Sentimental bike needs revamping.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Sentimental bike needs revamping.

    Hello mtbr!

    I am wanting to revamp a bike for my nephew. I know it isn't the greatest bike to upgrade. But it has extreme sentimental value to him, and myself. It is basically the only thing he has left of his father, ( my brother ) and I'm wanting to get it into great working order for him. I know the value of the bike isn't that great. Looking to see if y'all can help me source some decent / ok parts that arent too expensive. I'd like the bike to be functional, nice, and reliable. It will need brakes, and shifters, it is a 3x8 system. To keep cost down, and to add a little wow factor for the nephew I'd like to go to a 1 by. It was left outside for sometime, so a lot of the components are rusted and the BB is pretty creaky, going to get to work on this thing soon. Any reccomendations for parts to look into?

    This was / is the bike. Not sure of year. I'll get pictures up when I take some and begin the revamp.

    Thanks in advance for any advice and help.
    Jeremy

    Save up to 60% off Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane 400HT

  2. #2
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    Certainly a noble cause!

    Not to mention 3x8 26ers are a willing & able recipients for upgrades from the headset to r. derailler hanger. Everything can be modern, high quality and reliable for a modest investment. I went rigid with both of my current rides, it's just less hassle. To me, there's enough bearings and cables and shifters to service, without adding a suspenfork. Just don't look for me at Whistler, either.

    My best sources are from eBay. There are a bunch of cycling parts vendors (some even brick and mortar) that have been reliable and easy to work with.

    The best components are pricey, but I get to make a small investment in quality a little at a time. I'm sure I've paid more to get these bikes right than a new dealer bike, but those aren't bikes with my personal choices and fit at top component levels.

    Not only that, but building is FUN!

  3. #3
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    I love what you're doing! Bikes with sentimental value are great. You can get an "older" XT/XTR 1x10 drive train on pinkbike for next to nothing. You may want to service the fork. I'm assuming v-brakes? Get some kool stop pads and new cables/housing (look for some cool coloured Jagwire stuff on aliexpress for $15/shipped). Cant wait to see pics.

  4. #4
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    Send me a message when you have a parts list together. I have a 26Ē that Iím using as a doner for a new build, will have plenty of parts hanging around.

    Good luck with everything, this sounds like it will be a great experience shared by the two of you.

  5. #5
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    Not even really sure where to start tbh. I dont know how to tell which parts are compatible.

  6. #6
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    Start with the problems, Jeremy. You mentioned brakes, shifters and the bottom bracket.

    I would redo the brakes first, you didn't say what kind the bike has, but new cables and pads or shoes are always a good investment for an older ride. Get a high quality cables and service the levers when you replace them. Most MTB cables are sold as BRAKE or SHIFT and an easy replace.

    Lots of shifting ailments can be cable or adjustment problems, as well. Might order those when you order the brake parts. OOH, custom colors for the housings.....your choice, the fun is starting.

    Unless it's an old spindle & cup BB, you'll need a BB tool to replace that assembly. No big deal, the tool is cheap and useful for future repairs. A couple quick measurements and you'll be able to make a replacements. Servicing an old cup and spindle will do as a temporary fix, but a new cartridge is da' bomb and easy to replace.

    That should get you started, you can message me for input, if you'd like.

    YouTube and Sheldon Brown are your friends now. If you don't know how to go about it, just look there for video or text help and explanations.

  7. #7
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    Jeremy, Are you saying that the bike you have for your your nephew is the Motobecane 400HT? That's not a very old bike, if so. If it is, There's nothing wrong with those frames. I bought a Motobecane SS 11 years ago and I put it through hell. It even came off my bike rack at 80 MPH on I-5 near Corning CA. I watched it tumble, bounce and cartwheel to a stop and the only thing that was wrong was a bent front rim.

    That bike you indicated is totally upgradeable.
    "And crawling on the planet's face, some insects called, The Human Race..."

  8. #8
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    Correct. That link is to the bike in question. Motobecane 400ht. It has "no name" mechanical discs on it now that dont work. And the fork is a rusty mess. Honestly if it didn't have the sentimental value, I'd just buy him another one. LOL.

    But, yes, I will get some pictures up later today and show yall what im working with.

  9. #9
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    You should be able to get the right wheelset from velomine for a good price. If they don't have what you want listed, email and ask. They'll build what you need. Again. The cost will be quite low. Are the wheels quick release or thru axel? If
    TA, they can do that even though they are not listed here.

    26 Inch Wheelsets Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike

    In fact, they have drivetrain parts, etc. Even a nice fork. But you'd need to confirm it would work (I don't really know much about fitting air forks). That one might be overkill. But plenty online you can buy.
    2018 Surly Karate Monkey 'dingle' speed
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  10. #10
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    Question. How old is he?
    2018 Surly Karate Monkey 'dingle' speed
    2013 CAADX 105
    2012 Pinarello Quattro
    2002 Zurich LeMond

  11. #11
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    If you are getting wheels and a fork and he doesnít plan on riding it off road it might be easier and more cost effective to just buy another Motobecane 400, as that bike only costs $300 and transfer the fork and all the parts over to your brothers frame. When you start talking about buying wheels from Velomine you are talking $140 shipped at the least. A fork even a used suntour is $50 or $60.

    Just a thought.

  12. #12
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    Great idea.
    2018 Surly Karate Monkey 'dingle' speed
    2013 CAADX 105
    2012 Pinarello Quattro
    2002 Zurich LeMond

  13. #13
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    I thought that was an "in post" ad for the Motobecane, not a link. Certainly it would be easiest to just hand him a new one.
    That wouldn't be the most sentimental approach, with a more custom fit, better components, perhaps 1x9, or other different set ups.

    Just sayin', I have one that's upgraded to death...sentimentaly, of course & you won't find a like from the mfg. If he wants his signature on the gift, It won't be from handing him the same bike new. Cost effective, yes.
    Last edited by North Coast Joe; 04-03-2019 at 01:40 PM. Reason: dumbass factor

  14. #14
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    I think rebuilding the bike is a wonderful idea. But, depending on your budget, I have a suggestion. Redo the bike and keep it cheap, or put more into it, whatever, and make it last, put some kind of message on it. Like, have your brotherís signature made into a decal, and add it. Or if you have something where he wrote something to your nephew, like ĎLove Dad,í have that produced, and put it on the bike.

    You could also buy him a new one and do the same. Maybe that would be good. Is he still growing?

    The concern with buying a bikes Direct model and substituting parts is it may not be exactly the same. Are both bikes quick release? Thru axel? How about bottom bracket size. There are a.lot of variables.

  15. #15
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    See above the suggestion wasnít just to buy a random bike from BD. He linked to the exact bike it is. The suggestion is to buy that same bike which is $300.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by blkangel View Post
    See above the suggestion wasnít just to buy a random bike from BD. He linked to the exact bike it is. The suggestion is to buy that same bike which is $300.
    Most models change from year to year.

  17. #17
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    From BD? I havenít seen that at all. My fat bike is the same as it was when I bought it like 4 years ago from them. Same with my daughters old bike. BD isnít updating their bikes every year.

  18. #18
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    I'm not sure of the year. I really wish I could pin it down. This was a pretty weekend to go ride so I missed the photos. I have them now.

    My ride, /passion/

    Sentimental bike needs revamping.-20190406_150737.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sentimental bike needs revamping.-20190406_202025.jpg  


  19. #19
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    Sentimental bike needs revamping.-20190407_154239.jpg

    Sentimental bike needs revamping.-20190407_154248.jpg

    Sentimental bike needs revamping.-20190407_154256.jpg

    I think it was left outside at some point. My nephew is 21 yrs old now. But he wants to use this bike because of the sentimental value. I want thinking fork, (cheap, maybe Chinese Alibaba) air spring, BB7 mechanical and a 1x system of some sort.

  20. #20
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    It's a long shot, but I would spray the entire bike down with wd40, let it sit for a couple days, then start working the fork/brakes/shifters. Some of that low tech stuff is amazingly tough.

  21. #21
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    Everyone has their own ideas of what a bike should be... I'm not sure how much wow you can get from a lower end 1990's bike, but it can certainly be made to look nice. Personally - I would not get rid of the 3x8 - it is such a reliable set up, even caked in mud it will still shift right. You've mentioned that you want to do to 1x - any reasons why?

    The fork in the pictures looks gone - and I'd suggest getting a higher end used fork off of ebay to replace it with (any late 1990's Manitou Black/Minute/X-Vert/Skareb/R7 will be good)- it will certainly improve the ride and set up options. BB7's are my favorite mechanical brakes and they would work great here. I would suggest going through the bike and cleaning/greasing it up - it is one way to be sure what really needs replacing. A lot depends on the intended use of the bike - if you nephew does not venture on the trails much, the bike could be as simple as a single speed - maybe even fully rigid bike? Obviously there are many approaches to make the bike best suited for the intended purpose while still using the frame at it's core.

  22. #22
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    I'd check Craigslist for a clean Trek with a decent fork. Then swap whatever you need to the Motobecane. Getting a whole bike is most cost effective.

    Plenty of people buy bikes and then never use them.

    You'll have to do some research to ensure the components match, but it shouldn't be too bad with a 26". Bikepedia is a decent reference to help identify the year a bike was made, and what components to expect.

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