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More Motobécane? (would like ID help)

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More Motobécane? (would like ID help)

Old 10-26-21, 03:08 PM
  #1  
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More Motobécane? (would like ID help)

Last week I picked up a crankset I'd bought. A Stronglight 49D, which I happen to be a fan of. I paid a bit more than I usually do for these, as it came attached to a frame in what seemed to be my size. Not that I need another frame, but hey, you know.

As advertised:



The crankset came off easily and looks pretty good. 52/42 rings and French pedal threads:



After the crankset I turned my attention to the frame:



No decals, but a familiarly-shaped shadow on a fork blade pointed me towards Motobecane:



On the BB shell, it says M10. A model designation perhaps?



The steerer also sports a code. Looks like 617CI. "61" could be a size indicator, as this is a 61cm, CTT frame. But the "7CI" part?



Dropouts are Gipiemme, and on the NDS there's a serial number. Can't quite make it out. 3889184?



Bottom bracket. Two rings, 8 sides? So, French?



Long point lugs without cutouts, and a no-slide pib:



I have done some online searching, and my best guess so far is a 1977-ish Motobécane C3.

What say you?
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Old 10-26-21, 03:41 PM
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I say that if that BB is in good nick as well then you have an even better score, nice frame, no idea on what it actually is but its a Moto so, all good.
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Old 10-27-21, 06:27 PM
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I had a look at T-Mar 's Motobecane Serial Number Database, which seems to confirm a 1977-1978 build date. It also made me look for a number on the inside of the DS dropout. Sure enough, there was one, although it seems to be missing a digit.

What I think I see is 4216, and if there is another number in front, it *might* be a 9.


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Old 10-28-21, 10:06 AM
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Very interesting cause this sure does not correspond to any of the (familiar) USA-spec frames from '77 to '78.

That ghost decal sure points to the fork being a Motobecane product, but I don't recall seeing any US-spec model that had that "leaf cap" semi wrap-over stay cap detail (much more typically a Bernard Carre or Gitane feature) nor any Moto with GPM dropouts.

Plus from what the European catalog scans seem to tell us, the C3 model was merely a "3-tubes Reynolds 531" frame, this one looks higher up the chain than that to me!

Does the steerer have rifling that might indicate that the fork is Columbus? Are the fork-ends also GPM?

Can you confirm what brand are the long-point lugs (BCM or Prugnat, maybe?)
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Old 10-28-21, 11:17 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post

What I think I see is 4216, and if there is another number in front, it *might* be a 9.

I think that number means a Grand Record frame - but yours has a pip for the shifters and long-point lugs and the crown is sloped, so it's later than what I'm looking at; that makes a narrow date-window if the crank is original.

Three tubes 531 at least, some had more 531 in them.
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Old 10-28-21, 12:27 PM
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I used to have a '78 C4 with the exact same lugset and Gipiemme dropouts, no doubt you're right and it's a Motobecane C3.

Like this one but without the wavy fork:
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Old 10-28-21, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
Very interesting cause this sure does not correspond to any of the (familiar) USA-spec frames from '77 to '78.

That ghost decal sure points to the fork being a Motobecane product, but I don't recall seeing any US-spec model that had that "leaf cap" semi wrap-over stay cap detail (much more typically a Bernard Carre or Gitane feature) nor any Moto with GPM dropouts.

Plus from what the European catalog scans seem to tell us, the C3 model was merely a "3-tubes Reynolds 531" frame, this one looks higher up the chain than that to me!

Does the steerer have rifling that might indicate that the fork is Columbus? Are the fork-ends also GPM?

Can you confirm what brand are the long-point lugs (BCM or Prugnat, maybe?)
No rifling in the steerer. I didn't expect that either, as the Columbus versions (the C5 and, for a short while before those, the C4C) all had windowed lugs, as far as I know.

No familiar "BCM" stamp on the lugs, so not sure about those. And yes, the fork ends are also marked Gipiemme:




Originally Posted by oneclick View Post
I think that number means a Grand Record frame - but yours has a pip for the shifters and long-point lugs and the crown is sloped, so it's later than what I'm looking at; that makes a narrow date-window if the crank is original.

Three tubes 531 at least, some had more 531 in them.
I did notice that the same last four digits (4216) showed up on a number of Grand Record models, where the "16" seems to indicate a horizontal top tube (as opposed to "17", which seems to indicate a mixte). However, those all had a 6 preceding them.

The cranks have what seems to be date codes, but I have not yet found the decoder ring for those. "A 9" and "B 9" for left and right respectively.

Originally Posted by CMAW View Post
I used to have a '78 C4 with the exact same lugset and Gipiemme dropouts, no doubt you're right and it's a Motobecane C3.

Like this one but without the wavy fork:
Thank you, CMAW. It is a small picture, but that looks very much like my frame.

This is the C3 from the 1978 French catalog. Reynolds 531 main triangle, Shimano brakes and levers, Stronglight 49 cranks, Huret Challenger transmission, according to the description:



I have just tried a 26.4mm seatpost, which fits, but is a little loose. I need to check whether it will take a 26.6.
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Old 10-28-21, 03:28 PM
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You had me at the crankset...
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Old 10-28-21, 06:29 PM
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that's a pretty nice bike for a tall person !

maybe a non US market build ? or "grand jubilee"
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Old 10-28-21, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
I have just tried a 26.4mm seatpost, which fits, but is a little loose. I need to check whether it will take a 26.6.
If it's butted 531 and French it should be 26.6.
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Old 10-29-21, 01:52 AM
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Euro Market Motobecane Frame

Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Last week I picked up a crankset I'd bought. A Stronglight 49D, which I happen to be a fan of. I paid a bit more than I usually do for these, as it came attached to a frame in what seemed to be my size. Not that I need another frame, but hey, you know.
As advertised:



The crankset came off easily and looks pretty good. 52/42 rings and French pedal threads: After the crankset I turned my attention to the frame:


No decals, but a familiarly-shaped shadow on a fork blade pointed me towards Motobecane:

On the BB shell, it says M10. A model designation perhaps?

The steerer also sports a code. Looks like 617CI. "61" could be a size indicator, as this is a 61cm, CTT frame. But the "7CI" part?

Dropouts are Gipiemme, and on the NDS there's a serial number. Can't quite make it out. 3889184?

Bottom bracket. Two rings, 8 sides? So, French?

Long point lugs without cutouts, and a no-slide pib:
I have done some online searching, and my best guess so far is a 1977-ish Motobécane C3. What say you?
First off, non-fixie is located in Holland - The Netherlands. It was definitely a European model bike probably designed for the NL market.

Motobecane along with Peugeot, Gitane, Raleigh and Bianchi made models specifically for various European, North American and other markets. They were equipped with components that were popular in those places. They used the same model names on completely different bikes, the same frames with different names, colors, components and so on.

CMAW nailed it: a 1978 C3??? More Motobécane? (would like ID help)

It's most likely a 1978-79 C3 model bike which was somewhat equivalent to the US Grand Jubile bikes. Motobecane started using that metallic light blue color in 1978 and continued on some models into the early 80's.

The 1978 German C3 model had Reynolds 531 butted main tubes with light gauge Motobecane carbon steel forks and stays. The C4 had Reynolds 531 forks but for some reason of Gallic frugality used their own seamed carbon steel rear stays on many of their better models. pas cher

There is a possibility that the 3 main tubes are butted Vitus 172, straight gauge Vitus 888 or even Durifort 888. The ghost of a Motobecane sticker on the fork indicates it's Motobecane seamed carbon steel. I bet if you look through the BB into the chain stays you will see the seam in them too.



Just because the forks and stays are not made of some high zoots alloy steel doesn't mean it wont be a nice riding bike. In that size frame it should ride very smooth and Motobecane got the handling on those bikes right on.

I've never seen GPM Gipiemme dropouts on a Motobecane before. Why did they use them rather than the Huret dropouts with a Campy style derailleur hanger instead? Cheaper? Availability? Market Preference? I'd go with #1...

As far a serial numbers on most production French bikes are concerned, with a few exceptions they're a red herring (look it up). I have 40 some French bikes and I've owned another 15-20 others. In the early 70's we sold a LOT of Gitanes then started importing Bertins in 1975. The numbers never meant anything back then, still don't.

Serial numbers are important for the purpose of traceability for recalls and law suits, primarily in the US markets. That meant nothing to European bike makers until they were forced to use traceable numbers because of the US CPSC (US Consumer Protection Safety Commission) regulations in the late 70's.

Back about 2010, members of the GitaneUSA.com website spent over a year trying to make heads or tails out of the numbers stamped into Gitane frames from the 1950's to the bitter end in the 1990's. Our conclusion was there was no rhyme or reason to the numbers. Beside that, the original bike makers have been out of business for up to 35 years and any traceability records are long gone. Same thing with most importers.

I had two 1988 Peugeot Biarritz bikes with identical serial numbers. Two 1984 Gitane Tour de France bikes with a 68 number difference; two 1974 Motobecane Grand Jubiles and two 1974 Le Champions all of which have drastically different numbers.

End of Serial number rant... grumble, grumble

You can get replacement stickers from Cyclomondo in Australia.


Hope this answers some questions for you.

One more thing, The frame probably came with a metric Motobecane branded Stronglight headset or maybe a Stronglight V4 - 27mm fork crown race.

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Old 10-29-21, 08:09 AM
  #12  
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Thanks, verktyg , for your elaborate reply. Much obliged! Whether Motobecane made different bikes for each European country, I don't know. I haven't been able to find a Dutch catalog, but the German specification sheet for 1978 seems to confirm it is a C3.

And I've just found and tested a 26.6 seatpost, and this fits very smoothly.
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Old 10-29-21, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Thanks, verktyg , for your elaborate reply. Much obliged! Whether Motobecane made different bikes for each European country, I don't know. I haven't been able to find a Dutch catalog, but the German specification sheet for 1978 seems to confirm it is a C3.

And I've just found and tested a 26.6 seatpost, and this fits very smoothly.
As the owner of two grand touring motos I can tell you the 172 and 888 tubesets ride beautifully in tandem with the cheaper forks and stays.

Last edited by 52telecaster; 10-29-21 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 10-29-21, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Thanks, verktyg , for your elaborate reply. Much obliged! Whether Motobecane made different bikes for each European country, I don't know. I haven't been able to find a Dutch catalog, but the German specification sheet for 1978 seems to confirm it is a C3.

And I've just found and tested a 26.6 seatpost, and this fits very smoothly.
The German Spec Sheet lists 7/10-10/10 Reynolds 531 main tubes which would be 0.7mm x 1.0mm wall thickness and take a 26.4mm seatpost. Vitus 172, Vitus & Durifort 888 tubing take 26.2mm seatposts. The head tube appears to be honed?? Maybe someone reamed and honed the seat tube too???

Lightrace headsets were somewhere between the standard fare found on French gaspipe bikes and Stronglight P3 headsets,'




The Motobecane branded Stronglight headsets had a black top locknut. The hex nut made adjustment a lot easier than the top lock nuts with spanner pin holes.



Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
As the owner of two grand touring motos I can tell you the 172 and 888 tubesets ride beautifully in tandem with the cheaper forks and stays.
Back about 2007 or so, I picked up a 1974 Grand Jubile frame that was rescued from a dump to use as a wet weather beater bike. It had gone through a trash compactor truck so the forks and stays needed to be realigned and the paint was trashed. It was 3 tubes 0.7mm x 1.0mm Reynolds 531 main tubes with Motobecane forks and stays.



I put it together with parts I had on hand and was pleasantly surprised at how smooth it rode and how well it handled. Became one of my favorites. Handsome is as handsome does...



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Old 10-31-21, 01:21 PM
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-----

good day non-

appears mb went here with one of the iterations of the nervex professional patterns

these lugs were offered both with and without the reinforcing lips and with and without cutouts

the illustration below suggests the crown has thinner blade sockets than it does in reality

this advert is from ottobre mcmlxxvii so it fits right in with the established time for the frame...



-----
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