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  1. #1
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    70s Motobecane w/ 25mm seatpost - which tubing?

    dear moto fans

    I am trying to figure out what tubes were used on my 70s Motobecane Track bike. The closest I come to dating the frame are the Normandy hubs stamped 77.

    Here is some more info:

    -It looks to take a 25mm seatpost, though no 25s i've tried (campy nuovo record, gipiemme) seem to fit, they all appear to be .1-.2mm too thick.
    -The original Vitus Rubis 979 seatpost had to be sanded down pretty aggressivly to remove the ZZZ scratches, but with calipers it measures about 24.7mm and goes in pretty easily - wiggles even a bit.
    -frame has Bocama cut out lugs

    Anyhow, given the above info, can anybody wage a guess? I expect Vitus tubing of some sort. maybe 172?

    thanks, dan

  2. #2
    Old Skeptic stronglight's Avatar
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    I have several 1970s Motobecane consumer catalogs for the US market. But I have never seen any mention of track bikes. I'm sure they must have been produced, but perhaps they were so small a segment of the overall sales that they were simply special ordered by authorized retail shops either direct from the factory or through the Motobecane wholesale importer.

    If the paint is anywhere resembling original, PHOTOS (please) would definitely help us to ID the bike and perhaps guess at the tubing. Motobecane seemed to use only a few different tube sets which differed depending on the year... rather than selecting more individually, model by model.

    Visually comparing graphics could be useful - since some manufacturers offered a couple different levels of Track bikes... to help meet the financial requirements of more than just the most serious racers. And, the Track models sometimes mimicked their Road model counterparts.

    1970s French Track bikes sometimes used shims inside the tubing near the seat lug. I assume this was to strengthen the tubing for any increased torque of track sprints - since seat tubes were most often single-butted (with thicker walls only at the bottom bracket end). Unfortunately, this makes tubing ID all the more difficult.

    If repainted, I assume it at least has a permanent headbadge (not just a sticker) which is leading you to believe it is indeed a Motobecane?

    A serial number may prove of some use too, although there was no real "self-descriptive" dating system used in the numbering system, which seemed to be simple ascending numbers during the 1970s.

  3. #3
    Disraeli Gears Charles Wahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideone View Post
    -It looks to take a 25mm seatpost, though no 25s i've tried (campy nuovo record, gipiemme) seem to fit, they all appear to be .1-.2mm too thick.
    -The original Vitus Rubis 979 seatpost had to be sanded down pretty aggressivly
    What do these sentences mean? That it came to you with a Vitus seatpost that fit, "had to be sanded" to remove marks and now it's loose? Was that seatpost marked 25.0? If not, what makes it "look" like the bike takes a 25.0 mm post?

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    thanks for the replies.

    regarding the paint, i bought the bike used and it had a spray can job (silver). i sympathetically removed the silver in some areas and found sky blue. under that was steel, so i assume the original color was blue. I've since had the bike professionaly painted.

    there are no traces of a headbadge, no holes in the headtube, nor were any stickers present. I only know it is a Motobecane because of the stamped/engraved Block "M" (as seen on the headbadges) on the left and right seatstay at the seatpost cluster. I can upload a picture later to show what i mean.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
    What do these sentences mean? That it came to you with a Vitus seatpost that fit, "had to be sanded" to remove marks and now it's loose? Was that seatpost marked 25.0? If not, what makes it "look" like the bike takes a 25.0 mm post?
    I'll clarify. It came with a Vitus seatpost (Rubis 979) with no visible size markings. The post was badly scratched so I sanded and polished the scratches out. Since the scratches were pretty deep, the post is no more uniform. Even still the post isn't loose by any means. There is just about a .1 or .2 mm of play. It still tightens down well.

    What leads me to 25mm? The seat cluster is bit pinched and that can be a reason why a normal 25mm doesn't fit. I haven't tried "opening" it with a flathead screwdriver yet. My calipers (not digital and 100% accurate probably) measure the inside of the seattube at 24.8 -.9 at various points. It could very well be that the frame originally took a 24.8mm post. My research hasn't turned up much information on this size except for some early Peugeots. Plus 25mm was a common size for Vitus, but mostly on aluminum frames.

    Anyhow, I think finding out what kind of tubing was used will probably lead to an answer on this as well.

    cheers, dan
    Last edited by rideone; 11-13-08 at 11:57 AM.

  5. #5
    Too many bikes bikemore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideone View Post
    t



    IEven still the post isn't loose by any means. There is just about a .1 or .2 mm of play. It still tightens down well.


    cheers, dan
    Really? I find if I am off by .2 I have lots of play, certainly unsuitable for
    sticking 200 pounds of rider on.

  6. #6
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Your seat tube walls are about 1.4mm thick, which indicates a plain gauge carbon steel frame, rather than anything higher-end or more exotic. A Peugeot PX-10, with the same 28mm seat tube OD you have, takes a 26.4mm seatpost. My two Capos, both full Reynolds 531 and both with 28.6mm seat tube OD, take a 26.4mm seatpost (straight gauge frame) and a 27.2mm seatpost (double-butted frame). I would expect a straight-gauge 531 French frame to take a 26.4-0.6 = 25.8mm seatpost.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stronglight View Post
    I have several 1970s Motobecane consumer catalogs for the US market. But I have never seen any mention of track bikes. I'm sure they must have been produced, but perhaps they were so small a segment of the overall sales that they were simply special ordered by authorized retail shops either direct from the factory or through the Motobecane wholesale importer.
    I'm pretty certain that Moto produced a track version of the Team Champion. Unfortunately I don't have a picture; more unfortunate, I don't have the bike. If John E is right about the tubing being plain guage carbon, the bike in question is not a TC.

    More generally, would anyone have made a legit. track frame from plain guage carbon? We need some pics, pls.

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    here are some pics as promised.

    i highly doubt this is a team champion track model. the pics i have seen of those don't match up. i also don't expect the tubing to be anything extra special. My first guess was 1020 or 2040 like on the low end Motobecanes, but then I thought maybe it could be Vitus.

    i'll have to get out the calipers again and measure the seat tube dimensions again.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Senior Member mparker326's Avatar
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    The lugs look the ones on my 76 Super Mirage. My seatpost size is around 25.6 and the original seatpost was around 25 & had a shim. My SM, has 1020 tubing.

  10. #10
    Disraeli Gears Charles Wahl's Avatar
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    Tell you what: weigh the frame and fork. With everything stripped off except pressed-on headset races, if it weighs under 3 kg, then it's almost certainly a double-butted tubing bike.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mparker326 View Post
    The lugs look the ones on my 76 Super Mirage. My seatpost size is around 25.6 and the original seatpost was around 25 & had a shim. My SM, has 1020 tubing.
    after striping off the paint, i saw the stamped BCM on the lower head lug. So they are definitely Bocama. in my research i've also noticed similar lugs, if not the same, on this bike.



    according to the owner it is an early 70s grand touring. when i asked about some distinguishing stickers he said:

    All of the labels on the bike are in English and there is one sticker which says "built with 1020 forks and stays" or something close to that.

  12. #12
    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideone View Post
    after striping off the paint, i saw the stamped BCM on the lower head lug. So they are definitely Bocama. in my research i've also noticed similar lugs, if not the same, on this bike.



    according to the owner it is an early 70s grand touring. when i asked about some distinguishing stickers he said:
    I'm confused by this post. Is that your bike in the picture, pre-stripping? If so, and the owner said it's a grand touring, I don't understand why you are calling it a track bike.

    I can't see in your previous pics whether the rear bridge and fork are drilled, so maybe I'm just not getting it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member nick burns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbonamici View Post
    I'm confused by this post. Is that your bike in the picture, pre-stripping? If so, and the owner said it's a grand touring, I don't understand why you are calling it a track bike.

    I can't see in your previous pics whether the rear bridge and fork are drilled, so maybe I'm just not getting it.
    The bike pictured in post #11 is not the bike in question. If my eyes aren't deceiving me, neither the brake bridge or the fork crown are drilled. The geometry of the frame looks pretty steep, so I would be inclined to believe it is indeed a track frame and not a road frame retrofitted with rear fork ends. If this is case, I would be pretty surprised if the frame is constructed of high tensile steel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nick burns View Post
    The bike pictured in post #11 is not the bike in question. If my eyes aren't deceiving me, neither the brake bridge or the fork crown are drilled. The geometry of the frame looks pretty steep, so I would be inclined to believe it is indeed a track frame and not a road frame retrofitted with rear fork ends. If this is case, I would be pretty surprised if the frame is constructed of high tensile steel.

    that is correct. the post #11 bike is not mine. i found THAT Grand Touring image on flickr. nick, your eyes don't deceive you. my frame is most definitely track. no holes and a pretty tight geometry, which could probably be tigther picture of the fork crown attached.

    as explained here i'm beginning to think that like Gitane, Motobecane made one high-end track bike out of reynolds 531, the team champion, and a low end bike. the componentry is certainly not the top of the line, especially seeing that some french bikes were equipped with campagnolo.

    here is how it originally came (i have no idea what is original or not, but most parts seem to be period correct):

    -normandy high flange track hubs
    -super champion record du monde tubular rims
    -stronglight competition headset (not the locking tooth model)
    -stronglight 700a pista BB
    -spidel 105 (bis?) 165mm cranks
    -atom 600 pedals
    -belleri drop bars (standard road bend, 25mm clamp)
    -belleri road stem (10cm)
    -rubis 979 seatpost

    thanks for all your help.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by rideone; 11-14-08 at 11:25 AM.

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