Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Motobecane Update

Here's my 1974 Motobecane Grand Touring fixed gear conversion. It went up on the Fixed Gear Gallery this week so I thought I'd better do a post with the build details for anyone who might be interested. I got the bike from my buddy Tommy in trade for some guitar lessons. Definitely a win-win situation. Aside from the frame and fork, the only original parts are the bottom bracket and headset. Here's the breakdown

Frame and fork: 1974 Motobecane lugged steel Grand Touring
Paint: Rustoleum rattlecan
Bottom bracket: OEM
Crankset: vintage Sugino w/ 52T chainring
Pedals: generic
Chain: generic
Rear rim: Mavic Open Pro
Hub: Formula, 32h
Cog: Surly 20T
Front rim: Mavic SUP
Hub: Shimano RSX, 32h
Tires: Continental Gatorskins, 700x23 foldable
Tubes: Continental 76g
Headset: OEM
Stem: Nitto Technomic Deluxe
Handlebars: Cinelli 66-44
Bar ends: wine corks
Bar tape: cloth
Bell: Velo Orange
Brake: Gran Compe
Brake lever: Dia-Compe
Bottle cage: generic stainless steel
Seatpost: generic
Saddle: Brooks B-17

Most of the stuff came off my Apollo as I've decided I like the ride of the Motobecane better. So I put all my best goodies on this frame. The trickiest part of the build was the cockpit. I spent an hour or so enlarging the stem clamp from the stock dimension of 26.0 out to 26.4 (with sandpaper) in order to mount the Cinelli bars which I find to be the most comfortable and best-looking road bars I've ever used. Sadly, they're out of production, at least the ones without brake cable grooves. Tried to buy a deep-drop road bar lately? I couldn't find one anywhere. All the new ones are 140mm drop which isn't deep at all. The 66-44s are 160mm deep which looks great and feels nice when you get down there. I then took the stem to a neighbour of mine who is a machinist and had him mill the quill down to 22.0 (22.2 was the stock dimension) in order to fit into the French steerer. It all came together nicely. I plan to add a layer of clearcoat to the paint and shellac the handlebar tape but other than those two things, I think she's done. The longer wheelbase of a touring frame combined with the size (approx 61) and the weight of the non-exotic tubing all add up to a very comfortable and stable machine. Thanks for looking.


ben wideman said...

Looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing! I used to have a Motobecane Grand Touring, and I miss her a lot. She was in FGG a few years ago - http://fixedgeargallery.com/2006/feb/BenWideman.htm

sean g said...

i have a motobecane too can u post pics here

sean g said...


Mike Allen said...

Hey Victor, I have a 1974 Motobecane Grand Record that I'm hoping to convert into a single-speed/fixed gear. Did you have any problems getting a crank for yours? I was told by the person I got the bike from it has different threads in the bottom bracket- this is the first bike I'll build up so I really don't know much about what I'm doing, any advice would be great thanks!