the bicycle. He says that he loves the bike and was impressed with the thorough preparation...

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Old 04-30-12, 04:52 PM   #3
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Did you switch over to 700C rims, and if so did the original brakes still reach?
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Old 04-30-12, 07:08 PM   #4
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If you're handy, and I assume you are, I don't see any big advantage to 700C wheels for your stated purposes. Rather than purchasing questionable quality 700C wheels new, you might be better off purchasing good quality 27" period correct wheels used (they may need cleaning/repacking of the bearings, and re-trueing). If you're not in a hurry, you should be able to find better quality used 27" used wheels for a better price, and the bike will be more aesthetically pleasing from a component matching point of view, especially considering that the original MAFAC brakes (very classy) will still work, with no doubt.
Out of curiousity, what is your impetus for wanting to switch to 700C?
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Old 04-30-12, 07:18 PM   #5
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Unless she was in love with it, I would sell it (which would be easy to do here) and get something that came with more alloy and more conventional threading. Probably a 80s rigid MTB for the camp thing. If she's in love with the UO8, I would fish some alloy 27 or 700c rims out of a garage sale this summer, get a few cheap parts from the bins at Citybikes or Community Cycling Center, get the Velo Orange french BB, and mount a donor square taper alloy crankset off of a MTB.

Kudos on trusting your MB-Zip frame for commuting. You must not be a Clyde.

I also live near Tabor. I've yet to make it up that hill.
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Old 04-30-12, 07:27 PM   #6
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1. Assuming you have the bike in your hands, just see if the pads have room to drop 4 cm (that's less than 1/4 inch, so we are not talking a lot).

2. Pick up a nice set of used wheels, either 27s or 700s.

3. There are now multiple choices on bb, the VO one is good.

4. Ditch the plastic Simplex derailleurs, replace with any of a myriad of good solid Suntour derailleurs. The Simplex shifters should be OK for a while.

5. Fresh good tires, brake pads, cables and housings, and you are good to go. (Although I would also go with an aero style brake lever, personal choice there).

I upgraded my 1974 UO8 way back in 1975: alloy rims, alloy bars, alloy seat post, alloy crankset, and it was a pretty nice bike at that point. I added aerolevers later.

Would a high end vintage MTB be a better bet? Sure. But if this is what she wants, I would upgrade it. Vintage Peugeots are very popular.
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