Gallery: Jim’s 1973 Motobecane Grand Record

Here are photos of my do-it-all bike in its natural setting. My wife and I share a car – she commutes and I work mostly at home, relying on my bike for errands and exercise during the day, right through the winter, here in Minneapolis. I built this bike around a 73 Motobecane Grand Record frame I found on Ebay (classic 531 steel) using a  SRAM Tektro 3-speed hub,  Brooks saddle, moustache bars and Planet Bike fenders. And most importantly, fantastic carbide-studded tires by Nokian that feel secure on ice, snow, and  the weird  Neptunian slush that forms on Minnepolis’ streets in January. Despite appearances, I’m not letting the frame rust away, it’s been treated internally and I regularly spray it off over a laundry tub. —Jim

8 Responses to “Gallery: Jim’s 1973 Motobecane Grand Record”

  • Reuben Collins says:

    ooh, i bike all winter here in mpls, too. I just ride an old mountain bike. It works pretty well – sucks when the derailleurs freeze, though.

  • steve ulrich says:

    another bike commuter in minneapolis too -those tires were just what i was looking for. thanks for the pointer!

  • Rick says:

    Wow, you Minnessota commuters sure are tough! What an inspiration…

  • Charles Stell says:

    Too tough for a southern boy. It may just be that you get used to the local weather. I commuted 10 years in Ft. Worth; even when it was 107 in the shade.

  • jim h says:

    Well there are limits. I don’t ride if the temperature is 0, it’s too hard to protect your face and hands. I work mostly at home so I’m not out in traffic or in the dark. Cleaning and lubricating the bike is a pain – chain lubes don’t last long in wet slush and water laden with ice-melt chemicals. We need new technology – like nylon chains or totally enclosed dirct drive…

  • Reuben Collins says:

    ooh i agree that cleaning and lubricating is a big pain in the winter. It’s too cold to do it outside in the garage, and of course the hose has been put away for the winter – not to mention any water you put on it freezes solid anway and the last thing I want is frozen derailleurs, cables, and bearings. I usually just give the bike a good tune-up during the late fall and just trash the bike all winter and hope nothing breaks until it’s warm enough to do maintenance again.

  • Barbara Kilts says:

    Love the photos – the frosted bike is beautiful! Back in Montana, I did a photo of my green bike with it’s red water bottle after a three inch snowfall – made a nice Christmas card.

    I ‘spose the ultimate winter gearing set up would be a Rohlof hub with a belt drive – saw some wonderful examples at the Handmade Bike Show last winter.


  • Robert says:

    Hey, wonderful! I’m from Mpls. too, I commute all year, and i’m just geting my Grand Record up & running, messenger bike style.

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