This project was another “build to order” for a guy who needed a sleek commuter that rode well. We set up a deal to trade his Raleigh Capri and Schwinn Varsity plus $25 for a Motobecane Mirage frame rebuilt as a single speed:

It was a decent deal but all and all, I really helped him out. This panned out to be a very nice bike.

I bought the wheelset (Weinmenn DP18s) off someone who had recently upgrade to Mavics. The wheels had only seen around 70 miles so they were in pretty good shape.

One major reason the buyer was willing to trade me his two bikes for this one was that he recently bought the Capri as his commuter because his last bike had gotten stolen. His last bike had bullhorns and he really missed the style of those bars and wanted them back. I didnt exactly give him bullhorns but rather, cut & flip drops which he was fine with.

He also requested to have an aggressive gear ratio so I set him up with 16/52. Another request was some efficient tires so I bought him Vittoria Zaffiros.

I really loved the way this bike turned out and so did he. Definitely an upgrade from his Capri.


My grandpa occasionally crosses paths with scrapers who usually have at least one bike or two on their load. I am usually weary of buying anything from scrapers, not out of fear of stolen goods, but because they abuse the hell out of what they find. They arent going to treat a bike nicely until they have someone in front of them willing to pay $30 to take it off their hands. And the idea of paying that much for a bike that has squashed between a washing machine and a rusty old lawn mower doesnt make me feel comfortable.

Luckily, the bikes the scraper had sold my grandpa were neatly arranged on the bed of the truck and were all in decent condition. This Motobecane was one of them.

The original wheels were rusty steel disasters and the handlebars/stem were also basically made of uranium. Needless to say, it was a heavy bike.

I had a set of Araya alloy 27inch wheels that I threw on the bike, along with an alloy stem and handlebars. New chain, saddle, wrap, cables, pads, tires, and tubes.

I remember at this particular juncture, we were blessed with about 4-5 25inch frames so it was fairly easy to post one on Craiglist and sell the other frames to responders after it sold.

Another simple and efficient build.