Classic & Vintage - Restoring a Gitane TdF
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06-01-04, 07:58 PM
My g/f's mom has offered to give me her old Gitane TdF for free to restore as a project and i'm wondering if anyone has opinions as to whether it's a worth while endeavor. The bike itself is pretty hashed, the only things that appear salvagable are the frame, rear deralleur, and rims ... Just looking around the net the bikes seem to have a lot of history, although the TdF plays second fiddle to another Gitane model I can't recall off the top of my head. I'm not looking for any monetary gain from the restoration but want to do something worthwhile that would actually be fun to ride around once I had completed. Also, is it worth restoring a bike when a lot of the components need to be replaced? Just trying to pool opinions :)
06-02-04, 07:13 AM
My thought is it's likely make a very nice fixed gear if much of it needs to be replaced. If it's a seventies model, it likely has very limited braze ons.
However, are you saying the headset and bottom bracket are shot as well? On older gitanes, these would be French threaded, and replacing them will require an investment of time or money. It can be done relatively cheap, but require some patience to hunt down the parts. If these parts are intact, I'd say fix it up as well, a fixie.
Personally, I find restoring (okay,rebuilding) old bikes a fun diversion, so I'm the wrong person to ask.
I have two early seventies TdF's. Of the forty odd bikes I own(admittedly, mostly sixties vintage Schwinn "lightweights", but including two Paramounts), these are my favorite to ride. They have a very sweet and responsive feel to them.
Not sure about other years, but in the early seventies, the Super Corsa was Gitane's top of the line model. It was all Campy equipped. I've never had the pleasure of riding one, but I'd bet it doesn't ride any better than the TdF. In the catalog, the TdF is listed as half a pound lighter than the Super Corsa.
I'd keep it and fix it up as a rider if I were you. As Poguemahone said, the French threading and sizes will be an issue, but I think you will be pleased with the way it rides.
06-02-04, 01:08 PM
Cool, thanks for the input. The bottom bracket is actually probably usable, i'm not sure about the headset though. I just gave it a once over but it seemed like the handlebars were bent, i'm not sure if it was just the bars, the stem or what. Anyway, i'm going to try and get it in working order tonight, i'll update this thread later :)
I have a 1971 Gitane TDF that I bought new and have just dug out for a rebuild. Most parts are still available or can be changed if needed. They came normally with simplex changes and normandy hubs but some like mine had campy changers and hubs. The srtonglite crankset shaped like a star is something I haven't seen for a while, although there are E-bay stores with french thread chranks NOS. Seatpost is an uncommon 26.4 I think. Brakes were mafac competitions but NOS mafac racers can be bought for about $35 or less for the entire set with cables,levers,calipers,etc. I would take it to a good bike shop to verify the fitment of the bottom bracket and headset. Some bikes imported during the 70s bike craze had different size fittings which were not consistent so it would be nice to be sure what you need before you buy an expensive part. I would maybe do the least expensive rebuild you can do and then upgrade components later if you like the bike and have some extra money.
Bob Skillman Ellicott City MD
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