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What's this bike worth?

Old 06-12-19, 07:15 PM
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maljason
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Is this is a good deal for a beginning cyclist?

Hello all-

I'm new to cycling and looking for a decent but affordable commuter bike to get to work and around town. I found a CL post (can't submit link but will send it to you if you'd like) for the following bike:

-70's Motobecane Grand Touring 10-speed
-54cm frame, 18" wheels
-Green color
-W/ original Burley bag
-Poster says new tubes and tires and ready to go

-Price: $150

Is this a decent deal? I'm about 5'8", so that frame size seems right from what I've read online. But again, very new to cycling, so any help/advice would be very much appreciated.

(And yes, I'll also take it for a spin and make sure it's comfortable when I look at it in-person, too - but wanted some opinions going into it!)

Thanks!
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Old 06-12-19, 07:17 PM
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18" wheels are kind of tiny.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:42 PM
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Very hard to tell without pix, but if it's in good shape with new tubes and tires that's probably a decent price. It also depends a lot on your market. Some areas command significantly higher prices. Condition is everything at that level. Are you going to need to repair or replace anything? If not and you like the bike, it's worth it. If it has a few issues, it might be worth only half that. And do you like the look and feel of the bike when you ride it? If it makes you smile, you should buy it.

You can search the C & V valuations forum here and probably find a thread on a similar bike.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:51 PM
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What's this bike worth?

Hello all (this was originally in General Discussion but I'm thinking this is probably where it belongs!)

I'm new to cycling and looking for a decent but affordable commuter bike to get to work and around town. I found a CL post (can't submit link but will send it to you if you'd like) for the following bike:

-70's Motobecane Grand Touring 10-speed
-54cm frame, 18" wheels
-Green color
-W/ original Burley bag
-Poster says new tubes and tires and ready to go

-Price: $150

Is this a decent deal? I'm about 5'8", so that frame size seems right from what I've read online. But again, very new to cycling, so any help/advice would be very much appreciated.

(And yes, I'll also take it for a spin and make sure it's comfortable when I look at it in-person, too - but wanted some opinions going into it!)

Thanks!
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Old 06-12-19, 08:06 PM
  #5  
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Just be aware 70's Moto may pose future maintenance issues as there is likely a number of items with somewhat obsolete French threading.
Stem, fork threading, bottom bracket threading, possibly pedal threads, freewheel threading. That's not to say parts can't be sourced but harder and more costly.

I personally wouldn't pay that for that bike, but my market isn't likely the same. I'd be looking for an 80's Japanese, Trek, or similar. Much more easily upgraded and maintained.
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...889460269.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...909133294.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...889386631.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...893818968.html


Also consider an older rigid frame Mt bike as they can usually be picked up reasonable and with street tires make great commuters and urban beat around bikes.
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...902628699.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...910107401.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...895002154.html
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Old 06-12-19, 08:12 PM
  #6  
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Possibly?

I'm all about the 70s bikes and certainly don't want to discourage you on that front. But know this:

1. You're going to need to work on it, or pay someone else to do so. The former is intimidating at first, but not so difficult in a world with bikeforums and youtube. The latter will get expensive quickly.

2. This is a French 70s bike. Much of the bike will likely be "French-specific," which will limit the availability of replacement parts. As a beginner your life will be much easier if you go with 70s Japanese, or British, or probably just about anything not French. (some might dispute this)

So yes. You can have a ton o' fun on an older bike, and they can certainly make for a cheap, reliable commuter. My daily commuter/around town bike is a '79 Raleigh. But parts will likely need servicing (bearings, grease) or replacing (cables, brake pads) and you'll want to keep this in mind when weighing your options.

I also agree with @jon c., above: If it makes you smile, you should (probably) buy it.
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Old 06-12-19, 08:45 PM
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...yes. That's not very much money for that particular bicycle in good riding condition. The new tyres and tubes might not be what you'd have chosen, and it's pretty hard to judge anything else with regard to condition without more to go on. That and you can't tell much about mechanical condition from an ad.
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Old 06-13-19, 04:17 AM
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Green is not as fast as red, nor as sleek as black.
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Old 06-13-19, 07:29 AM
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Thanks! I'm new to the forum so couldn't attach the URL to the Craigslist post. Yeah, hard to tell from pics but looks pretty clean. I'll try and check it out as best I can when I look at it in person too.

Appreciate the help.
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Old 06-13-19, 02:14 PM
  #10  
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IMHO...I would be cautious about early 70's French bikes. Sometimes it can be very difficult to get new threaded replacement parts. A bent axle or a worn out freewheel can become a big problem. Bicycle parts became much more standardized approaching the mid 1980's . Most bikes made after 1986 or so have easy to find brand new replacement parts. If you're new to cycling and want something dependable I would recommend getting something a little newer.
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Old 06-13-19, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by DSL6 View Post
18" wheels are kind of tiny.
Yeah, that's pretty unusual.................................
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Old 06-13-19, 09:34 PM
  #12  
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I always fall for the old French bikes. Don't do it. Though sweet riding, they are high maintenance. Nothing is standard, not the parts, the direction you turn things to unscrew them, or the tools you need. You will spend far too many hours online researching arcane things like crankarm puller thread sizes. Plus the components, if original, may disintegrate when you touch them.

I also think it's over priced.

If the damn thing was 62 cm I'd probably buy it.
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Old 06-13-19, 10:13 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
Possibly?

I'm all about the 70s bikes and certainly don't want to discourage you on that front. But know this:

1. You're going to need to work on it, or pay someone else to do so. The former is intimidating at first, but not so difficult in a world with bikeforums and youtube. The latter will get expensive quickly.

2. This is a French 70s bike. Much of the bike will likely be "French-specific," which will limit the availability of replacement parts. As a beginner your life will be much easier if you go with 70s Japanese, or British, or probably just about anything not French. (some might dispute this)

So yes. You can have a ton o' fun on an older bike, and they can certainly make for a cheap, reliable commuter. My daily commuter/around town bike is a '79 Raleigh. But parts will likely need servicing (bearings, grease) or replacing (cables, brake pads) and you'll want to keep this in mind when weighing your options.

I also agree with @jon c., above: If it makes you smile, you should (probably) buy it.

Pretty much all of this. '70s bikes are fun because they're stylish, and European marques have a certain panache that's missing from modern bikes. Maintaining a 40-year old bike isn't all that hard, since bicycles of that era were simpler than modern bikes. Some of them are quite sophisticated, but still simple mechanically.
Biggest thing about a vintage French bike is that French designers and engineers did things a little different from everyone else. Not good or bad, just French.

A vintage bike, in good condition can make a great casual rider. I have a 1976 Bridgestone that I added as my first 'proper' road bike. It's since been replaced in the lineup by a more modern bike, but it's my go to 'townie / path bike' It doesn't see the miles that the newer bikes do, but it probably gets ridden more frequently.
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Old 06-14-19, 01:18 PM
  #14  
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I have to join the "Pass" side of this one. Most bike shops won't have the specific tools for the bike, and there are ways to do damage (such as trying to unthread a bottom-bracket cup which unthreads the other way) which can do permanent harm. (Don't ask how I know.)

I am also a rider of older bikes but after about 1986 or 1989, a lot of bike manufacturers switched over to "modern" standards for bottom bracket, dropout width, and headset, so that stuff made today still fits perfectly. Unless you are an avid mechanic and enjoy searching online for rare (and possibly overpriced) parts, it is better not to go back past about 1986.

I agree though, that any old bike from a few decades ago Can make a great ride. Be aware that unless it has been constantly maintained (and even if) you might have to go through the whole bike to check to see if the bearings were lubricated, the cables are rusted, the brake shoes have hardened, grease had dried out in the freewheel/freehub, the headset is pitted, the BB has been kept properly adjusted, and of course you will need new tubes and quite possibly new tires.

A $150 bike might need to go to a shop for a clean-up, tune-up, and minor work and cost $250 all of a sudden. Or more.

Unless you know a lot about bikes, I'd suggest only buying used if you are willing to take the bike to a shop and pay, and I would also suggest taking a friend who does know bikes---some stuff might be noticed before money changes hands which will keep you from buying someone else's nightmare.
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Old 06-14-19, 01:18 PM
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I can see that turning into a very expensive cheap bike.
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Old 06-15-19, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
IMHO...I would be cautious about early 70's French bikes. Sometimes it can be very difficult to get new threaded replacement parts. A bent axle or a worn out freewheel can become a big problem. Bicycle parts became much more standardized approaching the mid 1980's . Most bikes made after 1986 or so have easy to find brand new replacement parts. If you're new to cycling and want something dependable I would recommend getting something a little newer.
Common sense, well reasoned advice. That post has wise advice. With older French bikes, threaded items will be French thread. Which makes freewheel replacement a challenge, and the axles equally so. And the French bikes of the day, usually had Simplex or Huret derailleurs, and the rear derailleur dropouts for those, if present will require alteration to handle better, more reliable Japanese equipment like a SunTour GT or vGT. On a daily commuter, you need easy to find mechanical wear parts. Bear these considerations in mind.
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Old 06-15-19, 02:30 PM
  #17  
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Motobecane was one of the first French manufacturers to embrace Japanese parts. I'd have to see the parts, but I have gotten some fine Suntour Vx and Cyclone derailleurs off Motobecanes.

French reproduction parts are readily available but tend to cost more than the common stuff. And if stuff is not worn out (and often its not), it can continue to serve you well.

By the late 1970s, Motobecane embraced SWISS threaded bottom brackets. Now those are more of a headache. I buy old Motobecanes (if the price is right) just for the Swiss bottom brackets. I also get French sized stems and headsets, along with SuntourVx or Cyclone derailleurs. French also used a different diameter handlebar clamp (typically 25.0mm versus 25.4mm usual).

MB Grand Touring specifications changed dramatically throughout the 1970s. Everything from frame tubing to components. Definite variation between years.

Last edited by wrk101; 06-16-19 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 06-16-19, 06:44 AM
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