22 May, 2012

Motobecanes Again

Yesterday I saw nice old Motobecane in Annapolis and today noticed this one on Velospace. I was reminded of this post I wrote in 2007.  As I wrote previously, Motobecanes seem a cut above Gitanes or Peugeots of similar vintage. Classic Rendezvous has a run-down on the various models here. Finding an older high-end Motobecane to re-build is one of the least expensive ways to get a really nice riding rando or city bike.

I still own and enjoy a Motobecane Le Champion that's set us as a fast city bike. And my previous city bike was a Grand Jubilee (pictured above).

Of course the currently made Asian Motobecanes come from a  different company and share only a name with the classic French bikes.


Anonymous said...

Here is my Motobecance mixte with a few Velo orange parts (“Belleville” bars, "Temple" brass bell)


Peter F said...

+1 for old Motobecanes.

I had a 70's era Gitane which promptly got stolen my first week of college. It rode fine, but a little hard.

Years later I picked up an early 70's Motobecane Grand Jubilee on eBay and I'm in love. Such a supple ride! Best $110 I ever spent!


RoadieRyan said...

+2 for Old Moto's I rehabbed a 1981 Nomade II this summer that fit me perfectly and rode very smoothly- link below. I am sold it as I am holding out for a higher end MB but I took very careful measurements before I did so I can be sure to get the same size Grand Touring or Grand Jubilee.


Anonymous said...

The earliest Taiwanese ones actually aren't bad bikes either -- the tubing is maybe a little heavier but certainly not gas pipe, and they ride well, have sensible geometry, and have nice finish details like contrasting headtubes and chrome fork legs. The paintwork is certainly the best of the era, thinner than pugs, nicer colors than gitane and the Japanese bikes, and better done than Italian bikes of that era where the paint comes off in a stiff breeze.

They also have less French sized parts, which of course VO has made less of an issue but still helps when you're trying to put together a cheap city bike using as much from the parts bin as possible.

I forget when production moved to Taiwan, I want to say '77/'78. Anyone know for sure?

Darrell Yarborough said...

Glad you liked my Grand Touring on VeloSpace. Cheers, Darrell in Chicago

dwainedibbly said...

And with a Nervar 50.4 BCD crankset. Approved!

Anonymous said...

I still have a beautiful Grand Jubilee in my basement even though I cracked the head-tube messengering on it years ago.

I just can't bear tossing. It was my first road bike and rode so nicely. Eventually its working French parts will make it to the bike kitchen, but not before I dream about taking it to the local builder a little bit more.

GS Cicleria said...

I can never find a nice one in my size though (55cm)Here's a nice Motobecane Grand Record I built up for a friend with Velo Orange bars, Vo chrome bell, honjos....


Anonymous said...

It's something that so many of the Motobecanes had such unique paint jobs....they are identifiable by that though different models of course as we know, Mirage and Jubilee might have been painted in the same style. I once read someone say that Motobecane once did a model of the old steel models that was one color on one side and one color of the other. Unless I hear someone else say they have witnessed that, I would find that hard to believe. Once on Craig's list, someone was selling a lavender-tinged silver Nomade, that in itself was unique.

I think Motobecane may have had its factory in St. Etienne which was such a hub at one time of bike making.

Anonymous said...

Those seat posts of the cerca '82 Motobecanes with the metric screw in in the back? My seat post fits fairly snug, has traveled thousands of miles but I tell you, it's not perfectly tight. I don't consider this much of a problem. Anyone? I know I won't get an answer but now, I've ridden it so much, put a triple crank on it that I don't even think about it. I just check to see if the thing in the back is tight. I don't consider this the best innovation. Anyone run into this? But the handling is fine on the bike, after all these kilometres, it's not like I expect it to be brittle and break.

Also, 2nd comment, I broke the screw or bolt on the left side of my Stronglight crank. Are those bolts or screws French measurements or easily replaceable? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! Vintage Motobecanes: I rode a '73 LeChampion in the 2012 BP MS150 this April. Frame is Black with Red seat tube bands and chrome fork ends and stay ends. Stronglight 93 crankset and Campy Nuovo Record derailleurs. Brooks Professional saddle.