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1984 Motobecane bike...good buy?(8 posts)

1984 Motobecane bike...good buy?DT
Mar 13, 2001 6:40 PM
I'm interested in purchasing a "classic" bike to tool around with...how are Motobecane's? I found one that's 17 years old, ridden for one year, then kept in storage...it looks good, all for the price of $25. What's the history behind this brand? Thanks!
re: 1984 Motobecane bike...good buy?Groucho Marx
Mar 13, 2001 6:50 PM
Hey! I have an ol' Motobecane. Actually its my dad's. He bought it round 1970's, and its still running great with the original components. Man. I've been forced onto gravel shoulders by big eighteen wheelers, and it still rides great. (Obviously its more great when there's nostalgia involved). Probably not much help, huh.
But from what its been through, this bike is great quality (for the 70's, Although manufactures can change over a decade.)
Sure, why not?Humma Hah
Mar 13, 2001 6:56 PM
Motobecanes were popular when I was in college in the 70's. They got a degree of respect, certainly more than the ubiquitous Varsities and Free Spirits. A Motobecane in that good a shape is easily worth $25, if you have room for it. In fact, I'd say it might easily be worth 5 times that, or even a little more, ready to ride.

It is, of course, hopelessly obsolete compared to a modern bike, if you plan to race. Do not entertain any thoughs of significantly upgrading it as a substitute for a new bike. It is what it is, a perfectly fine old ride, worth a fresh chain, cables, brake pads, tires, tubes, or other minor repairs. It would be an excellent backup bike or commuter. I would not personally hesitate to take such a bike, in good repair, on a club ride, fun run, century, or even a long tour. But then again, I rode a Schwinn cruiser on a century last weekend.

I belong to a club called the Vintage Bicycle Association, which holds monthly club rides on old bikes. Next month is the French bike ride (last weekend it was English bikes). What you have there is an excellent mount for next month's ride.

As for value, it is not yet old enough to be a collector's item, it is just an old bike. But if it is not in the way, a well-kept specimin like that does have some potential to go up in value in about 20 years, and the price is definitely good.
re: 1984 Motobecane bike...good buy?tommyb
Mar 14, 2001 4:07 AM
I had a Motobecane that I bought as a student in France in 1983. At the time, it was the best bike I could ever imagine. Several years later, once I tried newer and better technology, I made the mistake of trying to upgrade the old bike. Please don't make that same mistake. You have not known frustration until you start looking for replacement parts for a French bike. If you are looking for a nostalgic old bike to ride, buy it. If you are looking for a collector piece to hang in the shop, buy it. If you are looking for a good deal on a bike to be your primary ride, consider something more current with English or Italian threading...
re: modelSteveS
Mar 14, 2001 4:12 AM
You have been given pretty good information. What model and what size is it? If I remember correctly, my 1983 Grand Jubilee had English threading but like they have told you, don't think of doing a lot of upgrading.
Old Moto was my all-time favorite bikeCory
Mar 14, 2001 11:43 AM
I bought a Gran Jubilee, all-Campy, about 1979, did my first century on it and rode it for years, until I destroyed it in a crash about 1985. For fit and feel and function, it was probably my favorite bike of all time.
I agree with everybody else: Buy it, ride it, enjoy it the way it is. It's not worth upgrading, and you'll have problems finding some parts because of the French thread thing. The stem, for instance, is probably 22.0mm in diameter instead of 22.2 like every other stem in the solar system in that time period.
MotobecanePeetey
Mar 14, 2001 12:01 PM
I had an old Motobecane in the early 80's. If it uses the Vitus 888 tubing, make sure there are no cracks in the seat tube as it enters the bottom bracket. They were notorius for cracking there.

Also, I agree with the previous posters about upgrading. I don't think you can find 35X1 Swiss threaded bottom brackets anymore.

If everything checks out, $25 bucks is OK.
Not Gonna Upgrade it...don't worry! :o)DT
Mar 14, 2001 2:56 PM
My main ride is a 2000 Klein Quantum Race frame with D/Ace parts, Vector Pro wheels, courtesy of the driver who hit me last summer. If I get the Moto, it definitely won't be to upgrade, just to tool around on/with...thanks for all the input!