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1976, I think, Motobecane le Champion

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1976, I think, Motobecane le Champion

Old 07-08-24, 02:08 PM
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1976, I think, Motobecane le Champion

I bought this quite a while back just because it's French and full Reynolds. I rode it a bit but kept acquiring other fancy bikes, however none of them have the ride qualities of this frameset in 700c. I may have to sell a frameset or two. This isn't finished but it's pretty nice right now.


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Old 07-08-24, 02:11 PM
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Btw mafac competitions rock.
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Old 07-08-24, 02:31 PM
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Well, as luck would have it, I have a printed copy of the 1976 Motebecane catalog (I have a '76 Grand Touring). Here is the cover, the page with the Le Champion, and the spec sheet for the bike. Your color is correct for the year. From my research, I've learned that the market for European bikes in the mid-70's was so insane that they were often shipped/built/equipped with whatever parts could be sourced, hence the mish-mash of parts. I know they aren't the clearest of pics, but I hope this helps!






Last edited by camjr; 07-08-24 at 02:43 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old 07-08-24, 02:54 PM
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Really appreciate that, this had no correct parts when I got it so I just used French where I could. Suntour derailleurs always make me happy though so there's that.
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Old 07-08-24, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster
Really appreciate that, this had no correct parts when I got it so I just used French where I could. Suntour derailleurs always make me happy though so there's that.
Yup. My '76 Grand Touring has the fantastic Suntour V-GT Luxe RD on it.
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Old 07-08-24, 04:18 PM
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If possible, I think the Le Champion is underrated. I love the way mine rides and it's the bike I grab for fun most often. Yours looks great. Enjoy that thing.
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Old 07-08-24, 04:34 PM
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these are exceptionally nice bikes, yes, yours is, and they were not built on the regular production line at Nantes.

/markp
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Old 07-09-24, 07:00 AM
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Great bike ! I have a Motobecane that is lower down the chain than this a yours . It is a fine riding bike . I will eventually swap the Campagnolo NR rear mech for the Cyclone GT like yours once I swap the FW for a lower geared unit.
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Old 07-09-24, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12
Great bike ! I have a Motobecane that is lower down the chain than this a yours . It is a fine riding bike . I will eventually swap the Campagnolo NR rear mech for the Cyclone GT like yours once I swap the FW for a lower geared unit.
I've had several motobecanes and none disappoint. I just don't need quite as many bikes as I have. It's a long journey to get a feel for all the bikes I couldn't afford when they were new.
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Old 07-09-24, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster
I've had several motobecanes and none disappoint. I just don't need quite as many bikes as I have. It's a long journey to get a feel for all the bikes I couldn't afford when they were new.
Do let us know when you're ready to start letting bikes go.
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Old 07-09-24, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Sedgemop
Do let us know when you're ready to start letting bikes go.
I have several framesets id let go. Currently I've been putting together commuter bikes that I eventually give away.
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Old 07-09-24, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster
….. It's a long journey to get a feel for all the bikes I couldn't afford when they were new.
I know that feeling. I over-stretched my spending resources in 1975 when I bought a Grand Record. Fast forward 49 years and now I have the Le Champion I always wanted back in the day. (And still have the GR too!)





And since I am now living in SW Florida, I can and do ride these beauties every day!
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Old 07-09-24, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Biker Pete
I know that feeling. I over-stretched my spending resources in 1975 when I bought a Grand Record. Fast forward 49 years and now I have the Le Champion I always wanted back in the day. (And still have the GR too!)





And since I am now living in SW Florida, I can and do ride these beauties every day!
Beautiful! Those grand records are snappy rides.
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Old 07-09-24, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by camjr
Well, as luck would have it, I have a printed copy of the 1976 Motebecane catalog (I have a '76 Grand Touring). Here is the cover, the page with the Le Champion, and the spec sheet for the bike. Your color is correct for the year. From my research, I've learned that the market for European bikes in the mid-70's was so insane that they were often shipped/built/equipped with whatever parts could be sourced, hence the mish-mash of parts. I know they aren't the clearest of pics, but I hope this helps!



Interesting that in the 1974 catalog the description of the Grand Record is the same as the description of the Le Champion in the 1976 catalog…..bike good for both racing and touring. I note that on my 1975 GR the dropouts have eyelets for attaching racks for touring, whereas my 1975 LC does not have these eyelets.


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Old 07-09-24, 09:29 AM
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Mine does have eyelets and clearance for 35s and fenders with the right brakes. With the competitions I'm using soma 33s and could probably fit 35s with some finagling. I love the clearance and I've even got a phil wood hub on back. If I remember correctly the only thing my grand record gave up was the rear triangle was some lesser steel. I'm sure I couldn't tell it.
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Old 07-09-24, 10:25 AM
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My LC from a couple years later is definitely racier. Tighter clearances and no eyelets. It wants to go fast.
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Old 07-09-24, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster
I've had several motobecanes and none disappoint. I just don't need quite as many bikes as I have. It's a long journey to get a feel for all the bikes I couldn't afford when they were new.
I've got three Motobecanes now -- two Grand Jubilés and a Grand Record. I've got a bunch of nice Italian race bikes, but for some reason I keep gravitating towards the Motobecane sport tourers. I guess subconsciously I must be admitting that I'm getting old.

I don't know if you saw my most recent Motobecane, but it was definitely inspired by a few of your builds. I put a Porteur front rack on it this weekend. I need to take some pictures and update that thread.
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Old 07-09-24, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
I've got three Motobecanes now -- two Grand Jubilés and a Grand Record. I've got a bunch of nice Italian race bikes, but for some reason I keep gravitating towards the Motobecane sport tourers. I guess subconsciously I must be admitting that I'm getting old.

I don't know if you saw my most recent Motobecane, but it was definitely inspired by a few of your builds. I put a Porteur front rack on it this weekend. I need to take some pictures and update that thread.
Holy cow, beautiful build in that other thread. I have and have had too many bikes but the motos really call my name.
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Old 07-09-24, 07:50 PM
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I had ~that year Le Champion many years ago. I realized after a while it was too big. Maybe it wasn't and I could have remedied it with a shorter stem. But I sold it. It's funny how I can't predict how a bike will be with a change of handlebar. I put North Roads on my Super Course, and it was awful so it has drop bars again. It's nice to know the Le Champion takes to it well even though I don't have one anymore.
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Old 07-09-24, 09:04 PM
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1974 catalog...

Cyclist went for the Arte Johnson / Bobby Riggs cut. Not aero, but bold.
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Old 07-09-24, 09:26 PM
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This is a timely post. I am a big fan of my Le Champion as well. Mine is an orange one from around 1973. I finished rebuilding it recently and hadn't taken it for much of a ride. Over the weekend I thought I'd just go down the street for a few minutes and came back about an hour later because I didn't want to stop. I think it's going to be a keeper. Such nice bikes and great values.
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Old 07-09-24, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
I had ~that year Le Champion many years ago. I realized after a while it was too big. Maybe it wasn't and I could have remedied it with a shorter stem. But I sold it. It's funny how I can't predict how a bike will be with a change of handlebar. I put North Roads on my Super Course, and it was awful so it has drop bars again. It's nice to know the Le Champion takes to it well even though I don't have one anymore.
I pretty much like anything with the short stem portuer bar setup no matter how quick they steer, having said that I towed my trailer and music gear with it Monday night and it wasn't difficult so maybe it is a good candidate for what I've done. Just know I now do this to every bike and the all seem to handle fine to me if the frame is in good shape. So what I'm saying is I'm the wrong guy to evaluate this sort of thing.
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Old 07-10-24, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
Cyclist went for the Arte Johnson / Bobby Riggs cut. Not aero, but bold.
Brooks saddle and White shorts? Not for long...
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Old 07-11-24, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
I've got three Motobecanes now -- two Grand Jubilés and a Grand Record. I've got a bunch of nice Italian race bikes, but for some reason I keep gravitating towards the Motobecane sport tourers. I guess subconsciously I must be admitting that I'm getting old.

I don't know if you saw my most recent Motobecane, but it was definitely inspired by a few of your builds. I put a Porteur front rack on it this weekend. I need to take some pictures and update that thread.
The mid-70's Motobecane touring bikes have a beautiful ride. I posted the pages from the 1976 Mobecane catalog earlier in this thread. Here is the reason why - my 1976 Grand Touring:

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Old 07-11-24, 05:43 AM
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I have to say that the 1971 LC I rode was not inspiring. I don't know if it was the poor shifting or fit. I do know the Colnago that replaced it certainly was inspiring. Could have been the difference in geometry that I didn't appreciate at the time. I have often considered looking for a replacement but just couldn't get there. The other French bike I would consider is a PX 10.

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