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  1. #1
    Senior Member Daveyates's Avatar
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    What do you think to this Randonneur?

    I'm thinking of buying this Motoconfort Randonneur and was wondering of other's opinions on Motoconfort. It looks nice and seems in excellent condition.
    Is Motoconfort a good make to go for? I know it is part of Motobecane but were the bikes below the standard of Motobecane or about the same depending on the model?
    Thanks


  2. #2
    Senior Member AZORCH's Avatar
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    Are planning to use it to ride in brevets? If so, then some questions you need to consider - and I can't tell from the photo - is that a double or triple set of rings? Randonneuring events require lighting, so you'll want to consider whether or not you really want to keep the generator on the rear - they're pretty heavy and the drag on the wheel is (generally) pretty harsh - or go with a more modern (brighter and safer and lighter) lighting system. Does it have multiple eyelets on the rear? And is the front fork drilled for racks? You've got a cottered crank - which I rather like, incidentally - but you need a cotter pin press to properly service it (don't let anyone convince you that a hammer or C-clamp will work; you will be frustrated to no end!) But if you plan to ride 200, 400, 600, or 1200k events, you'll want to consider how easy the cottered crank can be serviced on the road, not to mention the various other French-threaded or French-diameter parts. All this said, if you just want a cool looking ride, and you don't plan to actually do any randonneuring, then this will likely make a decent "neighborhood" bike. I could be wrong, but this looks a little more like the "semi-course" or "demi-course" models offered by Peugeot in France: not really intended for the long randonneuring rides; rather, for light touring. It's sure a cool looking ride, though.

    Here are examples of Peugeot's semi-course models:


    And here are the randonneuring models:


    Here, you can compare the differences between full randonneuring models against the semi-course models:
    Last edited by AZORCH; 02-20-11 at 09:46 AM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    I like the Montconfort, I've just come back from two weeks in France and seen a bunch of them around, but I haven't been sensitive to model differences. You have the same issues that are present in any entry-grade French bike such as a UO-8 or AO-8 - getting all the bearings and other critical parts overhauled and renewed with clean races, new balls, and all else that may be needed. It only takes one failed cone to derail the project for a season or more, because French cones (and possibly BB cups) essentially have to be obtained by cannibalization. And if the cones are blemished, added use will destroy them eventually, and you don't want teh wheel lockup to occur on a 300k, far from home. Then there are tool issues, such as a cotter pin press. I'd strongly advise either a full BB overhaul before a rando season, or replacing the crankset with a more modern one and either a V-O French BB or a threadless replacement BB. Road servicing is really not a practical option on a brevet. Perhaps on a tour, where it's just a PITA, rather than a loss of training or qualification, but still ...

    Bad hubs can be dealt with by building new wheels on new hubs that fit the frame or modding the frame and possibly transmission (gearing) to accommodate new hubs - but notice now we're into not simply an overhaul, but a total refurbishment of the build kit. And what about if the French-sized seatpost or stem look questionable, after cleaning and some surface smoothing.

    If the frame had the inherent quality of say a PX-10, I'd be singing a different tune. And perhaps on a closer look, it does.

    I think it's best just to get nw clean grease and balls into these bikes if the cones are at least near-good, and enjoy them for what they are. If you're going rando-ing, you need something reliable and maintainable, not to mention light and lively.

    On the other had, if you measure the old thing's geometry, it'll probably be perfect for front bag use. Sad, isn't it?

  4. #4
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    Hi
    Motoconfort was exactly the same as Motobécane.
    The bike you're interested in is a low end model made of steel all around.
    There's no doubt it's a durable bike, built like a tank. The problem is its weight and if you're looking for a bit of performance you're likely to find that it also rides like a tank.

    Cheers
    Karl (yes in France)

  5. #5
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    My opinion is that once you have a couple of Randoneering events under your belt, you are going to have a real good idea of what you want/need and you are likely going to spend just as much upgrading that bike as you would finding/starting with something else. I think the thing that makes that bike look good for Randoneering are the canti brakes, racks and fenders. The truth is that the only thing that will be difficult to put on most pre 1985 steel frames (and some modern ones) are the canti-brakes. Frankly, I do not know what these are considered by some to be a must for randoneering other than the famous builders of the 50'-s through the 70's often used these. The fact is that they probably used them becasue other brakes of the time were not that great. With the exception of one bike which for resoration reasons has side pulls, I run center-pulls on my randoneering bikes (Dia Compe and MAFAC) and they do just fine.

    As AZORCH and Road Fan pointed out, the bike looks very nice and would make a great city/communiting bike, but you may not be real happy with the weight long term for randoneeing, especially hilly or shorter events. I think you are going to really want a triple front chainring which you will be hard pressed to find in cottered cranks. The good news is that VO and Jan Heine have french threaded BB cartridges so you can put on whatever you want.

    What I did was started with a '68-69 Peugeot PX-8 bike on my first couple of events (plastic derailuers and all) and eventually found a frame around which to build a purpose specific randoneering bike (1975 Romic X-100). I found that what worked for me on 200 and 400K events, does not work so well for the one 800K even I did. Thus I am likely going to have two bikes, one for shorter events and one for longer ones. I have since restored an early Dave Moulton touring bike which is near perfect for the purpose except it does not have a triple chainring (period correct Campy triples are very expensive), and am now I now am building by 3rd and 4th bikes which are more specific (1980 Mercian and a 1978 Trek 514). The former two are good, but I am reluctant to modify them too much because of their rarity and they are original examples. The bikes I am building now came to me as frames, and were sold as frames, so I can put whatever I want on them and not feel any guilt.

    There are also alot of folks who run newer bikes, but you posted it on this forum and not the long distance cycling forum, so...

    If it were me, andthe Motocomfort is a good price, get it ride it, and decide what you really want, and build it up.
    "Where you come from is gone;
    where you are headed weren't never there;
    and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Daveyates's Avatar
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    Well thanks for all of the info and advice guys.
    I bought the Motoconfort tonight and it rides great!
    It has 650 wheels and nice wide tyres which are great on the Paris streets! really comfy ride.
    I bought it as my daily transport and for weekend rides of maybe 40 - 60k.
    It is quite heavy and made from 1020 steel but to be honest i don't think the weight makes any difference to me at all.
    It seem to be quite quick and responsive so far and i'm really happy with it.
    I rode over some cobble stones and it is a world of difference away from my racing bikes!
    So all in all i think it is a good bike and perfect for what i need.

  7. #7
    Senior Member AZORCH's Avatar
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    Once you get it cleaned up (and fix those handlebars!!!), be sure to post some photographs. I know we'll all want to see them. As for ride quality, I'm sure you'll enjoy the bike. Those so-called "low end" French bikes tend to feel great - In spite of those in my collection with greater pedigrees, my Peugeot P8 is still a favorite and it gets quite a bit of "ride time" during the course of the year.

    Enjoy!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]____________________

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Daveyates's Avatar
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    Thanks Azorch and i'll post photos later!
    Handlebars ?!?! surely the first job is moving the bell to the left side of the stem since this is france ;-)

  9. #9
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    i think that bike is really great.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Just pay attention to the bearings - hub cups and cones are essentially not replaceable, these days.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Daveyates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illwafer View Post
    i think that bike is really great.
    Thanks illwafer.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Daveyates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    Just pay attention to the bearings - hub cups and cones are essentially not replaceable, these days.
    I have noticed 4 spokes are missing or damaged on the back wheel and so i might go for a modern alu wheel set instead of replacing the spokes.
    I have seen then for sale in 650 size for about 20 - 30 euros each. I would imagine the braking will be improved and also make the bike a bit lighter.
    I'm going to change the crank for a cotterless one as well and that will also lighten it a bit.

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