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  1. #1
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    Calling all Motobecane fans

    I have uploaded pics of my bike on here in a previous thread in an effort to identify it and shed light on it's age. Through my research (on here and elsewhere) I have come to believe the following.

    1. Motobecane were running orders of bikes off that cleary do not correspond to any of the bikes in the US catalogue models.
    2. No Motobecane should have reynolds 531 but not Nervex or Prugnat lugs according to the catalogues (US) but the French catalogue introduces a "C" and "T" line that has 531 3 tube and also has 531 forks and bocama lugs and Shimano 600 brakes. The top of the line T in the late 70's also had a Stronglight spidel.
    3. There is no consistent serial number to identify the model, age or place of construction.
    4. In the late 70' Motobecane were the first French manufacturer to use Shimano Parts making the first run of these bikes possibly the most collectable?
    5. The grand jubilie, grand record etc never appeared in the french catalogues and only manifest as American models. The French catalogues only state the series and then break the models down into numbers.

    If anyone has any more information about these bikes please share it here. And can we try to get as many serial numbers in one place as possible?

    I am avidly into this brand now after researching so much. But want to take this a step further.

    Cheers for the great posts, class forum.

    Anthoswart

  2. #2
    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    1978 Team Champion, US purchase, 1 owner. Fully matches catalog specs except no braze on cable guides. Oh well.
    Good luck with your research. Moto serial nos. are indeed vexing.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Teon's Avatar
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    This is a fairly good link for info about motobecanes......if you haven't already been there.....
    http://bulgier.net/pics/bike/Catalogs/Motobecane/

  4. #4
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    Cheers for the responses. I wonder if anyone has links for any of the French catalogues?

    That would be good to see. Thanks again.

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    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthoswart View Post
    Cheers for the responses. I wonder if anyone has links for any of the French catalogues?

    That would be good to see. Thanks again.
    iirc there's at least one on Velobase; no time right now to check.

  6. #6
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    Yes I see the 1978 and 79 but no others. The problem is my bike is a French made Motobecane and does not adhere to the standard of the american models.

    Cheers

  7. #7
    Senior Member Chicago Al's Avatar
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    Hi, Anthoswart:

    Following up from the other thread.

    I started a thread about my Grand Record with some of the same questions and thoughts as you:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ord?highlight=

    We didn't get very far with the serial numbers though, and I think it's likely that there is no system to them at all.

    You're right about the difference between the French and US/N-Am market bikes (and catalogs). It appears that the US importer, Ben Lawee, took a very strong hand in specifying what bikes he wanted for this market, going so far as to specify not just the components but the model names and color schemes, and the result was bikes that don't exactly correspond to anything offered in France. But we love 'em anyway.

    I have seen more Motos with Suntour parts than Shimano, in fact I'm not sure I've seen any with the latter. There's a nice looking Grand Jubile' on Chicago CL right now for example, with Nervar crankset but Suntour Cyclone shifters/derailleurs (fortunately not my size).

    I missed the thread with your specific bike...can you repost something about it?
    I never think I have hit hard, unless it rebounds.

    - Dr Samuel Johnson

  8. #8
    Senior Member 1 Lugnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthoswart View Post

    2. No Motobecane should have reynolds 531 but not Nervex or Prugnat lugs according to the catalogues (US) but the French catalogue introduces a "C" and "T" line that has 531 3 tube and also has 531 forks and bocama lugs and Shimano 600 brakes. The top of the line T in the late 70's also had a Stronglight spidel.

    If anyone has any more information about these bikes please share it here. And can we try to get as many serial numbers in one place as possible?
    Huh..? My Grand Record sure rides & feels like 531. I've only had it for 35 years? I've spent decades trying to figure out exactly when it was made. Nearest I can come up w/ is that's a '74 model. I still have an orig catalogue for 1978

    Serial # stamped on the bottom of the BB reads: 898415 w/ an upside down 3 in front of all those numbers...? I purchased mine as a frame only & built it up on my own. It's not spec, but It's what I wanted...back then!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chicago Al's Avatar
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    ^ I think Antho's observation was that all the Motos with 531 tubes *as shown in the US catalogs* also have Nervex or Prugnat lugs. Obviously many of the US models were 531, at least up until 1979 or 80 when they went to Vitus tubing on some.

    By the way, serial # on my GR, probably 1974: 2993974. Not even close to 1 Lugnut's. I am doubting that there's any rhyme or reason to the SN sequence.
    I never think I have hit hard, unless it rebounds.

    - Dr Samuel Johnson

  10. #10
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    Where were the American models built? Who built them? Yes, you are correct Chicago AL, my point was that; you should not see a 531 motobecane with anything other than Nervex or Prugnat lugs. I think Bocama pro were used on the later 79-80 models. I don't have any reason to believe that the French models, i.e the T3 and the C5 ever used the higher end lugs. The C5, however looks absolutely splendid in design and seems to be the highest spec of any motobecane out there. Including the American models? I have no clue, maybe someone can come in there.

    Why are the American models considered so collectable? Were the US ones much better builds? The French ones seem to concentrate on functionality, at least what I can draw from the limited number of catalogues available.
    We will see.

    Can anyone chuck an opinion in here and explain there understanding of the French range for instance?

    What is the most collectable Motobecane?

    Does anyone speak French and could maybe read the catalogue to see if it applies to a special "Sport range" and sheds light on the context of it all?

    Thanks again, very good.

    Anthoswart

  11. #11
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    I can re-post my pics and add a few Others

    Here it is. 1977 either C2 or T3. Strangely it says record on the saddle. 1 Owner and said he had not changed a thing on it.


    php1ytSg8AM.jpgphpSzwfWEPM.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
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    The pictures outside are after cleaning. I ground up tin foil in beeswax and then blasted all the chrome with my dremel and a large gulp of the ointment. It looked like mercury I blended it in a food mixer, cellar bound so flying under the wife's radar. It worked incredibly well. You can see the chrome on the shifters above before the polish and here after.


    phpeWimlbPM.jpgphpWk9ozCPM.jpg

  13. #13
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    Damn English- German auto correct made my their, there! Das tut mir leid-!

  14. #14
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    All of the Motobecane I have seen in German has been with the French Reynolds decal. This bike has lost it's pattern BTW it would have been like the herculean stripes.

    Thanks again for all the valuable input.

    Anth

  15. #15
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthoswart View Post
    4. In the late 70' Motobecane were the first French manufacturer to use Shimano Parts making the first run of these bikes possibly the most collectable?

    Anthoswart
    I doubt this comment. Collectors tend to want COO parts on french and Italian bikes. Many of those brands shifted to Japanese parts to save $$.

    +1 Here in the US, Motobecane shifted to Suntour components. My 1979 GJ is Cyclone Gen 1. The 1982 Jubile Sport I used to have was Suntour BL (blueline).

    Since you are really into this brand, I would suggest you start a tribute site. Thats where a lot of info on other brands have come from: people that just loved the brand, and scoured the web and elsewhere for pics, catalogs, whatever.
    See some of my bikes on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BillsVintageSteelBikes

    Or visit my finished bikes flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/billssteelbikes/

  16. #16
    Senior Member Chicago Al's Avatar
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    I don't think there is any question that the US models were built by Motobecane in France. But my surmise from comparing the catalogs and reading bits and pieces, notably something (on the bikelist-l I think) about Ben Lawee, was that Lawee knew what would sell in the US and directed Motobecane to make up those models for this market. Like a frame/fork that Moto would call an 'Deluxe Sport Tour' and offer in red blue or green, Lawee would say 'paint it black with red, label it a Grand Record, put a Campy drivetrain on it but Stronglight or TA cranks and bottom brackets are okay, we'll go with Weinman brakes to save some money...and I'll take xxx in 54cm, xxx in 56,' and so on...
    I never think I have hit hard, unless it rebounds.

    - Dr Samuel Johnson

  17. #17
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    I think my point was more to do with the fact that the French moved to 600 2 or 3 years earlier than the Americans did. I know the American grand record moved to 600 for instance in the early 80's. D you not think quality was an issue too though? Especially after being stuck with the centre pull weinmann for so long? I do not know if the French models moved to 600 in 1977 though, I only know my bike has them and it is 1977, the Americans started using it much later. I think/ hope someone will correct my absolute ignorance

  18. #18
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    Chicago Al, very insightful! I think I read something about this too, a while ago. So shall we say the 600 from 1977 is abetter brake than the center pull Weianmenn of the same era?

  19. #19
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    Did I mention my bike is an absolute dream to ride?

  20. #20
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    is there a date stamp at the top of the seat tube? I read about it some where on the web and my Mirage has a stamp of 75 at the top of the tube and the date codes match on the components SR crank and suntour deraillers. the sn is: 2750982

    DSCN3550.jpg
    Last edited by pcdmiele; 08-16-12 at 07:12 PM. Reason: ad info

  21. #21
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    The US seem to have these date stamps but nothing is visible on any of the lugs on my bike. The only thing visible is a code under the bottom bracket saying, "DA4", then underneath an upside down 5 with a circle around it.
    No closer to the truth, ArghhehehehhHEWhEhHEE!

  22. #22
    Senior Member 1 Lugnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthoswart View Post
    then underneath an upside down 5 with a circle around it.
    No closer to the truth, ArghhehehehhHEWhEhHEE!
    Just maybe, you have a '75 model w/ regards to the Circled 5...dunno? And likewise w/ mine & the upside down 3...a '73 Moto. Hell you say! You might be spinning your wheels. It seems the answers are as deep as the ocean. The way I see it, it's basically a cryptogram.

    In all, what you say about it being a great riding bike...Yes

  23. #23
    Senior Member Chicago Al's Avatar
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    I barely rode my GR with the original braking setup. I've changed the levers to Tektro aero style but kept the Weinmann calipers, with some old but little used Matthauser pads I roughed up. The combination works VERY well.
    I never think I have hit hard, unless it rebounds.

    - Dr Samuel Johnson

  24. #24
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    The 1980 catalogue shwoing Grand Record with EX 600 throughout.


  25. #25
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    The French 1980 catalog features Huret components.
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

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