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Pretty Motobecane Mixte

Old 04-12-12, 04:05 PM
  #1  
Chicago Al 
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Pretty Motobecane Mixte

My 21 year old daughter is the reason I got into C&V. She wanted a nice bike to take to college, rather than the Huffy she'd been riding, and that led me to find her a sweet Miyata mixte and this whole interesting world. She's taking a semester off and staying with us and as the Miyata is (safely?) in storage on the E coast, we wanted to find her a bike to ride while she's at home.

Voila: a c. 1979 Motobecane Mirage mixte turned up on local CL. It's just a gaspipe bike, but the color scheme can't be beat, condition was good, and at this point Moto was perhaps wisely specing Japanese parts and standard threading so I knew it would be easy to work on...as it was.

We took it completely apart and put it back together with a few changes:

-The original wheelset had steel rims but I had just taken a Normandy/Super Champion set off a Follis so those went on, redished for SS use.
- VO 'Tourist' NR style bars in lieu of the original steel porteur style, and Tektro levers with the original Weinmann centerpulls.
-We turned it into a SS, but the way the spiderless Sakae crankset is set up, had to stay with the 52cm chainring, paired with an 18t freewheel.
-And I was able to pick up a nearly-new brown Brooks B72, just like the one on my wife's Bob Jackson mixte.
-A brass bell completes the picture.

There are just a few little issues: the 52/18 gearing is still a little tall so I am looking for a 20t freewheel. The seatpost is still the original steel and it really needs a proper 25.4 microadjust to work with the Brooks. And the brakes seem tight and yet don't stop like they should. The identical setup on my wife's mixte works great. I think there's a combination of things going on, including some binding because we reused the original maroon housing, and the sections we had to work with are not quite long enough for smooth bends. You can see this in the pic below--I'd welcome any advice including where to find that color housing today!

It has turned out looking like I imagined and daughter is quite happy with it. She's of a generation (and social class) that would much rather cycle than drive, which I think is great.








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Old 04-12-12, 04:22 PM
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Great looking bike, I'd suggest getting a longer rear axle as there does not appear to be many threads in the nuts.
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Old 04-12-12, 04:25 PM
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The axle could be longer, you're right, but threads are biting about halfway through the nuts on both sides. Originally that hub had a QR but I went to the solid axle at daughter's request.
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Old 04-12-12, 05:27 PM
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Great color scheme indeed! A lovely bicycle.
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Old 04-12-12, 05:37 PM
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Great job on the build! What a lucky daughter.

I wonder, though, about the angle of the bars. Assuming the saddle height it set at the right position, it seems like it would require an odd wrist angle to hold those grips. But if your daughter's comfortable...

I am looking forward to the time I can start building my daughter some vintage rides. She's only three now, but she has strong opinions about which bikes she likes (for instance, a powder blue Gitane with rainbow decals) and which of my bikes are "kind of ugly" (let's just say she doesn't appreciate patina).
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Old 04-12-12, 08:42 PM
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The bars are the same as on wife's mixte, which daughter was riding. Her bike came with narrow 'porteur' style bars, which go almost straight back, and feel kind of strange if you should want to make a turn. Other daughter's mixte has 'all rounder' type bars, with just a bit of bend in them, and those were better, but daughter preferred the North Road style. [There probably is some fitting adjustment to do though...the seat/bars height doesn't look right, does it?]

That color combo has to be one of the nicest in vintage bikes. Son and I almost scored a Grand Jubilee like that at a swap meet in February, but the girl wearing all black with bright red lipstick would not let go of it!
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Old 04-12-12, 08:58 PM
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Good job, dad!
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Old 04-12-12, 09:01 PM
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I gotta take a pic of my sister's '76 Grand Jubile, in cherry red/black. Gorgeous bike. I switched out the bars for VO Porteurs and it's a fantastic campus ride for her.
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Old 04-13-12, 02:46 PM
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PS: does anyone have source for that maroon cable housing? I have some red, Jagwire I think, but it's very different from the red on the bike.
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Old 04-13-12, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
I wonder, though, about the angle of the bars. Assuming the saddle height it set at the right position, it seems like it would require an odd wrist angle to hold those grips. But if your daughter's comfortable...
+1

Makes my wrists ache just looking at at.
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Old 04-13-12, 03:43 PM
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Nice Mixte!! fabulous job.
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Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SOLD, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape
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Old 04-13-12, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Chicago Al View Post


Very nice, good job! This is an odd question but it caught my eye, are we looking at a kickstand, a double, a prop or what is that?

Anyway, it's a sweet looking ride!
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Old 04-13-12, 08:13 PM
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That is a really pretty bike.
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Old 04-13-12, 09:05 PM
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My '79 Super Mirage has the same color theme. Nice mixte, it's in great shape.
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Old 04-13-12, 10:11 PM
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Very pretty and nice of her Dad to build it for her...
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Old 04-14-12, 02:20 AM
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Well, I acually have some of that housing from a Moto that I had to part out a while back. It's faded some. If you remind me early next week when I'm home from our trip I'll take a picture for you. It might be too faded to look right.
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Old 04-14-12, 07:34 AM
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Thanks, Ben, I'll PM you next week.

DW, it's not a kickstand but a bottom bracket stand like this. It's a bit awkward to use but the advantage it has over the small stands that grip a wheel is that it gets the rear wheel off the ground for derailleur adjustments, etc.
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Old 04-14-12, 11:13 AM
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Gorgeous bike. So jealous of your daughter!
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Old 04-14-12, 12:23 PM
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When I built my girlfriend a mixte, it had a sugino maxy crankset that was spiderless as well, I took the guard off and ground the teeth off the 52 ring as a gaurd, and used the 42 ring for a 1x6 and redished the wheel and recentered the freewheel. I was never going to use that crankset, and it looks great as is.
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Old 04-14-12, 01:37 PM
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Lovely job.
My wife's FahrradManufaktur mixte was stolen last night. Grr. Time to build her a new one.
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