MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"  

GRAND JUBILEÉ - INTRO

FINDING THE MOTOBÉCANE

BUILDING THE MOTOBÉCANE

RIDING THE MOTOBÉCANE

THE DRESSED UP MOTOBÉ

 

BICYCLES OF FRANCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE DRESSED UP MOTOBÉ

Though the jury was really out for the first couple of test rides, an appreciation for this lovely old French Bicycle grew with use.  The relaxed feel is a treat that encourages slower paces and the more cushy ride imparted by the choice of wheels and tires.

There is something about the red on black Motobécanes that screams vintage.  Perhaps it is the attention to detail that could be shown thanks to the lower production costs imparted through the use of Japanese components.  What ever it is is certainly appealing, both to view and to ride.

The Motobécane Grand Jubileé was advertised as the company's top touring bicycle.  With that in mind, coupled with the vintage appearance and in the presence of a recently acquired set of mid-seventies French alloy fenders, the next logical thing to do would be dress the bicycle up a bit, just to see...

The first thing to go was the Brooks B17 Narrow saddle.  Though a beautiful perch, it proved to be uncomfortable, perhaps another testament to the aging process.  With that in mind and also wanting a black saddle, an Elina Super Pro, dated 1978 presented itself while rummaging around The Old Shed one afternoon.  Since the bicycle is also of 1978 vintage, the fit seemed predestined.

Just as the Motobécane was hitting the road, a potential customer expressed interest in larger framed bicycles.  Three or four bikes were picked out and set up for picture taking, a near mint mid-seventies Peugeot UO8 being one of the three or four.  And it was the Peugeot that sported the French fender set, with somewhat ornate moulded ends, and all.

An afternoon was spent smoothing out the odd dent or bend that had managed to blossom on the fenders over the years.  Though not perfect, what ever is, the fenders improved dramatically and fitted as if they had been built just for that bicycle.  Of course, the test ride would help decide to keep or remove the fender set.

Though the fenders did add some weight, the ride quality did not noticeably diminish.  The Elina Pro Saddle proved to be a better perch than did the Brooks B17 Narrow model, and it sits back on the shelf waiting for just the right bike and butt.

All in all, the Dump Found Motobécane Grand Jubileé is a very neat old road bicycle.  An old road bicycle that would be right at home in just about any collection or under any vintage bicycle enthusiast.

The Motobécane Gran Jubileé has been on the road for about a month at the time of this writing.  In that time, the bicycle has proved to be a nice ride, with one single exception...

The drop bars force the old rider to crouch too much and that causes neck pains in a neck broken in two places eight years earlier.  With that injury in mind, and rider comfort at stake, the drop bars were replaced with a set of moustache bars.

The hope was to reduce crouch and, there-by, the need to curl one's neck up as much.  And the bars worked just fine.  The seating position is more upright and the comfort factor went through the roof.  A bit of time spent adjusting saddle position should all but complete the modification.

And, speaking of modification, the Barcons were retained and work every bit as well with the moustache bars as they did when fitted to the drop bars.  Truly a joy to use, compared to the down tube shifters more commonly fitted to bicycles of the mid seventies.  And, as luck would have it, a nice old set of vintage handlebar grips happened to be hiding in The Old Shed.  Those were fitted immediately and proved to be quite comfortable, while looking like they belong exactly where they are.

 

All in all, the found at the Dump and then restored Motobécane has proved to be a worthwhile find and a lovely old French bicycle to ride from here to there and back again.

MOTOBÉCANE GRAND JUBILEÉ UPDATE - SEASON TWO

One and almost two riding seasons have come and gone for the Motobecane and with few alterations.  It was necessary to slightly tip the handlebars down a bit to allow for a more anatomically correct hand position.  Saddle height and tilt took some time to nail and, finally, a local yard sale coughed up a lovely Carridice saddle bag that looks perfect and offers plenty of storage space for those jaunts up and down the wonderful secondary highways that criss-cross the Great Canadian Shield that makes up a good part of Northwester Ontario, Canada.

 

 

 

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