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What am I riding? Early 80s Blue Motobecane?

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What am I riding? Early 80s Blue Motobecane?

Old 03-24-13, 02:34 PM
  #1  
mjs331nyu
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What am I riding? Early 80s Blue Motobecane?

Hello everyone,

Thanks for your help on this. I'm interested in value, but more than that I'm interested in learning about my new lovely ride. I live in Manhattan, ridership is increasing wildly here, and I'm loving my new bike.

The story: I left NYC to work in Sacramento for nine months or so, and I knew Sac had a strong bike culture and I'd need transportation. Dad said, "hey want this old bike that's in the garage?" and without knowing anything about it, I said yes. I've since fallen in love.

Here is what I know:
1. It's a Motobecane
2. It's probably from the early 80s
3. It's likely some parts are French and others are Japanese
4. It has hand-painted gold-ish accents
5. It has concave Weinmann rims
6. It's blue


Anything else you can tell me, like year of production, what's interesting/unique/special about this bike, or anything else is appreciated.

Questions:
A. Are these handlebars leather? Rubber?
B. What parts were made in what countries? What are their reputations for quality, longevity, style, etc.?
C. What additions to the bike might make it more authentic? What might make it more stylish?

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Old 03-24-13, 02:37 PM
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mjs331nyu
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Oh I forgot to mention...

I think the numbers are these:

C0-045-44-4838
1280

1962 - smaller and opposite direction
3109 - smaller and opposite direction

Here's more pics to help identify what I'm working with...
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Old 03-24-13, 02:44 PM
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Pic of the derailleurs and crank please.
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Old 03-24-13, 03:45 PM
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Looks like an 81ish Grand Touring. I've seen them with Huret Duopar derailers or Suntour stuff as well. Yes the handlebar wraps are rubber. It's a solid mid range bike. There are plenty of people here that are better versed in French bikes so you may want to search the archives for more info. Its a proud looking bike though!
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Old 03-24-13, 03:58 PM
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Forget serial #'s, they wont help much. You can hazard a good guess on the year by looking for two-digit numbers on the hubs, pedals and crankarms etc. Add a year for the assembly date and it's a close guess. You can also access the velo and other sites to line up pics for the model. Sorry I dont have the links for that.
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Old 03-24-13, 04:11 PM
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The bike in question does appear to be 1980 or so Grand Touring. It does appear to be pretty good condition basically original parts wise.
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Old 03-25-13, 03:49 AM
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You can easily determine the vintage by applying the information contained in How Old Is MY Bike?, paying closest attention to Component Numbers. As for the model, it is written on the top tube of the bicycle but the pictures are too fuzzy to make out what it says.

Hope that is a help and, for what it is worth, I love my old Motobecane, a 1978 Grand Jublee...

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Old 03-25-13, 07:11 AM
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Pendinging further information, it does appear to be a 1980 Grand Touring, as suggested by Zukahn1.
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Old 03-25-13, 08:13 AM
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I've only added a bell and had to replace the original gumwalls. Is there anything that looks not original? I posted the crank and derailleur pics above.

THANKS! (ps this bike lived in Denver from its infancy until last year!).
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Old 03-25-13, 08:14 AM
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Thanks for your help. I posted the pics in a reply below. THANKS
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Old 03-25-13, 08:21 AM
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Is the Vitus fork different than any other?
What should I do about surface rust (new as of a few weeks ago)?

What upgrades would you all recommend?
I've been strongly considering fenders - do you folks think the silver metal would look most natural? a fluted painted fender to match the detailing on the bike? the hand hammered are nice, yes? or smooth?


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Old 03-25-13, 08:34 AM
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Ooh, she's beautiful! Those colors!

I think the numbers are these...any ideas on what they mean?

C0-045-44-4838
1280

1962 - smaller and opposite direction
3109 - smaller and opposite direction
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Old 03-25-13, 08:35 AM
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C0-045-44-4838
That to me looks like it was done with a hand-held engraver - so I'd suspect that someone with the initials like Charles Olson with a Social Security Number of 045-44-4838 put that on there...
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Old 03-25-13, 08:37 AM
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Looks nice! As to non-original parts, apparently the saddle is not original. As it sits, I would estimate a $275 +/- 10% value, from someone looking for a clean classic in Manhattan. It's not what most of the BikeForum members would pay, as they are bike arbitrage specialists. A very few are Motobecane specialists as well.

If it's an all weather bike, dab some clear nail polish where the paint chips are. Keep the chain clean by wiping it with a rag occassionally.

Likely wheel hubs and BB have 33 year old grease in the bearings. These should be disassembled, cleaned and replaced when you have a chance. Rather than spend $120-$150 on servicing them, you can get involved with your local bike coop and learn the service basics there. They probably have tools and service.

https://www.bikenewyork.org/learn/adu...intenance-201/

https://www.recycleabicycle.org/adult-education

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Old 03-25-13, 08:58 AM
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mjs331nyu
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
That to me looks like it was done with a hand-held engraver - so I'd suspect that someone with the initials like Charles Olson with a Social Security Number of 045-44-4838 put that on there...
I agree it looks like a social security number and obviously was done by hand. Is that something people did thirty years ago? Slapped their SS# on things? Hmm.
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Old 03-25-13, 09:01 AM
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for whatever it's worth, here's a picture of mine...similar everything. Pulled it out of a family member's shed & rebuilt everything + added fenders. It's a nice, solid bike....useful too.

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Old 03-25-13, 09:11 AM
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ODDJOB-

Great advice. Thanks for the advice and resources!
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Old 03-25-13, 09:15 AM
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Beautiful! Yes I've fallen in love with the bike. I initially thought I'd save money from avoiding the subway, HAHAhahaha. I foresee money being dumped into the love, care, and maintenance of the bike.

I think I'll be buying (in this order):
pump
saddle
fenders
panniers

I see you went with a rigged LED flashlight? Yours is pretty and super practical. I think I'm going to go with a more vintage-style kind of bike. Yknow, everyone is judgey in Manhattan...

Originally Posted by fiataccompli View Post
for whatever it's worth, here's a picture of mine...similar everything. Pulled it out of a family member's shed & rebuilt everything + added fenders. It's a nice, solid bike....useful too.

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Old 03-25-13, 09:22 AM
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well, since then I've moved to a mirror on glasses (so no bar mirror) and I have a (also non-C&V...but when it comes to lighting & safety, I'm all about...well, lighting & safety, not style...and judgers be damned as far as I care) Magicshine headlight that I move from bike to bike when needed. Fenders are nice on a bike like this... I mean, it's not a racing bike anyway, right?. A pump ought to be in everyone's carry-on gear somewhere or another, but I suppose a period frame pump would be a nice accessory (again, not much value for me...I just want it to inflate efficiently). All that said, the bike has all the right trappings to be done up very nicely and be as aesthetically interesting (and probably riding-wise, nice) as a modern "retro" custom or boutique bike for which you'd pay as much as I might expect to pay for a car. Enjoy your bike and Vive la France!
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Old 03-25-13, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mjs331nyu View Post
I agree it looks like a social security number and obviously was done by hand. Is that something people did thirty years ago? Slapped their SS# on things? Hmm.
Having items personnelly engraved was a lot more common back then. It showed the owners planned on keeping stuff for a long time. In the modern era where people only keep stuff a couple of years it is almost non existant. Of the bikes I see that are 70's or older about 1 in 5 has some kind personnel of engraving.
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Old 03-25-13, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mjs331nyu View Post
ODDJOB-

Great advice. Thanks for the advice and resources!
REI probably has classes as well and possibly for less $$.
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Old 03-25-13, 07:50 PM
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I've started researching elements. As requested, I took photos of the derailleurs and crank. SUNTOUR. Is there anything you guys can tell em that the internet cannot about these items? Were they the great, good, or crap? Unreliable? Underappreciated?
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Old 03-26-13, 10:25 AM
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The Suntour VxGt shift group was of very nice quality they are considered one of the best touring groups from the era this bike was made. They a very reliable and consistant.
https://www.disraeligears.co.uk/Site/...282200%29.html
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Old 03-26-13, 05:50 PM
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good stuff. not exotic, but very nice and surprisingly enough some is rather light-weight (not that it matters AT ALL for this bike).
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Old 03-27-13, 05:56 AM
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Definitely service the bike. The grease in the bearings is 30 years old and you may damage those bearings by riding without re-greasing. Spokes probably need tensioning. If the tires are original, they must be replaced. Brake pads should be too. Learning to do this yourself is a very good idea.

After that, I'd add: fenders, headlight, taillight, pump (full sized or mini), spare tube and tire levers (and learn to change a tube), and lock/chain.

If you ride after dark, bright flashing headlight/taillight are very important. I realize Manhattan is full of black clad delivery riders on unlit bikes, but don't emulate them. Lights get stolen so take them with you, or mount them to your helmet.

Theft will be a big problem. If you are leaving your bike on the street, a U-lock (or heavy chain) through the frame and rear wheel, and a chain through the front wheel (or remove the front wheel and put it in the U-lock) are necessary. Even with those, I'd never leave the bike out overnight. A U-lock can be cut in under a minute. To a pro thief, your bike is $100 just waiting to be plucked.
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