Marianne and Her Lover

As hinted ever so subtly in the previous post, we have finally gotten a pair of road bikes to complete our velo-brood.

Hers: Motobecane Mirage mixte in marine-blue, 21" frame, 12-speed, 1981.

His: Motobecane Super Mirage in silver, 23" frame, 10-speed, 1975.

The pictures above are the "before" shots. Mine has already told me that her name is Marianne. The Co-Habitant's bicycle has not revealed his identity yet, so for now I will refer to him as Marianne's lover.

The bicycles were a bit scruffy when we got them, but they have incredibly good "bone structure" with elegant lines and beautiful lugs. They are now undergoing spa treatments and shall emerge as a sleek, glamorous couple.

Marianne's lover has already been fitted with new tires (Continental), a Brooks Flyer saddle in honey, shellacked cork handlebar tape, and a Crane bell. The handlebar bag is a temporary contraption that will be replaced by something sexy from Velo-Orange or Rivendell. He will also be getting nice fenders and lights.

Marianne herself is not quite as far along yet, but she's been cleaned up and gotten her handlebars re-wrapped in nice cotton tape. The seatpost is waiting for a Brooks Flyer S. She will also get fluted Honjo fenders, some lights, and a bell.

I am so in love with the lugs on vintage road bikes. The Mirage and Super Mirage were mid-range models for Motobecane, nothing special. But the amount of care and detail that is evident in their production is amazing. The lugs on both bicycles are hand-outlined in gold paint.

Oh yes, and notice the clips on the pedals. Since I already have two bicycles set up for commuting, I decided to leave all the original sporty components on the Mixte and give them a try. Should be interesting!

Well, this officially completes our acquisition period. With matching Pashley Sovereigns, vintage Raleigh 3-speeds, and vintage Motobecanes, we have velo-loveliness covered on all fronts.


  1. Indeed some gorgeous bikes. Marianne reminds me of my mum's bike (a Puch Cavette) sitting broken-down in the attic. I'll try to get that working when I visit her the next time. Or at least pay somebody else to repair it. Too many lovely bikes just rust away, and I feel I have to do something about it :-). It's great to see what old bikes can look like if you put a little bit of effort into pimping them up.

  2. Consider Acorn Bags from southern California. Very well made, stylish and reasonably priced. They're definitely worth the wait.

  3. Anna -- Oh you should definitely rescue the Puch! I also have the impulse to rescue vintage bikes; maybe start an orphanage. It is so difficult to see all the beautiful old 3-speeds and lugged road bikes practically being given away on our local Craigslist!

    Anon -- Are you the owner of Acorn Bags? I had recently seen one of these on another blog, but there was no name, just the logo of the acorn. I just visited the website and the bags are absolutely terrific. This might be the one for my Motobecane handlebars.

  4. I love Marianne and her lover. Great choice!

  5. Marianne's lover looks fantastic - what a change! I love th aethetic. I have an small Acorn saddle bag that I won from Ecovelo. It is a beauty, although I don't use it much because I'd have to remove it at every stop (anything not bolted down will be stolen in Chicago).

    Can't wait to see how Marianne turns out.

  6. Thanks! I am also liking the way the silver Motobecane is coming along. I think that warm brown accessories look great with silver frames, so that was the look we were going for here.

  7. I'm a huge fan of all aqua bikes. Great choice of name!

  8. I am seriously lacking in the bike-naming department. You, however, are not. Marianne's lover is looking good. Can't wait to see how Marianne becomes more herself.

  9. Thanks : ) We both seem to be enjoying the naming process. Marianne's lover is now officially "Miles".

  10. I had the exact reverse color scheme of this pair. An all gold Mixte, and a Blue Grand Touring.

    Just found a free silver (or maybe white gold?) Base Mixte frame today. Nothing but one headset cup and a pair of brakes. Will be a long haul.


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