Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My Peugeot UO8

Peugeot made a lot of bikes, particularly in the 70's and 80's. There was a whole range of bikes, and somewhere near the mid to low end of the pack was a great bike with light touring geometry called the UO8. A lot of people got in to cycling on this bike, and my Dad was one of them. I always loved that bike growing up and finally when I was in high school my Dad gave it to me when he bought a new Trek. But it was near the end of its life at that point and I only had it until I went to college. Its parts were sacrificed at some point to keep other bikes going (we had a few) and that was the last it was seen.

Well I recently decided to get back into riding a bike. I have a job where I can commute by bike now, and so I decided to seek out a nice UO8 just like my Dad's. I found one on craigslist that fit, looked right and was in beautiful condition, but it had been converted to a single speed. It's a 1971 or so as far as I can tell. I bought it anyway, because it was the nicest one I had seen. I rode it as a single speed for awhile, but it's no way to commute up a big hill out of the Willamette River valley. So I decided to put it back together. I had most of the original parts, but they were scruffy compared to the frame and so I decided to cheaply upgrade it to decent parts, using period, or almost period parts wherever possible. Off came the steel cranks and cottered bottom bracket. Off came the Shimano BMX freewheel and chain. Here's the equipment list now:
  • Mafac Racer brakes (came with bike)
  • Mafac Racer (sweet) 'drilled' brake handles (came with bike)
  • Wrights W3N leather saddle (very nice seat) (came with bike)
  • Rigida steel rear rim (came with bike)
  • Schurmann steel front rim (came with bike)
  • Normandy high flange hubs (came with bike)
  • TTT long stem (came with bike)
  • Vittoria Zafiro tires (came with bike)
  • Nervar Star lightweight aluminum cranks (
  • Campagnolo Nuovo Record 115mm Bottom Bracket (
  • Campagnolo Nuovo Record Front Derailleur (French tube size) (
  • SunTour VGT Luxe rear derailleur (local guy)
  • SunTour Perfecte freewheel with 14-32 spread (The Recyclery)
  • SunTour down tube shifters -- just like Rivendell Silvers (Citybikes)
  • MKS Sylvan Road pedals (River City Bikes)
  • MKS toe clips and ALE straps (Bike Central)
I briefly had a beautiful pair of Maillard platform pedals that I picked up on vacation in Boulder, CO, but promptly lost a dust cap and that was that. If you have a dust cap for those, I still want to put them back on my bike. :)

Things left to modify are: aluminum wheels (this is a priority) and a Stronglight aluminum roller bearing headset. I also want to pick up a Zéfal Lapize pump to go on those nice brazed-on pump pegs. A friend gave me a nice set of Belleri aluminum handle bars which I'll swap on when the tape wears out.

It's a blast to ride, and even with those heavy steel wheels and steel headset it weighs in at only 26 pounds, which is pretty good for a 62cm bike with straight gauge tubes!


Anonymous said...

i think i saw your group on facebook about it being stolen

K Matthias said...

Months late, anonymous, but no, it was not stolen. Must have been someone else's.

Anonymous said...

So, you were able to replace the freewheel with a standard 'ISO' size freewheel? I have the same Normandy hubs, and was wondering...

K Matthias said...

Yes, all the Peugeots sold in the US had standard English threaded freewheels.