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What do I do with this Motobecane Team Champion?

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What do I do with this Motobecane Team Champion?

Old 05-06-13, 05:49 AM
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jonwvara 
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What do I do with this Motobecane Team Champion?



I recently paid more than I should have for this Motobecane Team Champion. At 56 cm (that's an estimate, I haven't measured) it's much too small for me. But c'mon, it's a Team Champion, for crying out loud. What was I supposed to do? Not buy it? Please.
From the <7> stamped on the Strada crankarm, I'm guessing it's a 1987. The serial number is 4286807-803, if that means anything to anyone. The numerals 609 are stamped above and to the right of the serial number, with JC7 upside-down under the SN. All Campagolo components, including the pedals and dropouts. (I'm more of a Suntour guy, so don't know much about the specific Campagnolo flavors.) There's a slightly flaky Columbus sticker on the fork, but no matching sticker on the frame, or really any sign of where one used to be. But I can't imagine that it's not a Columbus frame. Cinelli bar and stem, Fiamme "Hard Silver" tubular rims and a seven-speed freewheel. The most recent Motobecane catalog I was able to find online is from 1984, so I have no way to check any of those specs, but I'm guessing that it's all original, maybe even down to the bar tape.
The bike was seems to have been pretty well cared-for until it got stuck in a shed and forgotten about. It's dirty, and there are some small patches of rust at chips in the paint. Most are small--the worst is a nickel-sized patch of old chain suck (see photo). There's also some rust in the crevices under the top-tube cable guides. Weirdly, a there's a fluorescent orange heart-shaped sticker on the head tube where the head badge should be. Or maybe TCs didn't have head badges for some reason, and the the original owner added the sticker where it would ordinarily have been? I imagine it would come off with some help from a hair dryer, hopefully with no loss of paint. But the paint is solid overall and would probably clean up nicely. Happily, the seat post and stem are not stuck. It also has a "ZZZ" frame pump, which I guess is some kind of Zefal, and Christophe clips with Alfredo Binda straps.
I'm grappling with the question of what to do with the damn thing. If it were my size I'd probably tear it down, obsessively clean and grease everything and build it back up, even though it's hopelessly wrong for the kind of riding I do. The reality is that I need to find a way to use it to help fund a couple of other projects, though I'm not sure how best to do that. I doubt that a craigslist ad is going to draw a big response out here in the woods. There's always ebay, I guess, though I worry about getting hosed by an unscrupulous buyer. Another option would be to spread the risk by parting it out on ebay, but I doubt that my hyperactive conscience will let me go that route. I'll likely put it up on the "for sale" thread sometime soon.
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Old 05-06-13, 05:59 AM
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Overhaul it and sell it. Here. It would have had a head badge sticker I think. But I'm not sure which one for this era.
Maybe similar to this one. This guy is, of course, in a dream world on price.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1980-56-cm-M...item43bb8ef96d
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Old 05-06-13, 06:03 AM
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I think those components are a good deal older than 87 as they're NR but the rear derailleur should be dated the frame looks a little beat you might be better off selling the frame and components (maybe after a good polishing) seperately if you need to make a good chunk of change back
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Old 05-06-13, 06:04 AM
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+1, Rootboy has it nailed. if I lucked in to this beautiful bike, I'd be cleaning and servicing everything and riding it until I dropped.

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Old 05-06-13, 06:05 AM
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Nice bike; too bad that it does not have the head badge sticker. I wouldn't keep it if it weren't my size. The real question is whether you do some work on it before selling it.
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Old 05-06-13, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Overhaul it and sell it. Here. It would have had a head badge sticker I think. But I'm not sure which one for this era.
Maybe similar to this one. This guy is, of course, in a dream world on price.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1980-56-cm-M...item43bb8ef96d
Well, his is admittedly in better shape than mine. Maybe I should just ask for $1,100.
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Old 05-06-13, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by 10speedterror View Post
I think those components are a good deal older than 87 as they're NR but the rear derailleur should be dated
I know, the dates seemed all over the place to me, too, though I know little about Campy parts. It's a NR rear derailleur, but didn't they make that model for decades? The frame graphics seemed more like 82-84 than 87, but who knows? I'll look on the rear derailleur for a date code.

LATER EDIT: Derailleur patent date is 1977. So based on the <7> (that's supposed to represent a 7 inside a diamond) on the crankarms, maybe it's a 1977, not an 87? The problem is that I can't make the frame graphics look that old. Other Motos that I've seen from that far back always have the round metal headbadge and silk-screened lettering. I await expert input.

STILL LATER EDIT: Wait, it can't be a 1977--the stays are spaced to 126 mm (assuming they haven't been respaced.) Can it? Or did high-end racing bikes go to the wider spacing way before everyone else did? Maybe, but 1977 still seems awfully early for 6/7 speed spacing.
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Old 05-06-13, 06:24 AM
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It had one of those dopey 3D plastic headbadges, looks better without it. Great bike, I had a pink one.
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Old 05-06-13, 06:57 AM
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The date codes on the cranks and derailleur indicate 1977, but they could be one, sometimes two years older than when the bike was made and issued, depending on how many components they had laying around. The bike is probably a 79-80, and I think some bikes used 126 mm rear ends that early.
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Old 05-06-13, 07:02 AM
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1978 catalog
https://www.velo-pages.com/main.php?g2_itemId=33056
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Old 05-06-13, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Wow, you've got better eyes than I do--I can't read a word of that.
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Old 05-06-13, 08:36 AM
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Yeah. I can't either. That spec sheet page is pretty much worthless. Just a reference to hopefully help you identify your bike, visually.
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Old 05-06-13, 08:53 AM
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Once you click in the thumbnail it links to a larger image. Click on the larger image and it will go to a full size scan that can easily be read.
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Old 05-06-13, 08:58 AM
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A much better version of the 1979 catalog with specs is here--download the US version of the 79 catalog:
https://www.velobase.com/Resource_Too...alogScans.aspx
The specs look right, and so do the graphics and the color. That decal style apparently didn't move down the food chain for several more years--my 1979 Super Mirage was completely different graphically. It's hard to tell because the handlebars could be in the way, but it also seems that maybe the TC didn't have any head badge that year. According to the catalog, the 79 TC also came with a 6-speed Cyclo Pan freewheel, so the 126 spacing would be correct, although the bike now has a newer 7-speed replacement freewheel.
Based on this catalog, I'm going to tentatively conclude that I have a 1979 model containing some parts that had been in inventory since 1977.
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Old 05-06-13, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by dbarnblatt@usa. View Post
Once you click in the thumbnail it links to a larger image. Click on the larger image and it will go to a full size scan that can easily be read.
Thanks for the info--I hadn't figured that out. The 1978 TC looks the same as the 79 as far as graphics go, but it's listed as having a 5-speed freewheel, so presumably 120 mm spacing. So that's consistent with mine being a 1979.
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Old 05-06-13, 09:32 AM
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i'd guess '78 too.

if you overhauled it and sold it here, wouldn't the buyer just redo what you've already done? maybe just sell it here without doing anything to it.
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Old 05-06-13, 09:39 AM
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Nice bike!

Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Overhaul it and sell it. Here.
Good suggestion.
Also don't be afraid of ebay. You are worried about an unscrupulous buyer but the buyer has to pay before you send the bike and you can set the minimum amount that you want for the bike.

No matter where you sell it, a few hours spent cleaning it up and polishing it will bring you a better price.
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Old 05-06-13, 09:49 AM
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Would also look pretty nice if you hang it up on the wall.
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Old 05-07-13, 05:27 PM
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For a bike than nice, I could lose a few mm.
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Old 05-07-13, 05:34 PM
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You might realize your best price on ebay, but with fees, etc. At least here you have a better chance of it going to a known good home...I think.
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Old 05-07-13, 05:35 PM
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front derailleur is nuovo gran sport I think unless there was a transition period where record had a solid cage and a lip. I always thought that nuovo record got the holes when super record did, but maybe I'm wrong.
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Old 05-07-13, 05:45 PM
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Yeah, Record had a no hole with lip version. 77 or 78, maybe.
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Old 05-08-13, 06:57 AM
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Thanks for the thoughts, everyone. I've listed the bike in the "For Sale" thread for what seems to me--a rider of cheap bikes--as a shocking amount of money. But I don't want to part it out myself, and don't want to be a sucker and sell it cheaply to someone else who will then turn around and part it out.
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Old 05-08-13, 08:11 AM
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Looks just like my 1978. Does it have Huret dropouts? I think 78 was the only year for those but I'm not 100% on that.

My RD is stamped 78 btw, but it's entirely possible that they would have put a 77 RD on a 78 bike. The 77 catalog picture shows tt cable clamps rather than the braze-ons that your frame has (mine too). The ends/dropouts for 1977 are Campy spec. Of course there can be slight variations from the catalog specs, eg. the 1978 specs say braze-on BB cable guides, but my frame uses a clamp on Campy guide like yours.

The spacing on my bike is 126 and I think is in keeping with trends around that time.

My bike came with a SR bottom bracket with the notorious ti spindle. Just so you know. No, I never was remotely strong enough to break it, although I apparently was stupid enough to pit the races.

https://bulgier.net/pics/bike/Catalogs/Motobecane/

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Old 05-08-13, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post


I recently paid more than I should have for this Motobecane Team Champion. At 56 cm (that's an estimate, I haven't measured) it's much too small for me. But c'mon, it's a Team Champion, for crying out loud. What was I supposed to do? Not buy it? Please.
From the <7> stamped on the Strada crankarm, I'm guessing it's a 1987. The serial number is 4286807-803, if that means anything to anyone. The numerals 609 are stamped above and to the right of the serial number, with JC7 upside-down under the SN. All Campagolo components, including the pedals and dropouts. (I'm more of a Suntour guy, so don't know much about the specific Campagnolo flavors.) There's a slightly flaky Columbus sticker on the fork, but no matching sticker on the frame, or really any sign of where one used to be. But I can't imagine that it's not a Columbus frame. Cinelli bar and stem, Fiamme "Hard Silver" tubular rims and a seven-speed freewheel. The most recent Motobecane catalog I was able to find online is from 1984, so I have no way to check any of those specs, but I'm guessing that it's all original, maybe even down to the bar tape.
The bike was seems to have been pretty well cared-for until it got stuck in a shed and forgotten about. It's dirty, and there are some small patches of rust at chips in the paint. Most are small--the worst is a nickel-sized patch of old chain suck (see photo). There's also some rust in the crevices under the top-tube cable guides. Weirdly, a there's a fluorescent orange heart-shaped sticker on the head tube where the head badge should be. Or maybe TCs didn't have head badges for some reason, and the the original owner added the sticker where it would ordinarily have been? I imagine it would come off with some help from a hair dryer, hopefully with no loss of paint. But the paint is solid overall and would probably clean up nicely. Happily, the seat post and stem are not stuck. It also has a "ZZZ" frame pump, which I guess is some kind of Zefal, and Christophe clips with Alfredo Binda straps.
I'm grappling with the question of what to do with the damn thing. If it were my size I'd probably tear it down, obsessively clean and grease everything and build it back up, even though it's hopelessly wrong for the kind of riding I do. The reality is that I need to find a way to use it to help fund a couple of other projects, though I'm not sure how best to do that. I doubt that a craigslist ad is going to draw a big response out here in the woods. There's always ebay, I guess, though I worry about getting hosed by an unscrupulous buyer. Another option would be to spread the risk by parting it out on ebay, but I doubt that my hyperactive conscience will let me go that route. I'll likely put it up on the "for sale" thread sometime soon.
What is an 'unscrupolous buyer' on eBay, may I inquire?
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