Hobbit forks on a motobecane: With pictures!

Ok, so here is a bit of a guide for anybody interested in adapting hobbit forks to a moby. I know this has been talked about a lot and the details are out there, but everybody loves pictures! However these pics aren't the best; I have an old camera, a dark basement and no tripod at the moment.

So to start with, the forks fit in the moby head tube perfectly. I tapped the moby bearing cups out and pressed the hobbit cups in, and used the hobbit bearings because they have ball retainers that make life easier; the moby bearings are free to hit the floor and bounce into the corner.

Making the forks fit the frame literally takes 15 minutes once the moby forks are off.

1. Tap out moby bearing cups

2. Tap in hobbit cups

3. Clean and grease bearings, insert into cups

4. Insert hobbit fork, bolt on and tighten head tube nut.

The minor trickery comes in at the wheel, as there are a couple problems. The motobecane brake hub has nothing to stop against on the hobbit fork; The hobbit forks are a bit narrower at the axle, so you have to remove a nut to fit it in, but then the wheel is off center. There is a nub on the hobbit forks that hits the wheel. This is easy to solve; 1 minute with a grinder takes this nub right off.

So to start with, get a rear brake hub from a donor motobecane.

The brake stop on the rear brake hub is almost a perfect fit, but not quite long enough:

So get a piece of 3/16" x 1.5" x 1.5" flat stock, and cut a 1/2" wide 5/8" deep grove in it. This will be the brake stop extension:

TIG weld the extension to the original stop:

Now to get the wheel centered on the axle, it is necessary to cut down the brake hub stop about 3/16" to 1/4":

Gring, prime and paint:

Bolt it all up:

Sit back and bask in the glory of the Man in Pink:


Re: Hobbit forks on a motobecane: With pictures!

nice, although im not down with rod stewart~!

Re: Hobbit forks on a motobecane: With pictures!

looks good...... and your right, everybody loves pictures.....

Re: Hobbit forks on a motobecane: With pictures!

how did you do yr 6 stars? sanded to metal or painted?

Re: Hobbit forks on a motobecane: With pictures!


The mags were badly corroded when I got them so I sandblasted and painted them. I used DupliColor brand paint (Auozone). Get the "etching primer" and then use your wheel paint color of choice. They have a number of colors to chose from. Clearcoat makes a big difference too. Follow the directions on the cans and they come out great! I was completely surprised at how durable and shiny the paint/clearcoat is. Make sure to allow a week or two of final dry time. Total paint cost was about 25 to 30 bucks.



Re: Hobbit forks on a motobecane: With pictures!

i like the color you chose for the wheels o and why didnt you just move the part on the forks instead of the break stop??? you can tig weld and it would have looked a lot cleaner.....

Re: Hobbit forks on a motobecane: With pictures!


I considered moving the peg lower on the forks, but I didn't like the idea of mucking up the chrome. Also, I had extra brake hubs, but not extra sets of hobbit forks, and I am prone to mucking things up the first time around (and the second, even third occasionally).

In addition, I am a little sketched out about welding to the forks, as this anneals and softens the steel. I know that this also happens when I weld the hub, like I did, but I feel that it compromises my safety less to have a failed brake than a failed fork. I suppose the real answer is, it probably doesn't matter either way.


Re: Hobbit forks on a motobecane: With pictures!

To be fair, I have to state that I had the welding done for me; I don't have access to a welder anymore. I had to pay to have it done, but I met a really cool guy in the process so it works out (he has a whole machine shop too!).


Re: Hobbit forks on a motobecane: With pictures!

you can also get a friend to weld on some new material in order to retain your front fender and brake stay. . .

Re: Hobbit forks on a motobecane: With pictures!

Yes very nice Jay. I like your approach better anyhow. Anybody else doing this, I encourage you to do your brake stop like Jay did, mine ended up being a pain until I replaced stock brakes with disk brakes, and now it works perfectly.

Re: Hobbit forks on a motobecane: With pictures!

Yeah, the brake fitting is a little weird. I kept the front brake so I had to drill a hole for the little 'tab' stop to fit in there. Then I just had to weld a small drilled hole piece for the cable to grab. Jay....yours looks AWESOME! Who did that for you?

Re: Hobbit forks on a motobecane: With pictures!

its unclear, though, whether that front brake stay is in the right place. im going back now with my wheel to check it out. my friend aaron did it. he knows his stuff. im working on his moby right now. he posts here sometimes, and goes on the wednesday rides occasionally.

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