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New-to-me Gitane 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:15 am Reply with quote
Joined: 19 Dec 2011
Posts: 9
Location: Marshfield, VT
In looking around for a cheap frame in my size to build up a winter singlespeed, I stumbled onto this rough but promising piece of work. It's had a hard life. Look at those handlebars! The stem! The shifters! My goodness.

No sure what I have here, really. There's no model name on the top tube or anywhere else that I can see. It differs from my 1971 TdF (which I bought new at age 16) in a number of ways. The fork crown is simpler, and it doesn't have the same long-point lugs. Possibly it's one of the post-Mel Pinto imports? It has the Simplex banjo dropout (you can see it behind the claw mounted Shimano derailleur. It was good of the previous owner not to saw it off.

I don't think there are many original components left apart from the Mafac Competition brakes, the Stronglight P-3 headset, the chromed steel seatpost, and maybe the bottom bracket and spindle. Not sure about the wheels--narrow Weinmann clincher rims on some flavor of Campagnolo hubs. I don't speak Campagnolo well enough to recognize the model. That's a six-speed freewheel, but the dropout spacing is 120.

The tattered remnant of the Reynolds derailleur is on the seat tube, not the down tube. That and the style of the stickers and the general lack of braze-ons suggest to me that it dates from maybe 1972 or 3? Sort of a wild-ass guess.

The paint is basically sound, apart from a few bad scrapes and chips. Needless to say, it deserves better than reincarnation as a winter singlespeed. For now I plan to strip it to the frame, clean it up, and consider my options for a while. I've already made the mistake of prematurely repainting one old Gitane, so won't be doing that again. If I can find a good match for the blue-green paint I may try to do a little touch-up work.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:14 am Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Posts: 443
Hi this is a gitane TDF and will look great with clean up. For retouching, I just
buy auto spray paint and after missing the color with a few wrong cans, usually get something close. Try on primed metal piece first and if candy color a sliver base coat followed by light dusting on of color and then clear. You will get close. New stickers and it will look great and after 1 year you will forget about the scratched paint that seemed so important.

hubs are Gran Sport and common for TDF. Normally had Stronglight 93 cranks simplex derailleurs criterium, chrome steel seat post, hard ass plastic seat, mafac competition center pull brakes, pivo stem and unmarked bars. Usually came with Mavic Monthlery sew up rims. Pedals Lyotard 460D

I still have my original TDF bought when I was 15 in '72 and still fine bike.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:42 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 19 Dec 2011
Posts: 9
Location: Marshfield, VT
Wow, I just read the "identify my bike" thread--not sure how I missed it before. So I guess I have most of my answers.

The new bike is a 72- or 3- model (as I had speculated) with the medium-point Bocama lugs and Nervex "DuBois" head crown. Also the stouter, less-curved fork blades. (In my part of aVermont, incidentally, "DuBois" is a fairly common name, and is locally pronounced "Do-boys.") I was kind of partial to the earlier Nervex crown, but I guess I'll get used to this one.

Still no explanation as to why the frame is missing the "map of France" decal on the fork blades and the model name on the top tube. Possibly attributable to the decal applier being in the bathroom when this particular frame went by.

My 1971 has a nominal 62 cm frame, and always seemed just a tiny bit small to me. This one is a 64, I think, although the actual measurement seems closer to 63. I'm looking forward to seeing how it rides.
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