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Kooggeer 03-31-18 05:50 PM

Restoring a '77 Motobecane Super Mirage
5 Attachment(s)
About 3 weeks ago I bought a Motobecane that I think is a 1977 Super Mirage based on the head badge, breaks, rear derailleur, and tubing steel. Based on the attached pictures, can anyone confirm or dispute this?

My intention is to restore this bike replacing broken/inoperative/period incorrect parts as needed.

I believe that the front derailleur is not correct. It's branded as "ThunderBird" and has an unreadable word on the front of the bracket. Additionally, the screw that closes the clamp appears to be a machine screw that was cut to length and has a nut rather than the internal threads.

Although the pedals are marked "Made In France" and "Atom TPP22", they're just flat pedals with no toe clips which is not what I've seen in pictures.

In the same manner, the wheels don't look original or period correct. They aren't quick release, as I've seen in pictures, but they have "Approved 3-72" and "Made In France" stamped on the hubs.

Anyway, I'm new to this sort of thing, so, again, any advice you can give me will be appreciated, and if you have any questions, I'll answer them to the best of my ability.


(just an old) KOOGGEER

Vintage_Cyclist 03-31-18 06:13 PM

This bike is 78 or later. 76 and 77 had the top tube cable guides at the 5 o'clock position. They moved to the top of the tube in 78. Here's a list of Motobecane catalogs that has the model specs for each year. - /pics/bike/catalogs/Motobecane/

ryansu 03-31-18 06:33 PM

well played @Vintage cyclist you beat me to the catalog link!

OP The Motobecane Super Mirage is a great place to start with your first rebuild, I have a soft spot for Motobecanes as their mid 70's 23 inch frames are a great fit for me and I have a 1978 Motobecane Grand Touring that I looked for over about a 2 year period after rebuilding a Nomade II that fit me like a glove and deciding a I needed a bike a few rungs up the ladder. The Moto-GT now sits in the queue waiting for love. Enjoy the process and enjoy the ride, lots of knowledge on this forum, on Youtube (RJ the bike guy) and on the web (Sheldon Brown, Mytenspeeds).

If you have a bike co-op near you they can be a great source of old parts, knowledge and help.

I might suggest that you overhaul what you have, get the bike rideable, find out if it fits and if you like how it rides and then worry about getting everything to be period correct.

[IMG] by Ryan Surface, on Flickr[/IMG]

Salamandrine 03-31-18 06:58 PM

Looks like a 78 Super Mirage to me.

The pedals didn't come with toe clips and straps. If you wanted them, you paid the shop extra for them when you bought the bike, or installed them yourself.

The original front derailleur would have been a Sun Tour Compe V.

The wheels are not original. They look like cheap replacements. The original wheels were Normandy high flange quick release hubs laced to Weinmann concave rims with Hutchinson tires. Galvanized spokes. The original spoke protector was a clear plastic Huret, not chrome. The main selling point of the Super Mirage was that it was the lowest price Motobecane that came with alloy wheels. If I were you I'd probably just get some inexpensive pre built wheelmaster, velomine or whatever wheels with Sun M13II rims. If you peel the stickers off they look exactly like the 'fancier' Rigida rims that came on the next model up, the Grand Touring. You would need to respace the frame to 126. However, if you want to try to rebuild the wheels with Weinmann concaves to exact original specs, my hat's off to you.

bugs11 04-02-18 01:28 PM

Look on the underside of the bottom bracket for a date code and look closely at the pedals and cranks. I'm restoring a all original 1978 Champagne Gold Super Mirage. I know it's a 78 because the Atom 440 pedals have "1978 Made in France" engraved on them, the cranks have "77 J" stamped on them (I'm guesing the J = November), the hubs have "Normandy 1978" engraved on them, and the bottom bracket has 058 (May 1978) stamped into it. And all the parts match what's in the 1978 Motobecane catalog for the Super Mirage. FYI - the bottom bracket on mine is Swiss threaded.

Kooggeer 04-03-18 05:48 PM

You guys have a sharp eye for detail!
Thanks to all of you guys. I'm now convinced that I have a '78 Super Mirage.

On the pedals, I find "ATOM 40 / 06 78 / Made In France".

There are several numbers on the underside of the bottom bracket: "4671916 / 1575 / 128 / 2 04" all of which means nothing to me.

I haven't yet looked closely at the cranks.

So much to learn - so much work to do - so much fun to have.

(just an old) KOOGGEER

bugs11 04-04-18 07:55 AM

I'm guessing the 128 = December 1978, a Christmas bike. 4671916 is probably the serial number, mine has 4381773 and the fore mentioned 058 stamped into the bottom bracket through the paint. I also have 1572, 45, and 33 stamped into the bottom bracket, but these are painted over. I'm guessing these three numbers are associated with the manufacturing of the bottom bracket itself and not the bicycle as a whole.

Mike281 04-04-18 08:04 AM

This looks like a great project - please post regular updat pics so we can follow the progress with you

Kooggeer 04-05-18 04:59 PM

Originally Posted by bugs11 (Post 20259785)
FYI - the bottom bracket on mine is Swiss threaded.

I'm wondering what the implications are of the bottom bracket being Swiss threaded, and how does one know that either before, during and/or after disassembly.


bugs11 04-05-18 07:21 PM

Implications? Swiss threaded just means the bike is married to old style cup, bearings, and cone spindle. Ne easy way to upgrade to modern cartridge bearings and such, though I think some guy named Woods makes an expensive Swiss threaded cartridge (seem to remember reading that somewhere). The fixed cup (non-drive side) is reverse threaded on Swiss threaded bottom brackets. So both bottom bracket cups loosen by rotating towards the front tire and tighten by rotating towards the rear tire. Dollars to donuts your bottom bracket is Swiss threaded.

ryansu 04-05-18 07:30 PM

As usual the late great Sheldon Brown has an excellent resource to keep it all straight with various bb types

pfaustus 04-06-18 03:00 PM

IRD makes Swiss cups for modern bottom brackets. The problem is likely to be finding them. If at all possible, I would want to repack what you already have.

Italian, French and Swiss Bottom Bracket Conversion Cups ? Interloc Racing Design / IRD

Kooggeer 04-06-18 06:46 PM

@bugs11, @ryansu, @pfaustus - Thanks for the education on bottom brackets. I think I'm ready to tackle it.

Kooggeer 04-12-18 05:25 PM

Just An Update
2 Attachment(s)
I got the cranks off, disassembled the chain ring, cleaned all the parts, screws and nuts, and reassembled.

ryansu 04-14-18 01:04 AM

those cranks are looking clean

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