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  1. #1
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    Restoring a Gitane Tour de France. Tire size question

    I an currently restoring a Gitane TdF for my wife. It probably dates from the 70's and is in pretty good condition. It sat for years in the window of a closed bike shop which faded the paint and destroyed the tires. It has Mavic tubular rims which has no size markings. The tires are only marked with the weight of 270 grams. The rim measures 25 inches in diameter and 20mm wide. I have searched through the mish-mash if information on the web and am more confused now than when I started. What size tubular tires will fit these rims? Any help on this matter will be greatly appreciated.

    By the way I ride a Schwinn World Voyager which I bought new.

    Calaloo

  2. #2
    All work and no play... Oysterboy's Avatar
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    I had a Gitane in college, it had clinchers if I remember, sorry. Nice bike though, 10 speed?
    MTB: 1998 Gary Fisher Joshua Z0. Stock except for Mavic 517 ceramic rims and removal of the stupid rear shock lockout. Totally old school and I like it that way.
    TT: 2003 Quintana Roo Tequilo. Built from frame up, a hodge-podge of mid to high-end components. This bike is fast, the engine is the limiting factor here.

  3. #3
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    Tubular wheels/rims are the same size as 700C wheels/rims so if you want to go with a new clincher wheel set or clincher rims it is a direct swap as long as you stay with the same width rear wheel. 700C tires would be the same tire size. If I was building a bike for my wife i wouldn't mess with tubular tires and wheels. Roger

  4. #4
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    Yep. 10 speed. And according to what I found it has a 100% Renolds 531 frame. It is all stock except the RD and the hubs.

    Calaloo

  5. #5
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    The Tour de France model is well worth restoring. It was a competitor to the somewhat more common Peugeot PX-10 and was built with double-butted Reynolds 531 tubing and Campagnolo components. The wheels are for standard 700c tubulars so you can use just about any modern tubular tire. But I agree with rhenning that if I wanted to use the bike for normal riding I'd probably switch to clincher wheels since flat tires are so much easier to repair and generally less expensive.

    Tubulars do make for quick tire changes on the road though. You carry a spare tire and just pull the one with a flat off and install the spare - no need to swap tubes and check for the cause of the flat. But fixing the flat tire later at home is more of an issue since the tire is sewn together around the tube. You have to undo the stitching to get to the tube, patch it, and then sew the tire back together.

  6. #6
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    The wheels are Mavic Championnat Du Monde Monthlery rims with Campagnolo Nuovo Tippo quick release hubs or Ofmega hubs, the Campagnolo kit was optional.

    You have Simplex Criterium front and rear derailleurs, check that the pulley wheels are in good shape on the RD. For normal riding look for Vittoria Rally/Corsa CR or Gommitalia Champions (700C is correct as noted already).

    If you want to know more from me, PM me and I'll gladly help. I have a Gitane TDF myself and have recently overhauled the entire bicycle bit-by-bit over this summer except for the stem. I highly recommend trying to pull it out as soon as you can and really clean/grease things up in that area. Right now, mine is jammed stuck....it really sucks. IF the stem moves easily, tilt the bike upside down as the bearings do not sit in cages, they are loose in stronglight head sets.

    Got any pics? I'm curious to see it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    The Gitane Tour de France was one of the starter bikes of choice for most of my racing buddies in the early '70s. We all used tubulars, 19-21mm for time trials and fast criteriums, to the 26mm Clement Paris-Roubaix for rough roads and long miles. Frame clearances on this bike are sufficiently ample that some guys used 27" clinchers (700c clinchers didn't exist yet) for winter training.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
    The Gitane Tour de France was one of the starter bikes of choice for most of my racing buddies in the early '70s. We all used tubulars, 19-21mm for time trials and fast criteriums, to the 26mm Clement Paris-Roubaix for rough roads and long miles. Frame clearances on this bike are sufficiently ample that some guys used 27" clinchers (700c clinchers didn't exist yet) for winter training.
    My early seventies Gitane Tour de France has very tight clearance in the front. There is not sufficient clearance for 27" wheels. a 27 X 1 1/4" tire will hit the underside of the fork crown. With a 700c wheel, the original front Mafac Competition brake is actually a bit too long for it. I've seen others with the same problem.

  9. #9
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    I've got a nice pair of 700 wheels and tires but the axel is too large in diameter to fit into the slots for them. Remove .020 - .025 and problem solved but wife doesn't want to alter the frame and fork. $160 to relace old hubs to new rims, see if I can find clincher wheels with proper size axle, or put tubulars on it and hope for the best.

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