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  1. #1
    I Will Destroy You! Morbo's Avatar
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    Just picked up a '78 (?) Motobecane Grand Touring...couple questions

    So, i just got this new to me Motobecane Grand Touring, silver, 63cm in pretty much 100% original condition. Even the reflectors and bar tape is original. Tires are original...but rotted. The frame, paint and decals are near perfect (apparently been sitting for at least 15 years....probably a lot more in a shed). There is some rust on the cassette, chain and little things like front reflector holder, etc. But that's obviously no big deal. Rims and spokes are good with no rust.

    My questions so far are:

    * Cassette is rusty- probably try rust remover and see if it polishes up, otherwise replace. If replace....any tips on getting the right one (I have heard that these old French bikes are tricky)?
    * Rear Free-Hub is sticking- anyone have experience overhauling one of these old hubs? I think it's a Maillard.
    * Can't read the tire size, but the rim is 27x1.25. What Tire to get? Just look for a 27x1.25? Sheldon Brown has a tiring sizing chart....but it was greek to me. I'm mostly a mountain biker, and not especially versed when it comes to road bikes and components.
    * Bottom Bracket- I can find no problems here; but just in case......anyone able to pass along info on dealing with or replacing (if I eve get to that) a bottom bracket? Again, I have heard rumors that these old French parts are not "standard".

    I'm pretty stoked about getting this bike. By the way, I got it for $40!
    motobecane 1.JPG

  2. #2
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Rusty chain? Replace it. And if you replace the chain you'll need to replace the FW 95% of the time or you'll experience skipping under load.
    There is nothing tricky about French FWs - There are the uncommon, older, French market threaded hubs, but the ones you'll likely encounter will conform with the standards popular in markets they were intended for. Also by '78, Moto was using a lot of Japanese components anyway.

    I would recommend a hyperglide 5-speed Sunrace FW. They're inexpensive and function very well.

    I would recommend 27x1-1/8" Panaracer Paselas - They're a nice compromise between smooth rolling and smooth riding characteristics.

    You will need to service the bottom bracket with new ball bearings and grease - but in the unlikely event that the cups need to be replaced (and if the ARE french threaded by '78) there are plenty of spare parts available. It's the intermediate Swiss threading that can cause headaches, but even these can be addressed with new Grand Crue cartridge bbs. Again - if it was not being ridden, it is unlikely that you will need to replace anything (unless you start riding it yourself without first servicing the bearings - including the bb, hubs and headset)
    Last edited by auchencrow; 04-29-12 at 01:19 PM.
    - Auchen

  3. #3
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    BTW Morbo - Welcome to C&V ! You have a great start with that bike - the GT is just an excellent ride. You will love it.



    PS- You'll want to make sure that seat post is not stuck.
    Last edited by auchencrow; 04-29-12 at 01:18 PM.
    - Auchen

  4. #4
    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    Wow, nice deal! I hope you're tall.

    +1 to everything Auchen said, especially the part about servicing all the bearings before you put miles on the bike.

  5. #5
    I Will Destroy You! Morbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
    Rusty chain? Replace it. And if you replace the chain you'll need to replace the FW 95% of the time or you'll experience skipping under load.
    There is nothing tricky about French FWs - There are the uncommon, older, French market threaded hubs, but the ones you'll likely encounter will conform with the standards popular in markets they were intended for. Also by '78, Moto was using a lot of Japanese components anyway.

    I would recommend a hyperglide 5-speed Sunrace FW. They're inexpensive and function very well.

    I would recommend 27x1-1/8" Panaracer Paselas - They're a nice compromise between smooth rolling and smooth riding characteristics.

    You will need to service the bottom bracket with new ball bearings and grease - but in the unlikely event that the cups need to be replaced (and if the ARE french threaded by '78) there are plenty of spare parts available. It's the intermediate Swiss threading that can cause headaches, but even these can be addressed with new Grand Crue cartridge bbs. Again - if it was not being ridden, it is unlikely that you will need to replace anything (unless you start riding it yourself without first servicing the bearings - including the bb, hubs and headset)
    Thanks for the tips. On my mountain bikes, I've built up and torn down rear wheels, but never even taken a road bike apart beyond replacing a chain or something. As long as it's nothing weird (like intermediate swiss you mentioned) in terms of threads or something....I'm sure I'll figure it all out. Can't wait to get this all rehab'd and out on the road. Think I'll end up selling my "modern" road bike.
    Last edited by Morbo; 05-01-12 at 07:36 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jebensch's Avatar
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    Where are you in NY? If you're in the city, I'd head to B's Bikes in Williamsburg/Gp. There's other shops as geeky-knowledgable, but few as friendly and willing to help.

    Great get for 40 bones.
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  7. #7
    Member suncake's Avatar
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    Killer deal, I'm really hoping to get to ride a GT or Grand Jubilee sooner or later. Luckily, it looks like you'll just need some time (and not much money) to get this riding happily. You'll probably be happier replacing the "suicide levers" if only to have some comfy brake hoods. Aesthetically, I'd also lose the spoke reflector and dork disc. Once again, great find--I'd be very, very happy with that bike.

  8. #8
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Nice find, great price...and my size too

    Make sure we get pictures of it cleaned up.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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  9. #9
    Unimatrix Zero whatwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jebensch View Post
    Where are you in NY? If you're in the city, I'd head to B's Bikes in Williamsburg/Gp. There's other shops as geeky-knowledgable, but few as friendly and willing to help.

    Great get for 40 bones.
    +1. Ethan built some wheels for me and is awesome.

  10. #10
    I Will Destroy You! Morbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suncake View Post
    Killer deal, I'm really hoping to get to ride a GT or Grand Jubilee sooner or later. Luckily, it looks like you'll just need some time (and not much money) to get this riding happily. You'll probably be happier replacing the "suicide levers" if only to have some comfy brake hoods. Aesthetically, I'd also lose the spoke reflector and dork disc. Once again, great find--I'd be very, very happy with that bike.
    Yea, all reflectors will go (and be kept of course, just not on the bike)....dork disc goes instantly too, and the deck. I'm keeping the suicide levers. A little clownish....but, I love 'em! Polish all parts with a polishing wheel....new cassette, chain and pedals, prob. put a nice Selle Italia seat, tires/tubes....brake pads and it should be ready to go. The paint is really amazing. Not a scratch or fade. Almost like new. I don't think this thing was ever ridden more than a few miles. The cogs and rings show ZERO wear. Tires are original and show no wear either, but are rotten. Can't wait. Now if I can just find an old Peugeot or Boettecchia
    Last edited by Morbo; 04-29-12 at 05:19 PM.

  11. #11
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Swiss bb with Motobecane from that era. Motobecane really loved Swiss bb. Replacements can be had, very limited choices and relatively high priced (compared to british standard, Shimano UN26 is $10). Only two swiss bb choices right now are IRD (~$50 complete) and Phil Wood (~$125 to ~$150 complete). Of course, if your bb is good, just service it and continue to ride. It could last you another 10 years, by then, there may be more choices out there.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Captain Blight's Avatar
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    I've seen three Grand Touring bicycles, now, that have had their seat tubes fail where they met the bottom bracket. Just cracked right on off. Watch this area if you plan to do any sort of longer riding.
    '71 Raleigh Super Course ("Loose Change")
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  13. #13
    billy chuck eschlwc's Avatar
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    morbo, if i may, how tall are you, and what is the length of the seat tube when measuring from the center of the bb to the center of the top tube?

    and yes, you'll want to replace the chain, freewheel (not a cassette, i too once made that mistake in terminology), tires, grease/bearings in hubs/bb/headset, and possibly cables and housing. it's really fun to do al this on a road bike for the first time. this site and sheldon's are invaluable resources...

  14. #14
    I Will Destroy You! Morbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
    morbo, if i may, how tall are you, and what is the length of the seat tube when measuring from the center of the bb to the center of the top tube?

    and yes, you'll want to replace the chain, freewheel (not a cassette, i too once made that mistake in terminology), tires, grease/bearings in hubs/bb/headset, and possibly cables and housing. it's really fun to do al this on a road bike for the first time. this site and sheldon's are invaluable resources...
    I'm 6'2". It's 62.5cm from center of bb to top of st.(so subtract maybe 3cm or so to get to the center of the tt). My other road bike is a 63. My mountain bikes are mostly around 21". 63cm is a little large, technically....but I'm just fine with it. I can stand over the top tube flat footed. Does the "cassette" not come off like it would on a mtn bike? Or, does the entire freewheel body and cassette come as 1 piece? I didn't know that. Like I say, I've only "mechanic'd" on mtn bikes....and the cassette is a part all by itself in that world. In fact, you can replace individual cogs, one at a time. I've built all my mtn bikes from frames up....but never a road. This should be fun.Wh
    Last edited by Morbo; 04-29-12 at 08:57 PM.

  15. #15
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    Nice purchase.

  16. #16
    billy chuck eschlwc's Avatar
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    3cm?! that's one fat tube! so the rear hub on your moto is threaded for a freewheel and cluster all in one, and it's referred to merely as just a freewheel. sounds like your mtn bike has a freehub that contains the coasting mechanism already, and it attaches to a casette of sprockets. sheldon explains this ... with pictures!

    enjoy your new moto!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Roypercy's Avatar
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    WHat a deal! That's a great bike, enjoy!

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