RE: [CR]Motobecane Dilemma

(Example: Production Builders:Frejus)

From: "Jim Cunningham" <>
To: "'Kris Koller'" <>, <>, <>
Subject: RE: [CR]Motobecane Dilemma
Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2003 21:28:25 -0700
In-Reply-To: <003701c36ded$054b3f00$24e1fea9@94zwd>

I have a Motobecane dilemma,

I client has sent this bike, which we custom painted about 1986, and asked that it be repainted to its original colors.

My record do not indicate the frame model, the client says the frame is a Team Champion. I'm not sure that is what it is. I'm hoping someone has a Motobecane TC to check this against.

What make me think it might not be the TC model is that it has dropout eyelets, the chain stays and fork seem rather long. Photos of Luis Ocana's bikes I have seen, seem to show more aggressive geometry and I cannot make out weather the frame has eyelets. I suppose Luis frames would have been customs anyway not identical to production Team Champions...

Anybody have a Motobecane Team Champion to compare to?

Jim Cunningham Vista, CA

-----Original Message----- From: [] On Behalf Of Kris Koller Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2003 9:19 PM To:; Subject: Re: [CR]Motobecane History

Thanks for sharing your info on Motobecanes. I too own several of them myself including a early 70's "Peacock Blue" and white Le Champion and a 75 Black and Red Grand Record. The Grand Record is not only my favorite in my collection but it is the Crown Jewel of my collection. I received as a high school graduation present in 76' and have kept it in immaculate condition
ever since!
Thanks again.
Kris Koller
in Martinez, CA.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 9:44 AM
Subject: [CR]Motobecane History

> I'm a new lister that hasn't introduced myself yet, so I thought I'd share
> some fun info I received from a former Motobecane sales rep - Mike Edgerton.
> I purchased a Nuovo Record headset for my 1973 Grand Record frame to replace
> the original Stronglite Competition, and he sent me the following note:
> I was the first Motobecane sales rep in the state of Oregon many years ago.
> I worked for a company called RH Brown that was the distributor for that
> bike. The guy that imported the bikes into the US was a guy named Ben Lawee
> that had a company in Long Beach, Ca. The original Grand Record (pronounced
> Reh-coord) had three tubes of Reynolds 531(the main tubes), the rest was
> chrome moly. It had a Stronglight cotterless crank set, Weinman center pull
> brakes, Campy NR deraileurs front and rear, and clincher 27 X 1 1/4 tires.
> The original model came in two colors, silver and black, and yellow and
> black. A few years later they added Black with red and dropped the yellow.
> The first Grand Champion ( the Luis Ocana bike, he won Le Tour that year)
> that came into the country came in as a special order for me. I was racing
> track primarily but trained on the road (as everyone else did). This little
> French guy that was the factory rep measured me like I was buying a suit and
> entered the order. That would have been an orange BIC colored bike. The next
> year I got the first purple one. I also owned every Le Champion model.
> Motobecane finally died in the US when they tried to eliminate the
> distributors and main importer and go directly to the bike shops, hoping to
> sell them mopeds as well. Becane is a slang word for bicycle in France and
> Motobecane is the name they gave their mopeds. That was their big business.
> I actually interviewed after I came to New jersey for a job with Motobecane
> USA. They were real A-holes. Now if you're really eager to find a treasure
> trove of vintage Motobecanes, an entire ocean container full (300 bikes)
> fell off a ship in the port of Le Harve in about 1975. I'm sure it's still
> there.
> And there you have more history than you ever wanted. I can't remember the
> name of the distributor that was in New England, I believe they were Boston
> based. I met the owner at a function once.
> I think if I couldn't get the right bearing races for your old headset I
> would simply use loose
> balls. Put in one less than fills the entire race and hold them in place
> with grease. Chances are your Stronglight would have come that way. By the
> way, if I can find the e-mail, there was a woman looking for a French
> headset. I don't think she was tied to Campy. I'll forward it to you if I
> still have it.
> Mike.
> I asked Mike if I could share this with the Classicrendezvous list, and he
> obliged.


> Cheers,


> Dave Whitney

> Portland, Maine