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Peugeot, To be or not to be a road bike

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Peugeot, To be or not to be a road bike

Old 07-20-17, 10:20 PM
  #1  
Bigrig8600
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Peugeot, To be or not to be a road bike

This spring I bought a 1972 Peugeot UO8 from a thrift store. It was one of those "Right place, Right time" moments (not to mention I had a coupon too). The bike looks like it had been made in to a cruiser sometime during its life time and looks to be pretty well taken care of.

The bike is good condition. Purple in color with the normal road wear and tear, a chip here, a scratch there, not a big deal. Alot original decals are still intact but suffer from the same road wear and tear. The bike is mostly original including the shocking clean Atom freewheel, Simplex front and rear derailleurs, Normandy hubs and associated rims, and Mafac "Racer" brakes. Then we get to the cockpit, which is a bit of a different story. The original saddle has been replaced with something a bit more cushiony. Quite comfortable really. The drop handle bars and brake levers have been replaced with "Granny" or "Cafe" bars and Dia compe 282 levers. The cherry on top is the aluminum rear basket made in Switzerland. It's a very interesting bike for sure. Over the past few months I have been taking it apart carefully cleaning and servicing components as I get time.

But, I need some opinions . Is this a bike that, in your opinion, is worth restoring to a more aggressive road bike? Or should I keep the cruiser charm? This is obviously a question of rideability and style. I like the romance of vintage road bikes racing through the European country sides. But, it would also erase the history of this bike individually, the story it has to tell.

I would love to hear your thoughts.
-C.J.
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Old 07-21-17, 05:34 AM
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Since the UO-8 is a fairly heavy, low-end bike, it doesn't make sense to attempt to turn it into a racer. It is, however, a wonderfully-riding bike, and makes a great cruiser. There's a certain charm to keeping it mostly original.

As far as whether making changes would "erase the history of this bike individually, the story it has to tell", I think when you make some changes to it, yourself, the bike begins to add your story to the story it has to tell.
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Old 07-21-17, 05:58 AM
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Well a U08 is not the best choice if you are looking to have a light, fast road bike. It is as @jj1091 pointed out a fine-riding bike and it is a wonderful platform to learn the intricacies of wrenching on a French bike. A U08 is my daily commuter ride. I worked on it and changed it so many times that the only original parts are now the frame, fork and headset. I love the bike especially for its versatility and relaxed geometry. It is a pleasure to ride but by no means is it a speedster. Other bikes fit that bill.

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Old 07-21-17, 06:01 AM
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Concur with the others, it will make a fine cruiser but not really a sporty bike for fast road riding. It is a stable platform for hauling things, commuting, and just general cruising. I have a UE 8 (same as the UO 8 but with fenders, a rack, and a lighting system that I am converting into a flat bar commuter.
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Old 07-21-17, 06:44 AM
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Pics or it didn't happen.
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Old 07-21-17, 06:51 AM
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I'm gonna buck the trend in this thread and say yes, I would bring it back to road bike status. It will give you a taste of sporty 10 speeds BITD. If you look at it in the context of the era it's from, you'll see it rides pretty nice in its intended build up.
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Old 07-21-17, 07:05 AM
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@exmechanic89 I completely agree that it should be brought back to road bike status. I think it is the perfect utility bike. It just isn't the choice for someone searching for a speedy road bike.
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Old 07-21-17, 07:15 AM
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I'll weigh in on the plus side. You didn't ask about making it a "racer" but about making it a "road bike". That covers a lot of territory re performance and ride characteristics. It is not the lightest bike on the planet but it is by no means the heaviest. It was one of the lightest in its original price range. With modest price upgrades like Suntour RD and alloy wheels it can be a very nice road bike indeed.
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Old 07-21-17, 07:23 AM
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Peugeot gave the world quite a conundrum, but they were not alone. Raleigh and Schwinn also gave us bicycles that looked racy, but were made out of heavier tubing and fitted with less expensive, heavier components. You could fit it out with lighter weight components and get it to drop a couple pounds, and if you're looking for a bike to ride on the road, it would be satisfactory (much like a Schwinn Traveler or a Raleigh Grand Prix would be). It will end up being notably heavier than models made with stronger, lighter, frame tubing, and consequently will be a little slower to accelerate, and less joyful to ride up inclines.

If your intent is to have something that looks nice to toodle around on, it would work. If you want to mix it up on spirited club rides... not so much.
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Old 07-21-17, 08:00 AM
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I recently bought an 1984 Trek 420. The prior owner rode it daily for two years and the bike had "cafe" style bars on it. Looking at the Trek catalogs, I see the bike was actually an entry level weekend touring bike with drop handlebars.

Now I'll never be a racer, and unlikely to be a tourer, however, because I have other bikes with "Porteur" style bars, I wanted something where I would still be comfortable AND have lots of hand positions. So I installed a tall Nitto "Dirt Drop" stem to get the bars higher, and some "dirt drop" style handlebars with vintage bar ended shifters.

Point being, you can still have the traditional "race" drop handlebars on your bike, yet not do any actual racing. Depends on what type of position you like, as well as many other factors.

Your French bike will likely have different diameter quill stem and not standard 22.2mm. The clamp on your quill stem, assuming its old & French, will not be 25.4. So changing bars may be challenging unless you have or can easily find the parts.

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Old 07-21-17, 10:25 AM
  #11  
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I agree with others that it depends on your preferences. If you like drop bars and the hand positions they offer, then go for it. I have a Puch Bergmeister (sort of the Austrian counterpart to the UO-8) that weighs in at a whopping 33 lbs, but it has drop bars, and I love it as my daily commuter.
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Old 07-21-17, 01:31 PM
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A UO-8 was considerably lighter than a Raleigh Gran Prix or Schwinn Traveler. Mine was about 28 1/2 lbs when new, quite a bit lighter now. It isn't Columbus SL but it isn't the proverbial heavy-as-a-stone, gas-pipe clunker either.
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Old 07-21-17, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
A UO-8 was considerably lighter than a Raleigh Gran Prix or Schwinn Traveler. Mine was about 28 1/2 lbs when new, quite a bit lighter now. It isn't Columbus SL but it isn't the proverbial heavy-as-a-stone, gas-pipe clunker either.
I am with you. After 20 years and 40K miles I broke the frame on my 1971 Nishiki Competition and transferred the components to a 1973 UO-8 someone had given me. I am admittedly talking about an era that predates Kawamura's best efforts, but the UO-8 ended up being at least as light -- and more responsive -- than the mushy Nishiki.

The primary question in this thread seems to be drops. vs. uprights, and I am a hard-core drops fan. I do have the original straight Ritchey mountain bars on my mountain bike, but I hated them until I added extensions on the ends, to provide me with more hand positions, including a neutral forearm rotation similar to what one has with drops.
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Old 07-21-17, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
The primary question in this thread seems to be drops. vs. uprights, and I am a hard-core drops fan.
I am with you on this. I've posted this at least once and convinced friends, or at least tried to. Drop bars allow so many different hand positions. The biggest factor is that it lets you keep your palms facing inward, thumbs up. That is a far more natural hand position than palms down gripping a horizontal bar. It also lets you bend your arms without sticking your elbows out sideways, a position you can't do easily on flat bars.
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Old 07-21-17, 09:54 PM
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Thank you everyone for your perspectives. I looks like the general opinion of this is bike is that the UO-8 is a great ride but, leaves something to be desired if you want a sporty bike.

That being said I'm honestly leaning toward something in the middle. I.E. Putting some drop bars and appropriate levers and calling it a commuter.

@jimmuller and @John E: Now that I have rode drops for a few weeks I prefer them as well. They give a lot of hand position flexibility

@noobinsf That sounds like an awesome bike. I have seen a few Austrian bikes online but never in person.

@Velocivixen From what little searching I have done, you totally are correct. Finding a fitting set of handlebars will be a pain.

@greg3rd48 That is a pretty bike. Have you had it repainted and decaled?

@exmechanic89 I really like that perspective. Getting a taste of what it use to be like.

@Hudson308 All in good time.

@bikemig I never really thought about hauling stuff around with it, I will now though.

@jj1091 I too hope to keep it as original as possible. It already has a period correct French Atax stem installed instead of the so called "Death stem" Ava. Which is interesting and will make it easier to keep original.

I think I mentioned everyone. Thanks.
-C.J.
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Old 07-22-17, 08:07 PM
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Throw up a few pics when get the bike finished.
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Old 07-23-17, 11:10 AM
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@Bigrig8600 I did. The original paint was too far gone and this was my real C&V project to speak of.
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Old 07-23-17, 02:08 PM
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Add my vote for back to original configuration. They are good, cheap fun!

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