I've got a 36-year-old Peugeot UO-8 that I've owned and used all these years. I just replaced the front and rear derailleurs with parts I found on e-bay. But now I have a new problem. For no apparent reason, the chain will fall off the big front chainring and land on the small one. This is pretty disconcerting -- and dangerous. It appears to happen at the same tooth in the chainring, but I'm not absolutely sure. And yes, the chainring is a bit warped. And the crank does wobble a bit in the bottom bracket.
The question is: what can I do about it? It seems like the big cahuna repair is to replace the crankset, chainring, chain and perhaps the rear cluster. I'm pretty handy, but I think this is a bit more than I can undertake. My repair guy says it'll be about $240 for all modern parts (incl a cotterless crank). He thinks that my vintage derailleurs will work with the new parts.
Does anyone have any other suggestions? Are there parts I should be looking for? How about just the chainrings themselves? Seems like they come off without affecting the crankset. Should I try to find them on e-bay? What am I looking for?
Thanks in advance for any help that anyone can offer.
| If it's a UO-8 that old - then it's most likely a steel chainring. Check the teeth of the chain ring. One of them may be bent - causing the chain to come off. If it's bent - you could probably straighten it back out. You might could even bend it back using a pair of channel locks - and not even have to remove the chain ring. Also check the chain ring to make sure it's straight - not warped. This could cause your chain to come off. Now, if the chain ring has no bent teeth, and no warpage, and your chain seems to be OK - it could be your front derialler not having enough tension on it to hold it open in the large chain ring. If this is the case - it will slowly retract - and throw your chain from the large chain ring to the small one.|
Thanks for the reply. I've tried bending the teeth -- didn't help. They seem straight, but they're VERY worn. The ring is definitely warped, too, but not horribly. The derailleur is not slipping.
Any idea where I can get a replacement chainring? That seems like the easiest fix. Changing the crankset would be a more complete repair, but maybe not worth it on this bike.
| The crankset, by any chance, isn't sitting lopsided in the raceways, is it? Highly doubt it, as you would have noticed it by now, but I figured it worth asking.|
Second, is the chain rubbing against the front derailer whilst the chain spins around on the chainwheel? If it's coming in contact on the right flange-plate of the derailer, chances are, all you have to do is adjust the maximum travel of the derailer so it doesn't rub against the chain, causing it to yank back onto the smaller sprocket.
Brand new, replacement "one-piece-type" cranks and chainwheels for a UO-8 can be had for under $20. Similar used parts can be harvested from junked old Schwinns, such as the Varsity or Continental, or other bike boom 10 speeds with one-piece cranks.
Your LBS mechanic is giving you a lot of hogwash about upgrading your UO-8 with the most expensive 3 piece crank adaptor parts. You don't need to do this, and the UO-8s, frankly, are not even worth the effort.
If someone wished to do so though, I've seen bottom bracket spindles out there from cheapie bikes that will adapt to the original Ashtabula-style large diameter bottom bracket hardware. Instead of having bearing race flanges, they have threads, where the usual BB races for a one-piece crank would fit. Installs just like a one-piece-crank, but without the arms. Quite convinient, in fact.
Not that you need to do this, as I see no reason in converting to 3-piece cranks. It's futile to do such a conversion on a bike like this, and there's little weight saved by doing it - all it allows you to do is put a modernish-looking crankset on your bike.
Hope this helps...
| Every UO-8 I've seen has had cottered three-piece crank not ashtabula. I see those on cheap American bikes, not french ones. |
I culled my parts last spring and threw out eight or ten cranksets that would suit this application.
| Have you looked at the chain? I would. Worn and stretched chain will cause problems of jumps on the teeth as it slips up onto the tops of the teeth. Usually I notice this in the freewheel, but chainrings could have the same problem. THe UO-8 prior to the '80's (maybe late 70's) had Nervar steel, cottered cranks. Check the chainline, which is the line the chain makes between the chainrings and freewheel. Where are you located, geographically? The UO-8's are fine bikes for fun or work, well worth fixing up, in my opinion. The steel cranks are a definite minus, but you can fit a Nervar or Stronglight cotterless crank, along with Japanese or European alloy 27" rims for added performance. Read Sheldon Brown's great article on restoring French bicycles. Sounds like you have several factors adding up to a lot of "slop" in the train, which may be why you can't isolate the specific problem...there isn't one! |
| OP says crank wobbles. BB overhaul might clear up the situation unless the chainwheel's so out of true as to be useless. Whether or not it's Ashtabula which I doubt.|
| If the cranks and bottom bracket (cups and spindle) are in good shape, why not simply replace the chainrings (readily available on eBay), the chain, and possibly the freewheel, and rebuild the bottom bracket with new 1/4" ball bearings and fresh grease?|
| Gentlemen -- |
I can't get over your generosity! Thank you so much for offering your
help in such detail. I have to say that I'm a bit intimidated by the
choices and some of the terminology. I'm pretty handy and can do basic
maintenence (new cables, new derailleurs) but I'm not a bike mechanic.
However -- I did some careful riding this AM and tried to isolate the
problem. And it looks like I've got a broken link in the chain. Not
enough to break the chain, but enough to allow it to flex and come off
the chain wheel. I'm not absolutely certain that this is the problem,
but every time the chain comes off, the point of departure is right
behind the bad link (2-6 links behind).
I've uploaded some pictures of the bike and the broken link. (I
identified the broken link with a bit of nail polish). Don't laugh,
please! There's a lot of rust but it works and I ride it nearly every
day -- from bike path by the beach to trips to the grocery store.
I assume that the first step now is to get a new chain and see if this
helps. Is there anything else anybody would suggest? On re-examination,
I think the play in the bottom bracket is pretty slight.
Once again, thank you all so much for your support and help!
| I looked at the pics. You need a clean, shiny chain ring and crank set on that bike....make it look good! If yours is too rusty to clean up......I know those crank sets are very abundant! And probably very cheap. A new chain would be good, too....they don't cost but maybe $7 or $8|
| >Don't laugh, please!|
Because of the rust? Don't be silly, your UO-8 is quite minor on rust, especially when compared to a very early 1970's or late '60s mixte-frame UO-8 I turned down for free at the LBS just yesterday. What a rustbucket THAT was.
By all means, have that chain replaced at once. It'll snap on you someday when you least want it to - right when crossing a busy intersection, and you're pumping the pedals hard.
Don't get any of the new Shimano "Narrow" chains - they won't work well with your derailer system. "Generic" multi-speed chain should work just fine.
You might have a problem getting the cranks out though (provided they are part of the problem). I observe they are cottered, and with the amount of rust I see, I predict that the cotterpins holding the cranks in will NOT budge if whacked with a hammer.
Your only hope is if your LBS has a cottered crank removal tool. If the LBS you go to doesn't have the tool, search every LBS until you find one that does.
If worse comes to worse, Mark Stonich makes a removal tool for this application:
...but, as you can see, it's pricey.
Best of luck!
| GET A NEW CHAIN! That one is ready to fly apart. Whatever else is wrong, that chain is bad news. BTW, that is a nice bike. The chainring looks OK, but steel wool the rust off for cosmetic reasons...or at least oil it up a bit and wipe off the excess. GET A NEW CHAIN.|
| Yes, before doing anything else, replace that chain. That alone may solve your problem. Second, get the bottom bracket overhauled and the ball bearings replaced.|
| >Second, get the bottom bracket overhauled and the ball bearings replaced.|
That might not be so easy, unless his LBS has a cotter pin remover, a tool that isn't that common at bike shops anymore (I know for a fact that only one or two LBS here in Miami have one. I have one for my own repairs that I bought from Mark).
| I'll throw in my 2-cents worth...I'd go find another LBS, unless you have no choice... $240 on an old UO-8 is silly... I must have close to a dozen of them sitting around in various states of repair. Once you figure out the problem, you'll likely find it is so simple it'll blow you away. Probably going to be something along the lines of the derailleur pulling chain off the big ring during a strong downstroke, due to the crank not running sufficiently true. Maybe the interface between crank and spindle is messed up... I'd just patiently poke around until you figure it out...it won't be 'rocket science'...|
| Oh...I forgot to add... To get the cotters out you can try the old "bike-in-a-vise" technique. I've used that a number of times. Take the wheels and chain off, orient the bike so it's parallel with the top face of the vice, slip a suitable ratchet wrench type socket over the part of the cotter that will be moving outward and close the vice. It can be a bit scary as the pressure builds, but it should eventually pop with a loud crack....WEAR SAFETY GLASSES...|
| I've found a fairly reliable way of removing stuck cotters - using impact dynamics. Get a LARGE sledge hammer, a 7/16 or 1/2 inch thread nut, a heavy hammer (24oz-plus) and a 5/16 or 3/8 inch drift. Spraying with WD40 the day before always helps, of course …|
Remove the cotter nut and washer. Take the washer away and screw the nut back on so that its top is just level with the end of the cotter - i.e. leaving some space between the nut and the crank.
Stand the sledge vertically, head upwards.
Put the bike up so that the crank is perched on top of the sledge head, cotter nut end facing up. (some help is useful here in holding the bike etc.)
Slip the 3/8 inch nut over the head of the cotter pin, so it acts as a spacer between the crank and the sledge hammer head.
The nut end of the cotter should now be facing straight up.
Put the drift - centered - on the nut end.
Hit it once, VERY hard, with the hammer.
Works every time; well so far, anyway…
| I finally found a vintage lightweight to add to the collection!|
A gas station near where I work usually has bikes out front. Usually cheap Walmart bikes, but the occasional treasure.
Last week they had a white Peugeot. It has the Reynolds 531 sticker, a nice Brooks Professional saddle, half chrome forks and stays, mafac competition brakes, stronglight cotterless crank, mudguard eyelets front and rear, a sticker Peugeot headbadge, "Record du Monde" stickers on seat tube and a neat seriel number plate riveted under the bottom bracket.
I'm not sure what the model is, but it fits, rides well, and was only $40. I'm finally a member of the vintage lightweight page!
| If I'm not mistaken, it sounds like you've bagged a PX-10! |
Excellent find - many folks would like to be in your shoes right now...
| With half-chrome stays, it is almost definitely a PX-10. If the "531" on the French-language Reynolds sticker is printed diagonally, that clinches it. (The next lower model, the PR-10, would have a "3 tubes renforces" sticker with the "531" printed horizontally, and would generally not have half-chromed stays.) Are the head lugs painted black? Are they plain or fancy? This will help determine the vintage, as will the serial number. |
Unless the frame is bent or severely rusted, you scored big time!
| I've been giddy about this find all week. Especially since I check out this source every week day, and this is one of the first worthwhile bikes I've seen there.|
I commute each week to work, so I can't check the bike at home till this weekend. The 531 sticker is in bad shape, but its definitely in French. The 531 may well be horizontally, suggesting the PR-10, but then again it has those half chromed stays. I'll check the sticker for sure this weekend.
I believe the lugs are white. As far as plain or fancy, well they're fancier than the Raleigh Sport lugs I'm most familiar with, but not as fancy as some of those intricately sculpted lugs I've seen pictures of. There is definitely some ornate work to them, but I'm just not that familiar with vintage lightweights yet to know how to categorize them. Again, I'll take a closer look this weekend.
As for the serial number, is there an online source I can check? I'll write it down this weekend....
Thanks for the input. I'll check back with more info.
| On a PX-10, only the "531" part of the decal will be printed diagonally; the French text will be horizontal. On a PR-10, the French text will read, "3 tubes renforces," meaning "main triangle double-butted."|
| I have a real old black bicyle- cruiser style. IT had a head badge on it buit it is missing 2 letters. RO_ _ Y|
I think it is a Y at the end. Any ideas on the name and where to get decals/head badges?-- jen
| You should move this bike to the balloon/middleweight page.|
Meanwhile, take a look at
and see if you can find a head badge that looks like yours. Langley has a fabulous collection of badges. When you determine what it is, if you want to replace it you can watch ebay, but the vintage badge market is pretty hit&miss.
| Sounds like a RODDY|
| Many VLW's have chrome somewhere on the frame. As a minimum, the lower 30% of the fork legs. The next likely spot for chrome is the fork crown. Then the seat and chain stays. And finally, frame lugs. And on rare occasion, a fully chromed frame. I own at least one example of each of these (except the fully chromed). Some of the chrome is pretty nice. Others are not so good. I decided to experiment with protecting a fork with marginal chrome with a clear coating. I have a Raleigh SuperCourse with a tweaked frame and fork. So I decided to use the fork with the chromed crown and lowers for my experiment. The chrome is pretty shabby. A thorough dusting of tiny pits on the lowers and a few pits on the crown. |
First I brushed on Naval Jelly on all of the chrome and let it set for 15 minutes. Then I rinsed with water and wiped it dry with paper towels. The pits really stood out in the brite sunlight. It looks like the copper underplate is showing through. And I could feel the pits as I skimmed my fingers over them. I use a technique I call "spooning" to smooth these pits. To do this you need to use a highly polished but dull steel edge. An ideal candidate for this tool could be a stainless table knife. Use the edge opposite the cutting edge. Rub this tools edge rapidly over the chrome surface that is infested with the pits. Cover 100% of the pitted surface. What you are doing is knocking off any bits of chrome that is really loose and smoothing, or laying down any pieces that are firmly attached but only slightly raised. I was amazed at how smooth the chrome felt after the "spooning".
Now for the coating. I had no specific plan here. I went to Home Depot looking for a clear epoxy in an aerosol can. All I could find was a clear enamel made by Rustoleum. I've used Rustoleum products in the past with excellent results so I gave it a try. I decided to spray the entire surface paint decals and all. What a success! The coating seemed to actually briten the chrome. And I'm confident that the corrosion has been halted. The paint, pin striping, and decals are all intact. I applied about 4 coats. Each coat was dry to touch within 10 minutes.
I've asked professional bike restorers about this in the past and they all dicouraged it for variou reasons. Has anyone here tried this?
Dick in L.A.
| Since I live 1 km downwind of the Pacific Ocean, I don't "do" chrome. In my climate zone, it is always the first part of any automobile or bicycle finish to go bad.|
| I have a 1974 Motobecane that came factory with a complete clear coat over the entire frame and chrome.|
While from a retoration standpoint clear coat may not be the proper fix, it should at least help preserve your ride and prevent any further damage. I've used Acrylic clear coat before to help revive an original paint job on a daily rider with good results, it brought back the color and sealed the decals from any further damage. What I used was Krylon Acrylic Crystal Clear Gloss #1301. It has survived well over the last few years, no rust or peeling, and no yellowing. I don't think I would do it to a show bike, but it did save the finish on one of my daily riders and certainly made it look a whole lot better.
| I was considering placing a bid on this bike until I noticed the question that someone else had asked. The sellers answer hasn't convinced me that it's not bent. Anyone here have an opinion?|
Dikc in L.A.
| Bent! |
| Bent, and also twisted, at least on the right hand blade.|
| Perhaps it's the refraction of the ambient room light bouncing off our monitor screens that's causing this optical delusion.|
The bike took a hit.
| I just couldn't help myself. I sent an email to the seller cautioning him that his ebay feedback might be in jeopardy if he ships this bike to an unsuspecting winning bidder. He responded with this message: "I appreciate your advice and concern. When I photographed the bike I noticed the same thing you're talking about. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about bikes and will be the first to admit it looks strange. I carefully examined the fork blades and there is absolutely no sign of a bend. I also looked under the down tube and there's no sign there either. I've looked all over and couldn't find anything. So, I took it to the biggest, most knowledgeable shop in Indianapolis and had them put it on a table and double check. They told me the same: No problems. If they'd told me otherwise, I would've pulled the auction. I have the same concern as you, but believe in good conscience that I've done the best to confirm that it's not bent. Thanks for your concern." |
All I can say is "get a better camera!"
Dick in L.A.
| Stinks of an ex-used car salesman's selling pitch on a "No Warrantee" automobile. He doesn't have the talented gift of the artist - knowing when to stop.|
Let him say what he wants to say. If he had thought the same thing when he actually posted the auction, he would have made some comment or another in the auction's original listing.
It's bent and twisted, and that's final!
And you don't put a fork on a table to check if it's straight or not.