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The no P content, UO8 appreciation thread.

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The no P content, UO8 appreciation thread.

Old 04-27-10, 01:06 AM
  #1  
Sixty Fiver
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The no P content, UO8 appreciation thread.

My love affair with those quirky French bikes started about 5 years ago when I found my beloved Brigitte (a UG10) who carried me for well over 20,000 km with nary a problem... she was also my first fixed gear bicycle.

Since then I have worked on countless French boomers at the co-op and in my own shop and can really understand the affection people have for these often frustrating and quirky bikes, what with their proprietary sizings and non standard threading.

We have saved a lot of them from the crusher, picked more than a few from the dumpster, and had countless numbers of them donated to our little co-op. Some have been in pristine shape, most have been very nice, and a few look they had been through a war.

People now call me up when they have an old french bike that needs work...

And I am not talking about the much sought after P models but the lowly UO8 models and their variants that sold for about 100.00 new and have a theory... we probably find so many of them in good shape because their Prestige derailleurs broke on day 2 and they went into storage.

I have never owned a UO8 and preferred the more aggressive geometry of of my UG which curbed out at about 22 pounds as a fixed gear... but she got retired last fall after an altercation with a massive rut in the road.

I have missed my scruffy little French girl.

Anyways...

In comparing the UO8 to it's main rival, the Raleigh Grand Prix, I'd have to say that the Peugeot is a much more refined and better riding bicycle and a better riding bicycle than many bikes that originally cost much more.

I have ridden enough of them both but will be enjoying an extended test ride on a UO8 now... I like my girls to be simple and I hear it okay to turn UO8's into fixed gears without having to sacrifice kittens.



I think that with the removal of all the steel bits and things that shift gears the bike is down to about 25-26 pounds and even on 700:23 tyres at 110 psi has a beautiful ride and amazed me at how well she goes up as well as down.

And she reminds me of another French girl I used to hang out with.

So... who else has an unnatural affection for these lowly boom bikes ?

Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 01-06-12 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 04-27-10, 05:42 AM
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65, great essay, and two questions (at least!):

What is that bell, where did you get it, and do they have more?

Can you describe the more aggressive geometry, as you see it?

Your comment is very interesting, because of my two UO-8 frames. I have two frames, both 1970-1975, both 55 cm c-c, and with the same braze-ons and the angles/CS/ST/TT lengths. Where they differ is offset, by at least 1 cm. My green one has 70 mm, and the blue one has 55-60 mm. BF'ers OFG, redxj, and redneckwes all had something to do with these bikes. I've been riding the green one, but not yet built the blue one, so I can't really compare them on the road.
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Old 04-27-10, 07:49 AM
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I have two Peugeot U08's in my collection; a '69(?) U018 mixte and a '71 U08.





Both are in need of restoration as you can see by the pictures.

I also have a '76 Raleigh Grand Prix, but I can not comment on the differance in the ride characteristics since I haven't riden the U08 yet.
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Old 04-27-10, 07:53 AM
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I acquired this little gem from the local thrift shop and it's got a delightful ride. the bottom bracket's loose, and of course I don't have the correct size crank pulling tool for it, but I think I may have a hard time parting with it once I've gotten it cleaned up and dialed in. Meanwhile, I found that the Simplex front derailleur's rubber bracket has cracked. I'll have to scout out a replacement.

Oh, and what size is the Allen wrench for the stem bolt?
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Old 04-27-10, 07:58 AM
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Not sure if I am intruding on this thread by posting my U-E-8 Peugeot - but I think it's the same as a U-O-8, except for some added shiny bits and the "E" designation.

Though it may be the antithesis of Sixty Fiver's minimalist build, it still rides remarkably well despite that extra weight. (It tips the scale at 36 lbs - well out of the "P"- type weight class.)

Except for the cables and tires, it still has all the original parts including (even) the reflectors, kickstand, steel wheels, and the original Simplex running gear - along with an unusual (for the USA) plastic lion head badge.







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Old 04-27-10, 08:11 AM
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In 1975, I was 14 years old. I was getting ready for an organized teen bike tour and needed to buy a bike. The Peugeot UO-8 cost $160 at the time, and my mother said it was too expensive. We found an Atala Giro D'Italia for $130. It had the same features and similar materials to the Peugeot, so it seemed like a good value. It even had the same derailleurs. I was a bit sad not to get the most popular 10-speed in New York, but I liked my bike, too.

I got a job as a bike mechanic at the age of 17, in 1978. I worked three summers in a row and then for three full years. How many UO-8's and variants did I work on? Countless!

I didn't own a UO-8 of my own until my mother found a frame on the street, abandoned. It had brake calipers and the crank still attached. No fork. She gave it to me, and I kept it for a while, until I needed to build myself a commuting bike. I had a fork from another frame lying around. The frame was yellow, and the fork was white. What did I care?

This was about 1984. The frame was bent in the classic turned-down-head-tube style. I straightened it with a giant steel rod. I inserted one end in the head tube (with the headset cups still installed) and the other end between two concrete buildings. I used the frame as a lever against itself and bent. It came out nearly straight. It still had a bit of toeclip overlap, and it didn't track perfectly straight, but it was good enough.

I built it up with some old and some new parts. I built the wheels myself with Miche mid-line hubs, DT zinc spokes, and Ukai aluminum rims.

The bike served me until 2008. A chainring bolt came off, and having trouble finding one that would fit, someone pointed out that I'd gotten my money's worth out of the bike. Fair enough, I thought.

I still have the frame and fork. I moved the components to my new commuter bike, a 1971 Raleigh Super Course. The Raleigh rides better, but that's to be expected.

I can offer the frame, fork, and crank to anyone who would like it. It's a 54cm frame.
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Old 04-27-10, 09:32 AM
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UE models are acceptable as they are simply the better dressed out version of the UO8... I built one of these up for my nephew (in green) and my step son rides a pretty minty UO8 is day glow orange. I'll find pics of those in my archive eventually.

My better half rides a UE19 Supersport (Mixte) and really loves her bike...it has received a number of upgrades since this picture was taken as she preferred a Brooks saddle to the Ideale I had originally fitted. It will eventually get an 8 speed IGH but is running a 7 speed now.



That little clapper bell came off a late 60's Bridgestone and has a wondrous tone... these bells are not hard to find and they do a nice job of covering the shifter boss. Mine is clamped on but they can be screwed into the boss itself for a cleaner install.

The best replacements for the Simplex Prestige derailleurs has to be some Suntour V series... they work better than almost any other friction derailleur and look really pretty to boot... these can be acquired at little cost although nice ones do sell for what they did new or even a little more which is about $10.00.

Tom... thanks for the price data.

And my old girl... (Brigitte) you can see a few of her parts made their way to the as yet un-named UO8.



The frame angles on the UJ are steeper than on the UO8 and there is less fork rake... it was an entry level (junior) racing bike and only came in a 50 cm size that has a 55 cm standover by virtue of it's ridiculous bb clearance (12 inches). The lugs are Bocama and the bottom bracket is brazed and not lugged and it is also a very stiff frame.

She may once again see the road if I ever find a new fork... the UJ is not as common as the UO8 and I have only seen one other.

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Old 04-27-10, 09:39 AM
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"And my old girl... (Brigitte) you can see a few of her parts made their way to the as yet un-named UO8."


Can I assume that you named her after a well known French actress famous for her parts?
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Old 04-27-10, 10:00 AM
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Sigh. I've said this many times: they're exceptional beaters, great for in city riders. A nice combo of speed and comfort.

I own my fair share of high-end stuff, Italians, customs, and there is exactly one entry level bike in the stable of road bikes. It's this UO8. I thought enough of the frame's ride to handbuild some wheels exclusively for this bike. For years it was my ride to the bar and lock it up outside w/o worry bike, and it still is. Gets ample miles, and if I just need to ride about in town this is often the bike I pull out. It was five bucks at an auction; no one else though enough of it to bid on it. Suckers.

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Old 04-27-10, 10:24 AM
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I just found one in chicago for a very fair price. If I didn't have so many projects going already (I live in an apartment), I would have gotten it. I think they are good looking bikes.
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Old 04-27-10, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
...can really understand the affection people have for these often frustrating and quirky bikes, what with their proprietary sizings and non standard threading.
Can you please expound upon this quote, Sixty? I recently picked up a 79' UO-8 in remarkably good condition, and I'm of course intending to swap out the cottered crank/bb for something slightly more updated (I have a old square-taper Sugino double I got off of Craigslist that currently sitting in the parts bin). I'm probably going to have to swap out the wheels while I'm at it, as they feel like they're steel (they have little abrasive nubs on sidewalls, looks like for dynamo lights, which was a surprise to me).

As far confusion regarding 'proprietary sizings and non-standard threading' - what should I be aware of before I tackle the project? Any UO-8 specific rules of sizing I should be aware of? Can you suggest an appropriate BB?

Also, nice U0-8. That's pretty much exactly what I'd like my finished product to look like. Interesting placement of the bell on the DT as well, haven't seen that before.
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Old 04-27-10, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Maddox View Post
Can you please expound upon this quote, Sixty? I recently picked up a 79' UO-8 in remarkably good condition, and I'm of course intending to swap out the cottered crank/bb for something slightly more updated (I have a old square-taper Sugino double I got off of Craigslist that currently sitting in the parts bin). I'm probably going to have to swap out the wheels while I'm at it, as they feel like they're steel (they have little abrasive nubs on sidewalls, looks like for dynamo lights, which was a surprise to me).
I'll let Sixty fill in the details but the basic issue is that threads and various other dimensions are peculiar to the French of that period. It is possible too that they switched to more conventional threading and dimensions at some point though. Upgrading wheels and crank will convert it to a very nice ride. It's pretty good as it is, very smooth, but the bike can be lightened. I happen to have a set of Sugino bearing cups with the correct threads from when I did this very upgrade to mine. If you can't find any drop me a note. I transferred my upgrade components to a different bike some years ago, including crank and spindle, but to a British-thread BB. As long as I haven't decided to upgrade it again they are available.
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Old 04-27-10, 01:50 PM
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I nabbed a 73-74ish UO8 for $30 and love the ride. The handlebars are rather narrow, and I snapped the AVA stem (though, it was still held in by the wedge, so I could stop safely). I had to grind down another stem to make it fit, but now it's got a riser stem. I converted it to fixed gear using the 40 tooth chainring and a 13 tooth cog on the back, but am in the process of removing the original BB and going with a standard cotterless spindle and a 48 tooth ring.

Personally, I love the ride of it. The frame itself is rather willowy and is super comfy. If I were to build up a dedicated Randonneur, it'd probably be this thing, simply because it's got all-day geometry, is laid back enough that it's anything but twitchy, can accept a decent front load for a handlebar bag, and is super, super comfy.

It also happens to be the largest bike I own at 62cm.
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Old 04-27-10, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by gbalke View Post
"And my old girl... (Brigitte) you can see a few of her parts made their way to the as yet un-named UO8."

Can I assume that you named her after a well known French actress famous for her parts?
Yes... I have a PLX8 named Edith and as she is a 50's classic I named her after another classic (Piaf).

Anyways...

I have noticed that a few of the bikes shown appear to have Ava stems which are also known as death stems for their tendency to break spontaneously... the Ava stem on my UO8 was fractured halfway down it's length and am sure it came this way and was not caused when I removed it.

These stems and old bars need to be replaced for safety reasons.


So when you go to replace that death stem you will need to find a stem that fits and here is one of those quirks... Peugeot used a 22mm quill stem and a standard quill is 22.2 so one will need to break out the sandpaper to make a modern quill stem fit. On the bright side, you will be able to fit modern alloy bars after this is done.

The steerer threads are 25mm, and not 25.4 (standard), the bottom bracket has 35 mm by 1mm metric threading and is right hand thread on both sides... a standard bottom bracket is 24 tpi. Like Italian bottom brackets, this can cause the fixed cup to unscrew itself so it needs to be tightly secured and at times, a little blue Loctite goes a long ways.

You may also run into a Swiss threaded bottom bracket which is also metric thread but has a conventional reverse thread on the fixed cup. French cotter pins are 9mm, and the handlebar clamp is also be smaller to accommodate narrower steel bars.

Velo Orange now offers a French threaded cartridge botttom bracket... this will save a person a great deal of grief in trying to find a Sugino #5 spindle which will replace the cottered one if you go that route. I have a few French spindles and spare bottom brackets for whenever I need spares but VO did a great thing in making these bottom brackets.

Now I want them to make one to fit a Raleigh bb shell but that is another story.

One should not have to worry about French threaded pedals on UO8 models and most imports had standard pedal treads and standard freewheel threads... but there are always exceptions.
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Old 04-27-10, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by michael k View Post
I may have broken a couple bike commandments with this one.


How does it ride without a front tyre ?



Other than that it looks really nice and it seems like the most rabid C&V folks consider the UO8 to be fine for anything and won;t even curse you for grinding off the braze ons.

I spent the morning on the UO8... made a house call to do a bike check up, delivered hot lunches to school, picked up a few shop supplies, and then did a little shopping.

The bike is going to need a rack so I can carry panniers and if I come across some nice Peugeot fenders I will consider adding those as well to make her all weather capable.
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Old 04-27-10, 03:27 PM
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Nice Pugs!

Oh man, I'm really close to being finished with a total rebuild of a green U08, my first foray into French bike-i-tude. I will be finishing up and taking pics this weekend, so I'll post to this thread this coming Monday.
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Old 04-27-10, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post

That little clapper bell came off a late 60's Bridgestone and has a wondrous tone... these bells are not hard to find and they do a nice job of covering the shifter boss. Mine is clamped on but they can be screwed into the boss itself for a cleaner install.
65, I have seen them on the Surly site, and smaller versions at Jitensha, V-O, and Surly. But mine is a Dutch or German Raiche, and I have never seen any bell of that brand, even modern ones, in my area, except in a pile of used parts at a swap. That one I bought, and it's what yours looks like. Big, clear, loud tone that makes people turn around. Some I've seen sound dinky, and some commenters have said the smaller bells sound damped and dull.

Are they for sale in Western Canuckistan? They're seemingly not, in Southeast Michiganistan.
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Old 04-27-10, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by michael k View Post
Its A bit gritty and like riding on ice.

You spelled Tire incorrectly Sir Fiver.
Call me old fashioned... if "tyre" was good enough for folks back at the turn of the last century it is good enough for me.

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Old 04-27-10, 05:15 PM
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Old fashioned!

But so am I. I rode wearing a tweed jacket today, and I wasn't on a "tweed ride".
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Old 04-27-10, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
65, I have seen them on the Surly site, and smaller versions at Jitensha, V-O, and Surly. But mine is a Dutch or German Raiche, and I have never seen any bell of that brand, even modern ones, in my area, except in a pile of used parts at a swap. That one I bought, and it's what yours looks like. Big, clear, loud tone that makes people turn around. Some I've seen sound dinky, and some commenters have said the smaller bells sound damped and dull.

Are they for sale in Western Canuckistan? They're seemingly not, in Southeast Michiganistan.
The best modern equivalent would be a Japanese made Crane... they have a brilliant tone and are very well made.

A few local shops carry them here.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/2kings/2496450950/
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Old 04-27-10, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by michael k View Post
You spelled Tire incorrectly Sir Fiver.
Actually no - he spelled it the British way which, for any fan of 3-speeds, is allowed and heartily encouraged. (See here) Same thing happens with derailers/deraileurs, etc.

Sixty - do you know anything about the wheels that came stock on the UO-8? Mine are really heavy steel, with the textured sidewalls/braking surface - which I always assumed was for use with a Dyno light. I'm going to have to swap them out, but didn't know if they were original to the bike or later additions.

Like I said, they're ridiculously heavy.

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Old 04-27-10, 05:31 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
I'll let Sixty fill in the details but the basic issue is that threads and various other dimensions are peculiar to the French of that period. It is possible too that they switched to more conventional threading and dimensions at some point though. Upgrading wheels and crank will convert it to a very nice ride. It's pretty good as it is, very smooth, but the bike can be lightened. I happen to have a set of Sugino bearing cups with the correct threads from when I did this very upgrade to mine. If you can't find any drop me a note. I transferred my upgrade components to a different bike some years ago, including crank and spindle, but to a British-thread BB. As long as I haven't decided to upgrade it again they are available.

Wow, thanks! I'll PM you in short order!
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Old 04-27-10, 06:02 PM
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maddox - The stock wheels on the 70's UO8 were 27 inch Rigida Chrolux and these also came in a 700c version (I have some) that were, as far as I know, not offered on any export models.

They are pretty but weigh a ton and don't lend themselves to good wet braking, even when you use high quality brake pads.

Anyone I know who has upgraded to alloy wheels has been amazed at how this transforms the bike... they get much lighter, roll out faster and are more efficient, and the stopping power really increases.
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Old 04-27-10, 06:08 PM
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I put one of the Japanese bells sold by Velo Orange and others on my PA10 when it was a fixed gear. The threads were a mismatch so I had to cut the stud off of the bell, driil it and solder a French shifter mount screw with the head cut off in the hole.

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Old 04-27-10, 06:24 PM
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Dating and identifying Peugeot models can be a lot of fun but this helps and I have visited here many many times.

https://cyclespeugeot.com/ModelID.html

My UO8 is a 74-76 model based on it's type 3 down tube decal and head tube transfer.

Sheldon Brown also wrote a great deal on these quirky French bikes...
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