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  1. #1
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    Motobecane Inter Club

    I just purchased a Motobecane Inter Club of uncertain vintage (Blue like almost every other one I've seen a picture of). Mine has the Atom drum brake in the rear. I replaced some rather worn tires with a pair of Schwalbe Marathons that I had laying around. An original specification sheet that I found online listed Hutchinson Tires with 50 psi. Does anyone have a recommendation for appropriate tires and correct inflation? After a few limited trial runs, the bike seems to ride okay but possibly needs a little rear wheel truing. My only other complaint is a consistent clicking which seems to come from the front bottom bracket. I could use some advice on repacking/rebuilding the bottom brackets. I've read that French models can be tricky. ThanksMOTOBECANE TANDEM.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member Binky's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Tandem forum. I just got here myself, having purchased an older (early 1980s) Benotto tandem several weeks ago that is not very different from yours. It has the front setup with drop bars and the rear with cruiser bars and the front set for a male rider with a step-through frame at the rear. The seat tubes are 23 inches and 21 inches. I have only ridden it once and that was by myself with no rider behind, because the temperature dropped just after I got it and then I went out on an assignment.

    A few issues: mine made a clicking noise from the rear crank every time the cranks went around and I thought it might be a bearing problem with the rear crank. It turned out that the front derailleur was just a tad out of position and the right rear crank arm was grazing it. Easily fixed. If yours has "TA made in France" cranks, you will need a special tool to pull the cranks. Otherwise, the normal Park crank arm removal tool tool will fit. Mine has French Miche cranks that can be fit by the normal crank arm removal tool.

    Modern tandems, like the Co-Motion and Santana tandems owned by the other users of the tandem forum, are very low to the ground compared to yours and mine.

    I put new tires on mine and inflated my tires to about 90 PSI (as printed on the tires) and found the ride really harsh. Letting a few pounds out improved the ride a bit. 50 PSI sounds a bit soft for thin racing tires so I may have the wrong tires. I'll experiment in the spring.

    good luck with your.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Binky's Avatar
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    Here's mine: Not too different from yours, in terms of height and setup..

    Benotto-27.jpgBenotto-28.jpg

  4. #4
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    I appreciate your responses. As I noted in a post under the "Vintage" subforum, I have another French bike, so learning to service bottom brackets is probably a good idea. I live 50 miles from the nearest bike shop and, even then, I'm not sure about their experience with French bicycles. Is there any kind of stamping on TA cranks that identifies them as such?

    I'll look into the noise a bit further before I take things apart, although it's likely, based on the seldom-used appearance of my bike, that it's never had any significant service performed on it. It's probably due for some new grease, etc.

    Sorry to be whining about cold in Tennessee. I'm sure Ontario, southern or not, is much more frigid. I figure I've got a couple of months before we hit really favorable riding weather. By then, I hope to have the tandem in totally roadworthy condition.

    Nice to hear from you . . . and I enjoyed looking at your bike - very nice.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Binky's Avatar
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    Check out the picture below.

    TA cranks usually have the TA name printed boldly right on them in white on black and the hole where the crank puller threads in is much bigger than the usual...

    As for the terrible weather in Toronto.... I just flew in to Siem Reap, Cambodia, from Bangkok this morning but I am looking forward to getting back to my own tandem.

    taarms.jpg

  6. #6
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    For comparison and because it's another opportunity to post pics





    (That stoker's crank is 140mm, made for us by Bikesmith Design. The rims are both Mavic A319 touring rims, 36 spokes R, 32 spokes F, and the derailleurs are still Simplex.)
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
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  7. #7
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    Lovely photos, jimmuller! I want to ride where you are biking. Don't think the scenes along the Mississippi would be quite so picturesque. Then again . . .

  8. #8
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    Binky,

    You must be in an interesting line of work to travel to what I guess they call the Far East. Back on the Classic and Vintage sub forum, Oddjob posted a picture of his Inter Club cranks. "TA" right there, big as life. My tandem is parked in a classroom over at school so my students can ogle my bizarre bike collection (also because I haven't cleaned out the garage enough to make room for it). I'll be looking for the TA inscription in the morning and, from the looks of it, trying to run down a TA puller. Hope it will fit the Motobecane Grand Touring as well, but I've been warned not to necessarily expect that. Thanks again for your help.

  9. #9
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gville73 View Post
    Lovely photos, jimmuller! I want to ride where you are biking.
    Thanks! That first photo of the horse farm is an area we ride in regularly, not far from home. The second is in Acadia National Park, Mt. Desert Island, Maine. It's about 6 hrs from home and where we vacation every September.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Binky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gville73 View Post
    Binky,

    You must be in an interesting line of work to travel to what I guess they call the Far East.
    Well, actually I am in an interesting line of work and I have an allergy to -23 degree Celsius temperatures and snow up to my axles, so I have to spend winters in places where people ride bikes all year around.

    Unfortunately, Air Canada wants an incredible amount of money to take a bike from Toronto to Hong Kong and from there I had a circuit of seven short one-way flights planned so it looks like I'll be renting. Bikes here for hire are ridiculously cheap, starting at about $4 or $5 per day, and some hotels offer free bikes as part of the package, even if the room is only $32 per night.

    I looked at renting a tandem today out of Siem Reap but - like MOST of the bikes available here - the lack of even the barest maintenance made that impossible. The timing chain on the tandem was disgracefully loose and twisted.

    Oh, well...

  11. #11
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    I never really thought about trying to rent a bike in a foreign city, but your description of what's available doesn't surprise me. I have a friend who did a Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand trip back in November. She's not a cyclist, but she got a big kick out of Cambodia's "bamboo" trains.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Binky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gville73 View Post
    I never really thought about trying to rent a bike in a foreign city, but your description of what's available doesn't surprise me. I have a friend who did a Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand trip back in November. She's not a cyclist, but she got a big kick out of Cambodia's "bamboo" trains.
    This is getting way off topic but I saw what I think was a really nice old Peugeot last night at a market: Crank assembly modified a bit over the years, and derailleurs gone, but the Peugeot lugs on the head tube with distinctive cut outs were a give away...

    Peugeot.jpg

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gville73 View Post
    I've read that French models can be tricky.
    Keep in mind that Motobecane also used Swiss bottom brackets. What is the diameter of your eccentric?

  14. #14
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    I think that Oddjob2 provided the answer I needed when he posted a photo of his Inter Club's cranks. There it was, "TA" clearly spelled out on the crank arms. When I inspected mine, I discovered the very same thing. Talk about overlooking the obvious! Chalk it up to naiveté. I ordered a Stein TA puller. Now I'll pose another question: Since I'm pulling the cranks, what would be involved in fitting a triple crank in place of the current double? Any recommendations?

  15. #15
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    Binky,

    That's a really neat photo - worthy of a travel magazine or National Geographic. I think I'd blow it up and frame it. I'll yield to your Peugeot expertise.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Binky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gville73 View Post
    Binky,

    That's a really neat photo - worthy of a travel magazine or National Geographic. I think I'd blow it up and frame it. I'll yield to your Peugeot expertise.
    These pictures are more indicative of the situation true here. My local restaurant (free Wi-Fi but a limited menu) and the front door of my Local Bike Shop. Count your blessings !

    R0001074.jpgR0001083.jpg

  17. #17
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    Binky,

    I returned to tinkering on the tandem this afternoon and was able to suspend the rear while I turned the pedals. My clicking was the result of the front derailleur coming into contact with the crank arm. Excellent diagnosis and, as you said, easily fixed. I now own a TA puller, so servicing the bottom brackets at some point in the not-to-distant future would probably be prudent. I've got a lot to learn. By the way, it's 50+ here today and there are less than two months of winter left!

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