Not a Typical Motobecane
This lovely bike was sent in by Jimi Roller via the Velocollective Facebook page, which you can visit here. It’s quite an unusual bike, because it has the decals of Motobecane on the frame, as well as the name “Chatard”. Jimi was trying to find out some information about the bike, as the frame has these two names on them. I’ve never heard of Chatard before, and I’m sure this was never a model made by the Motobecane brand.
This is a nice restoration project, and Jimi bought the bike from a seller on EBay in France. The seller’s description wasn’t too detailed, but at least he included the full name of the mystery decal on this frame: Maurice Chatard. So who was Maurice Chatard? Anyone know? Because I’ve found very little information about him, the only other bike I’ve come across is a vintage tandem from the same era.
My best guess is that Chatard was a Motobecane dealer based in Firminy in France. This dealer put his own name on the bikes which he custom built. A similar example is this Poirier bike which I blogged about, which was a well known shop in Picardy. These bike shop owners were not frame builders themselves, but rebranded frames made by established brands like Motobecane and Bertin for their shop floors.
This bike is of similar build quality to the Motobecane C5, or Team Champion in the US. It has the same colour as a Super Champion I restored earlier this year. Though it doesn’t have chromed stays and forks, it’s fork crowns are chromed and the long pointed Bocama lugs have nice gold detailing. There are no braze-ons, dating this bike to the mid 1970’s, though the best way to date it would be by checking the components original on the bike. These include:
- A Stronglight double Crankset
- Huret Challenger Derailleurs
- Mavic Red Label Clincher Rims
- Maillard 700 Pro Hubs
- Weinmann Side Pull Brakes?
- Gipiemme Seatpost and Pedals
It’s a beautiful bike, and Jimi has done a great job restoring it. Most of the components are French and would be matching a C5 of the period, except for the Italian pedals and seatpost which are Gipiemme. I’m guessing its Atom freewheel is a five speed, making this bike a 10 speed with a typical 52/42 crankset. On top of that, I really like the suede saddle for style and comfort, a detail I always prefer to the harder leather saddles of the period. Thanks for sending it in, Jimi!
- If you have an interesting, vintage road bike that you’d like to share, please get in touch via the Facebook page. Thanks!