I bought an old Motobecane Interclub tandem the other day. It seems to be in pretty good condition apart from some scratched paint. I'm interested to find out more about it, though, and figure out what sort of work I can do on it to bring up the quality a bit.
Step one: dating. How do I figure out when this thing was made? I'm not sure where to find the serial number. The things about this bike that distinguish it from others I've seen online are:
- All the brakes are Mafac "Racer" center-pull calipers. It has two brakes in back, one of them operated by the stoker, and it doesn't have the drum brake that many other Motobecane tandems seem to have.
- it has a badge saying it's made of 1020 steel, where other Motobecane tandems seem to be made of 2040 steel.
Some upgrades I might consider making to this bike: indexed shifting (if possible), lower gearing (currently has a half-step Sugino GT road triple crank with 110mm bolts and a 5-speed rear (freewheel?)), replacement cables and housings, as well as new brake levers -- possibly a double-pull rear lever to return all brake control to the front rider. It seems a little weird to give the stoker partial control of the braking, though I would welcome anyone's thoughts on that.
One more thing: I might need to get a longer front seatpost but it looks like the seatposts are the wonderfully rare 15/16" (23.81mm). Some online searching turns up no modern micro-adjusting seatposts of that size, only the old-style plain tube variety. Does anyone make a modern seatpost that'll fit this thing?