Is a 90's MTB the New Peugeot UO-8?

21 comments by Scott Gater

For a number of years, the UO-8 was the ubiquitous fixer upper we'd get calls and emails about regarding compatibility, modifications, etc....But as of the past little while, we haven't heard a peep from this bike which was sold by the millions.

We were working on new ideas and projects here at VO HQ and one idea/thought that came up in our discussions was "is a 90's mtb this generation's Peugeot UO-8?"  We say this with the thought that one can go and buy a used 90's mtb from Craigslist or what ever purchase portal you want and in the course of a week or two, spruce it up with Klunker Bars, new pedals, change out some ratty parts, and now you have a useful bike that you can use around the city, as a touring bike, or even (shudder) on a trail as a mountain bike. If you'd like to see a great video we did about sprucing up a 90's bike, check out our video below. 

I think for a lot of our customer base, late 80's/90's mtb's were the bikes they had has kids/teen/twenty somethings. Certainly, I've owned several mtb's from the late 80's/early 90's. Those bikes had a superior level of toughness compared to a touring bike of the time and more versatility in the range of roads one could take them on. One could call it bikepacking, but certainly the "roads" I've taken a mtb on back in the day were a bit rough for a touring bike with 32-35 mm wide tires of the era. We loaded the mtb's of that era with racks and gear and toured on 1.7 - 2 inch wide tires, something that today would be called a gravel bike probably. No issues and loads of fun.

The trend towards 90's mtb also plays out in the media that I/we consume. Every Friday on The Radavist and, they feature a riders rig. In a lot of cases, these are mid 90's bikes that folks have built up with more upright bars, baskets and such for useful riding. Which is, bringing it back to the Peugeot, was what the UO-8 was for a lot of folks - a solid, dependable bike that could be converted/modified into a bike that you could use 40 years after it was made for everyday things a bike should be used. All without any worries of having a bike that was too precious to use. 

I think it all comes down to the idea of taking a great base of a frame like a 90's mtb - solid, well built and with normal standards - so you can fix it up/repurpose it to become an everyday bike. As times change, the platform changes, but the thought behind it stays the same. Is anyone else out there repurposing 90's mtb's?


  • M.J.

    I have two late 80s MTBs in my “fleet”. One is set up with a front rack, basket, and some V-O Tourist bars. The other is set up as a semi-racy gravel bike with 40cm wide drop bars and some fast 26×2.2″ XC tires. Both are versatile and tough. They have more personality than my newer gravel bike and feel more substantial than my 70s road bike.

  • Sean Mccoye

    I’m always on the lookout for an early 90’s trek 9xx bike in the 23.5in size. I had a purple green 930shx back in the day, fit me so well for mixed riding (garbage fork though).

  • Rob C

    I restored a ‘93 Trek Singletrack 930, the purple fade to dark green colour (so awesome), stripped it down to the frame, cleaned and rebuilt it with some of the original parts and some new, like a Pelago front rack and Wald 137 basket, full fenders. a Soma Dream Riser bar, a Brooks B17. I kept the 3×7 drivetrain and added v-brakes. I’m saving up for some VO parts!! Long live the 90’s mtb!

  • Alec

    For years my commuter, rain bike has been an ’88 team Stumpjumper with Blumefels fenders and streettread tires, awhile back put chocomoose bars and barend shifters. Have built a Schwin Huricane and Trek Antelope with Clydesdale front forks. Have a Schwinn Sierra frame gonna use with the fork from the Hurricane! Ill never forget the day I first saw a Stumpjumper on El Camino Real in Redwood City circa 1985, finally! I thought!

  • Travis

    I’ve got a 1984 Miyata Ridgerunner that I rebuilt during covid I ride it everyday and ❤️ it

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