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my first bike: a restoration story (lots of pics!)(15 posts)

my first bike: a restoration story (lots of pics!)_rt_
Jun 12, 2002 10:59 AM
hi all. this is a cross-post from passion.......

..i was ALWAYS the smallest kid in my class (well, except for grade 4, where Becky Gooch was smaller than me). (yeah, yeah, yeah, all you who've met me can hold off on the 'you never grew' jokes! ;-})

when i was about 10, all of my friends had 10-speed "racing" bikes and i was still riding a coster-brake single speed with a banana seat & basket. very uncool! i was maybe 4' tall and if i weighed 45lbs, i'd be surprised. i desperately wanted a 10-speed, but where do you find a 10-speed for a toddler-sized 10 year old? not Sears! so, off we went to our lbs where we bought a bike for mom, a bike for dad (my first riding partner and the person who taught me how to ride a bike when i was about 4), and the world's smallest racing bike for me! a a 1978 6-speed (3 ring cassette) 36 cm (according to my measurement) Motobecane Nomad!

it's been sitting at my parents' since my brother out-grew it (at least 20 years ago!). once i learned how to wrench my current bikes i promised my parents that i'd overhaul & restore it. so that's what i'm doing.

here's the bike after 20 years of disuse:

to give you some perspective:
i'm 5'1", Yo! is a 50 lb 1 yr old border collie.

check out the "computer"!! ;-D

the restoration has been something of a challenge since i've never worked with downtube shifters, free wheel hubs...

pin & cotter cranks...

or 3-speed derailleurs!

so far i've only sheared off one screw at the bold head. doh! i've also had to, literally, chip away the layers of grime using degreaser & a flat head screw driver.

cleaning the rear hub...

grimy headset...

btw, that's dirt not rust on the headset!!
...i know this because this is what the bottom of the headset looks like now that i spent an hour cleaning it:

currently, i've got the bike stripped down to the frame & fork, cranks, & shifters.....
frame & some parts:

tomorrow, i'm going over to a friend's house (ironically, the person who sold us the bikes 25 years ago) to get some help stripping the rest of the frame.

my dad has the misguided idea that once it's restored, my kids (whenever that happens!) will be able to ride it. not likely! i'm
not even sure that the company that made the components still exists....anyone ever heard of Huret?!
Huret pic here....._rt_
Jun 12, 2002 11:11 AM

That is so cool!..........Dave Hickey
Jun 12, 2002 11:33 AM
I just restored an older Motobecane for my 11 year old. It has 24"(540c) wheels. He loves it and we're looking forward to his first charity ride in a couple of weeks. I'll post some pics soon. The only problem I had was getting the driveside bottom bracket cup off. It takes a strange size wrench(37mm?). I ending up taking it to my LBS and they had a special tool for removing odd size BB cups.
Jun 12, 2002 11:38 AM
this one's got 440c wheels! (maybe 450c? the tube said it was for an 18" wheel)

yeah, i know i don't have the appropriate tool to remove the bb. if my friend who is helping me tomorrow doesn't have the correct sized wrench i'll take it to my lbs.

actually, i can't even get to the bb untill i have some help removing the cranks!

Here are some links that will help.Dave Hickey
Jun 12, 2002 1:09 PM

Both are big help when restoring French bikes. For some odd reason ALL my bikes(7) are French.
Jun 13, 2002 6:18 AM
de Oro is just down the road from me & about 30 different people have recommended them as a good source. i will definately be giving them a call.

rt - owner of a world of bikes: 3 made in USA, 1 Italiian, 1 French......and a Urago (italian??)
make that 1 italian, and 2 french bikes....Spirito
Jun 13, 2002 9:12 AM
Urago is a French made bike. depending on its condition it may be relatively of some value nowadays as they are rare so look after it.

the link if from Dale's excellent site (he also owns d'Oro which is close to you). im sure they would love to see the petite...ah ....u....."special" motobecane - as a matter of fact i think he'd find it fascinating and he would be glad to help get it back to its condition it was in when you were shor.......... uh younger. :-)

the site also have a little section on huret

Jun 13, 2002 9:40 AM
and i just promised my younger brother that he could have the Urago once i finished restoring it! hmmmm. i might have to reneg on that promise! hehehe. as i recall the Urago is in pretty good condition. possibly better than the little motobecane since my brother and i were both a bit older (and taller!) when we were riding it.

i'll definately get in touch with Dale.
d@mn!!Dave Hickey
Jun 13, 2002 9:43 AM
Do you live in Greensboro? I live in Dallas but my company is headquartered in Greensboro. We'll have to hook up for a ride next time I'm in town.
Jun 13, 2002 10:19 AM
i've got friends who live in dallas. they love it. former Chicago-ians.

i'll be living here in durham till the end of july. after that i'm changing jobs & moving to Atlanta.

if you come to town before i move, let me know & we'll ride.


Ditto! nmwooglin
Jun 12, 2002 1:09 PM
that is just the coolest......Spirito
Jun 12, 2002 6:45 PM
cred to you......what id give to still have my first real bike (of course it was a pig but its the thought).

good luck on the resto.....

huret is dead but there is still occasionaly some NOS derailleurs that pop up on ebay (under collectors - bicycles) for reasonable coin.

nice dog !!!!! whats its name? does yopur dad have any pics of you back in the day on that thing? surely - you would have to share those here :-)

thanks! dog's name is Yo! in....._rt_
Jun 13, 2002 6:21 AM
"Yo Dog! Comehere!".........seriously! dad named him.

thanks for the info on finding huret stuff. i'll check out the section on ebay.

i don't know if there are any pictures of me on that bike......i think by the time i was 10 dad was pretty sick of taking pics of me! heheeh

really cool ...bianchi boy
Jun 12, 2002 6:58 PM
You know the way bike shops keep pushing smaller and smaller frames, this might be the wave of the future. Think how aero you could get on that frame with an extra-long seatpost. Top tube might be a little short, though.
Jun 13, 2002 6:32 AM
i've threatened to turn it into a time trial bike ;-P......actually, i'm seriously considering trying to do that with my second "grown-up" bike! my next project is to restore the ~1980 Urago that my parents kept along with the may actually take 650 wheels.

rt - also a bianchi lover!