Motobecane Eclair 1986 (update 2)

I haven’t posted any update on this project in a long time.

A few minor repairs were needed, such as the front light doesn’t work. I traced the problem down to a lightly corroded socket, rubbed it with some steel wool and now it works fine.

The bar tape was loose but in nice condition, so I rewrapped it with the reverse wrap technique, and finished with some grey electrician’s tape to match the frame. A nice little detail if I may say so!

The wheels were more of a challenge. Because I couldn’t adjust the spoke nipples such that they maintained tension, I decided to replaced wheels with some Matrix Iso C aero rims from my Fuji Del Rey. Their all dark colour is well suited to this frame.

These particular rims have a tiny “corncob” freewheel, which I simply failed to remove despite a few attempts. However, as this bike has a good spread between lower an upper chainrings, climbing is manageable even with tiny rear gears.

Another issue with the Iso rims was the Dia Compe Royal Compe II calipers, which have such a short reach they don’t work on any other rim I tried.

I tried them on some nice Nisi rims, and they unfortunately ate through a brand new tyre wall within only a few seconds of downhill braking…

So bizarrely, all three have to come as a package: rims, freewheel and brake calipers 😂 and all scavenged from the Fuji which now has a wheelset and brakes more similar to the stock spec.

Fortunately, as the Royal Compe brakes are white they fit the look perfectly. All black Decathlon road tyres finish the “grayscale” theme.

Granted, these are all fairly minor aesthetic changes, but once the mudguards come off, it should look pretty sweet. Without it’s winter clothes it’ll look a lot leaner.

I’m not a fan of road bike commuters, so despite the urge to delete this bike’s hybrid DNA, I’m going to resist and leave it stock. The frame’s way too big for me so there’s little sense customising it if I’m not going to use it.

A few final tweaks and it’ll have to go, making way for new projects!

So, what do you think?

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