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  1. #1
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    Now I have a Motobecane Grand Touring (6 speed?).

    Pretty sure it's a '78 and was surprised to find 6 cogs. It has so few miles, I figure it came like this from the shop. The chain sometimes will hit the seat stay on its way up and off the 13 tooth small cog. I might be the only person who shifted to that cog ever as the derailleur wouldn't reach it till I loosened the limit screw. With wheel removed, drop outs are spaced 124mm. I expected 120. Should I try moving the drop outs to spec and go back to what I believe should be a five speed?
    image.jpgimage.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member gugie's Avatar
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    What's the wheel spaced to? Hard to measure that, but do you have to spread the dropouts a bit to get the wheel in, or are they "clamped" in place with the quick release? If you have to spread the frame a bit to get the wheel in, it's standard 6 speed spacing. If you have to clamp it down, it's probably an Ultra-6 (narrow spaced cogs). My guess is the frame should be 126mm spaced. Others on this site with more knowledge will have a more definitive answer.

    At any rate, it's pretty easy to cold set the frame to 126 from 124.

  3. #3
    verktyg verktyg's Avatar
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    Looks like a 1977 to 1979 Grand Touring. There weren't many differences in that model from those years.

    The 1977 bikes came in Champagne or gun metal gray while the 1978 bikes came in gold and gun metal gray, the 1979 models were available in gun metal gray (like yours) and blue (like the catalog picture below).

    Motobecane1979CatalogPage05GrandTouring.jpg

    They came with 14-32 5 speed freewheels - either gold Suntour Pro or black Maillard.

    The "standard" width of most 5 speed French rear hubs was 122mm although some came in 124mm wide ("Sutherland's Handbook For Bicycle Mechanics" and other sources).

    The 3 main tubes are butted Vitus 172 which had the same 0.7mm x 1.0mm wall thickness as the Reynolds 531 main tubes used on "most" French production bike frames (the same as Columbus SP tubes too).

    The forks and rear stays were made of light gage carbon steel tubing.

    There were some undocumented variances in the rear triangles. Your bike has shorter chain stays so the ride and handling should be similar as the 1974-1976 Grand Jubilee.

    Look at the distance between the rear wheel and the seat tube on my 1974 Grand Jubilee.

    MotobecaneGrandJubile1974 005-Resized.jpg

    Here's a yellow 1969 Grand Touring with short chain stays and a blue 1980 Grand Touring with longer chain stays.

    Motobecane1969GrandTouring-1.jpg MotobecaneGrandTouring1980-1.jpg

    My 1980 Grand Jubile has long chain stays too (it has a full Vitus 172 frame).

    MotobecaneGrandJubile1980 019.jpg

    I suspect that in 1980 both models changed to longer wheel bases used on touring bikes.

    Here's a 1977 Bicycle Magazine review of the 1977 Grand Touring (click on pictures to enlarge):

    http://www.velo-pages.com/main.php?g2_itemId=601


    verktyg

    Chas.
    Last edited by verktyg; 02-05-16 at 12:48 AM.
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  4. #4
    verktyg verktyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gugie View Post
    What's the wheel spaced to? Hard to measure that, but do you have to spread the dropouts a bit to get the wheel in, or are they "clamped" in place with the quick release? If you have to spread the frame a bit to get the wheel in, it's standard 6 speed spacing. If you have to clamp it down, it's probably an Ultra-6 (narrow spaced cogs). My guess is the frame should be 126mm spaced. Others on this site with more knowledge will have a more definitive answer.

    At any rate, it's pretty easy to cold set the frame to 126 from 124.
    Per @Classtime "The chain sometimes will hit the seat stay on its way up and off the 13 tooth small cog."

    The rear hub is probably 122mm wide which was the French "standard" although some came 124mm wide???

    If the hub is 122mm wide there should be plenty of room for an Ultra-6 narrow freewheel. A real 6 speed might be too wide.

    If it's a standard 6 speed freewheel and the axle is long enough he can put one or two 1mm washers on the drive side of the hub to get some seat stay clearance. I like to have about 4mm of exposed axle per side. He will have to re-dish the rear wheel.

    Another option is to change to a 5 speed freewheel. The one on the bike looks like a 13-28T freewheel. It looks really close to the seat stay.

    You can file a little bit off of the inside of the stay for clearance but if the chain moves outboard too far it can get jammed between the freewheel and dropout/rear stays.

    Just spreading the rear triangle is sort of a hammer mechanic solution. The rear triangle needs to be properly aligned to the centerline of the frame. It makes a lot of difference in handling and stability, especially when riding momentarily hands off.

    verktyg

    Chas.
    Things aren't always what the seem... Don't believe everything you think!

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  5. #5
    Senior Member gugie's Avatar
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    See? All it takes is for me to make up something about a french bike and Chas swoops in and saves you from doing something stupid!

  6. #6
    verktyg verktyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gugie View Post
    See? All it takes is for me to make up something about a french bike and Chas swoops in and saves you from doing something stupid!
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha,

    Thanks... French bikes just don't get no love!


    verktyg

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    Things aren't always what the seem... Don't believe everything you think!

    Chas.

  7. #7
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    i would assume a pre-1980 moto came originally with a 5-speed freewheel.

    but as the frame is only 2mm short of standard 126mm spacing, i'd keep it 6-speed. those two added gears come in a very usable range for me.

    and i'd respace the rear hub to 125-126mm with a longer axle if necessary and just pry it in there.

    if the chain still rubbed the chainstay, i'd have to either add 1mm or more to the hub or try a different freewheel. unless it's a great freewheel already, i'd probably just buy a sunrace 6-speed (14-28t) on ebay. i usually prefer the shifting of new freewheels anyway.
    happer: keep watching the sky, macintyre.

  8. #8
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    Thank you Gentlemen. Here's a couple more shots. The axle measures 130 with 4mm exposed on each side. And, no surprise, setting the wheel in the dropouts leaves about 1mm on each side. I think I will avoid the small cog until I get a 5 speed freewheel. image.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpgThis bike pretty new. I think I put that little nick in the chainstay while trying to get 6 speeds.

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    Try putting 2mm of washers on the drive side and see if that gives you enough space. If that works I'd add them between the drive side locknut and cone, move the axle over a mm and go with it. You can re-dish the wheel whenever you want to give it a try.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jeirvine's Avatar
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    I have spaced hubs with as little as 1mm axle protruding (St. Sheldon says you can get away with none ). So plenty of room to re-space for the 6-speed. If not, I'd gladly swap your 13-28 6-speed for a 5-speed or Ultra-6 Suntour (I can check my stash).

    Oh - and great bike BTW. I had a ~82 Moto GT and it had a fabulous ride. Sold it when I got a '73 GR (also fab). Love those Motos.

    -J
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  11. #11
    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
    Try putting 2mm of washers on the drive side and see if that gives you enough space. If that works I'd add them between the drive side locknut and cone, move the axle over a mm and go with it. You can re-dish the wheel whenever you want to give it a try.
    +1 It looks pretty close to workable right now. Or for an easier route, I'd be tempted to limit out that cog as the PO did, or simply don't use it. After all, how often do you need a 52 x 13 gear? The 42 x 13 isn't a combo you should use anyway.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gugie View Post
    See? All it takes is for me to make up something about a french bike and Chas swoops in and saves you from doing something stupid!
    + 1,

  13. #13
    Senior Member bmthom.gis's Avatar
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    Cool bike! A coworker has a red one, and from what I can tell looking through old catalogs his was the last year they were made with hi-ten instead of Vitus tubing.
    "All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies."

  14. #14
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    I'm waiting for a 2-notch FW tool to arrive and then I can swap FWs with an orphan 5 speed rear wheel. From the catalogues and Verktyg, the hub is correct and the spacing is correct. What I need to determine is the correctness of the FW. I'm leaning toward keeping it a 5 speed.

    And jeirvine, Thanks. Two months ago, I adopted a very abused Nomad Sprint in my size. I got it riding nicely and enjoyed it on a few short 6-10 mile rides. I was going to commute on it but disliked the step shifters. So I sold it and missed it. While looking for wheels for my PX-10 project, I saw this GT and couldn't pass it up. This will be my 160 mile per week commuter while I wait for a GR or LC. So Much Fun.

  15. #15
    curmudgineer old's'cool's Avatar
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    FWIW, the standard 6-speed wheel from my 1989 Pug Versailles slid into the dropouts of my 1978 GJ "like buttah", and functions perfectly, with no adjustments other than derailleur cable clamp and high limit. I know there's a theoretical 2-4mm mismatch, but it's not noticeable.
    Geoff
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  16. #16
    Senior Member jonwvara's Avatar
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    Assuming that you have a regular 126-spaced freewheel on there now--I can't tell from the photos--you could replace it with a Suntour Ultra 6 and everything would be fine, with no need to re-dish the wheel or change anything else.
    www.redclovercomponents.com

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  17. #17
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gugie View Post
    What's the wheel spaced to? Hard to measure that, but do you have to spread the dropouts a bit to get the wheel in, or are they "clamped" in place with the quick release? If you have to spread the frame a bit to get the wheel in, it's standard 6 speed spacing. If you have to clamp it down, it's probably an Ultra-6 (narrow spaced cogs). My guess is the frame should be 126mm spaced. Others on this site with more knowledge will have a more definitive answer.

    At any rate, it's pretty easy to cold set the frame to 126 from 124.
    Quote Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
    Thank you Gentlemen. Here's a couple more shots. The axle measures 130 with 4mm exposed on each side. And, no surprise, setting the wheel in the dropouts leaves about 1mm on each side. I think I will avoid the small cog until I get a 5 speed freewheel. image.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpgThis bike pretty new. I think I put that little nick in the chainstay while trying to get 6 speeds.

    I think @gugie pretty much hit it on the nail. The wheel is either more or less set up to be a five speed (in which case the OP will have to clamp down a bit since the rear drop outs are at 124) or a six speed (in which case the OP will have to spread the rear dropouts just a bit for the wheel to go in).

    It looks from the OP's measurements that the wheel is set up for five speeds since the axle length is 130. Typically you need an axle that is around 11-12 mm longer than the drop out spacing but 10 more should work out as well.

    That would explain why the chain is hitting the seat stay.

    There's no need to set the drop outs tp 120. It's no big deal to clamp down a bit to get the wheel in there. The advantage of keeping it at 124 is that it will be as easy as pie to go to 126 mm rear wheel if you every want to go to 6 or even 7 in the rear.

    Looks like the OLD on the OP's bike is 122 mm which is fine (and would explain why there is 1 mm left on either side once the wheel goes in).
    Last edited by bikemig; 02-06-16 at 07:07 AM.

  18. #18
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    Now that the gearing puzzle is solved, I need to solve the seat post puzzle. Is it possible that the shop installed a 26.2 when they should have put in a 26.4? This 26.2 that came with the bike is very loose -- as in falls in when the binder bolt is loosened. I need a longer one anyway which is a puzzle since the bike is "my size".

  19. #19
    Senior Member gugie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
    Now that the gearing puzzle is solved, I need to solve the seat post puzzle. Is it possible that the shop installed a 26.2 when they should have put in a 26.4? This 26.2 that came with the bike is very loose -- as in falls in when the binder bolt is loosened. I need a longer one anyway which is a puzzle since the bike is "my size".
    Seat posts are difficult to measure unless you have a stepped tool to measure it, or to be lucky and have the correct size to test fit. Take it to a shop and ask them.

  20. #20
    Fast Old Guy Straightblock's Avatar
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    I've got a Grand Touring like Classtime's. The seatpost in mine is an SR Custom, 26.6 mm. Perfect fit.
    Last edited by Straightblock; 02-07-16 at 12:37 AM.

  21. #21
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    My 1980 GT has a 27.2mm seat post.

  22. #22
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    I guess I should take it to a shop. I was hoping that a Vitus 172 seat tube would be a standard inside diameter.

  23. #23
    curmudgineer old's'cool's Avatar
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    An entry level caliper gauge should be able to provide sufficient accuracy for a seat tube ID or seat post OD, as the case may be.
    Geoff
    "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am"

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