Repurposed, but with many signs of the original era

©Barry Sandland/TIUMB - Single speed city vintage Motobecane

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – From decades past, this Motobecane still has many of the seemingly original elements. But repurposed, it has a new like as a wanted city single-speed.

“I have had the bike since 2012. I know nothing about bikes, but next door to my house there is a bike shop – someone who repurposes old bikes. Bikes like these. One gear. It’s very comfortable. There are plenty of hills here, but it works like this.”

Photographer’s notes: This bike holds closer to vintage than many of the bikes spotted on the road. The saddles is reminiscent of the Cinelli buffalo hide of the 80s. The wheels still use the large flange hubs that were so characteristic is the bygone era. The Motobecane is one of those French superstar vintage bikes. Not as famous as Peugeot, but they created a truly decent road bike back in their heyday. One of the first European firms to move to Japanese parts, they offered a better overall quality bike as a result. In Belgium, these vintage road frames are being resourced as fixed or single speed bikes – recreated as super light machines when stripped of all the derailleur equipment, rear wheel blocks and the small extras. The rejuvenated form is well suited to riders who usually hit a cadence and they there (like so many daily riders)… And the rider’s hat seems so well suited to the bike. Vestiges of the past in modern form.

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