Sunday, September 19, 2010

My MotoBecane "Special Sport" Part 2

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Above: The original pedals almost got thrown-out. Once I realized the pedals have the old "French-Thread" I was glad I had kept them around. I spent about 4 hours on the pedals with Turtle-Wax Chrome Cleaner/Polish and Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish. I also used brass brushes and a brass power-brush (3/8 drill attachment). Once they were cleaned-up I installed new reflectors to give them a fresher look. I also ordered a set of retro looking traps and straps. Over-all I am very pleased with how the pedals came out.

Above; The original Stem looked a little suspect. And after reading-up on the subject. I found out that, it not only looks crappy, it actually is. Sheldon Brown
has an excellent post about old French bikes and size problems you may encounter.
(I will add that to the links right away) Turns out the Stem is also an odd old French size. I was able to sand-down (by hand) an old GB stem that I think came off an old Raleigh Record. It looks 100% better and I don`t have to worry about the original one failing. As I have since learned that they have been known to do.

Above: The GB Stem sanded down to size and polished and installed. Note: When sanding down a stem wrap the sand paper around the stem and grip it tightly and turn the stem inside the paper. This will allow you to make a nice neat stopping point as compared to sanding up and down.

Above: The SAKAE "Road Champion" bars I borrowed off an upcoming project (1980 Schwinn Continental). I have always been fond of the ornate engraving on the Road-Champion bars. And since I was building this bike for myself, what the heck Go for it! The levers (un-marked) are off a French Canadian (Pacer) bike. They seemed to fit in with my international theme. And I think they look pretty damn nice. And their "free-ness" more than makes up for any thing they may be lacking visually (:

Above: My choice for the saddle is the Charge Spoon Saddle in brown. I think it goes good with the natural colored Cinelli tape and the PanaRacer 105 psi (27X1&1/8) Gum-Walls. I also think it is the most "bang for the buck" at less then 30.00 (online)

Above: Starboard-Side view of the finished project.

Above: I`m not one to waste an un-used mounting bracket. So I modified a reflector mounting bracket and used this Schwinn rear fender reflector. I think it looks pretty cool. I`m thinking the bracket on the stay was for a rear light or a sliding spoke lock. At any rate, now it is for my rear reflector (:

Above: I replaced the bulky fork mounted generator and light with this much simpler (and considerably lighter) white front facing reflector.

Well that`s all there is for today. I would like to say that, I really enjoy riding this bike. It rolls great and fits like a glove. It also Shifts smoothly and is very quiet. I think I have finally replaced my beloved Fuji Gran-Tour SE. Till next time RIDE SAFE and remember to always RESCUE,RESTORE & RECYCLE


  1. Do you know when they switched from "French Thread?" I still have the Lyotards on my Champion du Monde though it now sports a Sakae crank which replaced the TA which replaced the original cottered crank.

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  3. Hey Steve,
    I don`t know if it is possible to nail down a date or even a year. From what I have picked-up here and there. It varies from brand to brand and even model to model. My best guess is that by the mid 1980`s they were pretty much gone from the scene. Maybe one of my readers can help us out with this one?

  4. Very nice bike, as always. How do you like that Charge saddle? It's very cool looking, but seems like that stitching would really chafe after a couple miles.

    Also, how could you tell that the stem was worn out?

  5. Hey Everett,
    First Thanks, I am very pleased with the way the bike turned out. As for the saddle, I haven`t noticed any chafing problem.(as of yet) The Canari shorts I wear are very well padded and keep me fairly comfortable most of the time. I admit "the look" of the saddle is what sold me. For pure comfort I like a WTB Saddle. I think the WTB saddles are the most comfortable inexpensive saddles I have ever ridden.
    About the Stem, I just added a link in the "Bicycle Related Links" section titled "Death Stem" Check it out. It explains the problem with the PIVO Stem (in a nut shell) better than I can. I am only referring to this particular stem not PIVO stems in general.
    (That was for the legal
    There is a ride coming up in Oct the "Tour De Livingston". It looks like a very family oriented ride. I will post a link to that as well. There are recreational rides of 5 and 10 miles, and longer routes of 28, 38, 62 and Century rides. I will probably ride the 38 mile ride.
    How has your bike been working out for you?
    I hope you have been able to take advantage of this cool fall riding weather.

  6. Big thanks for the link, Hugh. I actually haven't been riding on the resto so much lately. I've been busy with family time, so I can't complain.

    I think subconsciously, I've also been a bit nervous. Ever since I put the bike back together, I've been noticing that the bars creak when I torque them during normal riding. The creaking is louder when I'm in the drops as opposed to the hoods or on top. They're old Belleri bars and I have been dragging my feet in replacing them. After reading that article though, I think it will have to be a priority.

    If I can finish up some of my projects around the house (replacing galvanized plumbing with PEX, painting trim, etc...), I'll try to make it out to the TdL. I'm bummed to be missing the Tour de Troit this weekend because of the same chores.

  7. Hey Everett
    Ahh... The joys of home ownership. I remember what my business partner (at the time)told me when I bought my first home. "Now you will always have something to do" lol
    I saw the Tour de Troit on the news tonight. Looked like everyone had a good time. I had to deliver a bike to AnnArbor this morning. Got out of there just in time, the town was filling up fast.
    Glad to hear the links were helpful. I just found out I`m making another AnnArbor delivery tomorrow. No rest for the wicked (:
    Maybe I`ll get up early tomorrow and sneak in a few miles. To much wrench`n and not enough riding makes me a lard a a##
    Cheers, Hugh


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