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1976 Motobecane Super Mirage

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1976 Motobecane Super Mirage

Old 01-04-19, 09:22 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Vintage_Cyclist View Post
IF you decide you don't want the safety levers, you only need to remove them. The barrel pivots in the levers extend beyond the lever to fit the safety levers, so they will be sticking out of the side of the lever. This is purely an aesthetic issue, the levers will work normally like this. The pivots can be replaced if you want to; eBay is probably the only source and they seem to generally go for about ten bucks a pair. A used pair of Weinman brake levers, without the safety lever issue and longer pivot barrel can be had for about the same. Someone on this board may have a box-of-crap pair that they can send you even cheaper. But at the end of the day, you don't actually need to do anything.

As far as the handlebars go, brake levers generally can fit handlebars of different diameters, because the mounting bands compress as you tighten them.

You obviously need a new stem and seatpost for that bike.

Non safety lever barrel


Safety lever barrel
Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
You can remove the safety levers, scribe a line on the barrel to show how much of the protruding end to remove, and then cut them with a dremel and cutting wheel, or a hacksaw (if you're careful and have a bench vise). Then touch up with a metal file. Purchase the Cane Creek replacement hoods to cover the lever body. Looks better that way and is more comfortable to boot.
Thank you for the great info! I'll pull the existing levers apart to remove the levers, but they are a little beat up and scuffed so I may replace em anyway. It all depends on how much I can clean them up with different grits of emery paper and aluminum polish.
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Old 01-04-19, 09:24 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post

That 28 mm is the outside diameter of the tube, not the inside diameter. :-)
Haha, I feel a bit dumb now! Great info that clears up a lot.
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Old 01-04-19, 09:27 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
First things first! Put the chain in the small ring and rear cog!

Then remove the pedals and toss. Japanese pedals (kkt or mks) would be a fantastic, inexpensive upgrade.
At this point both wheels, the brakes, and the seatpost have been removed. The cables are all frayed and were kind of stuck preventing me from setting the chain on a different ring without the derailleurs pulling on it.

Will those Japanese pedals thread onto the French threads on my bike? I see Sheldon says that standard is 9/16 x 20 TPI and for French bikes it is 14mm x 1.25mm.
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Old 01-04-19, 10:32 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Cheseldine View Post
At this point both wheels, the brakes, and the seatpost have been removed. The cables are all frayed and were kind of stuck preventing me from setting the chain on a different ring without the derailleurs pulling on it.

Will those Japanese pedals thread onto the French threads on my bike? I see Sheldon says that standard is 9/16 x 20 TPI and for French bikes it is 14mm x 1.25mm.
I actually think the Lyotard pedals are very nice. I am using them on my French bikes, but I ride with stiff-soled shoes. The benefit of new pedals is that they offer a larger surface so you can more easily use just about any shoe. So . . . It depends on how you want to ride.

The Tourney cranks may already be drilled for 9/16” pedals, and it is easy to find out. Look at the end of the pedal spindle, on the inside of the crank arms (that is, facing the frame). If the pedals are French they will be marked with D and G (droit et gauche). If they are modern standard they will have R and L. If the cranks are French but you do choose to get modern standard pedals, it is easy for a bike shop to tap out the threads on the crank.
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Old 01-04-19, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post

I actually think the Lyotard pedals are very nice. I am using them on my French bikes, but I ride with stiff-soled shoes. The benefit of new pedals is that they offer a larger surface so you can more easily use just about any shoe. So . . . It depends on how you want to ride.

The Tourney cranks may already be drilled for 9/16” pedals, and it is easy to find out. Look at the end of the pedal spindle, on the inside of the crank arms (that is, facing the frame). If the pedals are French they will be marked with D and G (droit et gauche). If they are modern standard they will have R and L. If the cranks are French but you do choose to get modern standard pedals, it is easy for a bike shop to tap out the threads on the crank.
I'll have to check that, I know just the spot you are referring to for the designation. The current pedals are marked "ATOM Made in France".

I've also got an opinion question for you all: I'd like to add a little color to the bike, but am not sure what to go with. The frame is silver with chrome accents and black lettering. Do you folks think a different color (other than black) would look good for the bar tape, seat accents, and cable housing? If it had any other color anywhere on the frame I could match it would be easy, but the color scheme on the bike is relatively drab.
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Old 01-04-19, 12:42 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Cheseldine View Post
I'll have to check that, I know just the spot you are referring to for the designation. The current pedals are marked "ATOM Made in France".

I've also got an opinion question for you all: I'd like to add a little color to the bike, but am not sure what to go with. The frame is silver with chrome accents and black lettering. Do you folks think a different color (other than black) would look good for the bar tape, seat accents, and cable housing? If it had any other color anywhere on the frame I could match it would be easy, but the color scheme on the bike is relatively drab.
I always think red accents grey/silver frames nicely.

Gumwall tires and brake hoods can help break things up too.
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Old 01-04-19, 01:03 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Raleigh74 View Post
I always think red accents grey/silver frames nicely.

Gumwall tires and brake hoods can help break things up too.
Indeed so. Here is an old silver Nishiki I built up. The red made a big difference! But you could also use a dark green, or blue, or whatever suits your fancy.


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Old 01-04-19, 01:16 PM
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Not mine, just an example of another moto.
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Old 01-04-19, 01:29 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Cheseldine View Post
Will those Japanese pedals thread onto the French threads on my bike?
I assumed your current pedals are standard thread. If the end of the axles show "L" and "R," they're standard. If they read "D" and "G," they're french.
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Old 01-04-19, 02:08 PM
  #35  
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Good project bike. My first serious bike was a 1976 Motobecane Mirage in that distinctive metallic silvery blue. The hi-ten frame and fork were a little heavy, nothing fancy, but very comfortable and fun to ride. The long curvy fork made it very comfortable and stable. Nowadays it would make a fine errand and casual group ride bike.

Personally I'd upgrade some components if I still had that bike (I sold all my bike stuff almost 20 years ago after my neck and back were busted up in a car wreck, thinking I'd never ride again). I'd only be concerned about keeping things original with the higher end Motobecanes. The Nomad, Mirage and Super Mirage were all budget bikes built to a price point for an entry level market.

I switched from stem mounted to clamp-on downtube shifters, mostly because stem mounted shifters were considered dorky. The downtube shifters were a little more precise but there wasn't a huge difference. Well tuned shifters with good cables and housings can work well, even those cheap SunRace SLM10 friction thumb shifters mounted on the handlebars.

I removed the turkey leg brake levers the first time because, again, I was self conscious about how they looked. Then I missed having them in traffic on commutes and put 'em back on. Then I had to remove them again to make room for a Kirtland Tour Pak handlebar bag. When the rear-facing pouches were filled it hindered those levers.

Those turkey leg "safety" levers worked fine. Reports of poor braking are either exaggerated or apply only to poorly designed brakes. The only braking problems I had were due to the steel rims in wet weather, but we didn't get much rain in Southern California. Even when I commuted in Washington DC where it rained a lot I don't recall any panic braking failures.

Nowadays I'd replace the wheels with a decent set of aluminum rims. Nothing wrong with the original hubs, I cleaned and repacked them a couple of times over the years. But I'm not sure I'd rebuild a wheel from scratch using the original hubs on aluminum rims.
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Old 01-04-19, 04:10 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Vintage_Cyclist View Post
Double-check that measurement. The seatpost on my 78 is 25.4mm. If you pull your seatpost out, the size should be inscribed on it.
I measured the post itself and am still getting 26mm. The post is inscribed with "MAX HEIGHT" then a line under that saying "26 ø SP08"

The seat post only lowers about 2/3 of its length before getting tight. Is that normal?

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Old 01-04-19, 04:47 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
I assumed your current pedals are standard thread. If the end of the axles show "L" and "R," they're standard. If they read "D" and "G," they're french.
Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post

I actually think the Lyotard pedals are very nice. I am using them on my French bikes, but I ride with stiff-soled shoes. The benefit of new pedals is that they offer a larger surface so you can more easily use just about any shoe. So . . . It depends on how you want to ride.

The Tourney cranks may already be drilled for 9/16” pedals, and it is easy to find out. Look at the end of the pedal spindle, on the inside of the crank arms (that is, facing the frame). If the pedals are French they will be marked with D and G (droit et gauche). If they are modern standard they will have R and L. If the cranks are French but you do choose to get modern standard pedals, it is easy for a bike shop to tap out the threads on the crank.
I just double checked and the pedals have a small "L" and "R" stamped on the end of the bolt showing through on the inner side of the crank arms. If I am understanding you folks correctly, this means they should be 9/16 x 20 TPI?
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Old 01-04-19, 05:04 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Cheseldine View Post
I just double checked and the pedals have a small "L" and "R" stamped on the end of the bolt showing through on the inner side of the crank arms. If I am understanding you folks correctly, this means they should be 9/16 x 20 TPI?
Yep!
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Old 01-04-19, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post

Indeed so. Here is an old silver Nishiki I built up. The red made a big difference! But you could also use a dark green, or blue, or whatever suits your fancy.


Originally Posted by Raleigh74 View Post

Not mine, just an example of another moto.
Those do look great - I'm tempted to either go with red tape and cabling or blue.
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Old 01-04-19, 07:13 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Cheseldine View Post
I measured the post itself and am still getting 26mm. The post is inscribed with "MAX HEIGHT" then a line under that saying "26 ø SP08"

The seat post only lowers about 2/3 of its length before getting tight. Is that normal?


It’s hard for me to say without putting eyes on it, but there is a good chance the current seatpost is oversized and crammed in there. I would defer to other super mirage owners and trust the general consensus.

Your current seatpost is definitely not original, and one of the “joys” of vintage bike ownership is not knowing everything that was done by previous owners.

If you can find the factory specs on the seat tube, go by that, not the current post. A properly sized post should correct the “damage” once tightened down, if that is indeed the case.

I’m not a super mirage owner, but as others have said, 26 doesnt sound right. A lot of those mid-low 70s bikes called for a 25.4mm seatpost (like my 73 Raleigh Grand Prix). Then again French bikes can be all over the place.

Last edited by Raleigh74; 01-04-19 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 01-04-19, 08:54 PM
  #41  
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You're going to want to also service the hubs and headset. minimum regrease better replace the bearings.
Do the work yourself. Not too many tools needed. Cone wrenches, headset wrenches, BB tools freewheel remover.

MY "TEN SPEEDS - Home Page

https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaA...2xiBbAUVZsvDYQ
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Old 01-06-19, 11:48 AM
  #42  
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Where would you folks recommend ordering the cables, cable housing, and a new chain from? I know I'll need 4 and 5mm for the derailleurs and brakes, but I'm not sure which of the online kits would work. I don't want the cheapest, or need the highest end - just a nice middle ground.

Also, I see chains listed as being for a ten speed - is that what I'd need? Do you folks have a good chain you'd recommend?
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Old 01-06-19, 12:29 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Cheseldine View Post
Where would you folks recommend ordering the cables, cable housing, and a new chain from? I know I'll need 4 and 5mm for the derailleurs and brakes, but I'm not sure which of the online kits would work. I don't want the cheapest, or need the highest end - just a nice middle ground.

Also, I see chains listed as being for a ten speed - is that what I'd need? Do you folks have a good chain you'd recommend?
Look for Jagwire cable kits and an 8 speed KMC chain. The 9-12 speed chains are too narrow.
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Old 01-06-19, 12:33 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Cheseldine View Post
Where would you folks recommend ordering the cables, cable housing, and a new chain from? I know I'll need 4 and 5mm for the derailleurs and brakes, but I'm not sure which of the online kits would work. I don't want the cheapest, or need the highest end - just a nice middle ground.

Also, I see chains listed as being for a ten speed - is that what I'd need? Do you folks have a good chain you'd recommend?
KMC 5-6-7 speed chains are cheap and strong. I'm largely indifferent to cables; there are a lot of good ones out there with teflon lining. I would invest in brake shoes, kool stop continentals will work great on your center pull brakes and look sharp.
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Old 01-06-19, 09:37 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Cheseldine View Post
Where would you folks recommend ordering the cables, cable housing, and a new chain from?
ebay

kmc z50 chain under $8

brake cable & housing kit for $7.50

derailleur cables under $1/ea.

Last edited by SurferRosa; 01-06-19 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 01-07-19, 11:33 AM
  #46  
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So far I've ordered the Jagwire Road Pro kit for the cables and housing, and a SRAM PC 850 replacement chain.

I know you folks recommend the Kool Stop Salmon break pads, but I am unsure which ones fit. Should I go with the square-ish block style or the longer curved ones?

Also, the front fork has a tendency to stick in the middle position indicating worn bearing races according to Sheldon. How can I tell which new races will fit?
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Old 01-07-19, 11:40 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Cheseldine View Post
the front fork has a tendency to stick in the middle position indicating worn bearing races.

Overhaul the headset. Take one of the headset bearings to your LBS and ask them the size. Then buy the number you need to refill both headset retainers.
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Old 01-07-19, 11:45 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Cheseldine View Post

I know you folks recommend the Kool Stop Salmon break pads, but I am unsure which ones fit. Should I go with the square-ish block style or the longer curved ones?
The easy option is to use the previously recommended Kool Stop Continental brake pads.

Alternatively, Kool Stop sells replacement brake blocks for Weinmann brake pads holders. IOW you keep the original metal pad holders, and replace the rubber part only. There were several variants. You would need to take your current pads out and measure them to ensure you get the right size. A bench vise is the easiest way to get the old pads out. If you aren't confident about doing this, get the Continental pads.
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Old 01-07-19, 11:52 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Overhaul the headset. Take one of the headset bearings to your LBS and ask them the size. Then buy the number you need to refill both headset retainers.
If your headset is sticking a bit, the better option is to replace the retainers with loose bearings. You can fit in more bearings, which both help bear the stresses better and ride over any small pits in the races. If you do this, don’t jam in the bearings; there must be a small gap between the bearings so that the balls can roll freely on the races.
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Old 01-07-19, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post

If your headset is sticking a bit, the better option is to replace the retainers with loose bearings.


Possibly. But he hasn't overhauled the headset, so he doesn't know if the retainers pose any issue. I would overhaul it with the retainers in place, and if it isn't smooth, then disassemble again and use loose balls. Unlike a bottom bracket, I try to stay away from loose balls in a headset. It's an unnecessary headache.

But if he sees indexing or pitting in the races, using loose balls might be a better first choice than replacing the component.
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