I’ve spent the last few evenings ripping apart bicycles in my living room. Here’s some of the information I’ve come across and tasks I’ve completed over the last week or so…

Motobecane Nomade:

I’m making a guess that this bike is from 1976 – 1978. I could be wrong about this as there is no known way to track the date down by serial number. Unfortunately the company is no more so there really isn’t a good source of historical data. The best bet is to track down info from the components and guess. Oh well.

I stopped by Vitesse in Normal the other day and was delighted to get new bearings and a new bottom crown race for the headset. The headset is the bearing assembly that connects the front fork to the frame, and permits the fork to turn for steering and balancing. The old crown was shot and there was quite a bit of play in the fork. It’s perfect now.

Also disassembled, cleaned and repacked the bottom bracket and rear hub.

This bike is coming along nicely. Here are the major tasks which still need to be finished:

1. I would still like to tear off the rear cogs and grease up the flywheel. To do that I have to buy a special tool for about thirteen bucks so I’m going to put that project on hold for right now.

2. Worked on truing the front wheel and got it pretty close, but the spokes on the rear wheel are trashed. I can’t really change out spokes until I can take the flywheel off, so getting the back wheel in order is going to have to wait as well.

3. Brakes. New pads all the way around. The front wheel is true enough to justify putting new pads on, but if I put them on the back they would just get trashed. So new pads on the back will have to wait until the above projects are completed.

I have taken the bike out and spent some time on it. It really feels totally different than my much newer aluminum Mercier which I’ve been riding all summer. This would be a fun bike to do some real touring on.

1984 Raleigh Gran Tour

Just started tearing into this bike tonight. I’ve got to get some pictures up of this thing. It’s pink with a little white. And we’re talking straight up 80’s pink here!

This machine was built in England at Raleigh’s Carlton factory. I believe it’s one of the last true Raleighs to be made before the buy out and before they started making really cheap crap. The frame is Reynolds 531 steel. I’m really starting to like this beast.

Besides doing a full restoration on this, I would really like to change out the handlebars. Right now it’s sporting some totally crappy cruiser style bars. If I’m going to ride a pink 10 speed, it’s at least going to have drops! This will also mean replacing the brake levers as the current setup is for a more or less straight bar.

As for the drivetrain it looks like Shimano on the front and Suntour on the back. Weinmann brakes all around and I’m not sure exactly what the flywheel and cogs are yet.

Lots of work to do on this one so I’ll post more after I spend more time with the wrench.

Peace out!