Hello everyone, long time lurker first time poster here. I just picked up a Motobecane Grand Touring. I've done a ton of research (mostly through this site) and it looks to be from around 1980, but still am not sure about a couple things. I haven't been able to find one with exactly the same decals through google images. The person I bought it from was selling it for a friend, so they couldn't help with too many of my questions. They said the frame wasn't original, the owner bought the bike new and at some point had a problem with the frame, so Motobecane sent him a replacement. Anyway it's vitus 888 tubing, and is super lightweight. The fork is completely chromed and doesn't match, and I haven't seen pics of one similar. Most of the parts seem non-original (so if the frame and parts are non-original what is, right?); it has Shimano Dura-Ace brakes, and a Shimano 400EX rear derailleur. The Huret shifters and front derailleur are probably correct, but when I got it home and began to adjust the derailleur I realized the clamp that attaches it to the seat tube had broken, it looks like it's made of that cheap white metal stuff. Also I don't know what the wheels are, the front wheel is alloy but the rear is steel.
So I removed the front derailleur and have been riding it as is, trying to decide what to do with it. I want to use this bike as a commuter and for rides around town, maybe longer rides here and there. I'll probably just remove that other chainring and ride it as a 5 speed, I actually kind of like the idea. The main thing for me is I rarely ride in the drops, mostly in the flats (sometimes in the hoods). So I want to get at least one brake lever I can use while riding in the flats, will it be hard to find something that works with the French handlebars? I could even leave the old one one there unused or get a pass through lever (I think they're called interupters).
But I'm also considering redoing the whole thing. I'd also like to raise the handlebars up a bit, I've been sitting on it and posing to see where it feels comfortable to hold the handlebars and they'd need to come up a solid 2" or 3". So I'm thinking about getting a longer stem and maybe some bullhorn bars with new brake levers. The stem right now is labeled Pivo, and I'm guessing is that odd french sizing. From what I understand I can get a 1" (7/8") size stem and sand it down, correct? Seems easy enough, does this have any effect on the strength or structural integrity of them stem? And what if I got a different fork, would a standard stem fit then?
I'd eventually like to get some fenders as well, so I can use the bike into fall and spring. Do I have to worry about stopping power with the steel rear wheel in the rain?
OK so lotsa questions, I appreciate any help, here's the pics from the ad: