MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

PEUGEOT UO8 - INTRO

FINDING THE PEUGOET UO8

BUILDING THE PEUGEOT UO8

RIDING THE PEUGEOT UO8

 

BICYCLES OF FRANCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUILDING THE PEUGEOT UO8

The Peugeot UO8 sports a very common component grouppo.  French made road bicycles were commonly fitted with a Simplex transmission, Mafac Racer brakes and a cottered crank set. This lovely old French bike also sported an AVA stem and I feared that it was the dreaded and infamous AVA Death Stem which supported a very clean set of AVA handlebars.  Though these components are very light for their vintage, they are also very prone to catastrophic failure.  Though I have never witnessed the situation myself, reports are that the stem will snap right off.  Needless to say, such an occurrence will cause an immediate and complete loss of control.

In all fairness to the AVA stem issue, I write this page years after owning and building the Peugeot.  My guess is that the stem it boasted was not actually the one that has proved to be so undependable.  Perhaps the stem found on my Peugeot PR10 is the stem of which to be wary.  This stem has a window cut-out in the front and just might be the culprit that brought the French product its unwanted fame.  At any rate, I did not want to take a chance with any of the AVA steering stems at the time.  I later sold the blue UO8 and made sure that I informed the buyer of the potential hazard and I included a spare stem in the transaction.

Stopping power was the responsibility of the ever so common Mafac Racer brake system.  Though these old brakes are certainly antiquated in both appearance and design, they do work really well.  They are a little difficult to set-up, as most center pull callipers are, but they have lots of adjustment opportunities that contribute well to their effective stopping power.  I like the Mafac Racer brake callipers and the levers are pretty nice also.  That said, I do not like the lever half hoods!  The are not all that comfortable, look awful in my opinion and do not stand the test of time all that well.  Why Mafac would have gone this route when most other companies chose full hoods is beyond me.  Then again, why build a derailleur set out of plastic, as Simplex did.  Both experiments in bicycle component design were an absolute failure, in my humble opinion.

Again, continuing on with a pretty common French grouppo, human power begins at the pedals, which in the Peugeot's case is the usual Lyotard Rat-Trap style.  The pedals, like the bicycle itself, were in great shape.  There was no wear anywhere and rust had not touched the chrome plated surface.  I cannot recall if the pedals had clips and straps mounted but if they did, I would certainly have removed them since I consider the system to be unsafe in today's busy traffic.  And I did intend to ride the Peugeot so safety was a big factor as I went through the refurbishment process.

The UO8's wheel set was about as common as you could get for the period.  Normandy high flange hubs with Simplex straight blade skewers were laced with cadmium plated straight gauge spokes to Rigida steel patterned rims.  Nothing unusual about this set-up and there must have been millions produced over the years.  That said, I hate the patterned rim no matter how vintage it appears to be.  When the brakes are applied the result does slow the bike down but they do so to an angry buzzing sound.  Not exactly what I want to hear every time I pull on a brake lever.  Very annoying, in my opinion.  And I cannot help but wonder how much extra wear the innovation places on fragile brake pads.

This beautiful blue French made Peugeot was found to be in exceptionally good condition.  It certainly qualifies as one of the nicer bicycles that I have dragged home from the Dump.  I did consider keeping the Peugeot simply because it was in such good condition. I might add that it fitted me very well.  However, I did not at the time appreciate the Old School feel and resulting ride.  Today, just might be a different story and I keeping my eye open for another Peugeot from the land of "The Tour".  Though a few French Peugeots are hanging in the Old Shed, none of them are nearly as nice as the blue one that some lucky fellow south of the 49th Parallel now owns and rides on a regular basis.  Then again, I did find a gorgeous gold coloured UO8 at a Yard Sale one day that rivalled the condition of the blue Peugeot.  And who knows what this bike hunting season will offer.  After all, there were an awful lot of these nice old French bicycle produced back then.

NEXT - RIDING THE PEUGEOT UO8

 

 

 

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