Thursday, July 3, 2014

1978 Motobecane Grand Touring- a few new goodies

Last month,  with my first paycheck from the new Job, I bought a few new pieces for my recently acquired Motobecane Grand Touring.  As I mentioned in my first post on it, this bike came with perfectly good tires and saddle but they were not really what I had in mind for this bike.  So I picked up a few goodies.
Supple tire and  classic look
oh yeah
Now if I was being reasonable I would take this bike down to the frame, like I do for most rebuilds, and take my time and build it back up one step at a time.  Its summer, however, and I want to ride this bike so I am going about things a bit backwards.  The complete tear down will come but not before I do some riding.  First I wanted to see if a home remedy I'd read about would remove the sharpie markings labeling the front and rear gearshifts...and tooth paste really does work with a bit of scrubbing.
one down...
Next step was to get the new tires mounted.  Based on their condition I am fairly certain the tubes that came with the Continental gatorskins that were mounted on the bike when I got it were new so I reused them.  I tend to think a tube is a tube but its nice to know these are Specialized which I think makes good stuff.

newly shod and ready to go
Then it was time for the cockpit to get a touch of class.  A Brooks B.17 Imperial model.
Hello gorgeous
I have used a B.17 for going on 6 years on the Handsome Devil and I really like it and figured that since the intent of this bike is for longer rides having a cut out would be a good thing.  Ironically, I had purchased an Imperial on sale last year but it was a victim of the great sell off while I was between jobs.  No worries, it was brown and I think the black goes better with this bike.  I also took a couple measurements from the Devil; saddle height (center of crank to top of saddle) and the distance from the stem to saddle nose so I that I could set up the Imperial in the ball park of what I know to be a comfortable fit.

My new purchases weren't all about style, I did get some new Dia-Compe "grey matter" brake pads to replace what I suspect are the original Weinmann set.

new stoppers
I have a new wide range freewheel and SRAM chain for the bike as well but I am going to hold off on mounting them for now, the existing set is in decent shape and adequate for the riding I am capable of doing right now i.e. neither far nor fast nor hilly.
these will wait for the fully monty rebuild
So, even though there is plenty more I could (and probably should) do like replace the dried out brake hoods, upgrades are in place and ready to go.

Tomorrow I plan to celebrate this nations independence by going for a short ride in the neighborhood and seeing how the new parts shake out. I hope you and yours have a safe and happy holiday.
with the new toys mounted



  1. Yeah, baby. Looks like we're heading the same direction with our bike projects. A good catastrophe happened yesterday (my 59th bday, btw) when my old boss called and asked if I could be on site at a West Palm Beach Outback remodel Monday morning.

    I'm working local (and easy) but this is more than twice the money so I gotta go. The catastrophe part is Little Miss Dangerous is stripped of parts and 50% sanded to bare metal. I need to get off my drunk ass and do something about this, but...

    There's a roadblock, of sorts. In my cheap parts purchasing, including Cheng Shin 40mm tires and steel chain ring crankset and a Wald steel rack, I have added well over five pounds to my girl. This has somehow killed my interest in the project and now, faced with 70 hour weeks and never-being-home, I despair of ever putting things back right.

    Plus, that bike Cromwell bought really has distracted me from my old Schwinn. For three hundred bucks (which I will make by noon Tuesday) I can just buy a new (!) bicycle. A conundrum, to be sure. Since I anthropomorphize everything it is a painful thing to abandon my old warhorse...they really aren't just bicycles to me...

    You're a bicycle horse-trader of sorts, so maybe your attachment is less emotionally demanding. With me, everything is life-and-death. Whatever.

    A damnable conundrum. Well, LMD has spent time in the corner before. I'll just have to wait. I still have the Goose for the road and I am pretty serious about that Bikes Direct hybrid (Motobecane Elite). It feels like I'm doing something dirty to even think about it (remember my Walmart Bike experience?) but I rode Crom's bike and it was light and swift and crisp and yeah, I want one.

    Help me, Obe Wan Kenobe!


    1. My friend don't look at this as a either or proposition. It's ok to get the Motobecance and leave LMD as a project for now, you'll build her up in something grand when you have the time, heck you already have all the parts. When I got the Velo Orange rando bike it sat around as a project for almost a year. Also unlike your Wally world experience you know exactly what you're getting because you've already built one for Cromwell. N+1 my velo brother, its going to be ok.


  2. Oh yes, I like the svelte Motobecane. Enjoy your ride.

  3. I too suffer from bike guilt these days as I am riding my 79 Peugeot PV10, my Soma San Marcos sits by the wayside. Infatuations are like that.
    A CT Cyclist

    1. that sounds like an embarasment of riches accyclist, you know I love me some Peugeots and I have lusted over the San Marcos since it came out a few years ago. You have any photos of those 2 sweet rides?

  4. How did this post slip by me all this time. Working too much??? My friend tells me that I don't have a working problem....more like a scheduling problem.

    The Motobecane is a wonderful looking ride for you now and will be spectacular when you tear down and rebuild in future days. Welcome to b-17 Imperial. I too graduated from a standard B-17 to Imperial. Won't look back. I doctored the B-17 I had with my Dremel tool.......after 1000 miles or so, not good results. I think I have a blog post on that but Imperial is what I ride on my bikes.
    TJ's reply just cracked me up.

    He asks for help, but there might just not be any out there!!

    1. Hey Jim thanks for the input on the Imperial. I have not ridden the MB Grand Touring much as it really needs some TLC before I can put I it through its paces and I have been focused on the project for my Niece lately, but I am hoping to get some fall mileage on the new saddle.

      Yes our buddy the TPC is a pretty funny dude.