By Jon N – UK
The Motobecane Rodeocycle was the precursor to the Garel Monocycle and shares multiple similarities including 32 tooth chainring and 16 teeth at the back, 16 wire spoked wheel, 110mm crank arms and cottered crank, although the bottom bracket shell on the Rodeocycle has a smaller diameter. The Rodeocycle has a two piece seat tube rather than the continuous one piece that is curved on the Garel and Lerun designs. My example has the clip missing from the coaster brake, which is easy enough to replace, the body did have stickers on when I acquired it and I used some WD40/3in1 Oil to help remove the gum left from the stickers. Overall it is in good condition and just needs a coaster brake clip to complete it.
The skateboard truck uses old school hole spacing and displays the Motobecane ‘M’ logo underneath. I believe the orange/red wheels in the pictures are original as I have seen them on other examples and are some in the 85a range firmness (comparing them to 78a wheels), measuring 62mm diameter and still have life left in them however I have changed the bearings to a fresh set of Bones Reds.
The plastic body sections screw together and are fixed to the frame via three screw points, one by the skateboard truck and one either side of the rear wheel axle nuts. It was a simple case of removing the pedals, then the screws and gently removing the two panels. Once removed I gave the panels a wipe down, replaced one of the axle nuts that had been rounded off and was then able to adjust the chain tension (which at that point was slack and rubbing on the plastic panelling).
Having given it a test ride on a running track I felt it was very similar to the Garel though depending on your viewpoint the Rodeocycle is arguably more eye-catching. It does feel a little heavier than the Garel or Lerun models however not by much and is likely going to be the same with the plastic panels removed.
Locating one for sale was difficult and I spent a good amount of time looking at pictures on the internet try to find recent images to see if they are linked to for sale adverts. I managed to locate one on a Polish classifieds website and reached out to the vendor, thankfully he was willing to post and even sorted out the courier from his place in Poland to mine in the United Kingdom, although it was definitely a risk so I would advise doing your homework before transferring money, if it doesn’t feel right then don’t do it. Luckily the vendor, had been registered to the website for years and was friendly, it took 3 days to arrive safely and after a good clean and a couple of parts it’s ready to roll!!
On Thursday, December 17, 1981, a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for RODEOCYCLE. The USPTO has given the RODEOCYCLE trademark serial number of 73342102. The current federal status of this trademark filing is CONTINUED USE NOT FILED WITHIN GRACE PERIOD, UN-REVIVABLE. The RODEOCYCLE trademark is filed in the category of Vehicles and Products for locomotion by land, air or water . The description provided to the USPTO for RODEOCYCLE is Bicycles and Structural Parts Therefor.
Word mark: RODEOCYCLE
Status/Status Date: CONTINUED USE NOT FILED WITHIN GRACE PERIOD, UN-REVIVABLE
Serial Number: 73342102
Filing Date: 12/17/1981
Registration Number: 1217470
Registration Date: 11/23/1982
Goods and Services: Bicycles and Structural Parts Therefor
Type Of Mark: TradeMark
Published For Opposition Date: 8/31/1982
Last Applicant/Owner: Ateliers de la Motobecane S.A., Pantin F-93502
Mark Drawing Code: Drawing with Words in Stylized form (25% Redcution of drawing size)
Application number: 0479557
Registrant: ATELIERS DE LA MOTOBECANE, UNE SOCIETE ANONYME, 16, RUE LESAULT, 93502 PANTIN, FRANCE
Yves Garel’s skatebike patent was filed in 1981. Garel was from France, as was the Motobecane Rodéocycle. My guess is this was the first commercial version of his patent.
Motobécane was a French manufacturer of bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles, and other small vehicles, established in 1923. “Motobécane” is a compound of “moto”, short for motorcycle; “bécane” is slang for “bike.”
Videos on the Rodeocycle (all in French)