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Old 01-03-10, 01:06 PM   #1
burnzkid
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Need help with vintage Motobecane?

I recently obtained a Motobecane Mirage from the late 70s to early 80s. It needs work, derusting, alignment, truing, etc., as well as new tires, tubes, and bar tape. The one main problem I really have is that the skewer (I think its the skewer, you know, the axle bolt thingy that goes inside the hub) is missing from the front wheel. Should I just go to the bike shop and see if they can replace it or should i buy a new set of them online?
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Old 01-03-10, 01:38 PM   #2
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either. unless you are determined to keep it all orginal I would just go to your bike shop and buy a set. chances are the cam will work better than your older ones. I am not familiar with a Mirage, what kind of hubs?
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Old 01-04-10, 03:27 PM   #3
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what kind of hubs? jesus, idk, the ones that are on an early 80s Motobecane Mirage. I'm new to this, this is my first bike I'm doing my own work on. They look like normal, just like all the other hubs on all the other bikes I've had.
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Old 01-04-10, 03:38 PM   #4
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They're cone-and-locknut type hubs, but the back one doesn't have a quick release axle. They use nuts to hold 'em on. And it needs new tires and tubes too. 27 x 1.25 inches, Schrader valve. Can anyone suggest inexpensive road tires and tubes I can get? This bike isn't for exactly for competition, more for just cruising around and looking cool.
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Old 01-04-10, 03:39 PM   #5
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Normandy, last time I checked.

Yep - they were Normandy large-flange alloy in 1979. And later one's were as well. I have an old catalog. I'd post it - but it's in Adobe.

Last edited by Panthers007; 01-04-10 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 01-04-10, 04:10 PM   #6
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DUDE! really? can you post that? cuz i want to see what year mine is. Its light blue with two navy bands on the seat tube. But do the hub models really matter? Isn't it just a case of Campagnolo or cone-and-lock nut?
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Old 01-04-10, 04:53 PM   #7
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Just buy a generic front quick-release unit. Avoid the modern boutique-style open cam units unless your fork has "lawyer lips."
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Old 01-04-10, 05:41 PM   #8
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DUDE! really? can you post that? cuz i want to see what year mine is. Its light blue with two navy bands on the seat tube. But do the hub models really matter? Isn't it just a case of Campagnolo or cone-and-lock nut?
Nope. It won't let me. But Google: Motobecane old catalogs. Or something similar.
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Old 01-04-10, 06:05 PM   #9
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I like the Nashbar.com Primas. They are a 66tpi black skinwall and roll pretty easily. The compound is on the soft side but maybe that means they're grippier.

The Bell streetster from walmart is a good tough tire but has a bit more rolling resistance due to thicker rubber in the sidewall and a lower thread count. The performancebike.com forte is similar. A fairly tough, thick tire as 27" road tires go.
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Old 01-04-10, 07:21 PM   #10
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Nope. It won't let me.
It can be done, but it's just about more trouble than it's worth...

Using WinRar, you can create a split rar with 102399byte volumes, then add the .zip extension cause it won't accept rars. Shouldn't need to rename them to open it, at least with WinRar.
Attached Files
File Type: zip moto197910.part2.rar.zip (100.0 KB, 27 views)
File Type: zip moto197910.part1.rar.zip (100.0 KB, 9 views)
File Type: zip moto197910.part4.rar.zip (62.2 KB, 3 views)
File Type: zip moto197910.part3.rar.zip (100.0 KB, 3 views)
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Old 01-05-10, 02:52 PM   #11
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Just buy a generic front quick-release unit. Avoid the modern boutique-style open cam units unless your fork has "lawyer lips."
thanx, that actually helps me the most out of all the answers.
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Old 01-06-10, 06:49 PM   #12
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Given the number of issues you list, I think another bike would be your best solution. Especially frame alignment. Old 10 speeds are dirt cheap - find one with fewer issues.
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Old 01-06-10, 06:54 PM   #13
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Given the number of issues you list, I think another bike would be your best solution. Especially frame alignment. Old 10 speeds are dirt cheap - find one with fewer issues.
I don't think hes talking about frame alignment, everything he said is subjective don't go telling him to dumpster his bike without even seeing a picture
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Old 01-07-10, 04:27 PM   #14
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the frame and drive train are fine, albiet a little rusty. its just missing the front axle. other than that, it just need to replace cheep things, like bar tape, brake pads, chain, and all rubber wheel components. ill try to get some pictures on twitpic tonite for you to see.
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Old 01-07-10, 06:52 PM   #15
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Just get a pair of bontrager tires. Most LBS sell them for 15 or 20 bucks each. They have never failed me, though the ones with the tan walls I have been told break down easier in the sun.

I would just say take your bike in ask for a tune up and if it is a nice shop they might just throw bar tape on thier for free and only charge for labor. My friend has this bike, good for kicking around town and such.
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Old 01-07-10, 07:02 PM   #16
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I don't know what sort of wheels your Mirage came with. It is possible they are steel and lack a hook edge inside the rim. I had a Schwinn World Tourist without hook edge rims. Certain tires didn't allow full pressure to be used or else they'd slip off the rim and allow the tube to bulge out and burst. If you go to a bike shop I guess you could just ask whether the tires are good for non-hook-bead rims.

I actually got some Vittoria Zaffiros up to 100psi by carefully degreasing the rim and tire bead before installing. I suppose it gave them more grip.
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Old 01-07-10, 07:21 PM   #17
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Definetly agree with garage sale gt about making sure your tires/ rims are compatible. if you do have steel wheels, you may want to think about getting some cheap/ used aluminum ones, they will stop a whole lot better in the rain, and seem to be less prone to brake squeal. I would also reccomend finding out about any bicycle co-ops/community bike shops/bike shops with good used selection in your area, it makes working on old bikes a whole lot cheaper and easier. hell, sometimes i just buy used tires, you can often find nice tires with lots of tread left for dirt cheap, just be sure to check them thoroughly for issues.
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Old 01-08-10, 01:39 PM   #18
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If this Mirage is a '78 and still has its original wheels, then they're steel 27 inch. I bought a Super Mirage that year and it was the entry model for aluminum wheels, the Mirage had steel and a bolt on rear wheel. Not too bad a bike, good frame. I see some making these into fixies. (If you're into that kinda thing)
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Old 01-08-10, 02:28 PM   #19
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I have owned a Mirage (1st ten speed - 1971) and a Grand Jubilee (1973). The Jubilee is still my favorite of bikes I've owned. Even the Mirage came with a decent frame. When I was low on funds I put together a bike from a Voyager 11.8 drive train and wheels and the Mirage frame. I toured and went on club rides w/out a problem. One thing to watch out for is possible French threading on the pedals (will be labeled G and D instead of L and R) and French or Swiss threads on the crank bearings (bottom bracket). The pedal threads can safely be tapped out to standard threading but if the crank bearings are bad it's a VERY expensive fix.

The Mirage did have steel wheels, and they are not the best for commuting or touring due to poor stopping when wet. Do not buy new alloy wheels - not worth it when you can find newer bikes on Craigslist at great prices.
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Old 01-10-10, 02:55 AM   #20
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Velo orange offers a threadless BB. 60 bucks isnt to bad..

http://www.velo-orange.com/grcruthbobr.html
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Old 01-10-10, 09:30 AM   #21
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yeah, its definatley steel wheels. And I am SURE, because as far as I know, aluminum does not rust. What tires should I get, cuz I'm looking to fix the bike, not buy a new wheelset and rebuild it from the ground up.
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Old 01-10-10, 09:33 AM   #22
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and why do I need a new bottom bracket? I just spun the pedals, they seem fine.
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Old 01-10-10, 10:04 AM   #23
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and why do I need a new bottom bracket? I just spun the pedals, they seem fine.
Then there's no compelling need to replace the bottom bracket. If you need to replace the crank arms (e.g. to go from a cottered crank to cotterless, or double to triple or single) you can just buy a new axle and use that with the old cups.
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Old 01-10-10, 10:24 AM   #24
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THE BIKE IS MECHANICALLY FINE. I DO NOT NEED TO REPLACE ANY PARTS WHATSOEVER (excluding the tires, tubes and rim strips, but that's after I derust the steel rims that I need help finding tires for). EVERYONE PLEASE STOP TELLING ME TO REPLACE MY BB AND SUCH, I DO NOT NEED TO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-10-10, 11:03 AM   #25
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1. On rust, search the site, there are a number of good threads on rust removal. It really depends on how much rust you have as far as which method is best.

2. Take your bike to your favorite bike shop, and have them sell you a new skewer. It should be cheap.

3. If the bike has been sitting idle for a number of years, the bearings will need to be replaced and properly greased (I am talking about a $4 job if you do it yourself). Not a big job. Wheels and cranks may spin easily, but in my experience (100 vintage bikes in the last year) is that even on bikes that were never ridden and look perfect, the grease is hard or long gone, and you risk doing serious damage to your hubs and bottom bracket, and those do cost some money. So the choice is yours.

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