|"VINTAGE LIFE CYCLES"
CANADIAN & VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHT BICYCLE
PEUGEOT UO8: MADE IN FRANCE
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|The Made in France Peugeot UO8 was one of two found at the same place and time. The larger framed Blue bicycle featured on this page was completely refurbished and is now ridden frequently.|
|TREASURE UNDER A JUNK PILE|
|�This Peugeot UO8 and a smaller framed example of the mark were acquired at the same time. A fellow collector called me and offered the two bicycles, as part of an ongoing trading situation that has developed between the two of us.
The next day I jumped into my Ford Ranger and headed up the Ongion Lake Road to pick up the bicycles.
It is always an adventure visiting Don, the guy who called offering the Peugeots. He has little interest or knowledge pertaining to ten speed bicycles so when he says Peugeots, it could mean just about anything.
Arriving at Don�s place a quick glance around revealed nothing that looked like a couple of Peugeot lightweights, and I looked carefully while Don was getting his jacket on to join me outside.
Now Don is a character, as we all are, in our own ways. He is a quiet, soft spoken, fellow who�s interest in bicycles is keen and sincere, even though an injury keeps him from riding a great deal. I often think that he likes to see my reaction when he finally shows me what he has to offer.
This day was no different. He took the time to show me several other things, that were occupying his interest at the time, before finally getting to locating the two bikes he had called me about.
Sure enough, he had found two Peugeots. Both were Made in France UO8�s. The blue one featured on this page and a white one with a smaller frame. To my horror, both bicycles were at the bottom of a pile of bicycle parts that Don had set aside to take to the landfill site.
The pile of junk was about eight feet across and at least five feet deep. The bicycles were laying on their sides, at the bottom of the pile. I offered to take the pile down and get the bikes but Don was not going to have anything to do with that waste of time. He simple told me to help lever the pile of stuff to one side and he yanked and dragged the two beautiful old bikes out from under the pile.
Knowing Don, there would be no sense in commenting on the need to preserve the cosmetic condition of these old machines. They were, after all, junk in his mind. I was merely saving him the trouble of carting them to the dump along with all the other stuff that he had piled up.
Once the bicycles had been dragged out, I was afforded a better look at their condition, which proved to be not bad at all. There were, of course, a couple of fresh scratches but nothing major. Don helped me load the bikes, we shot the breeze for a bit and then I brought two more bicycles home, wondering where the heck I could store them considering that my shed was practically full at the time.
|197? PEUGEOT UO8:
MADE in FRANCE
|The demand for quality bicycles was high during the bike boom of the seventies. The French made Peugeot UO 8 was one of the more common bicycles being imported at the time. This colorful example was set aside (and under a five foot deep pile of junk bicycle parts) for the collection by a friend. This nice old Peugeot was accompanied by a smaller framed version in equally good condition..|
|The bicycle has been thoroughly inspected and refurbished, at the mechanical level, to ensure that the bike is safe to ride. The bicycle proved to be in very good mechanical repair and little was required in the way of parts. Handlebar taping and a good coat of wax... Other than that, the bicycle was acquired pretty much as it is seen here.|
|AVA the "DEATH STEM"|
|The AVA Stem (and perhaps even the handlebars) has earned a very bad reputation. The stem is attractive, as are the handlebars.|
|However, both are very light, almost to the point of feeling flimsy. This set will not be used often or under trying conditions.|
|"AGDA" LEATHER SADDLE|
|If the "Death Stem" doesn't get you, then this original issue "AGDA" leather saddle will be your end. It was incredibly uncomfortable on the first ride. The seat post has no reduced neck and the seat had slid down as far as it could on the post. That post was trying to come right through the thick leather of the saddle. Once the seat had been secured properly, it proved to be just a touch less uncomfortable. It will probably join the stem and bars in the future, to be replaced with something else, no buts about it.|
|STRONGLITE CRANK SET|
|The original cranks were worn out, not from use but, from poor maintenance. The cotter pins had loosened off, allowing the cranks to flop around until they became too sloppy to refit. As luck woud have it, a really nice "Stronglite" set was found at the dump, in almost perfect condition. The dent in the ring guard happened later. Filing cotter pins to properly fit these cranks and ensure that they are set at 180 degree intervals, was much simplified by using a magnet. For information on how to do this, go here.|
|Front and rear derailleurs are "Simplex". Shifting is less than state of the art, failing to meet the standard offered by Canadian Made Peugeots. The rear derailleur work reasonably well but the front one is a disappointment. In all fairness, though, this UO8 is almost ten years older than the domestic models it is being compared to.|
|FEELING THE RIDE...|
|This Made in France Peugeot is a very nice bike to ride with the single exception of poor shifting. It is quite possible that the Simplex transmission problems are a result of not fully understanding how to set up the old "post" style of front derailleur.
The bicycle is nice looking and relatively free of any serious cosmetic damage. It has a very large frame and this helps to add comfort to the ride. The big frame allows for less drop of the handlebars, in relation to the seat. This more upright sitting position is more desireable for those who are not committed to going fast.
The decals are in good condition, however; the head tube identifier is only a sticker, and one that has been damaged at that. No nicely appointed headbadge like those found on the Canadian Made Peugeots.
The Mayfac "Racer" center pull callipers work great. They are all but infinitley adjustable and get the job done. The one annoying aspect of braking is the loud "buzz" that one hears every time the brakes are applied. The "Rigida" wheel rims have a pattern on the braking surface. This pattern creates quite a racket when hauling the bike's speed down.
Cheap tires and "thorn resistant" inner tubes are used with hopes of fewer flats. This set-up has been used on several bicycles and seems to be getting the job done nicely.
All in all, the French UO 8 is a keeper. Something nice to haul out on the weekend and then head off for a gentle ride to nowhere in particular.
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