“Moto” is French slang for motorcycle and “bécane” is slang for bike.
“Motobécane was a major manufacturer in the French bicycle industry. Motobecane is known for designing very light weight mountain bicycles. Motobecane was the first French maker to start using Japanese parts, in the late ’70s. This was a very good move on their part, because at that time Japanese derailers and crank sets were much better than the older French designs common on mid-priced 10-speeds.”
“The frames on Motobécane’s mid-to-upper bikes were typically double-butted lugged steel made from Vitus or Reynolds 531 molybdenum/manganese steel tubing with Nervex lugs. Unlike most French makers of the era, Motobecane used Swiss thread bottom brackets for most models. Motobécane finished their frames in beautiful and high-quality paint, a practice not often followed in the French industry. Considered the second most prestigious French bicycle (after Peugeot, whose more durable design they emulated, but ahead of Gitane), Motobécane’s mid-range bikes were good value; the company kept prices reasonable by matching high-quality frames with lower-priced, but higher-quality components from Japan, at a time when competitors were putting higher-priced, lower quality French components on mid-range bikes. Motobécane bicycles included the Nomade, Mirage, Super Mirage, Super Touring, Grand Touring, Sprint, Super Sprint, Jubilee, Grand Record, Le Champion, and Team Champion.”
“In addition to the standard diamond frame bicycles, Motobécane produced mixte frame versions; the mixte frame Grand Touring had twin lateral stays in place of a top tube, extending from the head tube to the seat tube, while the Super Touring and Grand Jubilé had a single top tube sloping down towards the seat tube, but diverging into twin lateral stays just before the seat tube. Later mixte Grand Touring models also used this design. Motobécane also produced atandem bicycle.”
The Motobecane of the earlier era has nothing to do with the Motobecane bicycles seen today that can be purchased off of the internet. Today’s version are Taiwanese built bikes capitalizing on a recognizable name brand and have no relation to the original French company.
Here is a a nice Motobecane mixte kept sweet and simple. Rebuilt by Pedal Revolution as a coaster brake single speed. Just perfect for leisurely rides around the neighborhood, running errands etc.
53cm – $250.