Motobecane Grand Jubilee with Simplex?
So, after months of searching for a bonafide vintage tourer two days ago I saw an ad pop up for a $65 Grand Jubilee in my exact size. Not owning a french bike and having oogled at these in the past I immediately declared early lunch (at 10:30 AM) and full of thoughts of Reynolds 531, Shimano 600, triple cranks (and possibly Campy?) I high tailed it to see the bike.
What I found was not at all what I expected. The Vitus tubing, the Nervar cranks, Normandy hubs, and the Mafac brakes seemed right (though sadly the Nervar is a double, not a triple), but beyond that I found Motobecane branded Simplex derailleurs of a flavor I've never seen before, Motobecane handlebars, Motobecane headset, a plump shaped Selle Italia and Rigida rims (not branded Moto).
My sense is that I haven't won the Jubilee lottery with this one, but could someone help me identify what year bike this is? What lugs are these? Is the Simplex on it any good or should I plan on riding with something else on it (I have a full Shimano 600 Arabesque grupo available rescued off a crashed Bianchi that might be fitting and effective) ? Any experience using Mafac racer brakes? Any and all perspectives on this bike would be appreciated.
Here she is as I found here - haven't even had a second to run a cloth over her.
... And as I haven't had luck uploading the pictures you can see the bike here:
Stop reading my posts!
actually I think you'll find those Simplex derailleurs to work better than the Hurets, they just aren't as light or pretty...probably about as good as the Shimano 600 and/or SunTour that they resemble. The weak point is the flimsy plastic wings on the shift levers, but even when they break off you can still use the levers with just the metal bolts. I'd guess about '78 for this one, but now will look for the catalog to confirm/deny that guess.
Well, the catalogs are a little short on info, but looks like this model matches a '78 French-market frame-wise, but not with the Simplex drivetrain, and the US '79 catalog shows a different paint scheme and a Japanese drivetrain...I also thought that RD was more like "1980 and later", so I'm not sure of an exact date, but would still say around '78 to '80
check it out yourself:
and check Velobase for more catalog scans.
Last edited by unworthy1; 07-30-10 at 09:23 AM.
If I own it, I ride it
Decent bike. The RD will shift nicely for you if you choose to use it. Note also it is a Grand Jubile, one "e". Never could figure why the did that and then went back to two "e". Mafac brakes are very effective when adjusted properly. Witness their use in the TdF for many years by top riders. I would put it early 80s
Finder's fee paid for info leading to purchase of Lejeune 753 Champ du Monde 53-54cm ctc
Definitely late '70's early '80's. Motobecane Jubile's started out with Reynolds 531 main tube frames, Nervex lugs and Huret Jubile components, hence the name.
A few years later they switched to Vitus and Moto branded Simplex parts. The MAFAC brakes on the bike you bought are not standard and were probably an upgrade. They sell on ebay for around what you paid for the bike! Good color and great condition. I'd be all over that for $65!
Thanks - this is all encouraging. My experience with Simplex is limitted to the stuff that came on a Raleigh Gran Sports (and yes, mine does read 'Sports' - so now with a 'Jubile' I seem to be specializing in models with a one off spelling...), which has the aweful Delrin FD collar, which I snapped before I even getting off on my first ride. I guess I had my heart set on a 531 frame and a triple crank so I was a little taken aback. Though yes - I figured for $65 I couldn't go too far wrong.
Very glad to hear the Simplex and Mafac's will likely do the trick. I'd prefer to keep the bike as is, but I will be riding it so it needs to work.
Any idea what lugs these are? Were they too made by Motobecane? Also, does anyone have experience comparing the ride of a Vitus tubed Jubile(e) to a 531 frame? Is there a noticeable difference? Finally, I have always understood the Jubilee to be Motobecane's top of the line tourer. Is that correct? If so, why by the begining of the 80's wouldn't they be equipping these with a triple crank?
Originally Posted by unworthy1
Thanks for that unworthy1. I too have scanned the catalogues and haven't found a match. One possible clue is that the 1984 catalog lists the Team Champion as being equipped with 'Motobecane Simplex' derailleurs. Could these possibly be the same set of derailleurs or did Moto brand a variety of different Simplex models?
The Motobecane/Simplex derailer on the Team champion was a drop paralellogram Simplex Super LJ. I'm at work and pictures are blocked, so I can't verify if that's what you have. It will say "Prestige Super LJ" on the back. The pulley bolts will be aluminum. It's worth more than you paid for the bike. The front derailer was not a Super LJ because they needed one with a stop. It's a SJA102. I have the set on my Gitane, but I've re-rebadged them back to Simplex.
Great info Gran Bois. I'll check the RD for the 'Prestige Super' reference when I get back to the bike (only on Monday I'm afraid - am off to Maine for the weekend).
Originally Posted by Grand Bois
If you do get a chance to see the pictures I'd be very interested in whether you happen to know the year it was built. Am also curious whether you or anyone else knows why the bike wasn't equipped with a triple crank. This is a tourer no?
Ride heavy metal.
To my knowledge Grand Jubile's never came with triples. I've got a 1976 GJ and it has a Stronglight double. Still a great bike, but I don't think a triple was ever an option on them.
EDIT: Your Moto is most likely an early 80's. - Catalogue image exists for '79 and it looks very similar to yours, but colors were only black or gold in '79.
'79 model specifications and photos here: http://equusbicycle.com/bike/motobecane/1979/index.html
Last edited by Maddox; 07-30-10 at 12:52 PM.
Thanks Maddox. Glad to know I haven't missed out on a triple. A vintage tourer with a triple continues to elude me.
The specs on that 79 sure do look close. The saddle, rims, stem, tubing, hubs and seat post all line up with the specs. I also assume then that these are Bocama lugs.
It seems I need catalogues from 1980 and 1981 to see when the Simplex deraillerus were substituted for the Cyclone, unless someone knows for sure. There is also the chance that if the Mafac Competitions were an upgrade that the derraileurs could have been too. I'm interested to find out whether these are the Simplex Super LJ that Grand Bois mentions.
I'm on my own PC now and I can see your pictures. That's not a Super LJ. It looks like a long cage SX610. It's a good derailer. I have a few of the short cage version. I think the long cage is fairly rare.
This is the Super LJ:
They're very similar in design, but mine is a bit lighter.