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Restored Motobecane Grand Record

My fun project of late has been restoring my old bike to its former glory.  In 1973 I bought my first real road bike, a Motobecane Grand Record.  I rode it everywhere, including to work, which was 17 miles one way.  As I had kids, this became the kid hauler, the trailer hauler, the bike for family rides through the orchard country of Wenatchee and Yakima.  When I went to law school in Moscow, a town full of gravel roads, the Motobecane hauled me to classes. After hanging in the garage for 12 years in Boise, down it came for a rebirth. 

The Grand Record has some good features and was toward the top of the line of the Motobecane brand.  I have since learned that many people think that  French road bikes of that period were the pinnacle of road bike design,  and have a different and desireable feel compared to more contemporary road bikes.  The Grand Record has tubes made of Reynolds 531 double butted tubes, and fancy Nervex lugs holding the tubes together.  It has some components made by Campagnolo, the premier bike components manufacturer.  Other componenets are so-so, but thanks to ebay I can upgrade them as part of the overhaul. 

This is the way the frame looked "before". 

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These are the "after" shots, although it will look better after some ebay purchased parts get installed.

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A host of bicycle patents and technology are in the bicycle technology category.


29 comments to Restored Motobecane Grand Record

  • Sweet! I have a couple semi-defunct older bikes hanging around that I just can’t bring myself to sell; I expect to have a story or two like yours in another decade. So, does riding it make you feel old or young again?

  • Marcus Dillecti

    Nice careful job Robert. Looks great!

  • Sean Murphy

    Wonderful! I have a 1977 Grand Record! Great bike, rode it across the US in 1980. Unfortunately, it does not look as nice as yours after a recent crash!. I found you blog while looking for a source for a new fork. Did you find parts any where else than ebay?

  • dfg34hdb

    concentranti catasto abitabilita 1939 albergo roma

  • Roger

    Your frame in the silver/black paint scheme is identical to mine…….I bought mine from a bike shop in Spokane, 1972-73. It has been warm and dry in my garage!! I gave the original leather Brooks saddle to a friend, also of cyclist infavor of a ‘gel’ type saddle, comfort…….never could get that leather one adjusted correctly…….I could today, oh well.

  • Bruce

    I have just restored two of the Motobecanes’, one Grand Record and the other a Grand Jubile. You will be pleased to know that all the decals have now been reproduced and are available for the restorations. BT

  • charles

    I too have a 1973 Motobecane Grand Record. What a great riding bike. I rode it in NYC, at college in New Jersey, and did daily 25 mile loops around Belle Island in Detroit in the early 80s. I bought a new road bike (DeRosa) in 1989, but now I’d like to start riding the Motobecane again because of its easier touring gears. I’d be interested in knowing what specific parts you used to upgrade your bike. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    I put on a new campy seat post (be sure and get the right diameter), a new Cinelli stem, and Cinelli handlebars. And that is all I replaced. I did find original decals (replicas) for $40. Pricey, but nice. I ride that bike to work, and it has been fun to get it tuned up better than it ever was. I might look for 27″ wheels, with campy hubs and mavic rims, then I’d be done.

  • John

    I to wish to restore a Motobecane. Where can I purchase the decals?

  • ROY RIZEK

    I just repurchased my 74 Grand Jubilee from the person I sold it to back in 92. Worse for the wear, but fixable. Front derailaure gone but no rust. I purchased a mid 80′s Trek Tri Series thinking it would be better. It wasn’t but couldn’t admit it. Have`been riding recumbent for the past 3 years. The somewhat ridable Jubilee is as much of a treat as I remember. Yes, it makes you feel young again. The restoration project started yesterday.

  • Bob

    Decals are on ebay, and include the reynolds 531 decals for the fork and seat post. I’m still riding it to work, and on the way I stop for a cup of coffee. Its fun when the rare person notices it. It looks pretty sharp, in a vintage sort of way.

  • Erik von Werlhof

    Good job!

    I myself have come across a Grand Touring frame that I am using for a fix up project. I too need to get some decals. Glad to see that I am not the only one interested in this type of stuff.

    Vive la biciclette!

  • Clint

    I just got a Grand Record off ebay and want to restore it as well. I also have a Grand Jubilee that I converted to a fixed gear because the components were not great. Do you have any tips on where to get a restoration paint job? I’m interested in what options are out there for a reasonable price.

  • zo

    That an outstanding fix up. Thanks for showing it. Inspiring actually. I have 5 moto’s, in varied condition. One puzzles me a bit, It’s called a nomade sprint, but it’s lighter and perhaps a bit finer than the super mirage. Is it a nomade or a sprint… two different places in the line up. Put an old friend on the grand jubile for a vintage cruise, and despite his carbon rides he is now looking for an old high end moto. Just liked the feel of the steel, I guess. -Z.

  • dudeman brosef

    Great pics. I just finished rebuilding a 1973/74 Motobecane Grand Jubile I found for $50 in great shape all things considered. Still had the original Michelin Elan tires and everything. Vitus 172 tubeset, Suntour Cyclone fd/rd (rear has a Cyclone GT jockey pulley setup). Nervar cotterless cranks, Stronglight BB, Motobecane headset (that I believe was mfg’d by Stronglight as well), SR seatpost and stem, Motobecane bars. Weinmann 605 caliper brakes. Rigida 27″ aluminum rims, 36 hole Normandy hubs with a Suntour “Perfect” freewheel that I also completely rebuilt (without losing a single one of those little bearings!). My word does that freewheel weigh a ton! I lust after those Nervex lugs on the Grand Records, though. Previous Motobecane was a ’75 Super Mirage, which honestly, in comparison, is a total piece of garbage :) Great job on the paint, it looks beautiful.

  • Great job on the restoration of the Grand Record. I have a Grand Jubile that I purchased in 1973. I used it as a commuter from college in Bremerton Washington, and then to work (a ferry commute) to downtown Seattle. I started with a Moto Grand Touring. It was a great little bike, but it was a bit small for me, I’m 6’3″. I remember the feeling I got when I first road the Jubile. It was Cadillac in the way that it felt like you had something under you that was created in a perfect geometry. I road that bike across Canada, averaging 150 a day, and I have never ridden a bike that I felt so in tune with. I’m really happy to hear there are other “Moto Freaks” out there. I couldn’t bear to sell it, and am now performing a somewhat “blasphemed” restoration i.e. new side pulls (not OEM) to help stop the added weight through the years.
    My bike originally came with a Huret “Jubile” long-arm Derailauer, which I put through the spokes on the Canada trip. I switched to Shimano, but recently picked up an old Dawes Super Galaxy that has the same Campy derailuer as the Grand Record “campy Edition”. It will at least be closer to original, or cross i.e. Grand-Record-Jubile? I guess a 531 fork would pretty much do the trick. Anyway…nice restoration. Like the other guy said…Inspiring.

  • George

    Nice.
    I have a 73 Grand record that used to be Yellow. When i got it i upgraded to the high flange campy hubs and eventually put campy cranks on it Everything else is still the original althought i did put a larger nut on it as i got older (ahem)

    Your photos inspired me to take it on as a project. I was 16 when i bought it-$240-mowed a lot of lawns.

    How did you strip and paint it? Did you consider restring the motobecane label etc? I noticed that you took the big plastic M off the front. I think it is riveted on?

    Thanks for the inspiration. I needed a new project for this upcoming winter.

  • Bill

    Beautiful!

    You are right about the Motobecane Grand Record being one of the best road bikes of all time. I have owned and ridden a Chiorda, a Legnano, a DeRosa, a Peugeot PX-10, and a Trek 730. But the best all around bike I ever owned was a Grand Record that looked just like your “before” picture. Wish I still had it! Treasure yours!

  • Bob

    George:

    I took all the parts off, and took it to a powder coat shop. They sand blasted it, and the plastic badge shattered when they tried to remove it. The powder coat was $80, such a deal.

  • Cory R

    I have a mid 70s (I think) Grand Record. Great shape. Blackish-bronze original paint. Vitus 172. Weinnman 405s. If interested, send offers.

  • Cool, I have a 1972 Motobecane Grand Record. The Weiman brakes were replaced when the bushings wore out. Repainted in 1989 by Cycle Arts in San Marcos, CA in 1991. Replaced the fork after crashing in the late 80′s. Had to replace the Pivo stem because it was to long. I still use the bike on a trainer, the Campy shifters still work great.

    Jerry

  • Dave

    I just bought a frame and some unmatched parts from a garage sell and built up a single speed. The frame is so beautiful. I’ve taped up all the lugs and repainted the black parts. Do you know what type and size the bottom bracket is? I want a better crank set may replace the fork with a 700 c compatible fork so I can get lighter wheels and a more modern brake. I was a little upset that the price of the frame and the crappy old mixed parts set me back about 300$ and I could have bought a new singlespeed for that, then I cleaned it up and rode it and wow it’s awesome.

  • J. Todd

    I am starting a restoration project on a 1981 Motobecane Grand Touring. THANK YOU for your close ups as I can use these to walk the painter as to what I am requesting.

  • Dave Houghton

    I too have a ’72 Motobecane Grand Record, same original silver paint. Needs a new Stem and bars. Replaced the old Weiman Center pulls with Shimano Long reach side pulls, replaced the old Brooks with a gel too. Pedals have been replaced with Shimano SPD’s. Rims are newer 27 inch. Everything else is original. Stronglight cranks, Normandy competition hubs, Campagnolo Nuevo Record Changers front and rear. I puchased some used Campy competition hubs to replace the originals but have never gotten them installed. I got the bike shortly after I got out of the navy, rode it for 5 or so years then stored it until the the 1990′s when I started riding it to work. Stopped riding it about 2 years later when I got my Cannondale R800 but it was never as comfortable as the Grand Record. Nothing rides nicer than steel. Unfortunately I now have a neuropathy that prevents me from riding anything with 2 wheels. Am willing to sell to a buyer who appreciates it’s 10 speed vintage charm. P.S. I also have the metric crank puller for the original french cranks.

  • I hope it sells. I have seen them on ebay once in a while. If you hve switched to 3 wheels, you should look at Catrikes.

  • A beautiful classic! A museum piece too. I have an early 70′s Gran Record that I have decided to make an “all Campy” bike. I bought about $xxx of correct 1970′s vintage Campagnolo parts. The Nuovo Record brakes I have purchased are Nuovo Record. The center bolt of the brakes is too large in diameter for the mounting hole. I was thinking of reducing the diameter of the bolt by cutting smaller threads in the bolt and therefore being able to use a smaller nut which must go into the frame. I do not want anything but these Campagnolo brakes! In order to cut the smaller threads into the brake bolt, I need to take the brake spring out and remove the bolt. I have looked and looked for info about removing and replacing brake center bolts. I have found nothing. Can you advise me?

  • I took everything off down to the frame when I had it powder coated, including brakes. My brake bolt just came out easily when I took the nut off. You sure yours won’t? I would definitely get a smaller bolt rather than drill the hole larger. Tell me what diameter and length of bolt you need and I’ll see if I can find some. I frequent a bike co-op (Boise Bike Project) and they have lots and lots of odd nuts and bolts. Bob

  • Thanks! I’ll certainly check what bolt diameter I need and tell you. Great.

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