Model: Nomade II
Obtained: Sept 2011
Found: Bike Works co-op
This bike is the slightly cooler version of the entry level 10 speed of the Motobecane line up for 1981. A little better drive train and some fancier paint essentially.
Looking back I realize that I didn't really know what I had with this bike and didn't really do it the justice it deserved. I was thinking "its just an entry level bike" get it cleaned up, rebuilt and road worthy and sell it on Craigslist. I had mistakenly ordered some black-walled tires (read the description don't just look at the photo of the item!) for a previous build that I didn't really like but were new and perfectly good so I slapped them on the Nomade II. Never again its always gum-walls on old 10 speeds from now on, or cool colored sidewall just not black. I had purchased an Italian bike that ended up being too big for me and sold it as a frame so its derailleurs and brake levers came over the Nomade. I got a few blue items to accent the frame, an Origin 8 saddle since the original was toast. and brake cables but didn't do much to add "zing" to the bike like it deserved.
The thing is once I had gone through the bike and cleaned it up and repacked all the bearings and actually rode it I discovered that it fit like a glove! I mean it just felt so right that I briefly considered not selling it but discarded that idea because it was "just an entry level bike". I took careful measurements thinking that someday I will find a Grand Jubilee or Grand Touring in the same size but I think I missed the point. I was being a label snob and not listening to my inner cyclist, I read a great post by Randy on mytenspeeds (Here) where he talks about finding the joy in a "mundane" road bike. And I never really understood what he was talking about until this Motobecane, instead of asking if it had Reynolds or Vitus tubing I should have been thinking about how it fit so perfectly and brought a smile to my face just pedaling it down the street. One of my test rides was with my neighbor on a beer run and even he commented that the bike looked like a perfect fit. After riding so many bikes in the last couple years I realize now that there are bikes that fit good and then there is the rare bike that fits great and you shouldn't dismiss the ones that feel tailor made. Anyway, I was apparently not the only one taken with this bike as it only lasted about an hour on Craigslist after I put it up for sale.
PS The need to find a Grand Touring in this size never faded and in May of 2015 I finally found one (blog post here)