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Motobecane Champion info requested

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Motobecane Champion info requested

Old 12-17-19, 07:53 AM
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Plenty of parts have been exchanged in this Moto'. Note the prior clamp witness marks on the down tube.

this one might get comment on forum tonton velo.

in the 1969 team image, some are using centerpull brakes, most probably Mafac.

my hunch is '67-'68. Did not see a glimmer of chrome lugs in the '69 team image.
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Old 12-17-19, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Chase
Could well be a paint code - mind you, the 33 serial number on the frame suggests something non production run.
Exactly. When I saw that, combined with the fork steerer tube ID, I was pretty much convinced.

I see open-C shift levers. Beautiful chrome lugs - and someone really took good care of the bike, because I still don't see even the most minimal of damage or lifting of the chrome decals. What a cool bike - I'd be plenty jealous if it were about 3 sizes bigger

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Old 12-18-19, 02:10 AM
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Just a thought, I know there`s a handfull of orange Moto`s of this era out there - any of them have 37 BIC on the steerer tube? Would also be interesting to know comparible serial numbers, though they would most likely be younger `70 and onwards examples, Dan.
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Old 12-18-19, 08:59 AM
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Really cool bike, Dan. Just as another point of reference, here is a page of a team bike I believe owned by Hugh Thorton. As I remember his name. This one is later, but some interesting info to add to the discussion. I would encourage you , if you haven't done so, to post this one over on the Classic Rendezvous list. There are several members there, including Hugh Thorton, who might be able to shed more light on this bike of yours.

1973 Motobecane Bic Team Racing Bicycle
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Old 12-18-19, 09:11 AM
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Amazing find. I have only seen occasional pics of Euro models and don’t recall seeing any with chromed lugs.
Anyone know when the firm began making bike frames of this caliber? Clearly earlier than they made their way to the States, but how much earlier?
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Old 12-18-19, 09:21 AM
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That is not a Champion Team. Probably a Le Champion. The Champion Team, sometimes called the Team Champion in the US literature, was introduced in '74 in honor of Ocana's TdF win in '73. If the literature is to be believed, the CT was special-order only though bike shops might havve pre-ordered some.

Do the hub locknuts have dates stamped on the inside surfaces?
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Old 12-19-19, 01:38 PM
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Checking through some old pics online, came accross this one of Jimenez riding for BIC at the `68 Giro - though black and white i`m pretty sure thats a chrome lugged frame with Mafac brakes? Hard to find a good pic as the early Bic`s are usually Anquetil and he had various coloured bike - have seen dark blue and sliver whilst riding for BIC - later ones are dominated by Ocana and a lot of those are staged, as already mentioned.

Anyway, Jimenez, BIC, 1968 Giro, chrome lugs:

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Old 12-19-19, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Chase
Checking through some old pics online, came accross this one of Jimenez riding for BIC at the `68 Giro - though black and white i`m pretty sure thats a chrome lugged frame with Mafac brakes? Hard to find a good pic as the early Bic`s are usually Anquetil and he had various coloured bike - have seen dark blue and sliver whilst riding for BIC - later ones are dominated by Ocana and a lot of those are staged, as already mentioned.

Anyway, Jimenez, BIC, 1968 Giro, chrome lugs:

That may not be a Motobecane. Jacques Anquetil rode for Team BiC 1967-1969. I have seen photos of the bikes he rode in 68 and 69 and they are marked Jacques Anquetil. There is also a photo of Jan Janssen riding the same marque in 1969. I mention Janssen to show that JA was not the only rider on a JA frame. These featured a white head tube and a larger head badge than what appeared on Motobecanes. That is what I see in this photo. Now it is possible that the JA frames were made by Motobecane. But based on JA's past history, I think it is equally likely that they were built by someone else.
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Old 12-19-19, 02:09 PM
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here's a pic of an actual "team issue" Team Champ from 73. The OP's bike may be a couple years earlier. The TCs were made by Henri Depierre at Cycles Gemini in Paris and they are pretty special bikes. Look one over closely and you'll see why.

OP: Does your bike have the wooden plug in the steerer tube ?

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Old 12-19-19, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
That is not a Champion Team. Probably a Le Champion. The Champion Team, sometimes called the Team Champion in the US literature, was introduced in '74 in honor of Ocana's TdF win in '73.
Good points.

Y'all can check out the excellent Moto pages bulgie hosts here:

bulgier.net - /pics/bike/Catalogs/Motobecane/
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Old 12-20-19, 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by CV-6
That may not be a Motobecane. Jacques Anquetil rode for Team BiC 1967-1969. I have seen photos of the bikes he rode in 68 and 69 and they are marked Jacques Anquetil. There is also a photo of Jan Janssen riding the same marque in 1969. I mention Janssen to show that JA was not the only rider on a JA frame. These featured a white head tube and a larger head badge than what appeared on Motobecanes. That is what I see in this photo. Now it is possible that the JA frames were made by Motobecane. But based on JA's past history, I think it is equally likely that they were built by someone else.
I wouldn`t be surpised if half of the Bic team frames were custom made and just painted/badged as Moto`s or, as in Anquetils case, riding a totally different bike to the team issue!

Feel a bit sorry for Rohan Dennis when he stomed off last years Tour De France after his team forced him to ride an inferior TT bike.... not like he`s the world champion or anything... they should have looked back at history and let him ride a different bike and just painted it!
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Old 12-20-19, 03:26 AM
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I
Originally Posted by Dan Chase
I wouldn`t be surpised if half of the Bic team frames were custom made and just painted/badged as Moto`s or, as in Anquetils case, riding a totally different bike to the team issue!

Feel a bit sorry for Rohan Dennis when he stomed off last years Tour De France after his team forced him to ride an inferior TT bike.... not like he`s the world champion or anything... they should have looked back at history and let him ride a different bike and just painted it!
If i had read your original post closer I would have realized I wasn't telling you anything you didn't already know. Mea Cuipa.
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Old 12-20-19, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan Chase
I wouldn`t be surpised if half of the Bic team frames were custom made and just painted/badged as Moto`s or, as in Anquetils case, riding a totally different bike to the team issue!

Feel a bit sorry for Rohan Dennis when he stomed off last years Tour De France after his team forced him to ride an inferior TT bike.... not like he`s the world champion or anything... they should have looked back at history and let him ride a different bike and just painted it!
I do wonder how much of that still goes on. Probably with tires, but modern frames are all different enough that it would be obvious that a Merida-painted BMC is not a Merida.
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Old 12-20-19, 07:43 AM
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I was withholding comment until more pics got posted. I legitimately suspect it's an actual BiC team bike. There were 2doz+ riders on the team and the bike has several little clues already mentioned above which you wouldn't find on a retail bike. Could very well be circa 1970, I think if it's earlier, it's not by much. EDIT: And I am quite certain it's not later.

The only thing really grating me is the BB shell. I also think the post title is a bit confusing for some folks who are referencing "Team" naming conventions used years after this frameset was built.

Last edited by francophile; 12-20-19 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 12-20-19, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile
I was withholding comment until more pics got posted. I legitimately suspect it's an actual BiC team bike. There were 2doz+ riders on the team and the bike has several little clues already mentioned above which you wouldn't find on a retail bike. Could very well be circa 1970, I think if it's earlier, it's not by much. EDIT: And I am quite certain it's not later.

The only thing really grating me is the BB shell. I also think the post title is a bit confusing for some folks who are referencing "Team" naming conventions used years after this frameset was built.
Yep,, your correct - the title was off - didn`t realise that Team Champions didn`t come along until after `73 - have edited the thread title to Champion instead - more pics in the next few days, Dan.
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Old 12-20-19, 01:56 PM
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Thread title changed to remove Team.
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Old 01-16-20, 12:27 PM
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Hi Guys,
Had a chance to start pulling the bike apart and do some research (most of which was fairly fruitless. However, answered a couple of questions about the bike - found a previous owners thumbnail pic of the bike - originally only had the seat tube decal and the others were added in 2014, plus the mystery mark on the down tube was left by a clamp on pump hanger thats been removed:




Feel free to weigh in with observations - the frame is Reynolds 531, the lugs are Nervex Pro and the drop outs are Campy - worth noting the seat stays are the thinest I think I`ve ever seen.






Groupset is Campy Gran Sport - looking at the clamp on cable guides it kind of looks earlier than I thought, same fittings as my `53 Torpado Gransport.






Bars and stem are Phillippe Professional - as you would expect on top end French machines in the mid `60`s, bar ends are plastic, old and you can make out "Paris" on them. Bars show marks where it looks like a bidon cage was mounted - no sign of a clamp on cage on the downtube as the pump was there.




Wheels are campagnolo front and rear, high record flange on the front, looks like nuovo on the back - which will be changed as there`s no way I`m riding that straight cut cassette and I do like the look of the higher flange hub.




Brakes are Mafac with Weinmann levers - sure someone can tell me the dates of the brakes - front and back match and do look original to the frame when you look closely at the mounting points.




BB lug is marked with the standard Nervex logo/angles and the frame is only marked "33" on the bottom bracket and also "33" stamped on the rear of fork lug (hadn`t spotted this before). Headset is Stonglight as is the crank which is a stronglight 49d Deposee - again, would expect that on a mid `60`s french frame.






Don`t think this is a Champion after all, wrong lugs and just can`t find a single pic of any vintage Moto with this lug/chrome combination, taking the frame number into account I`m leaning towards a one off build?

Last edited by Dan Chase; 01-16-20 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 01-16-20, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Chase
... the drop outs are Campy -
Is that an Open C dropout? If so then 1960 or older.

Edit - and is that a 33 or 37 stamped on the bottom?
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Old 01-16-20, 01:50 PM
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At glance, appears the Philippe Competition stem is from the early 1980's. Nice piece and one can really high zoot weight weenie mod with Ti bolts and ally conical wedge.
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Old 01-16-20, 02:44 PM
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the head lugs are Prugnat 62s - NOT Nervex Pro the seat lug is a version of that- LeJeune used one like that with a brazed on seat post binder module. There were lots of options!

here was the first reference I could come up with the name and image : The Retrogrouch: For the Love of Lugs

The bottom bracket shell is a Nervex unit- they made a number of trim shapes.

The fork crown a different brand- I have to think on the name

Mixing fittings was par for the course. Nervex for example could make up bottom bracket shells with various popular inclusive angles- always easiest to pull from stock and use rather than blacksmith them into submission.
Same thing goes for the other lugs. Generally, an array of angles, 72-75 were for the seat and upper head lug
58, 59, 60 for the lower head lug. if you wanted a halfway angle the builder was on their own.

good referencing on the removed band on the downtube.
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Old 01-16-20, 02:54 PM
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The straight cut cassette is just a straightblock freewheel- no cassette.
I would source a high flange Record (commonly known as Nuovo Record) rear hub, to be fully accurate, French threading.
That will just send you down the rabbit hole to find a french threaded freewheel.
Buy an Italian or English threaded hub- get an earlier one, before Campagnolo stamped the threading style in the hub between the flange and the freewheel
plain- Italian
one small turned in ring- English
two small rings -French (don't complain I did not warn you) to make is a bit worse- there are a number of French threaded hubs with no markings- best identified by the spacer locknut style on the drive side.
Atom freewheels had a small splined port for the remover, Campagnolo obliged if ordered with an alternate locknut spacer so it could be removed and not disturb the bearing adjustment.
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Old 07-15-21, 08:36 PM
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Older thread but some incorrect info that needs to be corrected otherwise it gets repeated as fact. In 67 and into 68 the BiC Team rode both Geminiani and Anquetil Bikes as they has in 1966 under Ford France-Hutchinson banner. Both bikes were built by Cizeron which was not an odd approach with Anquetil still as a star rider and Geminiani as Directeur Sportif. Anquetil bikes are dark blue purple and the Geminiani bikes were silver-blue.




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Old 07-15-21, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Chase
Hi Guys,
I`ll get some more pics up of the bike in a few days. Have been looking into this bike a little more - worth noting that the early Bic bikes from the Anquetil era very a lot from the more recognisable Ocana models from 1970 onwards. Early `67 ones show orange with varying amounts of chrome usually with a cream headtube, then the headtube goes ornage, then various bits of chrome go orange. Mafac brakes until `69 by the looks of things. Problem is, all the good pics of team bikes are from the Ocana period - earlier tend to be very grainy or black and white.

Decals changed a lot in that period - the chromed stickers are for early champions, the black lettered referred to by and earlier poster are 1970 onwards.

My thinking is, and I` havn`t pulled it apart yet to really find out, is that its maybe a team frame and forks (number 39 on the forks, number 33 on the frame) and then the rest probably built from parts, or, like most older bikes, stuff just gets changed.

As already mentioned, top riders change plenty of team settups to suit themselves - I also have a 2012 Pinarello that was an ex Sky/Wiggens bike - apart from the unbranded Zips and Veloflex tyres he used, its got loads of smaller modifications, I would say back in the day they swopped a lot of parts around to suit personal perference.

More pics soon.
No orange in 67 or at least start of 68...dark blue purple Anquetils and silver-blue Geminianis. Orange may have come in later in 68...none were Motobecanes.


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Old 08-05-22, 11:18 PM
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Hello,
I know this is an old thread, but this is the first mention of the wood plug in the steerer tube that I've ever seen. I've got two Champion Teams, a '74 and a '76. The '74 has a wood plug and the '76 does not. Can anyone tell me what the plug did, and the significance (or not) of it?
Thanks,
Brian
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Old 08-06-22, 05:25 AM
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At times I think the plug should have its own thread, it is mentioned often enough.
IIRC the reasoning was to prevent water and other material from finding its way up the steerer. IMS, there were some perceived problems of rust induced failures back in the day.

A spare cork for the wine during the ride?
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