The Last Bike I Built: And My Next One

tak_trail_rsvlHere’s a Takara singlespeed conversion I built and posted about here. It started out simple and light and got heavier and more complex as I added useful components like fenders (UK:wings), lights, luggage rack, tool bag, U-lock, etc.
tak_rf_rsvlThe book rack is a lovely old aluminum (aluminium) alloy Pletscher from Switzerland about the same age as the bike frame. My son gave me the handy Bell tool/lunch bag.

U-lock is an OnGuard and at 8 ” is marginal for length for locking to our signposts, sometimes padded with concrete to discourage car bumpers.

Rear light and fenders are from PlanetBike and the front light is from the fine Cateye company. Seat is a Cloud9 made with gel foam and lycra so it’s comfy but soaks up water.

This bike is around 56-57 cm tall and is my daily driver. Sadly, weight has climbed to north of 34 lbs. (15.5 Kg).
Here’s how I got my next project, a Motobecane Grand Jubilee with Vitus 172 chrome-moly tubing.

I bought the frame and fork from Denio’s flea market for $30USD. The fork had gotten a firm tolchocking and was not usable so I got an after-market non-chrome molybdenum fork for $75 from Pedal Pros here in Roseville, CA.

The wheel is a nice Rigida 27×1 1/4 inch aluminum alloy with a Forte Strada-K kevlar-belted tire using a Presta valve.
mot_frk2_mot_frkrakeHere’s the new fork. It’s amazing how close it is to the stock Motobecane fork for looks as far as paint and lugs go, though the rake of the fork legs is much more upright than the stock units.

I wonder how this will change the handling of the completed bike, certainly it’ll be lots more fast-turning and less stable. Notice how upright the new fork is compared to the damaged one.

I couldn’t use the stock forks but amazingly enough the wheel is hardly out of true.
I never much cared for the painted chains the kids like to use these days-until I saw this KMC candy-apple red one and had to have it. It will look sharp with the frame and fork colors (UK:Colours). $10 at Pedal Pros LBS.
mot_tal_brsBecause of my arthritic neck I need to keep my head on an even keel. This Very Tall quill stem and short-rise ‘ape-hanger’ handlebars solve my problem.
mot_hdbdg_bstHere’s the real reason I wanted to build the Motobecane Grand Jubilee: the fine head-badge, paint, decals and stickers. It’ll be a light, sweet rider as well when I finish it.

Unless noted, text and images by and copyrighted by and are free for non-commercial use with attribution.

One thought on “The Last Bike I Built: And My Next One

  1. Pingback: Motobecane Grand Jubilee Sold on Craigslist |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s