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French Bike identification

Old 08-18-21, 07:59 AM
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Pego105
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French Bike identification

Hi there!
I came across with this bike from my girlfriends aunt in Cannes (France). I am pretty sure that the bike has been spray-painted in green over the original orange and all the original decals have been removed. Can you help me to define the original brand?

Details:
- Serial number on the bottom bracket "13011"
- Size 60
- Huret front derailleur and dropouts
- Svelto rear derailleur
- Stronglight crank and steering
- Mafac center pull brakes and levers
- Odd "tour de France" decals (non original?)

I did not find any other details that can identify the bike, can you help me? I gave created an album with the photos in my profile. I would like to fully restore the bike but I need to know the brand.

Thank you!
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Old 08-18-21, 08:02 AM
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Welcome. We'll see if we can help.

Looks decent, mid-range or above with a Stronglight 93 crank (one of the prettiest ever made--you should see a polished one!) and other okay stuff on it. Forged dropouts and fishmouth stay treatment. Some work went into it. What diameter is the seatpost (it's probably stamped near the bottom) and can you get a better photo of the head badge/decal?

I'd ride it.

Last edited by thumpism; 08-18-21 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 08-18-21, 09:06 AM
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pictures -

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​​​​​​https://bikeforums.net/g/picture/22226438

distinctive no-slide pibb may be a helpful clue for the right pair of eyes... MauriceMoss

Jubile shift levers, saddle pillar and saddle are all later than cycle

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Old 08-18-21, 11:32 AM
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The shifter pibb looks like the TC in this thread.
The lugs and fishmouth stays are also similar. The fork crown, no.
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Old 08-18-21, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
The shifter pibb looks like the TC in this thread.
The lugs and fishmouth stays are also similar. The fork crown, no.
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thanks very much for your keen eye and excellent memory!

a next step might be to determine if this is a stock piece available to all from someone such as BOCAMA or NERVEX or if it is of cycle manufacturer specific use

Motobecane did produce some cycles with the subject machine's Vagner DP fork crown

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dating -

the cycle's Huret Luxe 700 front mech launched in 1966

its Verot model 93 chainset launched ~1967

so am thinking perhaps 1967-1970

OTOH - if one takes the Belleri allen key stem to be original it would push the date forward a bit

pedals appear to be Lyotard model 45CA

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Last edited by juvela; 08-18-21 at 12:02 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 08-18-21, 11:42 AM
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Wow! Lovely!

I have no idea what it is, but I like it. A lot. The green color makes me think of Helyett, though.
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Old 08-18-21, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
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thanks very much for your keen eye and excellent memory!



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An excellent memory is something I am not often accused of possessing!

I would also point out that Motobecanes sold in France do not always match USA models. Not saying it’s a Moto, but I wouldn’t rule it out yet.
It would be interesting to see the fork steerer for signs of original paint. Perhaps the orange was original, but I don’t think that’s definitive based on what’s shown so far.
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Old 08-18-21, 05:26 PM
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one check Pego195 could make which could potentially advance the investigation would be to look at the outer face of the cycle's Stronglight fixed bottom bracket cup

it will either be one ring and eight sides which equals metric thread or no ring and eight sides whidch equals Swiss thread

a Swiss threaded shell would tend to support the idea of a MB origin for the bicycle while a metric threaded shell would not rule it out

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above: Stronglight metric thread bottom bracket on a MB Grand Jubile model cycle

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Old 08-18-21, 06:10 PM
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Think Urago??? - Update: It's a Motobecane or Motoconfort

Pego105 When you get back from Italy, please read or re-read the info that I posted here. It will answer some of your questions.

You may never find out what the exact model is. During the US, UK and European bike boom era of the early 70's there were so many substitutions made due to parts and component availability problems that it's unlikely you'll find a catalog online with the answers because specs and model names changed so fast.

What ever it is, you'll have a nice bike that cleaned and polished will look and ride great.

I think that it's either an uncommon Motobecane model or a Motoconfort from the early 70's. The giveaway is the brazed on W (upside down M) butterfly looking shift lever stop on the down tube:



I didn't catch that feature until juvela and due ruote mentioned the Huret Jubilee shift levers and BB cable guide.

Since the OP mentioned the red lug lining on the original orange color, it's quite possible that it's a Motobecane Criterium model??





Motobecane and Motoconfort Huret dropouts with a Svelto derailleur and semi-fish mouth stay ends. This style of fork and stay end treatment was time consuming and was only used on the better quality models.




Motoconfort was a second brand or marque that Motobecane sold mostly in Europe and the UK to get a larger share of the bike market. The models were similar but the better quality Motoconforts had Prugnat Type "S" long point lugs vs. the proprietary Nervex lugs that Motobecane used on equivalent models (see below).

Motobecane used those long point Prugnat lugs on the top models like the Team Champion/Champion Team, Le Champion,Tour de France, Criterium, Trophy bikes plus a few others back then.

This is a 1974-77 Motoconfort Super Champion with only the 3 main tubes made of Reynolds 531. The model was the equivalent of Motobecane's Grand Jubile.






NOTE: I'm leaving the info below in place because there's a lot of good Motobecane details and I'm too lazy to re-do it...

Being that the bike came from Nice, France, it could likely be a Urago, especially from the bike boom era.

Guessing at the age of a bike based on the components is just that guessing... Those things get changed too often.

The shift levers and BB cable guide came out with the Huret Jubilee derailleurs in 1973. They don't match the Svelto or the FD.They were a lot more expensive than standard Huret pieces so probably were a later ad on???

MB Grand Jubile and Grand Record bikes had proprietary Nervex lugs and Vagner "chevron" or "diamond top" DP+ fork crowns.

MB Nervex Lugs compared to the standard Nervex Ref 49-122 Professional lugs.



Vagner DP+ fork crown. MB used these from the 60's up into the 80's. The flat top DP model crown was not commonly used by Motobecane - probably only due to supply issues.



I don't recall seeing fish mouth fork and stay ends on MB bikes. Most Motobecanes had domed fork and stay ends except for the top models which had slant cut and fish mouth ends. (see above photo of dropout)

The original paint was copper orange colored. Looks like a rattle can paint job with generic stickers.

Cleaned up and de-rusticated it should be a nice bike, probably made with Reynolds 531 tubing.

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Last edited by verktyg; 08-21-21 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 08-21-21, 11:29 AM
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Thank you all very much guys, your knowledge is impressive. Sorry for the late reply, we are on holidays these weeks in Italy.
Anyway, I followed your advice and I have some updates:

- BB thread (juvela): my bottom bracket cup is almost identical to yours, so I guess metric thread...
- Fork: the fork crown is all painted in orange (original bike color), only the bottom socket is chromed for about 10-15 centimeters. Huret drop-outs.
- Paint detail: I scratched the green spray paint and I can see that ALL the lugs have a RED line paint job on the contour (little step between the tubes and the lugs)

All this seems to point to Motobecane as you said, but I look at all the catalogues from 1970 but I never found the perfect match. What do you think?
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Old 08-21-21, 11:51 AM
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-----

thank you for the update

two excavations you could make:

a) carefully remove some of the green paint from the main frame tubes to see if any original transfers or parts thereof remain; it appears that the present finish was done without removing the original finish

b) disassemble the headset so you can examine the steerer; they sometimes exhibit helpful markings


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Old 08-21-21, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
The shift levers and BB cable guide came out with the Huret Jubilee derailleurs in 1973. They don't match the Svelto
But those were the two components that caught my eye. Work well together? Might be fun to keep them that way.
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Old 08-21-21, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Pego105 View Post

All this seems to point to Motobecane as you said, but I look at all the catalogues from 1970 but I never found the perfect match. What do you think?
Where are you looking at the catalogs? The usual site here in the States is Bulgier.net, but those represent US imports. We frequently see Euro models posted that don’t match the US catalogs.
Whatever it is, it looks like a very nice frame. Hope it fits you.
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Old 08-21-21, 05:12 PM
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Early 70's Euro Model Motobecane Criterium

To all: due ruote , juvela , tiger1964 and so on.

Too lazy to re-post everything over again.
Please check out my revised post #9 above...


I think that Pego105 has an early 70's Euro model Motobecane Criterium or equivalent Motoconfort. (or whatever day of the week is was built???)

Orange frame, Prugnat Type "S" lugs with red lug lining, Huret dropouts with slant and fish mouth fork and stay ends and so on...

Sorry, left side photos compliments of the eBay seller...








Inspector Clouseau strikes again.

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Last edited by verktyg; 08-21-21 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 08-21-21, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
To all: due ruote , juvela , tiger1964 and so on.

Too lazy to re-post everything over again.
Please check out my revised post #9 above...


I think that Pego105 has an early 70's Euro model Motobecane Criterium or equivalent Motoconfort. (or whatever day of the week is was built???)

Orange frame, Prugnat Type "S" lugs with red lug lining, Huret dropouts with slant and fish mouth fork and stay ends and so on...

Sorry, left side photos compliments of the eBay seller...








Inspector Clouseau strikes again.

verktyg
What he said!
Sorry I missed your post somehow. Definitely appears right, even the red lug lining reported by OP is there. Well done once again.
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Old 08-21-21, 09:30 PM
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Motobecane Top Shelf Bikes

Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
What he said!
Sorry I missed your post somehow. Definitely appears right, even the red lug lining reported by OP is there. Well done once again.
Thanks...

When I got back into road bikes in 2006 I had several on my bucket list. A 22" (55-56cm) 1964-66 Orange Team Champion was at the top. Been there since I first saw one in 1974, still on the list.

My quest for one of these TCs in my size led me to do a lot of research on the better quality Motobecane models.

Ben Lawee the US importer and distributor at the time was a master marketer. The top of the line Euro version Champion Team bikes were renamed Team Champion for the US market because it made more sense in English. I was told that way back in the day by a large MB shop that had one of those TCs.

I suspect that many of the bikes in the US marked Champion Team were "gray market" models made for Europe and brought over during the last 10-15 years.

For 3 years, 1974-76, the 2nd from the top model Le Champions used the same frames as the Team Champions except for 1//2 chrome socks on the forks and lilac or silver paint. A few of the early TCs also had chrome socks as picture in the 1974 catalog.

Team Champion in the 1974 US catalog shows the 1/2 chrome fork. Notice it says "Strictly a racing machine, limited in production. Made for Motobecane racing team. Exported to the US whenever possible".

The 1974 TC/CT model was produced as a team replica in celebration of Luis Ocana's 1973 TdF victory.

Orange was the BIC/Motobecane Team color. Luis Ocana was the BIC team captain from 1970 to 1974. The BIC Team rode Motobecanes plus Ocana rode some Gemini frames at least part of that time.

Reputed to be a 1972 BIC/Motobecane team bike. Note the old Mylar foil stickers! The Reynold 531 seat tube sticker dates from 1974 so was probably a replacement.



In 1973 Motobecane built a few BIC Team replica bikes. This may be one of them. There was an identical model called the Super Champion made for the Euro market.



The most visible difference between these ca. 1973 bikes and the 1974-76 bikes is the fork crown.

These 1972-73 crowns were sold by Milremo but may have been made by Ekla or Vagner???



The 1974-76 TC/CT frames had these handsome Swiss made Fischer cast steel crowns. The same ones that were used by De Rosa and some Masi's.



The Motobecane frame shop that made the top shelf frames used this style of fork and stay ends from the early 70's up into the 1980's. Less expensive models usually had domed ends as they were faster to braze up.




Getting back to Pego105, his bike isn't one of the rarefied air models I mentioned above but it's certainly a better then mid price range bike. The fender eyelets on the fork ends and dropouts place it below the full on racing bikes. It probably sold for ~$300 new back then.

As I mention before, the flat top Vagner fork crown was what threw me off because I've seen very few of that style crown on a Motobecane.

End of novella...

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Last edited by verktyg; 08-21-21 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 08-22-21, 08:33 AM
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I fully agree with verktyg, it clearly seems a Motobecane Critérium from early seventies.
It is almost identical to the frame you posted from
eBay, except for the black paintwork on front lugs (is this original??). Anyway my serial number is a little higher -13011, so I guess some details can change.

I'm very very happy to discover that it's a nice bike, to be honest the first time I got it out from the shack I thought it was some sort of supermarket bike because of the generic decals. So guys I really want to thank you all for the precious help to identificate the bike.

In conclusion, I would like to restore completely this bike (size 60 is rare and perfect for me - I am 195 cm heigh) to join it to my BERMA from mid 70s. I think I will start on mid-november because my job will bring me out of Italy for a while... If you would like to see some pictures from the restoration I will be happy to continue this thread (or open a new one, tell me!); for sure I will need your help again to get the correct decals and details

Thanks again,

Pego105
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