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Old 08-25-04, 07:48 AM   #1
mswantak
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Help dating a Motobecane Grand Touring

I was minding my own business rebuilding a couple of old Raleighs, when my buddy calls and says, "Come over and look at this old bicycle I picked up." Usually his finds turn out to be some mangy thing he found while collecting stuff for his garage sales. This time however it was a pale gold Motobecane Grand Touring, in very nice condition. Weinmann brakes and rims, Suntour derailleurs, new Nimbus tires. He paid the princely sum of $5.00 for it. I offered him $10, and became owner of something I know absolutely nothing about.

There isn't a wealth of info on Motobecanes on the web, but according to what I did find, I'm guessing it's late '70s or early '80s. I'm not planning on reselling it -- it's too much fun to ride, but I am curious what the going price is for something like this, and exactly what sort of deal I'll have to make with the devil to find parts for it.
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Old 08-25-04, 06:23 PM   #2
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The head badge will give you some help. 70's had a round, painted brass badge with the "M" above a set of wings, some time after 1980 they changed to a square, plastic type with a "M" above the word "motobecane" The company that made your bike is gone but if the bike is in good condition, you can keep it going for a long time. Main problems are the French threading, non-standard stem & seatpost diameter, & a bottom bracket that may be RH or LH. Parts can still be found on e-bay & in bike shops that handle used parts. Value is in the eye of the buyer. This touring bike was somewhere in the middle of the Moto line. I have seen Grand Tourings sold in this (Puget Sound) area from $75 to $200 Depending on condition & how many extras were on the bike. Don
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Old 08-25-04, 06:26 PM   #3
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Forgot to add: Ride it, you'll like it. They are pretty lively for a touring bike.
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Old 08-26-04, 02:30 PM   #4
mswantak
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Turns out it's a 1968 model. This according to the guy who sold it to my friend. He said he bought it new in '68, and had to quit riding it a couple years ago.

Apparently one of his final projects with it was moving the shifters from their original position on the downtubes; he's got a set of Schwinn stem shifters on it, but only the rear shifter's been moved. It's got touring bars on it -- which is what I wanted anyhow -- so I'm thinking a pair of thumb shifters on the bars is probably a better solution. Any advice on the conversion?
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Old 08-27-04, 08:55 AM   #5
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Thumb shifters should work very well in your application. (Sorry, you can't have the SunTours on my mountain bike!) Simply install them where you want them, then run some new cable housing from each shifter to the clamp-on cable stop on the downtube. Remove the Schwinn TwinStiks, sell them on eBay if they are in decent condition, and add a washer to the headset, if you need to make up for the thickness of the TwinStik mounting plate. Another good option is barcons at the ends of the handlebars, but thumb shifters seem to be more popular with upright bars.
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