This was a conversation from a previous post that began when I was talking with Scooper, Silversmith, and Walter.... (about another great Schwinn)
I have decided that whoever nails the bikes' identity will be recieving a free old bike... nothing too special but, my way of saying thanks!
(I think that the winner should be chosen based on the general consensus of the group)
I recently picked up the most breathtaking 1972 Gitane (or so I thought) I've ever seen from a priest at our local church, it is all original except for the seat (a newer Brooks) however, I have no idea what this bike is.....the man who willed it to the church passed away several years ago.
I just took it for a first ride and am blown away! No matter how fast I went, it wanted to go faster....
EDIT: I've now taken this bike for several rides way up to the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. God this bike is responsive!
I could have sworn that the ugly rear cable stay/bracket was the telltale sign of a Gitane/TDF....
The bike weighs rougly 23.3 lbs on 1 scale and 23.9 lbs on the other scale
Campagnolo components are stamped "Patent 72"
Campy N. Record derailleurs
Campy Superleggeri pedals
Campy shift levers on the downtube at the "pentagon" braze-on
Rear Hub- "Approved 2-72 Made in France"
Front hub- "Approved 3-72 Made in France"
(could these be Normandy ??)
Weinmann 700C rims
Bacoma lugs are stamped which would be consistent w/ Gitane but, may be consistent w/ other makers:
"72" stamped on the riders' R side of the seatlug (stamped upside down- geometry) and
"72" stamped on the riders' L side of the head tube (top lug-geometry),
"61" also stamped on the riders' L side of the head tube (bottom lug-geometry)
3 very strange stamps:
Rear L dropout is stamped "40 C? 42" (strange serial# not consistent w/ Gitane)
The inside of each rear dropout has a HUGE stamp that is "7K" (the 7 is placed above the K)
These "7K" stamps are 3 times bigger than any of the other stamps and the font/text style is ornate. Appears much fancier than the other stamps....I checked other Gitanes from the era and couldn't find these "7K" stamps
Beautiful Stronglight crankset
3TTT RECORD mm. 105 stem
Bars are stamped "England" on the INSIDE of the drops (where the end cap would pop in)
I tore the original leather wrap off and re-taped the bars myself....in the hope of learning who made the bars... also added the Christophe clips to the pedals
Mafac "Competition" brakes w/ the original rock scrapers attached to keep the tires clean
Scrapers are stamped "MADE IN FRANCE"
Top & Bottom head tube lugs are stamped "BCM" (which Walter taught me is Bacoma... thanks man)
Rear dropouts are simplex but front dropouts are Huret
Possibly the strangest fact of all..... the bike is all chrome and I believe Reynolds 531 Double Butted!
(I absolutely, positively believe that this chrome job is 34 years old if it's a day)
Another strange fact: the head tube clearly never had a head badge riveted into it... it must have had a decal or, nothing at all...??
The priest believes that the nice old man purchased the bike brand new at a small "Cycles" shop in France and shipped it back w/ some furniture
The only thing I feel confident about is that this bike was handmade no later than 1972 and everything about this bike screams French (Several strange quirks-to me anyways)
My favorite component? The rock scrapers that keep the tires free of debris