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  1. #1
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Yes we Motobecane - Basketcase winter project!

    Up to this point, my resto's/build have been pretty straightforward, all of them done on well looked after frames with low miles on them. This time it's different. With the money I got from changing my spare Indonesian Rupiah's to real, I bought myself a veritable basket case of a winter's project. Here it is.


    Untitled by ctjr, on Flickr

    It's a 1979 or 1978 Motobecane Grand Record, which means DB Vitus tubes in the main triangle and originally a nice compliment of Shimano 600 Arabesque - your nice entry level racer. The OEM bars and stem (Belleri/GB) are quite nice, but the saddle and the seatpost are nasty and low end. However, time has not been kind to this particular example. The previous owner was a fixie hipster with complex eyeglasses and facial piercings. Violating the sanctity of his body with all kinds of metal rods, needles and tubes was mild compared to the travesties inflicted on this poor, innocent French belle. Just look at the horrible top tube scars, bearing witness to a life of abuse, riser bars and cheap Taiwanese fixed wheelsets. he explained he removed the TT cable guides for a "clean look".


    Untitled by ctjr, on Flickr

    What's more, not a single horror for the classis restorer was spared on me. The seller "lost" the entire Shimano 600 arabesque group, save for the brake levers and the right crank. The headset is not only indexing, but of the horrible type that needs a special wrench. The seatpost is stuck, as is the stem - which is only confounded by the fact that the PO rounded the stem bolt.


    Untitled by ctjr, on Flickr

    Apparently, the guy ran a little chop shop of horrors, Demon Barber of Fleet Street kind of outfit for converting fixies, without really having a clue what he had on hand, but for a small fee I grabbed this Ideale 90 saddle from his parts bin. I left a nice 3TTT record stem there for another time.


    Untitled by ctjr, on Flickr

    So, what to do? I'm probably going to rat rod it, put something or another on the rusty spots to prevent the nastiness to spread, and then hop it up with a choice Campagnolo Daytona 9 speed group, replete with some nice handbuild wheels. The ideale saddle is going on there, with a shiny Cinelli cockpit. And yes. Crappy cellphone pics for a crappy bike.

    Wish me luck, guys!
    Last edited by Italuminium; 01-07-13 at 04:33 PM.
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Rather a 100$ bike with 1000$ wheels than a 1000$ bike with 100$ wheels.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Voila' !

    Well posted. Great write up. I don't know though,
    That '90', certainly a French sow's ear,
    might taint that otherwise silk purse of a frame.
    Better send that to me and I'll post a nice tuck n' roll
    padded saddle to you.

    Good luck. And good hunting. Great post.

  3. #3
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
    Voila' !

    Well posted. Great write up. I don't know though,
    That '90', certainly a French sow's ear,
    might taint that otherwise silk purse of a frame.
    Better send that to me and I'll post a nice tuck n' roll
    padded saddle to you.

    Good luck. And good hunting. Great post.

    Don't listen to him!
    I have a much better deal for you: I'll trade you this REAL comfortable blue saddle for that "sow's ear" Ideale 90, even up!



    (Seriously, you are certainly doing alright to go Motobecaning this winter. -And a Grand Record yet! I'm glad the demon Drew of Fleet street didn't get to that DR hanger!)
    - Auchen

  4. #4
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    And that blue "saddle" would go so nicely with the Dijon mustard yellow frame.
    I think we're on to something here, C and J.

    Moto On

  5. #5
    Senior Member Chicago Al's Avatar
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    An early entry for Post of the Year!
    I never think I have hit hard, unless it rebounds.

    - Dr Samuel Johnson

  6. #6
    billy chuck eschlwc's Avatar
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    i like it. at least he left the d.hanger... so how does this frame compare to, say, a '76 grand record 531 frame? ... also, i have that lovely 600 headset on a univega, but i don't remember using a special wrench. hope you salvage it. maybe go cageless and sand the races or something.
    happer: keep watching the sky, macintyre.

  7. #7
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Thanks, all! Well, turned out this guy was even a hack at drewing, with the DR hanger and cable stop still on it..

    Quote Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
    i like it. at least he left the d.hanger... so how does this frame compare to, say, a '76 grand record 531 frame? ... also, i have that lovely 600 headset on a univega, but i don't remember using a special wrench. hope you salvage it. maybe go cageless and sand the races or something.
    Compared to 531, vitus 172 is chromo like columbus SL, not manganese steel like 531. Butting is about the same, I believe 0.9/0.6/0.9, I have to measure the seatpost to verify. This version is with hi-ten stays, but there are also motobecanes out there in full 172. Vitus tubing is according to the internet sages comparable in quality to reynolds, if not a little better due to higher qc.

    Not sure if I can salvage the headset, I'll try but I will probably install a campagnolo unit anyway. Call
    me snobbish.
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Rather a 100$ bike with 1000$ wheels than a 1000$ bike with 100$ wheels.

  8. #8
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
    Voila' !

    Well posted. Great write up. I don't know though,
    That '90', certainly a French sow's ear,
    might taint that otherwise silk purse of a frame.
    Better send that to me and I'll post a nice tuck n' roll
    padded saddle to you.

    Good luck. And good hunting. Great post.
    Ha, yeah who needs a slab of wonky smelly cow skin for riding
    anyway, get me some sweet and sweaty vinyl anyday! Seriously though, if the saddle doesn't agree with my bum you're the first one to get the note saddles can be quite tricky to get right, and I'd ratjer have a good rider than a good looker with this "beater" build.
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Rather a 100$ bike with 1000$ wheels than a 1000$ bike with 100$ wheels.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Well, thanks Italuminium. But I imagine that what with the stuck seat post and stem, not to mention that funky headset nut, the saddle will be last of your concerns. For a while anyway. That project looks like it has real potential nevertheless.

    "complex eyeglasses and facial piercings" HA HA HA! Sounds like you rescued it just in time.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Pars's Avatar
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    Yeah, was laughing at your description of the perpetrator as well! I didn't realize Drew had moved to Holland. Or perhaps it was his half-assed brother

  11. #11
    Senior Member obrentharris's Avatar
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    Lovely lug work and fork crown. That one will be a head-turner even as a "rat rod."
    Brent

  12. #12
    - Bikes Not Bombs - KvltBryce's Avatar
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    If you don't rat rod it, I think a nice repaint would be in order. Sandblast to get rid of the rust and old paint (if you have access to one, that is) and some nice campy clip on cable guides.
    Not talking about too nice of a paint job, but just getting a couple cans of high quality automotive spray paint, and a few coats of clear over new decals. With the right amount of prep work, one can produce a quality paint job with rattlecans.

    That's what I would do at least. You'll think of something.
    Thus ever the mind is enlightened by misery. If knowledge be power, it is also pain. - Emerson
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  13. #13
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KvltBryce View Post
    If you don't rat rod it, I think a nice repaint would be in order. Sandblast to get rid of the rust and old paint (if you have access to one, that is) and some nice campy clip on cable guides.
    Not talking about too nice of a paint job, but just getting a couple cans of high quality automotive spray paint, and a few coats of clear over new decals. With the right amount of prep work, one can produce a quality paint job with rattlecans.

    That's what I would do at least. You'll think of something.
    So, the paint question!

    No-goes
    Option one, painting it myself with a spray ***, is out of the question. Booth and spraypaint set up is almost impossible to make for me space-wise, and is insanely expensive here in the Netherlands, the raw material and kit could very well buy me a mint frame of much higher quality than this humble Moto.

    Next, nr. 2, the rattlecan with full prep. I tried rattle canning a frame once, and even though it cost me a huge amount of time, I still wound up with a ten yarder that chipped way to easy, so that's out too.

    Option three, highly unlikely, is getting it painted professionaly, which runs about 250-350 euro's - too broke for that and this frame is just not worth it.

    Perhapses

    Option four, powder, is about 70-100 euro a frame, which is ok-ish, especially since I got the frame for a small amount.

    Option five, touching up, will be interesting, but I don't think I'll be able to get a good match, plus the paint is spotty already and aged and weathered to different colours in different places on the frame.

    Option six is by far the most interesting: touch up the rust with random, bright colours. This sounds weird, but hear me out: in the restoring bizz, the problem is always authenticity. The original feel and finish will never be replicated, especially on a budget. What's worse, the restoration effort may even appear fake and tacky! Thus, to make absolutely sure that old and new is not confused, the repairs should be done in a modern and contrasting way. This is fairly common practice in the restoration of old castles and the like, but I've never seen it done on bikes. probably for a reason Maybe I'm overthinking this and I'll just end up with a batty bike.

    Option seven is plain and simple: remove the decals and spray the heck out of it with black primer and add some tacky decals for that rat rod flavour.

    Now vote for your favourite option!
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Rather a 100$ bike with 1000$ wheels than a 1000$ bike with 100$ wheels.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Option 6. I like early Kandinsky


  15. #15
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Grand Records are great riders. You can't go wrong.
    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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  16. #16
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
    Option 6. I like early Kandinsky

    I'll soon be "finishing" a frame with contact paper. And I think sixty-fiver did a papier mache finish on one of his bikes. This is a great opportunity to do something different.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  17. #17
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    With that pale mustard/ buff colored paint, how about leopard or cheetah spots? yeah.

  18. #18
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
    With that pale mustard/ buff colored paint, how about leopard or cheetah spots? yeah.
    yes, that would be perfect! Kim K. would approve.
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Rather a 100$ bike with 1000$ wheels than a 1000$ bike with 100$ wheels.

  19. #19
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Whoa. Lookit that .....er ...tail.

  20. #20
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    update:

    I took the headset apart to have a closer look at the bearing races, and the good new is the races appear to be just fine. The bad news is I had to cut through the Belleri stem to get there, but no matter, plenty of other stems in the sea. Now, the problem with the wonky head set proably originated with the fork race - the fork is so bad out of spec that the race moves freely about. From wrenching on another bike with a loose race I know that this will virtually eliminate the goldilocks spot in which the headset is just right. the PO evidently screwed it on too tight. Anybody who encountered this problem before and fixed it? I dind't really try that hard to fix it on that other bike, it being my beater...
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Rather a 100$ bike with 1000$ wheels than a 1000$ bike with 100$ wheels.

  21. #21
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    small question:
    -What's the biggest size of tires I can fit in here? Definitely don't want to order the wrong tyre size for the build. any tips for measuring it?

    I want a bit more cushy tires that candle a dabble of gravel for this build.
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Rather a 100$ bike with 1000$ wheels than a 1000$ bike with 100$ wheels.

  22. #22
    80's bikes FTW
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    I think whats best about this story is you finding an Ideale 90 in his "parts bin". Heck of a find on the seat
    1988 Schwinn Prologue ,1985 Benotto Modelo 850 SS/Fixed , 1994 Univega Alpina 5.5 , 2011 Diamondback Response, 1997 Giant ATX 970, 1995 Specialized FSR , 2007 Litespeed Niota AL

  23. #23
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyfloyd View Post
    I think whats best about this story is you finding an Ideale 90 in his "parts bin". Heck of a find on the seat
    Yeah, he had some other goodies in there as well, miserably butchered of drewed frames. Not sure if I'm going to end up with the Ideale on the final build though, it's a bit heavy for the intended use of the bike.
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Rather a 100$ bike with 1000$ wheels than a 1000$ bike with 100$ wheels.

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