Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Bike Year down shifts to one gear

I had to work last weekend and I rode my 1979 Peugeot UO-10 instead of my normal utility bicycle. On the way home Sunday afternoon, a guy in bike shorts and a jersey pulled up beside me on his nice Trek. We rode along enjoying a pleasant discussion about local cycling routes. Eventually he became impatient with my leisurely pace and took his leave. Still, this is the most contact I've had with a roadie to date. I ride in street clothes and I'm slow, so I sometimes perceive that the people in full cycling costumes flying past me on their slick road bikes are looking down their noses at me and my humble conveyance.

Riding the UO-10 for the first time in months made me aware that my utility bike is pretty clunky. I realize that the person riding the bike is the predominant factor in how fast it goes, but the Peugeot certainly ate up the pavement in big bites. I don't know exactly what came over me when I got home, but I got the notion that I should convert the UO-10 into a single speed bike.

Before I knew it, I'd removed the rear brake, a chain ring, the front and rear derailers, shifters and all associated cables. I shortened the chain. I wrapped the chain around one of the cogs (This is an inelegant solution, I know). The 27 inch Rigida rims were replaced by 700c Arayas from a donor bike. I rode it around the neighborhood and liked the results.

Phase two of the transformation is scheduled for tomorrow. It will include a procedure I've never undertaken before: a pedal transplant. Below is a photo of the UO-10 before I started removing parts. I'll post a post-op photo once the patient is in recovery.


Anonymous said...

Hey John,

This is pretty interesting idea you got going here. It's cool to see someone not only talking but acting also.

You can spread the word about what you're doing over at the

Connect Savannah forums.

Brandon Blatcher
Art Director/Production Manager
Connect Savannah

Andrew Turley ( said...

If you've read Sheldon, you'll know that it's probably best to keep that rear brake unless you plan to go fixed gear. And if you really want to have fun, fixed gear is definitely the way to go.

I've been enjoying your site. Keep up the good work.

Also, I'm glad to know that there are at least a few other cyclists out there who ride safe.

phil said...

If you still have those Rigidas, and if they're in decent shape, would you consider selling them to another UO10 owner/user?