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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 11-06-07, 08:31 PM   #1
tad
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Critique (gently) my peugeot SS conversion...

So this is my first attempt at a conversion for a commuter/everyday bike. This is my dad's old Peugeot UO8 that he bought in 1972, so it has a lot of sentimental value. Hence, even though it's not the best frame, it's my favorite.

The first step was swapping out the wheels. Unfortunately, the original normandy hubs were french threaded, so I swapped them out for a 27" Araya wheelset I picked up from a friend. I added a single speed 16T freewheel and I was good to go. I also swapped in a 1/8" chain and saved the original chain with the old freewheel.

The original bike (from my folks' basement):



I picked up an old bianchi drop bar for the chop and flip. I want to save all the original parts off the bike, so chopping the old one up wasn't an option. The bianchi was about .4mm too large at 25.4, but I managed to get it into the stem with just a bit of work.

Of course, after the chop (and once the brake levers came in) - I realized there was no way they were going to fit into the curved section of the bar. So, I picked up a couple of copper pipe reducers which fit *perfectly* into the bars (read, with a bit of work). I JB-welded them in. I was a bit concerned about the strength of the bar at this point, but really the only stress on the very end of the bar is from braking. When I'm riding, my hands are behind the joint. Regardless, I have no doubt it will hold up. See the in progress pictures below...





And the final result (for now). This is my everyday commuter, hence the light and f/r brakes (original mafac center pulls)






STILL TO DO:
I really want to find a replacement spindle for the BB. It currently has cottered cranks (with mangled pins) Unfortunately, the BB is french-threaded, so it's not as easy as just swapping the whole thing. B/c I have thin-walled cups, I really need an Italian spindle (or so says Sheldon) that was designed for a 70mm BB (mine is 68, but because of the cups...). Once I get a square taper spindle, I'll pick up some new cranks, pedals, and a single 42T chainring. Unfortunately, this means running on a 40T chainring up front which is a little too low for my tastes (not a hilly city - Washington, DC).

I'm open for any suggestions, although I'm pretty happy with it right now (other than the cranks/chainring).
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Old 11-06-07, 08:33 PM   #2
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the brake solution is cool, i like that diy style.
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Old 11-06-07, 08:37 PM   #3
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Nothing at all wrong with a Peugeot frame.
Nice job, so far. Only thing I'd change immediately is the addition of clips & straps on the pedals, so that you can learn to properly modulate your speed with your legs (and thereby become less reliant on the brakes). But, since you have 2 brakes, you don't really need them - it's merely personal preference on my part.
Well done! Enjoy riding it!
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Old 11-06-07, 08:46 PM   #4
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clever fix for the brakes. i hope it holds up well!

cleans up really nicely too.

you should get an old school frame pump and slap it on there. classy!

2nd the clips and straps. even though it's not fixed, it's still really handy to get that extra power all the way around the pedal stroke. and plus if you're out of the saddle when you hit a pot hole, you're less likely to fall of the pedals and bruise your...manhood. your life. your ego.

tad ghostal?
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Old 11-06-07, 08:58 PM   #5
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even though it's not fixed
Whoops, somehow I missed that.
...in which case, it's spot on.









(psssst.... fix it. )
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Old 11-06-07, 09:03 PM   #6
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classy, i dig.
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Old 11-06-07, 09:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuastar View Post
clever fix for the brakes. i hope it holds up well!

cleans up really nicely too.

you should get an old school frame pump and slap it on there. classy!

2nd the clips and straps. even though it's not fixed, it's still really handy to get that extra power all the way around the pedal stroke. and plus if you're out of the saddle when you hit a pot hole, you're less likely to fall of the pedals and bruise your...manhood. your life. your ego.

tad ghostal?
thanks man. you mean like this?


Unfortunately, the gaskets (I think) are blown, so the pump doesn't work. That's the original that came with the bike though.

Good call about the clips and straps guys - I could probably add them to these pedals (or put back on the originals - but they're REALLY ratty), but I'll think I'll wait until I get the square taper spindle and new crank/pedals.


Oh and btw, not tad ghostal.
just tad (that's my first name).
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Old 11-06-07, 09:29 PM   #8
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i used to have a frame with those braze ons, and i had a broken pump i kept in there too!

but yeah, watch out for those copper ends. it looks like it's a decent solution, but if it fails it will come at the worst possible moment.
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Old 11-06-07, 09:45 PM   #9
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i used to have a frame with those braze ons, and i had a broken pump i kept in there too!

but yeah, watch out for those copper ends. it looks like it's a decent solution, but if it fails it will come at the worst possible moment.
yeah i actually might leave it in there. The bottom braze-on has been a real ***** lately (I only roll up my pant-leg on the drive side), as it always catches my pant leg. Luckily it's not a huge deal since it's not like getting caught in a chainring, but still annoying as hell. I've considered cutting it off - but like I said, I'm trying not to do anything irreversible to the frame. The pump is so light maybe i'll just leave it there.
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Old 11-06-07, 09:51 PM   #10
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Throw some fenders on there too, single-speed bikes are great for winter and rainy seasons as there are no gears to get gummed up. Nice bike.
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Old 11-06-07, 10:14 PM   #11
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yup, that braze on actually caused me to crash once.
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Old 11-07-07, 12:22 AM   #12
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also, that stem looks like the old AVA stems that old peugots used to come with stock
sheldon said on his website that theyre prone to failure.
if youre planning on riding it hard, i'd recommend getting a new stem.
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Old 11-07-07, 12:38 AM   #13
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Nice work, I'd spring for some cheap bullhorns, though, as copper isn't exactly the metal I want holding my brake apparatus together.

Re: the french thread BB and needing a longer spindle, one solution is to repack one or both sides of the BB with slightly oversize bearings. They can be a little tough to find, but it usually works.
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Old 11-07-07, 12:59 AM   #14
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Rad bike man, I like it.
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Old 11-07-07, 01:46 AM   #15
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Nice job, enjoy the bike.
(and I concur with the toe clip suggestion)
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Old 11-07-07, 08:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
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thanks man. you mean like this?


Unfortunately, the gaskets (I think) are blown, so the pump doesn't work. That's the original that came with the bike though.

Oh and btw, not tad ghostal.
just tad (that's my first name).




indeed!
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Old 11-07-07, 09:43 AM   #17
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I did a conversion on an 80's peugeot... only advise id throw you is to watch the headset (if youre using the origonal). with mine, i just disassembled, cleaned, and relubed it... few weeks later, damn thing had ruined the matching fork...

... luckily the LBS hooked me up with a Reynolds 531 fork for $15...

but yeah, Id say just check any origonal parts you left on there... unless im mistaken the UO8 was the entry level racer, so its componentry might not have been top notch back in the day... fast forward 35 years and who knows...

but looks good man, nice fix on the handlebars...

-seth
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Old 11-07-07, 10:32 AM   #18
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Sugino made French thread BB cups that worked with the standard 68mm spindle length. I picked some up from Harris Cyclery about a year ago for an UO8 I was working on. Looks like they're out of stock forever, but maybe ebay?

And yeah, you should replace the stem. I read that French steerers required a funky french-sized stem, but a standard quill stem slipped perfectly into my UO8.
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Old 11-07-07, 05:00 PM   #19
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I too really like your copper pipe fitting idea.
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Old 11-07-07, 05:28 PM   #20
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I like it, family history is a good thing.
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Old 11-07-07, 05:31 PM   #21
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I love that you're riding your dad's old bike. Well done.
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Old 11-07-07, 05:32 PM   #22
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I know you worked hard on the bar/brake solution, but if that's an Ava stem, I would ditch it an put on modern parts. They were known to fail at the worst possible moment.
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Old 11-07-07, 06:03 PM   #23
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nice job man. making it work with what you got.
thumbs up!
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Old 11-07-07, 06:17 PM   #24
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i think my roommate has this same bike frame sitting in our parking garage.
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Old 11-07-07, 06:46 PM   #25
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Is that chainring guard removable? I could personally do without it.

Nice conversion though, very well done.
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