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Show your French bikes!

Old 08-29-17, 11:05 PM
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Thanks for the story, @JohnPerry, that was cool!
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Old 08-30-17, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by mountaindave
Thanks for the story, @JohnPerry, that was cool!
Indeed!

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Old 08-30-17, 11:47 AM
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Great story.

There are several of us here on the board who own Motobecane Champion Team bikes. Including myself, @rootboy, @Kactus, @CV-6 and several others I'm sure I've forgotten have them.

If you have any questions regarding your refurbishment/restoration, don't hesitate to ask. Here's a Motobecane Champion Team thread, with a lot of good information on it.

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...pion-team.html



Originally Posted by JohnPerry
The Rummage Sale Motobecane

Ah, sorry to take so long, but my MacBook battery decided to die suddenly. So, I bought the derelict Motobecane. And having done that, I asked the guy, as I handed over the money, "so, what's the story?". And this is what he said;

"I brought that bike in here, because I helped clean out the house where it was over in Long Valley. I like to work on bikes, and I knew it was a good bike, despite the way it looks now. I even used to race a bit, but I also happen to know the bike itself. The owner was an old guy who used to be a bike mechanic at a shop up near New York. He used to ride the bike around here, and it was beat up, but you could tell it had been a good bike.

20 years ago, it was still orange, and looked all original. The guy was not especially friendly, but I asked him if it was all original. He said, "no, not exactly, but sort of". Asked what that meant, he told me that in the early 70s, he had worked at a shop that started selling Motobecanes. The owner was of French descent, and loved the brand. He was also always looking for a way to boost his sales. When Motobecane and Luis Ocana won the Tour in '73, he decided he wanted a team racing bike for the window. He called the distributor, who basically told him that they were available but hard to get, and that there was a long wait list. Everyone wanted one, and they only made them in limited numbers, with the French shops first in line. They made a model labeled and branded for the American market, but these were even more limited, because demand in Europe had put the squeeze on availability.

The owner was not so easily discouraged, and he apparently went to the plant in France, and got the most similar frame painted in orange and with the European markings. He brought it home, and fitted it with more or less the same equipment as the team model, and put the bike in the window. Now, for the time, that was a pretty hot bike. The guys who worked in the shop, who had actually built the thing from the frame up, all wanted to ride it. Some of them were weekend racers, and the owner saw a marketing opportunity. He let them all take it to race, and would put up a sign saying "we're racing today. Want to know more about racing? Come inside." So the bike was raced all over the place. Of course, after a year or two, new models came out, and the bike began to look like what it had become, a hard-used racing bike. Eventually, in the 80s, the shop closed, and one of the mechanics, who had the bike at the time, just kept it. It was that guy who eventually moved to Long Valley. And that's how it got here."

"But why is it in such terrible condition? And who spray painted it with the black paint?"

"Yeah" he said, "that's kind of a sad story. They guy who owned the bike was away for a bit, and some kids broke into his house, which was up on Schooley's Mountain, way out in the woods. They didn't take much, but they took the bike. The guy was already a bit of a hermit, and after that, he really did not like to talk much. He made it known that he would beat the **** out of whoever stole it, and gave the cops photos, etc. Well, the kids who stole it must have been scared, so I guess they tried to disguise it, and took some of it apart. Supposedly, a couple of years later, the bike, or what was left of it, was found just sitting in the parking lot of the police station. Somebody had regrets, I suppose. But the cops gave the bike back, and after that, it just sat in his yard, with a pile of other junk".

"What happened to the guy? Is he still around?"

"Nah, passed away about two years ago. We cleared his house out when his relatives finally got title to the property. They just wanted it cleared out. I got a lot of bike tools and stuff, but I'm keeping those. Anyhow, that's a good bike, and it's got a history, and now you know what it is. I don't know if you can restore it, but if you do, now you know that it's had a pretty unusual path to your door. Most of us who like to fix up bikes never know where an old bike has been, or what has happened to it in it's life. Now you know. Sometimes it's fun to know this stuff".
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Old 08-30-17, 12:55 PM
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My Old Peugeot No. 1, a mid-70s AO-8 with rather extensive modifications to both the frame and, obviously, the parts.

The frame was stripped, and I took it to a local metalworker who added modern rack and fender fittings and water bottle stops, among a few other things. The only original parts on the bike are the rear hub, the Mafac brake calipers, and the headset. The rear derailleur is Huret DuoPar, the front derailleur is an old Nuovo Record, the cranks are Spécialités TA Cyclotouriste, and the front hub is a SON dynamo. It is a treat to ride.


Last edited by Aubergine; 08-30-17 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 08-30-17, 01:11 PM
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My Old Peugeot No. 2, a 1984 Corbière with Carbolite tubing. This is not quite as lovely to ride as the AO-8 (the steel? A shorter wheelbase? Who knows) but it is still a pleasant bike. As I bought it, it had some improvements but still needed help:



I fixed it up and it is now my errand and shopping bike. I just had not put the front fender on at this point. As with Old Peugeot No. 1, I have put on my favorite contemporary components.

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Old 09-04-17, 07:27 PM
  #2506  
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Some photos from this Labor Day weekend, featuring two of my Peugeot builds:


From Sunday's ride - I built-up the U08 for my brother-in-law. The chunky Orient Express is mine.


Also Sunday - I think these two complement each other nicely.

I spent Sunday evening in the shop, fine-tuning the Orient Express, and I added one little detail:


This is from today's ride - can you spot the new component?


The Plume Alaire chainguard was bought damaged from Velo Orange. I painted it, aged it a bit to match the patina of the rest of the bike, and then placed that decal. Quite a pretty drivetrain, no?


We are only trespassing a little bit...


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Old 09-04-17, 07:54 PM
  #2507  
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Chainguard rules. Bike rules. Old ATBs ftw.
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Old 09-04-17, 09:23 PM
  #2508  
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Indeed! Some very nice Pugs this weekend!
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Old 09-05-17, 07:54 AM
  #2509  
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Originally Posted by Aubergine
My Old Peugeot No. 1, a mid-70s AO-8 with rather extensive modifications to both the frame and, obviously, the parts.

The frame was stripped, and I took it to a local metalworker who added modern rack and fender fittings and water bottle stops, among a few other things. The only original parts on the bike are the rear hub, the Mafac brake calipers, and the headset. The rear derailleur is Huret DuoPar, the front derailleur is an old Nuovo Record, the cranks are Spécialités TA Cyclotouriste, and the front hub is a SON dynamo. It is a treat to ride.

Simply gorgeous.
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Old 09-05-17, 08:13 AM
  #2510  
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This is my (approximately) 1974-1976 Peugeot UO8


How she looked when I brought her home:


How she looks after a quick bit of changes to make her rideable:


Still have some work to do, need to replace the chain and the front derailleur needs a new cable, and brakes need tuning (anyone have any tips on how to easily adjust these style brakes? never dealt with them before) and eventually a better saddle.

Eventually I will be repainting and such.
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Old 09-05-17, 08:38 AM
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Here is my '72 PX10 on a sunset ride to the LI Sound.

Untitled by irishbx4th, on Flickr

Untitled by irishbx4th, on Flickr

My '73 U08 work horse.

Untitled by irishbx4th, on Flickr

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Old 09-05-17, 12:50 PM
  #2512  
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Here is my recently powder coated and assembled A08 (before and after). I still need to apply a couple more decals. It has been fun to ride.


Last edited by SB_Greg; 09-05-17 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 09-05-17, 06:15 PM
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@SB_Greg It looks great. What crankset is that?
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Old 09-05-17, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by greg3rd48
@SB_Greg It looks great. What crankset is that?
It is an old SR crank with a couple new Sugino chain rings and a modern cylinder BB.
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Old 09-08-17, 06:09 PM
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JohnPerry,
Great story on your Motobecane acquisition. It sounds as though the persistent guy trying to get one may have actually picked up the next model down from the Team Champion at the factory, which was the Le Champion. Which was the top of the line in the generally available catalog offerings. And had it painted orange.
The frames were nearly identical, and some folks say they were the same frame. I used to have a 75 Le Champion but no more. It was slightly different from my 73 Champion Team. But your frame looks to be mid seventies, and does look nearly identical to mid seventies Champion Team, or Team Champion, bikes.

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Old 09-09-17, 02:10 PM
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My Peugeot UE-8

This is my 60 cm Peugeot UE-8. I can tell because it has brazed on tabs for the rear rack. I've had it since 1986 and I have replaced pretty much everything on it, including the front fork, which was bent when I got it. I put on a Stronglight crank from another Peugeot. The paint on the rear end was pretty bad so I did the Rustoleum treatment.
Early on I had sew up tires on it and took it on long road rides but mostly it has been my commuter bike so has been through quite a bit. In fact, the rear chainstay cracked last May so I am looking to replace it. I miss it because it fit me so well.
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Old 09-10-17, 05:50 PM
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Since, like many, Photobucket has made hosting images a problem I have lost all of mine that were posted so here is another one of my only French bike ( so far ) an early '60's P.Peschi, don't think I will see another one around!. By the way, anyone have some 42 cm French handlebars? I find the 37 cm ones currently in use just too narrow for me, the bike handles and rides very nicely but a bit too sensitive and I prefer a wider bar.


Interesting is the fact that the Weinmann center pulls combined with the Mafac levers produces excellent braking, to the point where frankly I am noi terribly interested in finding some period Mafacs to match, I might even keep on the lookout for some period correct Weinmanns - and besides, mixing and matching as well as upgrading was and is a common practice. Same with the Huret shift levers matched to the early Campagnolo Record rear derailleur - shifting is smooth and precise, in fact I prefer the smooth steel jockey wheels with the bearings over the later versions using plastic with teeth and plain bushings.







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Old 09-10-17, 06:38 PM
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@greg3rd48 Sweet chainstays on the '72 PX10
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Old 09-11-17, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by greg3rd48
My '73 U08 work horse.

Untitled by irishbx4th, on Flickr
AWESOME Rig, love the Colour!!
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Old 09-11-17, 12:27 AM
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Since Photo Bucket has gone wonky, I'll re-post my Champion Team.
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Old 09-11-17, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by VintageRide
Since, like many, Photobucket has made hosting images a problem I have lost all of mine that were posted so here is another one of my only French bike ( so far ) an early '60's P.Peschi, don't think I will see another one around!. By the way, anyone have some 42 cm French handlebars? I find the 37 cm ones currently in use just too narrow for me, the bike handles and rides very nicely but a bit too sensitive and I prefer a wider bar.


Interesting is the fact that the Weinmann center pulls combined with the Mafac levers produces excellent braking, to the point where frankly I am no terribly interested in finding some period Mafacs to match, I might even keep on the lookout for some period correct Weinmanns - and besides, mixing and matching as well as upgrading was and is a common practice. Same with the Huret shift levers matched to the early Campagnolo Record rear derailleur - shifting is smooth and precise, in fact I prefer the smooth steel jockey wheels with the bearings over the later versions using plastic with teeth and plain bushings.
-----

You certainly did a wonderful job with this fascinating find. Looks so much more appropriate now with the 49's than it did with the Stars. In case you have occasion to visit a co-op or swap meet you might wish to keep an eye out for a set of hex head chainwheels. They would be a bit more period plausible.

-----
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Old 09-11-17, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Kactus
Since Photo Bucket has gone wonky, I'll re-post my Champion Team.
That bike is hot. You're reminding me that it's time that I do a campy (or a mainly campy) build. And I have the right bike in mind for that build, : )
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Old 09-18-17, 02:42 PM
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Love it. You give me some ideas for my wife's US Express. She had her first extended ride on it this weekend and loved it. I'm not going to be allowed to do a lot, but I see some things that I CAN do.
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Old 09-18-17, 04:20 PM
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Here's a pair of Mid 70's Peugeot's. UO-8 and UO-18.

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Old 09-18-17, 06:30 PM
  #2525  
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I know, I know - it says bertinjim but I really liked this so I bought it.

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