Anyone have an opinion on Motobecane bikes?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Laika, Oct 9, 2003.

  1. Laika

    Laika New Member

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    I'm looking specifically at the Vent Noir and Grand Sprint models, but would appreciate even general opinions and insights about the brand. Thanks!!
     
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  2. camobikerider

    camobikerider New Member

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    I have a 2001 Le Champion which I like very much for a first road bike. Full Ultegra, nice color, all for $1095.00 and free shipping. Down side, replace the rime tape first, and the saddle. I have a 50cm which weighs only about 20 lbs.
     
  3. cmitch46

    cmitch46 New Member

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    Motobecane was considered one of the major French brands during the bicycle boom of the 70's. Then they seemed to pull out of the US market but they seem to be make a comeback.
     
  4. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    The name was sold, and the current oriental made ones have no connection to the originals.
     
  5. cmitch46

    cmitch46 New Member

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    That may be good or bad. A lot of trashy bikes were sold during the bike boom.
     
  6. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Yeah, and Motobecane was one of them.
     
  7. evan

    evan New Member

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    I am looking for some info on 70's era Motobecanes. If someone has ideas about what were the better models-marage, grand jubilee, etc, how they rank, I would be very interested. I have a Grand jubile that is too small for me, but want to get a similar one.
     
  8. cmitch46

    cmitch46 New Member

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  9. fmanter

    fmanter New Member

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    They made a big mistake in the late 70's by contracting out their manufacturing and brand names to enlarge their market share. I'm one of the lucky ones as while in France in 1975 I ordered a custom made Gran Jubile to my measurements with Mavic rims and tubulars, Modolo Pro brakes, TA crank set and Hueret front and rear and lots of other optional goodies. It took about six months to get delivered to Ottawa but I never have owned a better bike and am still riding it. Have toured all over Eastern Canada and US New England states with no problems other than the occasional flat. Early on I converted the TA to a tripple and went with a Campy Rally. The ones that are sold today have nothing to do with the French ones as they finally sold their name.
     
  10. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    No connection to the old Motobecane, other than the name which was sold to another outfit.
     
  11. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Motobecanes were among the trashiest.
     
  12. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    A guy I rode with back in the 80's had a Motobecane Team Champion, their finest with all Campy Record gear. Nice bike, well built, nicely finished. I never could get used to that orange color, though.

    Yes, the ones sold today are just a rebadged Taiwan bike. Doesn't mean they are bad bikes, any more than the new Schwinns are bad bikes. Seems like a lot of classic old brands have been revived in name only for the mini road bike boom that has been going on the last few years.
     
  13. jabberwocky

    jabberwocky New Member

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    I'm really not getting the idea of a bike being "trashy" because it was made in Japan or China or someplace else. Ever heard of Honda, Toyota or Sony? The folks who seem to be cutting in on non-European/Asian-made bikes don't seem to be putting up a lot of info on what makes a bike "trashy" Does the frame crack or break or bend? Are the weld seems unattrative or weak? Is it too heavy or does it come with junky parts? An butted, aluminum frame from Japan with a good Ultegra or Dura Ace group, a carbon fork, alloy rims and posts, and decent geoemetry will ride just as well as a model with a much higher price tag...at least for the VAST MAJORITY of riders.

    When I think of junky or trashy mechanical things, it is becaues they die too soon. Bikes don't really die unless something serious happens to the frame. You can get a new fork. Frames can be re-painted. Everything else can be upgraded or replaced.

    A friend of mine rides a newer Motobecane, and he's very happy with it. It's light, responsive, and has been going fine for 1800+ miles.

    So I guess I am curious about what criteria is used to rate a bike "trashy" or "junky" For me, it needs to be more than an off-brand name or an Asian place of origin.

    Jab
     
  14. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    Not having any direct experience with Motobecane, I'm speaking purely theoretically here--but I'm not sure anyone has qualified the label as junk simply because it's Asian-factory made. A lot of excellent high-end bikes are produced in Taiwanese or Chinese factories.

    There's still such thing as a substandard bike frame, though. Are you sure Motobecane doesn't represent lower overall quality of construction, materials or design?
     
  15. jmoryl

    jmoryl New Member

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    I beg to differ. During the '70s bike boom I worked in a shop and Motobecanes were no where near the trashiest. The paint and workmanship on the frames was certainly a cut above Peugeot and some of the other French and Italian mass producers. And the low-end components were often Suntour/SR instead of the horrible plastic Simplex or crap like the Campy Valentino. Now, the Motobecanes were not quite up to the level of some Japanese bikes, but that is a different story....

    Joe
     
  16. Laika

    Laika New Member

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    Actually, here it is 2 years later and I can say the Motobecane i bought is a teriffic bike. I bought a Grand Sprint w/ Ultergra/105 components for well under a thousand dollars. I've got somewhere around 4k miles on it and haven't ever had a major problem. The frame is nice, though showing normal wear, and the welds are even okay looking. I can highly recommend this bike.
     
  17. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    Glad it's working for you.
     
  18. triguy98

    triguy98 New Member

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    I bought a Motobecane rigid MTB from a LBS near my college in '98. Had it for a year before selling it due to moving to a non bike commute friendly town. In that time, only the rear grip shift broke, and was replaced under warranty. Had no problems whatsoever, and the work and frame quality exceded Walmart crap by far. I cant comment on their performance oriented bikes, but i liked mine.



     
  19. blandin

    blandin New Member

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    I bought a Motobecane Super Mirage in 1997 that had a very nice Chrom Moly fully lugged frame. I eventually replaced the Shimano Exage drive train with full 105 and upgraded the wheels and the fork. Finally sold it last year because five bikes are too many and I wasn't riding it anymore. Fully satisfied with the bike and got good value for the money spent.
     
  20. karl07

    karl07 New Member

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    I do have an opinion on Motobecane bikes. They're probably the best buy on the market right now. If you want to know the frame geometry, or the size that is right for you, just go to a fuji dealer, their frames are made in the same plant. The components are for the most part better than anything under $1500, and I have absolutely no complaints about the frame. A new seat and seatpost may be desired, but besides that, the vent noir, for under $900, is in my opinion, the best bike on the market to date. I have seen the old motobecanes from the 70's, and they left something to be desired in my book, but the new models are AMAZING. Go buy one!:)
     
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