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Trying to Decide Between Two Very Different Bikes

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Trying to Decide Between Two Very Different Bikes

Old 05-25-24, 08:53 AM
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Trying to Decide Between Two Very Different Bikes

I have an opportunity to get a 1979 Grand Jubile Touring with original light, front and rear racks and pump plus a Brooks Seat for $180 that was probably owned by an enthusiast.
OR a 2019 Specialized Sirrus 1.0 that probably was barely ridden and then sat in a garage. It supposedly is 100% rideable but "could probably use a tune-up.". Whatever that means. I can have it for $125 but it's an hour away.





​​​​​I Use my bikes for errands and light grocery runs about 20% of the time. Spirited rides (for me) at about 12-14 mph. Usually around 20 miles. I like keeping that pace without feeling like a windsail but I can't really do the head down rear up posture because I have neck issues.

So I want something reliable. I worry that the cheap modern day Altus (I think, may be Tourney) derailleurs are going to be crappy and need constant adjustment. And that the wheels and everything else will make the Sirrus a throwaway bike not much better than a Dicks Sporting Goods bike. But I liked my FX3 and if it's close to that, $125 is a good deal.

I like the Built to Last look of the Motobecane and I feel like this would be a Poor Mans Surly LHT. But would it be fun to ride? I'm guessing they will way about the same if I took off the racks, light but who knows. $180 also seems like a good deal. I could even sell the Brooks if I didn't like it and probably get $40-50 for that alone, right?

So anyway I know I'm going to get roasted on here because they are different bikes. But I thought I'd ask which one people would get given my states purpose. Thanks.

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Old 05-25-24, 08:55 AM
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Old 05-25-24, 09:04 AM
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This is a question only you can answer.
Suit your aesthetic. Both look capable.
I ride vintage and modern. Downtube and integrated shifters. They all work. Friction shifting easier to maintain over years.

edit: With fat thick tires the frame material is irrelevant. The decision is all about which has a position that suits you best.
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Old 05-25-24, 09:08 AM
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Go look at both. If both feel great to you and are in good shape get both, ride a while and sell the one you don't like as much. I could sell the racks and fenders off that Motobecane for $125. $50-75 for the Brooks. If it feels nice just keep it. How much comparable fun can be had for $180. When you go to buy it, you can always offer $100 or $150 depending on how you read the person.

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Old 05-25-24, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
Go look at both. If both feel great to you and are in good shape get both, ride a while and sell the one you don't like as much.
That's kind of where I'm headed. I actually posted about the Motobecane earlier and didn't get many answers initially but now I see others did answer. Seems pretty favorable.

I'm pretty confident I could sell the Specialized for at LEAST what I paid for it. Maybe a few bucks more. The Motobecane I would definitely be stuck with. At least in my area. The Moto has been on FBM for about a year I believe. Ironically a crappy BSO Ozone 500 with plastic gear levers sold for $150 in a week if the seller is to believed.

I tried to pair it down to one because I'm also going to Knoxville to look at a Pure Cycles SS/Fixie with a Coaster Brake for $130. He is going to throw in a nice u lock though. Don't ask me why I'm getting it, I just want a non-cruiser single speed with a coaster brake. Probably over paying.
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Old 05-25-24, 09:17 AM
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For the type of riding your describing it sounds like the MB hands down.
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Old 05-25-24, 09:18 AM
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How different is the Sirrus from the FX3? They look pretty similar to me. What will the Sirrus give you that the FX3 doesn't?

If the Moto is really a Grand Jubile, it looks like a great buy. The fenders will be a gift after rain. The rear rack is already there, and it will be useful in carrying things. The front rack is pretty rare, and the 2 racks together, plus panniers, may make you want to do more than light grocery runs. The Brooks saddle can be sold if you don't like it. The lights will be useful if they're bright enough. People who have the GJ seem to love them - see the C&V forum.

The DT shifting will probably take some getting used to, but integrated shifting and braking is probably safer for most of us. The Sirrus almost definitely has lower gears that allow you to ride uphill more easily, but you can convert the Moto either to integrated shifting/braking or to something like a half-step + granny triple.

But, as Wildwood says, you're the only one who can answer your question.
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Old 05-25-24, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
Go look at both. If both feel great to you and are in good shape get both, ride a while and sell the one you don't like as much. I could sell the racks and fenders off that Motobecane for $125. $50-75 for the Brooks. If it feels nice just keep it. How much comparable fun can be had for $180. When you go to buy it, you can always offer $100 or $150 depending on how you read the person.
Yeah the parts probably could be sold but it would take a while and I refuse to sell on eBay anymore. It's the worst.

I really can't offer the guy $150 since I already told him I'd take it for $180. Unless there was something he left out.
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Old 05-25-24, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadWearier
Yeah the parts probably could be sold but it would take a while and I refuse to sell on eBay anymore. It's the worst.

I really can't offer the guy $150 since I already told him I'd take it for $180. Unless there was something he left out.
Make sure you know how to fully evaluate both bikes and asceses what if any work they need. Make sure to take any tools you may need to evaluate or adjust.
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Old 05-25-24, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
Make sure you know how to fully evaluate both bikes and asceses what if any work they need. Make sure to take any tools you may need to evaluate or adjust.
Lol...unfortunately Ive learned some of that the hard way!
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Old 05-25-24, 09:51 AM
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I mean the Motobecane comparing bike to bike is a nicer bike but much older the Sirius 1.0 is the absolute bottom of Specialized's line up. However it is quite a bit more modern but a lot so figure out which one is best.

I like having modern bikes but I have some vintage stuff to enjoy as well and that Motobecane would be an awesome bike to have but I would still want modern stuff.
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Old 05-25-24, 10:03 AM
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The Motobecane is fine if you can do your own work. I’m not familiar with the build, but depending on the hubs, some old cones are problematic with no replacements.

The other piece is the cost of old parts that have since acquired the vintage moniker. Replacing them may exceed your $180 purchase price.

John

Edit added: I wouldn’t buy the Sirrus either.

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Old 05-25-24, 10:04 AM
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Good lord get the Motobecane!

For all the handwringing over the differences of French bikes, one thing is inescapable: they knew how to make bikes that worked well* and had a lovely ride, even with what we'd consider cheap frames. Besides my Grand Jubile, I built up several other 'bécanes with Hi Ten or Reynolds tubing and they were just plain good bikes. Solid, competent, rolled well, fun to ride.



* I'll except anything with delrin
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Old 05-25-24, 10:22 AM
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These are all good points to an admittedly vague and wonky question. And I appreciate keeping the discussion civil and non-hateful. Truthfully buying both bikes would still cost less than a used low rung aluminium road bike.
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Old 05-25-24, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadWearier
These are all good points to an admittedly vague and wonky question. And I appreciate keeping the discussion civil and non-hateful. Truthfully buying both bikes would still cost less than a used low rung aluminum road bike.
You need to decide what fits the way and places you want to ride the best. If I only rode paved bike paths, I might prefer that aluminum road bike. If I wanted to load up and do overnighters, then the Motobecane would be the best choice. I ride about 6 or 7 bikes I bought off marketplace for $100 to $500 each. They are all different enough though that they best serve the specific purposes for which I bought them.
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Old 05-25-24, 11:47 AM
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My vote would be the Motebecane....better quality. but full disclosure I am favor this time of bike

I would not worry about the drops..... try them and see you have simple options to raise the bars like a Nitto dirt drop stem or similar

if you find you don't like the drops you can put something like velo orange left bank bars and tektro brake levers on for a mor upright position (see below)
note: that there is a very noticable difference in wind resistance in an upright position and using the drop bars at 12-14 mph or with wind against you (just got reminded of that when I rode my upright bike against 12 to 15 mph winds

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Old 05-25-24, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
My vote would be the Motebecane....better quality. but full disclosure I am favor this time of bike

I would not worry about the drops..... try them and see you have simple options to raise the bars like a Nitto dirt drop stem or similar

if you find you don't like the drops you can put something like velo orange left bank bars and tektro brake levers on for a mor upright position (see below)
note: that there is a very noticable difference in wind resistance in an upright position and using the drop bars at 12-14 mph or with wind against you (just got reminded of that when I rode my upright bike against 12 to 15 mph winds

I like those bars. How wide are they? I always wanted back swept bars but I don't want cruiser bars
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Old 05-25-24, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadWearier
I like those bars. How wide are they? I always wanted back swept bars but I don't want cruiser bars
49 mm https://velo-orange.com/collections/...ndlebar-config
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Old 05-25-24, 12:38 PM
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Motobecane probably has a 126-mm rear-dropout width? Does it have 700c or 27" wheels?

Parts for old bikes are only expensive if you want old parts. There are lots of very affordable parts for old bikes that look and work well, but are not OEM.

One thing to consider---French BBs have their own standard, the details of which I am not certain. A few googles would provide you with the info, but you would want to know in advance what BBs would be available down the road. Possibly you could use a thread-togehter "rescue" BB which fits almost any square-taper cartridge BB shell.

Drop bars can be raised ... they might look a little funky to some, but I don't care because I look odd to most anyway. Also, for not a lot of money you could by cheap 7-speed brifters (126-mm dropouts limit you to seven cogs usually) if you wanted to make that upgrade.

I'd buy both but as you note, the Sirrus is an entry-level model and the MB is a quite good but quite old model---but one completely suited to your style of riding.

I'd buy both. You cna always sell the Sirrus (and use the money to upgrade the MB.)

If you got the Sirrus, the $50 you saved wouldn't even cover racks to let you use it for grocery runs. Also, it has a very tiny cool factor, unlike the MB.

Buy both ... that way you will never lose a night of sleep wondering .... and whatever you choose to do next, it will be an upgrade to your life anyway.
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Old 05-25-24, 12:50 PM
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All of my bikes are vintage except one which is about 12 years old. I favor the Motobecane for my personal use, however for what you describe as your typical ride, the Specialized is more appropriate. Only one thing to change on it and that is the handlebar. The upright bars as in the previous post are loads better than the wrist busters on the Specialized. I know this because two of my favorite commuter bikes have handlebars similar to the ones pictured and for 20 miles I get zero neck strain and zero wrist pain.
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Old 05-25-24, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
My vote would be the Motebecane....better quality. but full disclosure I am favor this time of bike

I would not worry about the drops..... try them and see you have simple options to raise the bars like a Nitto dirt drop stem or similar

if you find you don't like the drops you can put something like velo orange left bank bars and tektro brake levers on for a mor upright position (see below)
note: that there is a very noticable difference in wind resistance in an upright position and using the drop bars at 12-14 mph or with wind against you (just got reminded of that when I rode my upright bike against 12 to 15 mph winds

Upright is great. Just call it maximum ventilation and observation positioning. It sounds more positive than talk of wind resistance.
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Old 05-25-24, 05:16 PM
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Thank you all! Great points! I drove 50 miles and over 3 hours (Memorial Day Traffic, yay!) to go to Benton (cue the banjos) TN to look at the Specialized Sirrus.....

I should have said "fughwtaboudit" when he told me to meet him at the Trailer behind the house of the dirt road. But I try not to judge. Maybe I should start.

Under the shade tree next to piles of garbage, used car parts, more junk, and two rusty bicycles stood the bike.

Bear in mind I asked 3 times. "is it 100% rideable as is?" I told him I've been burned before and I don't want a project. "Yes. I checked it out this morning." I asked a fourth time before I left....

​​​​​​So I look at the bike. Check the brakes. Barrel adjuster on the rear is missing. Obviously the brake won't work. " Oh I can find the part." He does. Brake now works. Er, ok. I checked the wheels. They are "truish" but hey, it's used. Checked for play in the wheels. Front one is loose. "Oh I can fix that." He proceeds to tighten the hub....now the front doesn't spin freely he loosens a bit (by the way, has no metric wrenches...they were stolen a while back he says) with an adjustable wrench and SAE wrenches (hey close enough, right?) Ok so I've pretty much decided this is going to just become an amusing anecdote but he invited me to ride it and feel bad because this guy weighs like 300 lbs and at this point is breathing heavy and sweating just fixing what he should have fixed before. So I hop on, praying the chain doesn't just fall off...which it does when I try to shift to the largest rear cog. At that point In hand him the bike and try to channel some zen for wasting 3 hours of my weekend. I tell him maybe the derailleur could use some adjustments.

Then since I'm pretty close to Knoxville I see if I can meet the guy selling the coaster brake Pure Fix bike. He can but not for a few hours. Ok screw it.

So now at 7pm the Motobecane guy finally text me and want to meet me at a walkable distance from my house so I can look at his bike tomorrow. I guess it is kismet although who knows what I'll find with this one.

Lessons learned.....

No more looking at bikes more than 20 miles away.

When the destination is in a trailer park or in the hood, don't bother. Yes that's judgemental but I'm sorry. I have yet to find a workable accurately described bike in either of those places.

Maybe there's a reason why people buy new bikes.

​​​​​​Hope I have entertained with my fun story.
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Old 05-25-24, 10:25 PM
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You already have a bike that doesn't have low gears. 1979 is a 2x6. Looks like 42/ 28T again.
That Spez is missing the stem spacers too.
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Old 05-25-24, 11:00 PM
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Old 05-25-24, 11:15 PM
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Ride each one and see which on fits the best and has the fewest defects.
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