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Help w/Motobecane Grand Record find

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Help w/Motobecane Grand Record find

Old 09-29-18, 11:17 AM
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Help w/Motobecane Grand Record find

Old Moto catalogs are a bit of a mess and I was hoping I could get some help on a 70s era Motobecane Grand Record I just picked up. I'm guessing the date is 1973. The campy RD is 1972 but the bike is a full Reynolds 531 and that is consistent with the 1973 catalog. The parts seem to fit the 1973 catalog: normandy competition high flange hubs, TA crank (the catalog spec is stronglight though), campy derailleurs, weinmann center pull brakes, atom 700 pedals (one of the pedals is an atom pedal, the other is a piece of junk that I'll bet was forced in since this is likely a french threaded crank ) , stronglight headset, pivo bar and stem).

So I'm excited by picking up this bike esp. since I wasn't counting it on having a reynolds fork. I'll likely rebuilt it in the spring alongside a mid 70s mercier 300 I picked up earlier this year.

(1) The crank is likely shot and may well need replacing. Does this bike have a swiss or a french threaded bottom bracket. Is there any way of telling?

(2) Is the freewheel and rear hub likely to be french threaded?

(3) The seat and seatpost are cheap replacements. What sort of seatpost might have been used on the bike? It seems a shame to run a kalloy but they do come in sizes and they're cheap. I'll run a brooks saddle on it.

(4) I'm not sure about the bar and stem. That stem is jacked too high and I'll bet it was ridden like that for a long time. I'm leaning towards tossing it out and going with something I trust. What are my best options? A nitto is my favorite but it doesn't seem right for this bike.

The paint job is in good job. There are some minor battle scars and some cracking but all and all this is a fine paint job for an old bike.



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Old 09-29-18, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Old Moto catalogs are a bit of a mess and I was hoping I could get some help on a 70s era Motobecane Grand Record I just picked up. I'm guessing the date is 1973. The campy RD is 1972 but the bike is a full Reynolds 531 and that is consistent with the 1973 catalog. The parts seem to fit the 1973 catalog: normandy competition high flange hubs, TA crank (the catalog spec is stronglight though), campy derailleurs, weinmann center pull brakes, atom 700 pedals (one of the pedals is an atom pedal, the other is a piece of junk that I'll bet was forced in since this is likely a french threaded crank ) , stronglight headset, pivo bar and stem).

So I'm excited by picking up this bike esp. since I wasn't counting it on having a reynolds fork. I'll likely rebuilt it in the spring alongside a mid 70s mercier 300 I picked up earlier this year.

(1) The crank is likely shot and may well need replacing. Does this bike have a swiss or a french threaded bottom bracket. Is there any way of telling?
What makes you think the crank is shot? It will be French. Swiss on Motos came later. That TA is a nice setup.

(2) Is the freewheel and rear hub likely to be french threaded?
Most likely French. But stranger things have happened.

(3) The seat and seatpost are cheap replacements. What sort of seatpost might have been used on the bike? It seems a shame to run a kalloy but they do come in sizes and they're cheap. I'll run a brooks saddle on it.
Catalog says alloy seat post. Could well have been a straight pin that used a separate clamp. You could always go Campagnolo or Simplex.

(4) I'm not sure about the bar and stem. That stem is jacked too high and I'll bet it was ridden like that for a long time. I'm leaning towards tossing it out and going with something I trust. What are my best options? A nitto is my favorite but it doesn't seem right for this bike.
I sense a bit of overcaution. That Pivo is not one of the legendary "break when you breathe on it" stems but is a later type. The main issue in my mind is the bar is likely a very narrow (IMO) type. Nothing wrong with going Nitto for the stem and bar. I have wide Nitto bars on several of my French bikes. It's your bike and if you plan to ride it, then get what works for you.
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Old 09-29-18, 01:08 PM
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I think I got the Nervar thing wrong -- looks more like a TA.

That crank looks a lot like a Nervar. One of the Motobacane afficionados here has said that the Yellow Jersey guy near Madison, WI said that Motos of the era could chow up with either Stronglight or Nervar cranks. The inner ring is a 6 bolt ring so it looks like a pair of TA rings (or Velo Orangs) mounted to a Nervar crankset.

If your cranks are damaged, you might want to search the C&V sales thread for "Nervar" because there was a Nervar set with 54/40 rings offered for sale for what seems like a very good price back in July. It may still be available, I don't know. I've been thinking about contacting the seller. That offer included an English threaded BB, but if your BB is good, the cranks should bolt right to it. Also, the spindle would probably be interchangable (wag).

The stem looks to be a nice stem and if there's no obvious damage when you pull it out for inspection, it wouldn't need to be replaced, one would think. I'm told that the Pivo stems and the Philippe stems of the era -- those that look like Cinelli 1A stems, are not failure prone. If you lan to use the bars with another stem, measure first, cause the bars may be 25.0 mm. Also, a Nitto stem may need to be sanded to fit in the steerer.

That looks like a really nice bike. I bought one a couple days ago -- 1977, same black as yours. It is in the loving hands of Fedex, delivery Wednesday or Thursday.

Last edited by desconhecido; 09-29-18 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 09-29-18, 01:12 PM
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If you do replace some parts -- stem and bars and crankset or whatever, consider passing the old parts along through the forum C&V sales. All good stuff to somebody.
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Old 09-29-18, 01:24 PM
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-----

Chainset is indeed a SPECTA and not a Peyrard. In my area all of these came through wearing the ninety-three. Given it was the boom, parts were where they could be found for manufacturers.

Yes to everything written by the aircraft carrier!

Pedal tip -

Do not attempt removal without first removing arm from spindle. Then you can chuck the arm up in a beefy bench vise and have both hands free to pull on a jumbo cheater bar. Once you have it out you can run a tap through. There may be a forum member with an unwed 700 they could vector your way...

Wheels -

In case your build plans, now or in the future, involve another set of wheels keep in mind that the 700 hub launched in this year and so would be period correct and an upgrade over the Luxe Competition.

Pillar -

If you wish to keep it Gaulique other options for a pillar with an integral clamp besides the Juy are the Routens (JPR) and the true Laprade (Laprade Brevete).

​​​​​​​You will have lots of enjoyment with this project Miguel. An excellent find!

-----

Last edited by juvela; 09-29-18 at 02:11 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 09-29-18, 02:13 PM
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Closer look and comparison to Nervar and TA cranks, looks more like TA than Nervar.
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Old 09-29-18, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CV-6 View Post
What makes you think the crank is shot? It will be French. Swiss on Motos came later. That TA is a nice setup.


Most likely French. But stranger things have happened.


Catalog says alloy seat post. Could well have been a straight pin that used a separate clamp. You could always go Campagnolo or Simplex.


I sense a bit of overcaution. That Pivo is not one of the legendary "break when you breathe on it" stems but is a later type. The main issue in my mind is the bar is likely a very narrow (IMO) type. Nothing wrong with going Nitto for the stem and bar. I have wide Nitto bars on several of my French bikes. It's your bike and if you plan to ride it, then get what works for you.
All great information; thank you. I was concerned about the crank primarily because the bike came with a cheap pedal replacement on one side and I suspected that there might be some damage to the spindle. There is not which is cool and the crank is english threaded (doubly cool). It's good to know that the BB is French threaded as that is easier to deal with in terms of finding parts than a Swiss BB. The cones are shot on the normandy competition hubs and I reckon cones for those hubs are unobtanium as I don't think the cones from the cheap normandy hubs will work.

I don't mind running a straight seatpost but then the saddle will be a bit forward esp. if I go with a brooks which has such short rails. Maybe I'll just run a selle anatomica with nice long rails to solve that problem.

The bike came to be with the stem too high but it looks to be a good one so I may keep the bar and stem or maybe go with a nitto and sand it down.

The TA crank is very nice and I'll keep it. I actually have some TA replacement rings so I'll be able to run a 46/36 on this and a 14-28 on the rear which will come in handy when riding the Iowa alps,

Last edited by bikemig; 09-29-18 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 09-29-18, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

Chainset is indeed a SPECTA and not a Peyrard. In my area all of these came through wearing the ninety-three. Given it was the boom, parts were where they could be found for manufacturers.

Yes to everything written by the aircraft carrier!

Pedal tip -

Do not attempt removal without first removing arm from spindle. Then you can chuck the arm up in a beefy bench vise and have both hands free to pull on a jumbo cheater bar. Once you have it out you can run a tap through. There may be a forum member with an unwed 700 they could vector your way...

Wheels -

In case your build plans, now or in the future, involve another set of wheels keep in mind that the 700 hub launched in this year and so would be period correct and an upgrade over the Luxe Competition.

Pillar -

If you wish to keep it Gaulique other options for a pillar with an integral clamp besides the Juy are the Routens (JPR) and the true Laprade (Laprade Brevete).

You will have lots of enjoyment with this project Miguel. An excellent find!

-----
I'd love to find an orphan right 700 but that's a long shot. I have some lyotard 460s that I can run in a pinch if I want to keep it toute francais. For the wheels, the cones for the front wheel are shot. Fortunately I have a set of wheels with high flange tipo hubs (with the round holes) and ambrosio rims that I took off a Gitane TdF that floated thru my workshop. I sold the frame and kept the parts. The wheels will do nicely on this bike. I'm going to try to build this bike with parts on hand.

I'm excited by the bike and I'll get to build 2 French bikes next spring (this and a kelly green mercier 300 I picked up earlier this year).

Last edited by bikemig; 09-29-18 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 09-29-18, 11:47 PM
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'73 looks to be correct, the "74 (USA spec) would have a round headbadge andmaybe Nitto Pearl stem plus Brooks saddle and "3-pin" TA crankset...anyhow a great find, enjoy it!
BTW,if you can settle for Atom 600 pedals LMK I have a pair or 2 but don't think I have any 700s, will check!

Last edited by unworthy1; 09-29-18 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 09-30-18, 01:14 AM
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The biggest issue with a Nitto stem IMO is that you're likely t have to sand it down to fit the steerer. It also doesn't quite look period correct, but I'd worry much less about that. Neither one would bother me much, as I have a sanded down Nitto on my '72 Grand Record.

You're options for seat post will be a bit limited by the uncommon diameter. You can get a cheap Origin8 on eBay that looks OK if you remove the logos (easily done), but a Campagnolo post would look nicer (again describing my own choices).
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Old 09-30-18, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
The biggest issue with a Nitto stem IMO is that you're likely t have to sand it down to fit the steerer. It also doesn't quite look period correct, but I'd worry much less about that. Neither one would bother me much, as I have a sanded down Nitto on my '72 Grand Record.

You're options for seat post will be a bit limited by the uncommon diameter. You can get a cheap Origin8 on eBay that looks OK if you remove the logos (easily done), but a Campagnolo post would look nicer (again describing my own choices).
The existing pivo stem is shorter than I like but a seatpost with some setback will help (or a saddle with longer rails). I think I'll be checking out ebay. Kalloy makes a decent inexpensive seatpost that comes in sizes as well. I may end up sanding down a nitto to fit though. I think some of the 70s era Motos used nitto stems as well. Origin 8 stems sometimes drop right in on a french bike but that definitely won't look right.
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Old 09-30-18, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
'73 looks to be correct, the "74 (USA spec) would have a round headbadge andmaybe Nitto Pearl stem plus Brooks saddle and "3-pin" TA crankset...anyhow a great find, enjoy it!
BTW,if you can settle for Atom 600 pedals LMK I have a pair or 2 but don't think I have any 700s, will check!
Cool, I'd definitely be interested in the 700s if you have them. The 600s could be sweet also but I don't think they're serviceable, right?
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Old 09-30-18, 07:38 AM
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Cool. I bought one of these new in '72. My first "good" ten speed. $225 back then. Purchased it at a Schwinn store that also sold Motobecane. Sales guy wrote up the sales receipt as Motorbecane. '72 was the first year of the black/red color combo. It also became my first "Track" bike. Converted it to fixed gear and raced it till I got a used Paramount.

Had issues with the front hub and ground the heck out of the cones. Even back then there were no replacements to be found. Also keep notice of the fixed cup in BB. French cups want to unscrew as you pedal. I had a constant problems with that.
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Old 09-30-18, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido View Post
I think I got the Nervar thing wrong -- looks more like a TA.

That crank looks a lot like a Nervar.
I think it's a TA crank that's just missing its sticker. The Nevar 5-pin arms were broader than the TA, and had a diamond-shaped recess:

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Old 09-30-18, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
I think it's a TA crank that's just missing its sticker. The Nevar 5-pin arms were broader than the TA, and had a diamond-shaped recess:
You are, of course, correct. From one angle shot of the TA, I thought I saw the narrowing towards the pedal eye and the Nervar stippling finish which is probably just residue from the sticker, I think.

I guess, a lot of times one finds what one's looking for and the fact that some of these bikes showed up with Nervar cranks must have been bouncing around in my head, unimpeded, losing very little momentum with each physical interaction, and the missing TA decal and 6 arms on the ring and I concluded wrongly Nervar with TA rings.

Do you still have that Nervar set for sale? If you do, I think I can use it.
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Old 09-30-18, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido View Post
You are, of course, correct. From one angle shot of the TA, I thought I saw the narrowing towards the pedal eye and the Nervar stippling finish which is probably just residue from the sticker, I think.
I agree it’s not a Nervar crank, but I am still not certain it is a TA. The groove down the arm is noticeably wider than the one on any Cyclotouriste crank I have ever seen. Compare the width (and the thin edges outside of the groove) with the later picture posted of a TA arm.

bikemig, I just bought a Grand Jubile frameset, also likely a ‘73. I got some good advice from @verktyg so I hope he will pop in and tell you all about your bike.
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Old 09-30-18, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post

I agree it’s not a Nervar crank, but I am still not certain it is a TA. The groove down the arm is noticeably wider than the one on any Cyclotouriste crank I have ever seen. Compare the width (and the thin edges outside of the groove) with the later picture posted of a TA arm.

bikemig, I just bought a Grand Jubile frameset, also likely a ‘73. I got some good advice from @verktyg so I hope he will pop in and tell you all about your bike.
It's a TA; the dust caps and chain rings are TA. Looking forward to see your build on the Jubilee but I think that may be a little later than '73? I'm no expert on motobecanes though.

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Old 09-30-18, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Cool, I'd definitely be interested in the 700s if you have them. The 600s could be sweet also but I don't think they're serviceable, right?
I looked and so far only found one pair of 600 pedals (small chance I may have others but doubtful). These are fully serviceable: I left the pedal caps loose and unscrewed them to see regular locknuts and the spindles slotted for tabbed washers. I did not rebuild these but the grease is not hardened and they spin fine if somewhat loose. I definitely would rebuild and adjust them if I was going to ride them. The spindle ends are marked R and L so am pretty sure they have standard threads (but can check that). LMK if you want pix
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Old 09-30-18, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
I looked and so far only found one pair of 600 pedals (small chance I may have others but doubtful). These are fully serviceable: I left the pedal caps loose and unscrewed them to see regular locknuts and the spindles slotted for tabbed washers. I did not rebuild these but the grease is not hardened and they spin fine if somewhat loose. I definitely would rebuild and adjust them if I was going to ride them. The spindle ends are marked R and L so am pretty sure they have standard threads (but can check that). LMK if you want pix
PM sent. I did some reading on them. Looks like the 2d gen 600s are not serviceable but the first gen are which these likely are.
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Old 09-30-18, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post

I agree it’s not a Nervar crank, but I am still not certain it is a TA. The groove down the arm is noticeably wider than the one on any Cyclotouriste crank I have ever seen.
Agreed. The milled section is far different from any of the 1/2 dozen TA cranks I've owned.

edit. OK it might just be the light because here's a crank from Hilarys site that bears some similarities to the OP's. I'd still say it's a different generation of crank.



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Old 09-30-18, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
Cool. I bought one of these new in '72. My first "good" ten speed. $225 back then. Purchased it at a Schwinn store that also sold Motobecane. Sales guy wrote up the sales receipt as Motorbecane. '72 was the first year of the black/red color combo. It also became my first "Track" bike. Converted it to fixed gear and raced it till I got a used Paramount.

Had issues with the front hub and ground the heck out of the cones. Even back then there were no replacements to be found. Also keep notice of the fixed cup in BB. French cups want to unscrew as you pedal. I had a constant problems with that.
Good point about the fixed cup. I'll likely pull the cups since I'll want to use some frame saver; I might use loctite on the fixed cup when I reinstall it.
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Old 10-02-18, 01:20 PM
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Great find, bikemig!

On some French bikes, Nitto stems will fit with no sanding needed. Or possibly with only a little relieving of the locknut opening. I have a cheapie Origin8 stem that also fit easily on my '74.

Another FYI, on my '74 I can fit big fat 700x41mm (actual) Soma Supple Vitesse tires. This will only work with centerpulls, and I had to take a bit of material off of the bottom of the Weinmann 610 mounting yoke up front.

And the ride is sublime. Enjoy the spring build.

PM me if you haven't found pedals yet -- I have a pair of Atoms but I don't remember the model.
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Old 10-03-18, 03:54 PM
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Good to see another Grand Record from the early '70s being renovated. These are great bikes. I have 4, with one of those being reborn into a totally French-equipped Grand Randonneur. Hopefully I'll be able to start painting and assembly by Spring, as we have just moved and the bikes have had to take a back seat to more pressing projects (or so my wife says. )
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Old 10-10-18, 11:10 AM
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Nice find! I love the black and red, and lug work on this. Paint looks to be in good shape too.

As for the seatpost, I don’t think a kalloy would be a terrible idea. I have one on my old Raleigh that I put a Brooks on and I have no regrets.
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Old 10-20-18, 05:54 AM
  #25  
GrainBrain
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Followed a link here from another thread ... How'd I miss this!?

Was this on Craig's? And how many minutes was it from the seller posting the ad to you contacting them?
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