This was my very first refurbishment and restoration project. Visit my Trial and Tribulations page to get a
novice's view of the job, and to learn from my successes and failures. I inherited the AO-8 from my father. He
purchased the bicycle from Visentin Bike & Mower located in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York. The AO-8 did
not receive heavy use, and since the 1970s it spent most if its life either hanging from a garage ceiling or parked in a basement.
The bicycle has some scratches and chips, but absolutely no rust, and it was well greased. The major blemishes are compressed
chainstay tubes due to the infamous vise grip of an ESGE Pletscher kickstand. The AVA dropped handlebars had been
replaced with a Ward moustache-style, the Simplex Prestige rear derailleur with a Shimano Tourney type, and the Lyotard
36 pedals with inexpensive pedals made in West Germany. Other than these replacements, all of the parts were original.
I have restored the bike to its original specifications. The bike was completely dismantled; the headset, bottom bracket,
and axles were repacked; and the mismatched parts replaced.
Frame, Allege Peugeot Steel (57cm seat tube, 58 cm top tube); bottom bracket, Nervar; cottered cranks, Nervar; chainrings,
40/52 Nervar; pedals, Lyotard 36 (purchased as new old stock); hubs, Atom; axle nuts, winged Huret Luxe; front rim, steel
DEA Super Chrome (dimpled) (Original but does not match Rigida factory specification); rear rim, 1972 Rigida Chrolux steel
(serrated); tires, Michelin World Tour 27x1-1/4; freewheel, CYCLO 72, 14/16/19/22/26 (original but does not match 14/28 factory
specification); chain, Sedis; brakes, Mafac Racer, brake levers, Mafac; handlebar stem, AVA 70 mm reach, 25.0 mm handlebar
clamp, 22.0 mm quill; handlebar, AVA (purchased used from Bikeville); handlebar plugs, Velox; rear derailleur, Simplex
Prestige 637(Purchased used); shifters, Simplex clamp-on; seatpost, chrome 20.0cm x 22.0mm; saddle, ADGA 28A; pump, Zefal
Lapize 46.5 cm (Purchased new).
Jacques Drolet's originally owned 1977 AO8 from Canada
Jacques bought this bicycle brand new in Montreal, Canada in 1977 when he was 23. It was the
big boom era of the import of Peugeot bicycles in North America. He used it sporadically over a period of 15 years.
Jacques did not use it to commute, but rather used it on the weekends for a ride.
He is the type of person who takes care of his things. When Jacques moved
to his condo in early 90’s he stored it in his locker and left it there for a good 15 years without using it. Every time Jacques had to go in the locker to get something he had to take the bicycle out to make his
way in the mess. Over the years the bicycle got so rusted and dirty that it would
make him feel bad and nostalgic about its heydays. In the beginning of the summer
2007 he took the bicycle out of its prison and told his wife that the time had come to give his beloved Peugeot a second life.
In a nutshell, Jacques spent some 30 to 40 hours cleaning it and fit it to a near mint condition. To achieve this “tour de force” he used alternately two metal cleaners: NEVR DULL and BLUE MAGIC and …many cloths. Jacques rubbed
each and every spoke, one at the time, until the cloth no longer collected the black stuff resulting from the chemical reaction
between the compound and the corrosion layer on the metal. When this happened
the spoke glittered like new. This took time.
The toughest part was at the crossover of the spokes.
The original tires were Hutchinson 27x1¼ with the ‘’gum side’’. They were completely rotten, so he replaced them with MICHELIN ‘’WORD
TOUR 27x1¼ ‘’ with gum side. These tires are wider when inflated than the original narrow racing tire, but better
fit for city rides. The tubes are the original Hutchinson!
The front and rear lights are recent
add on’s (Schwinn Quality product). The front light is not the high tech
LED type, but Jacques liked the retro lens (bought at Canadian Tire). He also replaced the front and rear inner brake cables and black sleeves (also
purchased at Canadian Tire). They are identical to the original. Upon replacing the cable of the front brake, the adjuster that screwed in on the top of the brake lever
broke off. They are made out of brass and known to be fragile on sheer. To keep the bicycle symmetrical Jacques had no choice but to use the step ferrules
that came with the cable kits purchased at Canadian Tire. They are well noticeable on the pictures. He also replaced the inner rusted speed cables with new ones (guess from where…). Other than that, the bicycle is completely original, not restored with any other parts. Even the centerpull brake straddle cables are original.
Serial number Y705 26128 (etched on the left drop out); brakes and levers, Mafac Racer; rims, DEA super chrome
1977 (dimpled); pedals, Lyotard; hubs, Atom; axle wingnuts, Huret; freewheel, Maillard 5-speed; chainrings, Nervar (52/40) handlebar
stem, Atax; handlebar tape and plugs, Velox; front and rear derailleurs, Simplex (Dupont Delrin plastic body); shifters, Simplex;
chain, Sedis; air pump, Zefal Solibloc (original 1977); seat, plastic made in Korea (came with the bike); handlebar and seatpost unlabelled.
Julian Elsworth's Early to Mid-1970s AO8 Single Speed Conversion
Links to AO8's displayed on the web.
Richard Pinder's Cousin's Red 1965 AO8