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Modernized Peugeot UO-8 Build

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Modernized Peugeot UO-8 Build

Old 03-21-20, 01:05 AM
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PJ943
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Modernized Peugeot UO-8 Build

Let me start out by saying that I’m no bike expert. I’m just a schmo with some bright ideas. Though I have loved and ridden bikes for most of my life, I haven’t owned a large variety of them, or anything noteworthy for that matter. I would say that what follows are primarily the ramifications of being a tinkerer. Everything I have done to this bike has been an experiment, mostly to see if something is possible and to see if tweaking it will yield some sort of desirable result. That said, I have been happy in different ways with everything I’ve done or added. It is with that in mind (and the fact that the forum threads which informed me when I began my journey could now possibly use a bit of updating/consolidating info to reflect contemporary options that work) that I write this, for anyone who may be thinking about taking a similar journey.



My bike started out as a 63cm 70s era UO-8. I had the rear triangle spaced to 135mm at a local shop. They also straightened out the bent fork a little. Then I had them put the cups in for a Velo Orange French-threaded headset (VO featured heavily in this build and for good reason). I bought a modern Nitto quill stem, which I sanded down (didn't take very long to do it at all), and put the front end together. Then, I put in the Velo Orange Grand Cru French-threaded bottom bracket (you have to figure out your own Q factor and spec spindle length accordingly but fairly sure this one's 113mm), which has lasted me seven years -- only recently beginning to make noise. I then had a custom wheelset made with some modern Tiagra hubs and Sun CR18 rims. After that, everything pretty much went together normally.

I've put together a parts list for anyone interested below (mostly copied from my Universal Cycles Order History):


Wheel build:

Tiagra 4600 front & rear Hub
100mm & 135mm x 32h (Silver)
SunRingle CR-18 27" Rims
27" x 32 Hole (Silver Polished)
DT Swiss Champion Spokes
2.0mm (Silver)
DT Swiss Alloy Nipples
Silver 12mm
Continental Tour Ride Tire 2016
27 x 1 1/4" (Black)
(This is a great tire. Just as supple as 33mm Sand Canyons and very robust to boot.)


Drivetrain:

Jagwire Road Pro Road Cable & Housing Kit
Complete Set (Black)
Shimano Tiagra 4600 3x9-speed brifters
Shimano FC-2303 Silver 175 mm (52x42x30T) crankset
Shimano 105 Front Derailleur(25.4mm clamp)
Shimano RD-M430 Alivio Rear Derailleur hanging off a cheapo SunRace slip-in derailleur hanger
Shimano CN-HG93 Ultegra/XT Chain
9 Speed (Silver)
Shimano CS-HG400 9sp Cassette
12-36t 9 spd
Shimano PD-M520 Pedals
Pair (White)


Other bits:

Velo Orange Microfiber Touring Saddle
in Expresso

Velo Orange 45mm Smooth fenders for 700c wheels
Nitto Classic Road Bar
45cm (115)
Nitto Young 3 Quill Stem
1" x 70mm x 72 deg x 25.4mm Clamp (Silver)
Kalloy Laprade Seatpost
25.8 x 350mm (Silver) (fit without modification)

A couple of clamp-on cable guides(25.4mm),
All-important Kool-Stop Salmon pads for original awesome MAFAC Racer brakes.
Weight: 28lbs as pictured




The bike changed and I put some older parts on it so now it's a mix of old and new, but more utilitarian while still being fun to ride:


Suntour Power Shifters — shift Shimano 9 speed without a problem, though there is probably a little extra trimming

VO City Bike brake levers

Creme cycles porteur rack -- half the price of the probably-lighter and definitely-beautiful VO rack. I've carried 20+ pounds on this thing fairly regularly for a while now, and it's remained solid

Took off the big ring on the crankset. Big range already with the rear cassette and this revision wasn’t supposed to be fast anyway.

Cheapo 700c hybrid wheels off JensonUSA (surprisingly solid but also real heavy)

35c Michelin Protek tires (noticeably squishier than the Conti's and also help stabilize the front end under heavy loads)

Delta theft-resistant quick-release skewers w/bolts

One of the main goals of this build was to make everything as cheap and easy to find as possible, since I plan to move to Barcelona and it's a great place to leave a bike outside and end up with some kicked-in wheels and a bare frame. I think this build succeeded in every way, except for the return to original form in the now-galaxy-disturbing 33lb weight. But it’s also more practical and the original joy of riding this bike continues to shine through. Next: 650b conversion?





Notes:

- After having both 27” and 700c wheels, I recommend switching to 700c. There are far more tire options, the MAFAC brakes can easily accommodate the switch, there shouldn’t be a lot of problems with BB drop, and wheels are plentiful

- 700x35mm tires fit well with fenders, but this might be the biggest you can go unless you start modifying the fenders themselves. I tried to fit 40c tires and my main problem was that they were too tall and smashed up against the fender mounting screw under the head tube up front.

- Without fenders, though, I imagine 40s may actually fit. 650bx42s would likely fit as well (unconfrimed)

- The original cable routing doesn’t work very well with STI shifters. You might be able to jimmy something up with the front derailleur, but some clamp-on cable stops will solve the problem handily, as an aptly-placed one on the lower seat tube can route cables easily down to the front derailleur.

- VO grand cru bottom brackets work with Shimano square-taper BB tools and square taper cranksets, for which there are still options

- MAFAC Racers are awesome if kept in tune. They do require a bit more adjustment than some other brake types, however. There are a huge amount of resources on these brakes.

- Fitting in a modern stem is useful because it allows for handlebars of modern diameters. This is especially important if you want to use modern bar-end shifters, for example – or reverse brake levers, as they require specific diameter handlebars sometimes

- Horizontal dropouts are always a little bit more of a pain than vertical ones because of the fiddling necessary to get the rear wheel perfectly straight every time you re-fit it. Also watch out that your rear wheel is correctly dished.

- I’m sure you could fit a 10-speed cassette; however, with my 9-speed setup, the smallest cog is already only just low enough that the chain doesn’t hit the mounting bolt for my fenders; something to think about if you want to do something like a 1x10

- You can adjust a derailleur meant for a triple crankset to function for doubles. All you have to do is adjust the tightening screws to the point that the cable simply does not want to pull that far any more. It's not the best method, but I've been using it successfully for a few months with no hiccups

- The Porteur rack on my bike came with a mounting bracket that rested against the lower headset cup. I fixed it fairly easily with a washer, but something to watch out for

- Water bottle cages can be easily hose-clamped on. I’ve logged hundreds of miles with mine fastened this way, and it works great

- Front-end loads on this bike handle pretty well. There’s some noticeable wiggle at low speeds, but it’s easy to get used to. After a short while, any loads a rack can handle feel comfortable.

- Make sure you find your ideal Q factor before you buy a BB. You can very easily under-do this and end up with your crankset hitting the chainstays

- The original components weigh a ton – fully built but without fenders, modern components of even modest cost can shave a lot of pounds off. But the bike will never sprint well – it’s a smooth cruiser, for sure. Amazing for soaking up some long miles – with some extra climbing effort.

Some handy links for anyone thinking about building one of these frames up with modernish parts:


Basic French bike info:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/velos.html



Harris Cyclery French bike parts:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/french-cranks.html



Info on different sorts of centerpulls and overhauling MAFAC Racers:

https://restoringvintagebicycles.com/tag/mafac-brakes/



Sanding down a stem to fit French head tubes:




Spacing the rear triangle of a frame:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html



650b conversion guidelines:

https://www.bikeman.com/bikeman-blog...sion-guidlines



Older thread asking for some answers in how to modernize the UO-8 with a photo/info of a lovely example by Aubergine(are those 650b wheels/tires with the original MAFAC brakes?):

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...-modern-2.html





If you have any other things or links to add, please do!



Thanks!

-Justin

Last edited by PJ943; 03-23-20 at 06:40 PM. Reason: Add info
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Old 03-21-20, 05:13 AM
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Welcome to BF. You are right in that your introductory post here is a bit tldr-ish. Still...

A UO-8 frame makes a good upgrade bike. Even among the high-end-Italian lovers here you will find plenty of UO-8 love.

My own has Sun rims, Sugino crank, MKS pedals, alloy stem, bar, seatpost, Suntour deraiulleurs, a bottle cage, etc. Its homage to its French origins includes Simplex shift levers, the original Mafac brakes, the original headset. And it comes with 47 years' worth of scratches and wear.
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Old 03-21-20, 07:16 PM
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Edited for clarity This forum is the only reason I was able to build this bike up, but just thought I'd consolidate some info. 47 years of scratches and wear just seem to accentuate the paint! Sugino cranks sound nice. Original Simplex levers or nicer ones?
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Old 03-22-20, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by PJ943 View Post
Original Simplex levers or nicer ones?
Original Mafac brake levers. I'd say original Simple shift levers except they aren't. It came with stem-mounted shift levers but after about a year or so I replaced them with the equivalent Delrin Simplex down tube levers. I chose the Simplex because I had this crazy idea about keeping it consistently French. Whodathunk that 45 years later I'd be glad I made that choice.

You need to post more so you can show us your bike!
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Old 03-22-20, 10:26 PM
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Fair! I did enjoy the bike as it was originally (only real niggle was with the cotter-pins always scraping my ankles), and of course to many original (or French) spec is the perfect state. Can't argue with that. The bolt on the original right-hand shift lever on my bike was constantly loosening, but of course at the time I had no knowledge about how that could've been solved. Glad you've appreciated your bike for so long. Wish I could meet my bike's original owner sometimes -- I'm sure they have some stories.

Also, will do!
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Old 03-22-20, 11:22 PM
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Did I catch that right? Did you say you were in Barcelona, Spain? I am surprised to learn that the bike came with 27" wheels there. I would have thought it would have been sold with 700C. Being in Spain, I would think that the tire choices for 27" wheels would be limited. I think that the humble UO-8 with a good set of wheels should be a good bike. One thing that I like about these older and modest french bikes is the longer wheelbase and nicely curved fork. I think these and the well developed geometry, makes them great all around bikes.
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Old 03-23-20, 04:14 AM
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This thread needs pictures.

But yeah a UO 8, 9, or 10 make a great platform to tinker with.
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Old 03-23-20, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
This thread needs pictures.

But yeah a UO 8, 9, or 10 make a great platform to tinker with.
Agreed, but for that OP needs 10 posts. Or perhaps some image assistance.
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Old 03-23-20, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Original Mafac brake levers. I'd say original Simple shift levers except they aren't. It came with stem-mounted shift levers but after about a year or so I replaced them with the equivalent Delrin Simplex down tube levers. I chose the Simplex because I had this crazy idea about keeping it consistently French. Whodathunk that 45 years later I'd be glad I made that choice.

You need to post more so you can show us your bike!
That's quite cool, any catalogs from the period show Simplex (which is what mine has on it. I think the stem mounted shifters would be more suited to the relaxed style of the bike. The feeling I get is where a PX is business the UO is laid back.
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Old 03-23-20, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by PJ943 View Post
I’m just a schmo with some bright ideas.
You'll fit right in here.
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Old 03-23-20, 07:50 AM
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An older fellow, yes, older than me hired me to build him a large and upgraded Peugeot UO8. This was the result that I sent to Chuck many years ago...
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Old 03-23-20, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by daviddavieboy View Post
I think the stem mounted shifters would be more suited to the relaxed style of the bike. The feeling I get is where a PX is business the UO is laid back.
Over the last five or so years C&V has had a number of discussions about the choice of stem vs. DT shift levers. Some people here like 'em and some don't and I don't want to open that discussion now. But I will point out that stem shift levers, like brake "safety levers", were part of the attempt to make "10-speed" bicycles appeal to a broader section of the public back during the early 70's bike boom. The common misconception was that DT levers were too hard to reach, and indeed some bikes placed them further down. So stem shift levers on a UO-8 would have been expected for those years.
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Old 03-23-20, 09:08 AM
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The brake calipers and brake levers were the best components on the UO-8. The calipers stop very well, and if you have large hands, the levers are good and much sturdier than other brands of the same period.
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Old 03-23-20, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
The common misconception was that DT levers were too hard to reach, and indeed some bikes placed them further down. So stem shift levers on a UO-8 would have been expected for those years.
Very true about what might be expected, nevertheless sales brochures from the era seem to only show down tube shifters on the UO series AND simplex for that matter. Also, if 1 person found DT shifters hard to reach than it is not a 'misconception' to them.
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Old 03-23-20, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
Did I catch that right? Did you say you were in Barcelona, Spain? I am surprised to learn that the bike came with 27" wheels there. I would have thought it would have been sold with 700C. Being in Spain, I would think that the tire choices for 27" wheels would be limited. I think that the humble UO-8 with a good set of wheels should be a good bike. One thing that I like about these older and modest french bikes is the longer wheelbase and nicely curved fork. I think these and the well developed geometry, makes them great all around bikes.
I was about to move there...before the current health crisis delayed my decision. Currently in Portland, Oregon, USA. Sorry, the original post was quite a bit longer! Also, I think I've been very lucky in my choice to buy this bike (14 years ago or thereabouts) because of how nice it has been to ride in both of its configurations. I'll probably never get rid of it!

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Old 03-23-20, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
The brake calipers and brake levers were the best components on the UO-8. The calipers stop very well, and if you have large hands, the levers are good and much sturdier than other brands of the same period.

I remember the brake levers having a solid feel....do wish I still had those
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Old 03-23-20, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Hudson308 View Post
You'll fit right in here.
Perfect!
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Old 03-23-20, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
An older fellow, yes, older than me hired me to build him a large and upgraded Peugeot UO8. This was the result that I sent to Chuck many years ago...
Awesome! I was hoping things like that would get posted on here, just to increase the linked information. Really into that purple frame as well!
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Old 03-23-20, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
This thread needs pictures.
Got over the 10-post hump, so now some pics are up and links as well Hope to continue editing to add more links as I encounter them
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Old 03-23-20, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by PJ943 View Post
Got over the 10-post hump, so now some pics are up and links as well Hope to continue editing to add more links as I encounter them
Great looking bike, both versions! Call me a fan of these. Here's mine:



In my experience these are the best riding Hi-Ten bikes out there, at least out of the Fujis, Schwinns, Raleighs, Puchs, and others that I've had. And they do carry a front load pretty well.
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Old 03-23-20, 03:07 PM
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I'm a big fan of the UO 8, 9, and 10 series. I've owned a few of them over the years and they are very dependable workshorse bikes.

This is my mid 70s UE 8. The bike came to me with the swept back bars so there is a mismatch between the bar and stem I'll need to sort out. I'm still working on the bike but I've semi-modernized it with an alloy crank and alloy wheels. I have a set of simplex stem shifters that I may end up using on the build if I stay with the flat bars.
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Old 03-23-20, 03:40 PM
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PJ943

Bingo, well done and welcome aboard, glad you found us.
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Old 03-23-20, 03:40 PM
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Great build and thanks for the detailed description. My UO-8 I bought new (since stolen) in 74 was the bike of my teens and if I come acros one for a project I would snap it up. It did come with downtube shifters without "safety" levers, thankfully.
They ride great and are quite comfortable.
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Old 03-23-20, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
PJ943

Bingo, well done and welcome aboard, glad you found us.
Thanks Merziac! I've been lurking for over a decade, so it's really about time


Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
Great looking bike, both versions! Call me a fan of these. Here's mine:


Hey, that's a real nice build! Looks like a great all-day bike.


Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I'm a big fan of the UO 8, 9, and 10 series. I've owned a few of them over the years and they are very dependable workshorse bikes.

This is my mid 70s UE 8. The bike came to me with the swept back bars so there is a mismatch between the bar and stem I'll need to sort out. I'm still working on the bike but I've semi-modernized it with an alloy crank and alloy wheels. I have a set of simplex stem shifters that I may end up using on the build if I stay with the flat bars.
Yeah it seems like a lot of hem end up being every-day bikes...this one looks like a great version of that. Those bars look really comfy. I like the porteur bars on mine, but it's hard to sit fully upright with them. Good sometimes, but next stem will be shorter on the front/taller out of the ht.


Originally Posted by dmark View Post
Great build and thanks for the detailed description. My UO-8 I bought new (since stolen) in 74 was the bike of my teens and if I come acros one for a project I would snap it up. It did come with downtube shifters without "safety" levers, thankfully.
They ride great and are quite comfortable.
Thanks! Sorry yours got stolen...hope you find another one that you like! They're pretty common up here in the PNW, although I've seen people marking them up considerably on occasion.
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Old 03-24-20, 04:38 AM
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Lovely thread: very enjoyable and lots to learn!
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