01 June 2018

A Mercian That Looks Like a Motobecane?

It has one of the most iconic looks of '70's bicycles:

The Motobecane Grand Record was also finished in other color schemes, such as silver/black and yellow/black.  But the black with red panels and headtube, and gold lug lining, is the most eye-catching and probably the most sought-after.

But it wasn't just a "looker":  From all accounts, it was a nice rider--sort of a  more refined version of the Peugeot PX-10.  

Like the Peugeot, the Grand Record was constructed with Reynolds 531 tubing and Nervex lugs, though Motobecane's finishing work was clearly better.  The two bikes share another trait that isn't surprising:  French components.  Well, the PX10 was all French, except when it came with a Brooks Professional saddle. (Sometimes it was supplied with an Ideale 90.)  The Grand Record, on the other hand, always sported the Brooks Pro, and usually came with the Swiss short-reach Weinmann Vainqueur centerpull brakes.  (Occasionally they arrived with Mafac Competitions.) It also had non-French components that, ironically, gave the bike its name:  Campagnolo Record derailleurs and shifters. Otherwise, with its TA Pro Vis 5 or Stronglight 49 double crankset, Normandy Luxe Competition hubs, Super Champion rims, Robergel spokes and Phillipe bars and stem, it was as Gallic as the PX-10.

Of course, people have turned Grand Records into touring bikes or classy commuters/city bikes because of its performance--and looks. (It was also available in a twin-tube mixte models, unusual for a bike so high on the food chain.)  In fact, the black-and-red scheme was so popular that Motobecane would later offer some other models with it.

Now, if you have been reading this blog, you know I'm a Mercian aficianado. (I own four of them.)  So, here's my question:  If I love Mercians and the look of the Grand Record, should I want a Mercian that looks like a Grand Record, sort of:

Well, that's what someone's selling on e-Bay.  And it has a vintage Campagnolo gruppo.  The price is good--and the bike is my size, more or less.  Hmm...Do I want a Mercian---that looks like a Motobecane?


  1. "Do I want...a Mercian that looks like a Motobecane?" That is one of the most ridiculous rhetorical questions I have ever heard. Of course you want it. Snap it up quick!!!