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  1. #1
    Senior Member shnibop's Avatar
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    Motobecane Champion Team

    well, i couldn't resist any longer... i snagged the Motobecane Champion Team that retyred picked up recently (When-is-a-Super-Champion-not-a-Super-Champion?)


    my love of orange bikes has grown powerful in the last few years, i can hardly resist them, mainly due to people like DrilliumDude and his 1973 Colnago Super, and 2002 Davidson; rootboy is also to blame, one look at his gorgeous 1972-73 Motobecane Champion Team... thanks guys


    anyway, seeing as my 1974 Colnago Super build is 99% done (only a few small details left to iron out and a full update/ride report will be posted), i figured it can't hurt to pick up another project and grail bike. i feel the "grail bike" term has been thrown around a lot lately so i'll list my reasons.

    1. got to have a high end Reynolds 531 bike in the collection
    2. born and raised in France, i felt the need to own something from my homeland haha
    3. it's orange
    4. beautifully massaged lugs, paint and lug lining
    5. Campagnolo Record equipped
    6. this particular bike is very original and has passed hands very quickly from the original owner, in-between owners didn't touch/restore the bike at all. all updates/modifications were done by the original owner.


    anyway, here are pics as received...










    Last edited by shnibop; 04-06-12 at 11:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member shnibop's Avatar
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    not quite sure how i would date it though. my guess would be 1974. Components are all dated 1973, frame details (fork crown, black seat stay caps, braze-on RD stop) would also indicate 1974. one unusual detail not shown in the catalog scans or on any other 1974 Champion Team that i've found pics of is the fork is painted all the way down to the fork tips, as opposed to chrome "socks", perhaps a transitional change going into the 1975 design? perhaps a European market bike? Reynolds decal is in French, although i'm fairly certain some US market bikes came this way.

    also, this is the only one i've seen with an actual head badge, a huge plus for me.

    1974 catalog scan (not listed on the spec page):


    1975 catalog scan:




    unlike the Colnago, this will be cleaned, de-rustified, waxed and overhauled and that's about it.

    i will be trashing the old computer wiring, rewrapping the bars with black cotton tape, replacing the brake hoods with gum Campagnolo world logo hoods, pedals will be replaced with Campagnolo Nuovo Record chrome cage pedals, Christophe clips and black Alfredo Binda toe straps.

    although the rims are in perfectly fine shape, i hate the way they look. i'm hoping to come up with some polished Super Champions (original equipment) to lace to the original hubs. if i can't find SCs, i've got a trade in the works for some Fiamme red labels.


    Frame: 1974? Motobecane Champion Team, Reynolds DB 531, Campagnolo dropouts
    Fork: Reynolds DB 531 blades, Campagnolo fork tips, full chrome under paint
    Lugs: Prugnat Professional
    Fork Crown: ?help?
    Dimensions:
    ST: 58cm c-t, 57cm c-c
    TT: 57cm c-c
    Wheelbase: 102cm
    Finish: Competition Orange

    Rims: 700c Campagnolo Victory Strada tubulars
    Hubs: Campagnolo Record high-flange, 36h F/R, 100mm/122mm F/R (1973 cones)
    Skewers: Campagnolo Record, pre-CPSC, flat QR lever
    Tires: Swallow Montello
    Cranks: Campagnolo Record, 170mm, <3> 1973?
    Chain rings: Campagnolo Nuovo Record, 52T/44T
    Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace PD-7401
    Bottom Bracket: Campagnolo Record
    Freewheel: Regina CX-S, 6 speed
    Chain: Sachs
    Front Derailleur: Campagnolo Nuovo Record, pre-CPSC, flat cage
    Rear Derailleur: Campagnolo Nuovo Record, patent 1973
    Brake Levers: Campagnolo Nuovo Record, Dia-Compe hoods
    Brake Calipers: Campagnolo Record, pre-CPSC (flat QR)
    Saddle: 3ttt, unknown model
    Seat Post: Campagnolo Record, 2-bolt
    Seat Binder Bolt: Campagnolo
    Stem: Cinelli 1A
    Headset: Campagnolo Record
    Handlebars: Cinelli Giro D'Italia 64-40

    Extras: TA bottle cage, AFA pump and umbrella, Campagnolo brake cable clips

    Serial Number: 16781, also stamped '58' and '5'



    if i have my facts straight, the original owner drilled the brake levers himself, and also the chain ring. the chain ring appears to have be done on a machine as the spacing is absolutely dead on and looks beautiful! the levers aren't up to DrilliumDude quality but are much better than any of my feeble attempts. in my mind, these details add so much character to the overall bike. i love that the original owner took so much pride in his ride, i feel the need to bring his machine back to it's original glory.


    the paint is in excellent shape throughout, hardly a scratch or chip anywhere, original paint to boot! the only real flaw, aside from the rust which should clean up well, is the ding behind the DS shifter. my understanding is there is little structural concern with a ding in this area. if the rest of the bike weren't in such gorgeous condition, i might have passed, but how often do you see a Champion Team in your size?


    stay tuned...
    Last edited by shnibop; 04-06-12 at 11:21 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Drillium Dude's Avatar
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    You dog

    Congratulations on your newest - and beautiful - toy! And welcome to the pumpkin-colored-bike-collector club

    Moar pics; k thx!

    DD
    Last edited by Drillium Dude; 04-07-12 at 12:44 AM.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    Awesome bike. Glad it stayed in the family, so to speak.
    -Randy

    '72 Cilo Pacer '73 Speedwell Ti '74 Nishiki Competition '74 Peugeot UE-8 '86 Look Bernard Hinault 753 '86 Look KG86 '89 Parkpre Team Road '90ish Parkpre Team MTB

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    Alex, nobody is as pleased as I am that the TC went to a new owner that will appreciate it as much as you will. Your excellent presentation in this thread tells me what I already knew: You are the perfect person to preserve that Team Champion and enjoy it for many years. Your Motobecane is going to turn a lot of heads out on the road. Talk about putting the 'orange' in Orange County!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    orange and drillium
    tough to beat

  7. #7
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    wow. that's a really sweet find. i like how mb shaved another whole pound from the le champion via stem, bars, cluster, and ???
    so, what size are the rims? i'm curious of the reasons mb used high flange hubs for the le champion but not the team model (although you have the hf ones). also wonder the spoke count mb outfitted their racing team back then versus these production models. you show 36h, both front and rear. that seems a bit much, i don't know.

    and except for nbrs 3 (orange) and 6 (originality) you listed, my 58cm grand record meets all your 'glail' [python pronounciation] requirements... so, if you want to trade ... i'll even throw in a bottle of veuve clicquot!

  8. #8
    Senior Member leaping_gnome's Avatar
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    Just a beautiful bike, shnibop, just beautiful. The drillium and patina are excellent. I would be tempted to find a matching drillium inner chainring and competition orange Silca pump but that's the only things I would add to your list.

    Enjoy!

    Jim
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    I've updated my bike pics!

  9. #9
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    Great Alex. I too am glad you ended up with the bike. I'll gladly take some of the blame for corrupting you. Interesting details. Perhaps a transition bike indeed, but who knows. Info on these is, as you know, pretty scarce. Details like the lack of chrome forks and the larger block lettering on the down tube tend to make me lean to 75, but then there is the black-painted seat stay caps, which aren't shown in the 75 scan. And the wrap on those stays! Beautiful. The head badge is very interesting. When the last owner posted pics I had assume the badge was on the Super Champion and the TC had the small, foil badge like on my bike. The LF hubs could be a dating clue too, but of course the original owner obviously rebuilt the wheels at some point, probably using the original hubs. My only concern is that bottle cage. How is it mounted? Bike looks to be in real nice shape Alex. Congratulations ! I know you're going to love it.
    Last edited by rootboy; 04-07-12 at 05:37 AM.

  10. #10
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    Another fun project.

    The hits just keep coming around here.

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. #11
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    IMO you did great...that was a terrific bike to chose, and I'm with you on orange.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bibliobob's Avatar
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    Stunner. I love Motos, and that's as nice as Motos come....
    I grow old, I grow old. I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

  13. #13
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Wow. - Another lucky owner of a Moto Champion Team!
    These bikes are so few and far between, and what a gem! - A veritable Hope Diamond of the C&V world!
    - Auchen

  14. #14
    Senior Member jebensch's Avatar
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    Grail bike for sure. I love it.
    Steel-loving cheapskate

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  15. #15
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    Really sweet. I'm currently working on its little brother, a Le Champion.

    But you can't beat orange!

  16. #16
    Senior Member shnibop's Avatar
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    update:


    well, the bike has been stripped, cleaned and waxed. it's amazing what you discover during this process that you might have previously overlooked, some good, some bad...




    headset and bottom bracket were cleaned and reinstalled. unfortunately, the lower cup and crown race have a bit of dimpling to the races which can be felt but not bad enough to warrant replacing (at this time at least).




    steer tube and BB shell have the same numbers, 58 (size) and 5 (serial number?), indicating a matching frame and fork, not that there was any doubt.









    the paint cleaned up nicely! overall it is in excellent shape with only a hand full of tiny nicks in the paint that had been touched up. obviously the ding behind the DS shifter is a real bummer but it's not terribly deep. i'm going to touch up said ding and see if i can match the original paint a little better than the original owner did. some of the clamp on components left some weird brown residue behind, didn't come off very easily, for now, it'll be left there for fear of damaging the paint. those areas will be covered up anyway.

    happy to report that all the Motobecane decals are in good nick... Reynolds decals have seen better days but i have no plans of replacing them, adds to the character and patina in my opinion.

    there are patches of paint with the "crackling" effect that French bikes are known for throughout the frame... i love it! i tried to capture this in the second to last pic.

    the chrome on the fork crown didn't clean up as well as i had hoped but it looks great nonetheless.


    now for the real zinger, when i discovered this (after rootboy suggested i take a look), my heart sank, my stomach hurt and i wept... well i didn't weep but the other things happened.



    the original owner decided at some point that he had to have a bottle cage on his ride. not satisfied with the TA clamps available for the cage he selected, he opted to keep going with the drillium and went to work on the frame. this kind of puts a black cloud over the whole project for me. i don't know why, but i can live with the ding (which took me a few days to get over prior to purchase), for some reason though, the make shift bottle cage bosses are killing me inside. i can't say for certain that it would have been a deal breaker for me but it would have had a effect on the deal. obviously neither i, nor John spotted this earlier. i'm 101% to blame for overlooking this detail.


    anyone have any insight on whether or not this is of structural/safety concern? i'm not interested in having bosses brazed on as the paint would be ruined. if it's safe as is, i'll live with it to save the original paint!

    i did some searching to answer the above question and discovered Rivnuts... would the use of Rivnuts prevent any possible failure or further damage from riding?

    i'm not concerned about the holes stripping out as i'll be reinstalling the cage, gently tightening things down and leaving it there for a long time. i guess the weight of a bottle full of liquid could potentially weaken the threads over time though huh? maybe i'll look for the clamps the original owner should have used to begin with and go that route, just touch up the holes to prevent rust and go from there.


    anyway, i'm moving forward with the build. all the steel bits on the components have been removed for a bath in oxalic acid, then a thorough cleaning of the aluminum bits.

    Campagnolo world logo hoods will be in the mail on Thursday, and black Alfredo Binda straps should be here soon.


    should have another update in the coming days.
    Last edited by shnibop; 04-10-12 at 07:52 PM.

  17. #17
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    rivnuts sound like a much better idea than simply using screws in the frame. that's too bad. but after it's done, it'll be 'out of sight, out of mind.'

  18. #18
    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    is the fork bent or is it just a weird angle?

  19. #19
    Senior Member flash2070's Avatar
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    SHN, when Retyred posted the bikes, I was one of the ones that inquired about buying it. Congratulations on you buying it. That is one special bike that I would be very proud to own "as is". So maybe the bike is not "perfect", but does that take from the bike's history and character, definitely not. I know a lot of us would definitely loved to have that bike "as is". Build it and ride it as it was meant to be. It is definitely one of my grail bikes. Enjoy! :-)

    Flash

  20. #20
    Senior Member shnibop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
    rivnuts sound like a much better idea than simply using screws in the frame. that's too bad. but after it's done, it'll be 'out of sight, out of mind.'
    i agree. it does sound better, i'm just not familiar with Rivnuts. i should also mention that it looks like the holes were drilled and tapped, probably not with a tap but with a bolt. they are not sheet metal screws or anything like that. they look like regular old bottle cage bolts.


    Quote Originally Posted by IthaDan View Post
    is the fork bent or is it just a weird angle?
    weird angle i guess, the fork is 100% straight and true.


    Quote Originally Posted by flash2070 View Post
    SHN, when Retyred posted the bikes, I was one of the ones that inquired about buying it. Congratulations on you buying it. That is one special bike that I would be very proud to own "as is". So maybe the bike is not "perfect", but does that take from the bike's history and character, definitely not. I know a lot of us would definitely loved to have that bike "as is". Build it and ride it as it was meant to be. It is definitely one of my grail bikes. Enjoy! :-)

    Flash
    sorry to have snagged it away from you. i've known John for a little while now and we've talked about me buying something from his massive collection for some time now, when this bike came up, i knew it was the one to make that deal happen.

    i'm not sure i understand what you mean by "as is". i guess you could own it "as is", but not ride it in the condition it was in. i mean you could ride it up and down the street at 5-10mph and be fine but that's it.

    i plan on keeping it "as is" as much as possible while bringing it up to fully tuned condition, clean it up lightly and ride the crap out of it. i want it to be in the condition that the original owner would have had it in when he was still riding it regularly.

    i will not be making any major changes. all the existing components will be used with the exception of the pedals. i will be replacing small things like the Dia-Compe hoods for period correct Campagnolo hoods. the dry rotted brake pads will be swapped for Kool Stop pads. new cables, housing, bar tape and tires.

    i'm even keeping the original saddle, in all it's torn up glory, i like the character and history it adds to the bike. it works, why change it. same with the brake levers, they have a good amount of rash, but i like it. i could strip the anodizing and clean them up and poilish them, but i won't do that. in my original post, i tried to make a point to the fact that my intentions with this bike are the opposite of what went on with the Colnago build. the Colnago was trash when i received it, rotten seat stays and no paint, i brought it back to life. the Moto is still full of life and needs 1/20th the amount of work that went into the Colnago.


    in regards to the bottle cage holes, i'm fine with them being there at this point, i just want to make sure i prevent any potential future damage to the frame.

    i'll try and make you proud flash2070
    Last edited by shnibop; 04-10-12 at 08:48 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Drillium Dude's Avatar
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    Looks even better stripped down and close-to

    I, too, like that micro-cracking paint patina - so much so I wish one of my bikes had it. There's just something about that look that says "I may be old, but I'm aging quite gracefully, thank you!".

    As for the downtube drillings: I wouldn't worry too much about them. The middle of the tube isn't taking a huge load anyway, but if you are interested in a fix, how about a couple of threaded tube collars JB-Welded into place, then painted with matching touch-up paint? A little crude, but it will take care of the issue and won't even be seen after you attached the bottle cage.

    Lookin' good, buddy!

    DD
    Last edited by Drillium Dude; 04-10-12 at 09:27 PM.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Probably most people would install the riv nuts, and thus accede to the fact that it's been drewed. I wouldn't though.

    Instead, I'd seal the holes with RTV or zincrich or something, preserving the paint and making darn sure it does not rust, and then I would install the TA bottle clamps right on top of it - as if it was done that way in the first place. - And I would not worry about the frame's structural integrity: You would have a bike that will look (and be) 99% whole again.
    - Auchen

  23. #23
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Oh man, that's just sick.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  24. #24
    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    Here's a riv nut installation video for your consideration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8ssW67QZRI

    Assuming the holes in your frame are the right size, the riv nuts seems like a pretty good option now that you already have holes in your frame. It will also have the added benefit of keeping water out of the holes.
    -Randy

    '72 Cilo Pacer '73 Speedwell Ti '74 Nishiki Competition '74 Peugeot UE-8 '86 Look Bernard Hinault 753 '86 Look KG86 '89 Parkpre Team Road '90ish Parkpre Team MTB

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  25. #25
    Senior Member flash2070's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shnibop View Post
    i agree. it does sound better, i'm just not familiar with Rivnuts. i should also mention that it looks like the holes were drilled and tapped, probably not with a tap but with a bolt. they are not sheet metal screws or anything like that. they look like regular old bottle cage bolts.




    weird angle i guess, the fork is 100% straight and true.




    sorry to have snagged it away from you. i've known John for a little while now and we've talked about me buying something from his massive collection for some time now, when this bike came up, i knew it was the one to make that deal happen.

    i'm not sure i understand what you mean by "as is". i guess you could own it "as is", but not ride it in the condition it was in. i mean you could ride it up and down the street at 5-10mph and be fine but that's it.

    i plan on keeping it "as is" as much as possible while bringing it up to fully tuned condition, clean it up lightly and ride the crap out of it. i want it to be in the condition that the original owner would have had it in when he was still riding it regularly.

    i will not be making any major changes. all the existing components will be used with the exception of the pedals. i will be replacing small things like the Dia-Compe hoods for period correct Campagnolo hoods. the dry rotted brake pads will be swapped for Kool Stop pads. new cables, housing, bar tape and tires.

    i'm even keeping the original saddle, in all it's torn up glory, i like the character and history it adds to the bike. it works, why change it. same with the brake levers, they have a good amount of rash, but i like it. i could strip the anodizing and clean them up and poilish them, but i won't do that. in my original post, i tried to make a point to the fact that my intentions with this bike are the opposite of what went on with the Colnago build. the Colnago was trash when i received it, rotten seat stays and no paint, i brought it back to life. the Moto is still full of life and needs 1/20th the amount of work that went into the Colnago.


    in regards to the bottle cage holes, i'm fine with them being there at this point, i just want to make sure i prevent any potential future damage to the frame.

    i'll try and make you proud flash2070
    SHN, what I meant by "as is" was regarding the drilled holes and the small damage you mentioned by the shifter. I will have one by end of year or sooner, as I'm working on negotiations with the original owner of a 73. Congratulations again on your beautiful bike!

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