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"Le Champion de Hamtramck" (...the tale of a '75 Motobecane...)

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"Le Champion de Hamtramck" (...the tale of a '75 Motobecane...)

Old 12-20-11, 06:12 PM
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What a great story and I am completely blown away by the bike! I love that lavender paint too.
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Old 12-20-11, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Grim
Bike came out great!

Story almost made me miss Detroit...then I looked at the Thermometer and saw it is 57f here in Atlanta right now. Stopped missing it.
Thanks Grim. (We have to keep the weather a little cooler here for the reindeer.)
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Old 12-20-11, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by AZORCH
What a great story and I am completely blown away by the bike! I love that lavender paint too.
Thank you AZORCH. Actually it's called called "Silver Lilac" in the catalog. (I was being less than precise)
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Old 12-20-11, 06:33 PM
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You made that thing come back to life. Great job, from another Motobecane fan. I loved your comment about the code to set it apart from the dozens of Le Champion's in your neighborhood.
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Old 12-20-11, 06:38 PM
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Great story, great resto job and a great-looking bike. happy holidays!
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Old 12-20-11, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by fender1
Why is the grass/trees green in the pics if this happened recently??? Continuity problem....... Nice bike
Congrats, you're that guy who spoils movies for the rest of us, thanks


Fantastic restoration Auchen, and a fun read as always! Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-20-11, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami
Congrats, you're that guy who spoils movies for the rest of us, thanks


Fantastic restoration Auchen, and a fun read as always! Merry Christmas!
^ The "suspension of disbelief", eh? - As if there was some element of fiction in my account!
(Well, perhaps - but possibly much less than you might think.)

Merry Christmas to you too Chris!
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Old 12-20-11, 10:41 PM
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Thank you OldsCOOL, Roypercy!
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Old 12-20-11, 10:58 PM
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A really heartwarming story and fantastic rebuild.
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Old 12-20-11, 11:08 PM
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Auchen, what a beautiful story! Your ability to keep us all wanting more, and cheering for you is superb. You have phenomenal composition skills. There are people that write for themselves or for that .00000001%. These writers quickly lose their audience. You my friend, never let go of your audience, or better yet, your audeince never let's go of you! The cemeteries are filled with dreams, desires, hopes, goals, and wishes that never came to pass for lack of the will to make them happen. Maybe you should give writing a try. Don't take that talent with you, but leave it here to inspire others to follow the beauty of their dreams.

Flash

Last edited by flash2070; 12-20-11 at 11:10 PM. Reason: mis spelled
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Old 12-21-11, 02:37 AM
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I also can't believe it's the same bike. Great example of a labor of love. Hope to find a Le Champion some day.
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Old 12-21-11, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by flash2070
Auchen, what a beautiful story! Your ability to keep us all wanting more, and cheering for you is superb. You have phenomenal composition skills. There are people that write for themselves or for that .00000001%. These writers quickly lose their audience. You my friend, never let go of your audience, or better yet, your audeince never let's go of you! The cemeteries are filled with dreams, desires, hopes, goals, and wishes that never came to pass for lack of the will to make them happen. Maybe you should give writing a try. Don't take that talent with you, but leave it here to inspire others to follow the beauty of their dreams.

Flash
+1000. An extraordinary wordsmith and bikesmith in one person: Unfair!! Unfair!! Auchen, you have a true gift for story-telling and a fantastic feel for the English language. I will be happy if you keep us entertained here on these forums, but I agree with flash2070: If you have even the slightest ambition to be a writer (more than you already are), go for it! Your tales remind me somewhat of the James Herriot stories: based on real-life experiences, told with great warmth, leavened with humor, often ending with a twist, and invariably recounted in such an engaging manner and with such vivid detail that one cannot help but be captivated. You do want to be careful, though. Your fans may start clamoring for more -- and more.
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Old 12-21-11, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by flash2070
Auchen, what a beautiful story! Your ability to keep us all wanting more, and cheering for you is superb. You have phenomenal composition skills. There are people that write for themselves or for that .00000001%. These writers quickly lose their audience. You my friend, never let go of your audience, or better yet, your audeince never let's go of you! The cemeteries are filled with dreams, desires, hopes, goals, and wishes that never came to pass for lack of the will to make them happen. Maybe you should give writing a try. Don't take that talent with you, but leave it here to inspire others to follow the beauty of their dreams.

Flash
Wow Flash. Thank you... I don't know what to say.
I am humbled by your endorsement but your cemetery allusion has me watching my back!
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Old 12-21-11, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by strock
+1000. An extraordinary wordsmith and bikesmith in one person: Unfair!! Unfair!! Auchen, you have a true gift for story-telling and a fantastic feel for the English language. I will be happy if you keep us entertained here on these forums, but I agree with flash2070: If you have even the slightest ambition to be a writer (more than you already are), go for it! Your tales remind me somewhat of the James Herriot stories: based on real-life experiences, told with great warmth, leavened with humor, often ending with a twist, and invariably recounted in such an engaging manner and with such vivid detail that one cannot help but be captivated. You do want to be careful, though. Your fans may start clamoring for more -- and more.
Strock - Likewise, I am sincerly, most grateful to you for your compliment.
- I do try hard to make these stories entertaining, but how can I possibly write any more with my garage so full of bikes already?
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Old 12-21-11, 08:55 AM
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And thank you, trekday2100, WNG!
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Old 02-22-12, 09:49 PM
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Hey Auchencrow, BTW how do you like that Ideale 80? I have a line on one - possibly - for my '81 Grand Jubilee, and I like the idea of going French. I tend to ride in the drops a lot and set my saddle slightly higher than the bars. Would you recommend the Ideale 80, based on your experience?
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Old 02-23-12, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Roypercy
Hey Auchencrow, BTW how do you like that Ideale 80? I have a line on one - possibly - for my '81 Grand Jubilee, and I like the idea of going French. I tend to ride in the drops a lot and set my saddle slightly higher than the bars. Would you recommend the Ideale 80, based on your experience?

Hi Roypercy -

I haven't yet logged enough miles on the LeChamp to speak authoritatively, but my initial impression is that it is a comfortable, but harder saddle. (i.e., More like a Brooks Pro than a B17.) I should note however that this particular saddle is not original to this bike, and has very few miles on it.

- My first preference on an older French bike like your Gr Jubile would be for an Ideale - because it is correct, if for no other reason.

That being said, my own Gr Jubile is wearing a B17 because the prices I have seen on e-Bay for Ideale saddles are (IMO) absolutely outrageous.
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Old 02-23-12, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow
Hi Roypercy -

I haven't yet logged enough miles on the LeChamp to speak authoritatively, but my initial impression is that it is a comfortable, but harder saddle. (i.e., More like a Brooks Pro than a B17.) I should note however that this particular saddle is not original to this bike, and has very few miles on it.

- My first preference on an older French bike like your Gr Jubile would be for an Ideale - because it is correct, if for no other reason.

That being said, my own Gr Jubile is wearing a B17 because the prices I have seen on e-Bay for Ideale saddles are (IMO) absolutely outrageous.
For what it's worth, I have an Ideale 2001 on my Follis. Admittedly, that bike doesn't hit the road too often, but I find the saddle to be moderately comfortable and I don't seem to have to move around to "find" my fit as much as I do with the Brooks Pro that I have on the PX-10.
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Old 02-23-12, 08:57 AM
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I'm glad this thread was bumped, as I missed it the first time around. Great story, and great job on the resto.
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Old 02-23-12, 08:58 AM
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I'm glad too. I love this bike.
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Old 02-23-12, 08:59 AM
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worth bumping these pics again. So pretty.
Originally Posted by auchencrow
















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Old 02-23-12, 09:00 AM
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yes indeed,
Originally Posted by auchencrow












As built:

1975 Motobecane Le Champion
Silver-Lavender
Reynolds 531 butted tubes, fork and stays.
Rear DR Campagnolo NR, 1974
Frt DR Campagnolo NR
Shifters Campagnolo NR
Crank set Sugino Super Mighty Competition (53/42)
Bb cups & spindle - Campagnolo
Chain KMC
FW Suntour Winner (13/21)
Pedals MKS Sylvan touring
Stem Phillipe (with a Carlton clamp nut!)
Bars Phillipe Professional
Tape Tressostar
Bar ends - Campania
Cable guides Campagnolo
Headset - Campagnolo
Calipers Universal 68s
Levers Shimano Dura Ace
Hoods Dia Compe
Saddle Ideale 80
Seatpost Campagnolo 2-bolt
Rims Fiamme Ergal
Hubs Mystery 36h
Skewers Sunshine rear, Campagnolo NR front
Tires Vittoria Rally
Reynolds decals - Velocals
Tire scrapers Rootboy
Bottle cage - Generic
Bell Suzue-Crane alloy
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Old 02-23-12, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow
Hi Roypercy -

I haven't yet logged enough miles on the LeChamp to speak authoritatively, but my initial impression is that it is a comfortable, but harder saddle. (i.e., More like a Brooks Pro than a B17.) I should note however that this particular saddle is not original to this bike, and has very few miles on it.

- My first preference on an older French bike like your Gr Jubile would be for an Ideale - because it is correct, if for no other reason.

That being said, my own Gr Jubile is wearing a B17 because the prices I have seen on e-Bay for Ideale saddles are (IMO) absolutely outrageous.


Thanks, Auchen:

I actually missed the bid on the Ideale I was looking at on the 'Bay, so I may go for a Brooks after all; I love the idea of going 'tout French', but as you say, to find an Ideale in decent shape for less than a ridiculous price is next to impossible, it seems. My GJ is actually late enough ('81) that it came stock with a Motobecane-branded "Turbo" style saddle, but I prefer the look of leather. I'm thinking Brooks Pro, so maybe I'll get a little of that Ideale experience after all.

Thanks for the help, and once again, amazing job on that Le Champion.

Cheers

Roy
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Old 02-24-12, 01:30 PM
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Nice story. Did they have any nalesniki (crepes) at that buffet?
This thread made me think of eating at the Polish-American Society on Dequindre in the old days, and the soup they made from a dandelion-like weed. Delicious....
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Old 02-24-12, 01:42 PM
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Dang, sweet, can't wait to get mine sorted out...
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