I consider my bike like a fellow traveler since i bought it in 2012 for 30€ at the used store with one of my first wages.

This bike is a Profil 2 (PF2) manufactured by Motobecane between 1981 and 1983 (one year before the bankruptcy). Bike reference is present in the Motobecane 1981 catalog, but the Profil 3 (high end version) was prefered for the photo.

Here is the only picture that i found for this bike, extracted from a swedish catalog.

Motobecane profil 2

The frame is made of 1020 steel, tubes are brazed and have an aero shape which look pretty cool, but don’t come from known manufacturers like Reynolds or Columbus. In theory the frame is not suited to my height (55cm frame for 175cm height), but i appreciate to cycle without caring if the front wheel will touch my shoes when i’m in a curve or a roundabount.

The Profil 2 integrate a mix of a Shimano Adamas AX group (brakes, crankset, bottom bracket, pedals), Huret parts (shifters, front and rear derailleurs), and some internal/unique Motobecane parts such as the handlebar, stem, headset, seatpost (aero) and the saddle (similar to a concor supercorsa, but way more cheap).

I did the first modifications in 2012, which consist to remove the rusts (as there was a lot of it, even if not noticeable on the photos), and add an industrial primer with some spray paint (MTN Hardcore 400ml - RV-16 Vert Pistache) and varnish on top.

I removed the Shimano brakes lever, replaced by Dia Comp lever and changed those crappy brakes (Shimano BR-AD20) with the bad “parapul” system, by Campagnolo Avanti brakes, much more efficient and with standard pads.

One year after, i purchased new wheels (80€) from a used bike part shop as the initial ones were so old that it was not possible to straighten/true the bike wheels.

Purchased wheels are composed of Campagnolo hubs (no references), Wolber rims (Mavic nowadays), and a singlespeed freewheel (Nervar) on the rear wheel. As the rear derailleur was no use i removed it, and i decided to also remove the shifters, and the front derailleur, which considerably reduced the maintenance time, and the bike weight.

I put tubular tyres (boyaux) from Vittoria as the rims were planned for. After several disappointments with the Vittoria Rally i changed and picked the Vittoria Corsa Elite (700x23), paid 44.95€ the pack of two (yes, sounds impossible in 2023), and it changed my life.

The bike stayed in this configuration for around 8 years, brakes pads were changed periodically and the singlespeed freewheel was replaced in mid 2021 due a mechanism completely broken.

Nervar single speed freewheel (18 teeths) was replaced by a Miche single speed freewheel (16 teeths, 1/2” X 1/8”) which is in fact manufactured by the chinese company CIxi Kangdi Bicycle Co specialized in it. At the same time the chain was replaced by a half link chain (YBN MK918 ~15€) which permit to avoid the addition of a chain tensioner.

In September 2022 i finally replaced my Vittoria tubular tyres, by Continental Sprinter Gatorskin (700x25) tubular tyres after a puncture. I choose them for two reasons, durability and price (48.98€ each), because in the meantime the price of the Vittoria Corsa Graphene (new reference) increased up to 80€ for each… Which sounds ridiculous compared to what i payed for my car (Michelin four seasons tyres at ~90€ each). Looks like tubular tyres are not popular nowadays, and abandonned for usual tyres (Gravel is the new hype). Even glue was hard to find, i used some Jantex tape (Velox) instead (~15€), as it was out of stock on every known online shops and at locals bike dealer shops.

One month later, back from work, i discovered a long crack at the bottom of the seat tube. After some hours spent to find a company able to perform such repair, i found Baudou Bikes which is still doing handmade bicycles (steel only) and provides services like steel frames repairs. After a discussion with Gael, i decided to remove the paint in order to check if the frame was repairable.

After a complete disassembly and few hours later the paint was removed and it didn’t look so bad. At least i didn’t discover more than this crack and the result of a precedent repair (visible on the front of the seat tube).

Frame cracked

I used a stripper from Blanchon, combined to a hot air gun when the paint was not affected by the stripper. It tooks around 3 hours to remove most of the paint and the primer with long pauses in between in order to let the stripper do it’s work.

From Gael input the repair of the crack was feasible for less than 50€ (including an amendment of the previous repair, and the removal of the brake cable guide), and i could also consider doing an epoxy paint for 145€ (which include in any case a sandblasting) subcontracted by GMT 31.

I said OK, and bring the bike the next week. The repair was a bit complicated but Gael did a great job, and i get it back in mid November 2022 with an blue epoxy paint (RAL 5011) and a varnish glitter on top. Unfortunatly the glitter effect produced a poor render on a deep blue (steel blue), the bike appears to be gray under the sunlight.

At this period of time i wasn’t sure if i wanted to keep this color for the rest of it’s life, but i kept it as is as in between i purchased new parts, and needed to check the compatibility.

Here is the list of parts purchased:

Aim was to change completely the transmission part which was deteriorated after all those years, with high end parts and especially a crankset using replacable chainrings. Brakes were updated as quality rim brake pads were no longer availables, and most of the brakes are using cartridges now. Saddle was in a pretty bad shape with several holes and the headset was rusty as hell. Regarding the pedals, after several years using single sided pedals, i choose to use platform pedals (double sided) with the possibility to add a strap (if in the future i want to switch to a fixed gear).

All the components fits well, except the MKS pedals, but it was expected, and i asked for a rethreading (taraudage) to the current standard (9/16th) at Mr Pignon and Mme guidon (15€).

Note: crankset bolts were used instead of Shimano crank arm fixing bolts with one key release, because it allows a more important tightening.

At the end of 2022, i decided to change the paint for a lighter color, frame will be in RAL 1028 (Melon Yellow) and the fork in RAL 9005 (Jet black). I bring back the frame and the fork to Baudou Bikes the week before christmas, and get it back in mid January 2023. This time it cost me around 120€ (sandblasting, painting and rethreading included).

The new paint completely change the way that i consider my frame, in a good way. Epoxy paint rendering is impressive.

I purchased Motobecane Profil 2 stickers (replicas) from an ebay shop (bicyclestickersuk), and this bike retrieve it’s original soul (and might looks like a hornet).

Here is the resut after the final assembly.

The hornet

Note: headset is finally a mix of the Campagnolo headset and Motobecane original headset due to length of the fork (Motobecane headset is very low profile). If i find a Columbus fork which fit my needs i will change it in order to have only Campagnolo parts.