I've got a 1971 Motobecane Club frame which is now about 1cm shorter than it used to be due to an unplanned merging of the front of the bike with the hood of a car which was in the process of turning; What parts are valuable enough to keep and try to sell?

Bent Motobecane frame

  • The (already-removed) brakes are Weinmann Symetric side-pulls with Kool-Stop salmon pads which are about halfway used-up (but for salmon pads that means probably at least 1/2 years of daily riding)
  • The rear lamp is a Soubitez from a similar era ('70s/early '80s) but the front lamp was irreparably damaged
  • The chainset is an aluminium "Motobecane"-branded model from the '80s and was bought as NOS only a few months before the crash
  • The front derailleur is a Sachs-Huret Jubilee (i.e. is from the early '80s) which was bought as NOS only a few months before the crash
  • The rear derailleur is a Huret Allvit which likely came with the bike (i.e. is from 1971) and has signs of heavy use but has no damage
  • Although it can't be seen here, the saddle is torn so it's probably worthless
  • Mainly the rear derailer. Other parts would only be of interest to someone attempting to maintain the authenticity of a similar bike. Though if you have an attachment to the bike you might have a discussion with a frame guy to see if the frame can be fixed up and the bike saved. That used to be done, back in the day. Sep 4, 2016 at 12:33
  • It's a brazed frame, so the downtube and the toptube can be replaced and a fitting fork could be found at a vintage bike parts market. Alternatively I'd remove all the bits and pieces and I'd try to find a matching vintage frame for a rebuild.
    – Carel
    Sep 4, 2016 at 15:34
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    Pity, that green is pretty. Maybe it could be half fixed... I have had a twisted fork from a vintage bike pulled back into decent shape for a little money. I picture using the headset tube with an iron bar inside as a point to try and bend the frame back into better shape... Changin tubes would be too much I guess, specially since you lose the nice paint, and matching it would skyrocket prices
    – gaurwraith
    Sep 4, 2016 at 19:11
  • Who was at fault in your accident? You the cyclist, or the driver? If the driver was at fault, then they or their insurance can pay to replace or repair your bike to the standard it was before the accident. Don't sell anything until its been settled. If you need a bike, buy a beater and keep this until any court case is settled.
    – Criggie
    Sep 5, 2016 at 1:21
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    @Criggie Taking the description of a head-on collision while the other vehicle "was turning" at face value, it's hard to imagine how it could be the cyclist's fault. Sep 5, 2016 at 9:22

1 Answer 1


Insurers make money by promising the customer coverage and then refusing to pay up

You do not need to accept their statements and valuations as indisputable facts. Instead - get your own valuations and find replacements that are the same brand, spec, and age.

Answer Don't sell that bike - its evidence. Take this to the next level and dispute the payout, described by yourself as a pittance. Depending on your location, that may be a Small Claims tribunal or something similar.

Don't roll over because an insurer has done their damnest to not pay you your costs.

What you do with the payout is your business, buy a new bike or old bike or repair this bike, that's your choice later.

  • As someone from Christchurch, New Zealand, I have been screwed from pillar to post and back again by multiple insurance companies for the last 6 years over earthquake damage. We're fighting it, and have gone from $20k for "minor cladding damange" to $187k for "significant structural damage" but we're still working to get the foundation damage recognised.
    – Criggie
    Sep 5, 2016 at 10:13
  • I understand and do appreciate your intentions, but I've already been fighting this since December and simply give up: I've tried everything I can to "prove" its "market value" and simply can't go to the next level and pay for an appraisal-- either in terms of money or sanity. Even the (albeit crappy) lawyers I've employed told me the same spiel-- that they can't do anything (a common service from German lawyers). Hence this question: I'm cashing in what few chips I have left. Sep 5, 2016 at 13:30

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