Classic & Vintage - Fontan???
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09-07-08, 10:52 PM
Does anyone know anything about Fontan bicycles? I recently purchased one (70's era) and am looking at restoring it. I haven't been able to find much about them anywhere. Is it worth doing? I do know that the Simplex Prestige derailleur (the pulleys are broken on mine) can be replaced by SunTour VT's, but that's about all that I have been able to find. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
09-07-08, 11:09 PM
ok, i will get pics
Here's a picture. The only Fontan I have ever hear of is this:
09-08-08, 12:05 AM
Here you go
09-08-08, 12:50 AM
Here's a picture. The only Fontan I have ever hear of is this:
Yeah, I came across that a few times in my search.
09-09-08, 02:03 PM
so is it worth fixing up, or is this some unknown model of bike that isn't worth much? and can i make it into a decent bike?
09-09-08, 02:24 PM
if you enjoy riding it - it IS a decent bike.
09-09-08, 05:46 PM
Sweet, thank you for the reply. Hopefully it WILL BE a decent bike. In my research I have found that the Simplex Prestige Derailleur that is on the bike is not of the best quality. As with most others, the pulleys broke off. So, I haven't been able to ride it much. It needs a new set of wheels and most likely a new crank as there is a small wobble in it. For now though, I would just like to be able to ride it.
01-13-11, 10:15 AM
I remember Fontan's were fairly common in the 70's but they've all but disappeared from the radar. You should restore it for it's rarity!
Citoyen du Monde
01-13-11, 11:47 AM
Wow! a 16 month old thread is re-opened. Fontan bikes were made by Elvish in Pau France (or the other way around). They are typical bike boom fare. In my eyes, slightly better value than Peugeot and Motobécane as they had a lighter distribution structure, read less expensive distribution structure.
01-13-11, 05:55 PM
With a surname of 'Fountain' I had looked them up before - but had forgotten the marque. Thanks for the reminder.
02-20-11, 11:41 AM
Here are some pictures of my Fontan. It was my father's bike, he bought it used in the mid 70s, I have a feeling that when he bought it, the store he bought it from replaced some parts. When I got it was set up as follows:
Suntour rear derailleur
Campagnolo front derailleur
Rigida Rims, Shimano hubs
Dia Compe Brakes
Campagnolo seat post
I put an adjustable stem on the bike in order to fit me better. I rode it fixed gear for a few years and cracked the original cranks because I'm an idiot. Found identical cranks on ebay for $50. I don't think everything was original when I got it as you can see from the list above. The decals have pretty much disappeared. I have since gone back and forth from the 10 speed set up and the single speed set up in the pictures. When I switch back to the ten speed set up I will photograph the bike in that state. I replaced the wheels with some new 27in wheels. I'm thinking about having it powdercoated, keeping the chrome stays and fork blades. But, I like the character of the bike with the chipped paint.
If anyone can tell me any more about this bike I would appreciate it.
07-01-11, 02:54 PM
Been searching everywhere for any information on Fontans, this is the only place I've found it besides learning of Victor Fontan on wikipedia, go figure. I have a Fontan "mystere" mixte and I love it. Bought it off CL in DC three years back for $50. The vintage Samir Saminox wheels are worth more than the frame probably but the value is in the rarity. Took it into my local shop in Chicago and they raved about it. They are rare no matter the model and should be restored if possible. Didn't have to do much; put road bars on, trued the wheels a bit, still looking for the right ideale saddle to complete it. Still....a great ride and the color is sick. Not sure this helps but I found some info on different components of this bike.
-Simplex shifter and derailleurs (http://velo-orange.blogspot.com/2006/06/simplex-super-lj-derailleur.html)
-Original Samir Saminox wheels (http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-669759.html)
-Mafac "Racer" Brakes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafac)
-Nervar crankset (http://velo-orange.blogspot.com/2006/05/what-about-nervar.html)
-Lytard Pedals (http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/components/lyotard.html)
-Pivo vintage stem
07-01-11, 03:59 PM
The thread that will not die!
All Fontans have bent forks.
07-01-11, 04:01 PM
This is a Fontan I redid a few years back. Not my size, so I sold it. Would have been a good street bike. That is good for leaving in front of a store, but still good enough to feel like I could move along.
10-20-11, 12:26 PM
I have been looking for any info on my bike I found on the side of the road with a Free sign on it. I am new to cycling and my first road bike is a 83 FUJI ESPREE. I was looking for any info on it I think the Fontan I have is a 1976 by the stamp on the bottom. Here are a few pics of the bike. Would you think it is worth fixing up?
04-01-13, 03:13 PM
http://sheldonbrown.com/kunich.html I was given a Fontan last summer and so now I am keeping the thread alive and joinedthis group because it is the most info available when surfing the web.
It seems as though previous owner did not do much for the bike and many bike mechanics have been impressed and confused by some of its engineering. After switching out some parts Iam realizing how special this bike is and am also thinking of restoring it. It is the smoothest ride and so fast. The link above is a site has some info on French bikes and parts but not Fontan's spcifiaclly although it does talk about mafac brakes.
Has anyone had luck restoring their Fontan? Any good advice?
This is my bike, sorry for the bad photos308133
09-02-13, 11:06 AM
I spent more than maybe I should have to restore a Fontan that I found. Both wheels needed work on spokes. I also replaced the broken Simplex derailleur with an off-the-shelf model. The bike still doesn't run as well as I hoped. Pictures attached.338192338193338194
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