This photo essay begins with a crappy Motobecane frame and fork that I’ve tentatively dated to 1972 – 73. My best guess is that this is the Grand Touring model. The paint is terribly chipped – “cosmetically challenged”, but the tubes are straight and without dents. Most importantly, after careful measurements I believe this will fit my wife.
I’ve several French bottom brackets and headsets in good working condition, so the first task was installing those components. All of my Stronglight and TA cranksets have tall chainwheels so I decide to go with a nice, lightweight 52/40 SR. As it happens, I also have a nice, lightweight pair of randonneur bars, an Atax stem, and a couple of excellent sets of MAFAC Racer brakes.
The bars and stem polish up nicely with Mothers, and on a whim I wrap the bars in blue. (Originally, I’d planned to go with tan or brown to match the saddle but this color grew on me.)
Comparing the head badge design to Motobecane catalogs helped me to narrow down the year. After 1973, the design became a circular motif.
The first mock up included a saddle that was situated waaaay too high. It was perched precariously atop the seat tube on a seat pin that was the wrong size. It took some digging, but eventually I did locate the correct diameter seat pin.
I tried out several options for the fenders and wound up choosing a pair that are a sort of satin, brushed aluminum.
I’d planned to run a Simplex Prestige but got worried about it being able to handle a big 32t cog in back. Instead, I’ve installed a period-incorrect Shimano rear derailleur that I know can make the jump.
And here we are, mostly mocked up, ready to fine tune and tighten everything down. Red housing? Yup. Another wild hair, I suppose.
I’ll add a chain tomorrow. Now let me think…where on earth did I store those KoolStop brake pads for MAFAC?