Jerry Moos wrote,
"The OU-8 wasn't a racing bike, but it wasn't junk either. This was my first quality bike, and I loved it, once I replaced the Simplex Prestige derailleurs with Shimano. If you put aside snob appeal, the OU-8 was a good sport bike and a more than adequate tourer, better and lighter than anything made in high volmue in the US at the time, with the sole exception of the Schwinn Paramount. At the time the UO-8 arrived in the US, most Americans thought an "English Racer" was a high performance bike."
I agree with Jerry. I bought my UO-8 in 1976. Minimum wage was $2.25 and I was in the high income bracket making $2.35. My UO-8 represented about 100 hours of paid labor, more if you accounted for rent and cheap beer. I upgraded everything but the frame over the years and rode it for commuting (I've never had a driver's license) touring and even some casual racing (the UO-8 was not known for having exceptional pedal clearance). There really wasn't a lot of choice out there for me at the time. I would have loved to have had a Bianchi but the UO-8 was affordable. I rode it for 13 years and retired it when I bought a Bianchi mountain bike (off timeline but steel and lugged) The chromed forks were way cool, it had a "Guaranteed NOT Reynolds 531" sticker and it went on to have yet another full life after I retired it.
up at 5am to ride