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  1. #1
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    Gitane Serial Numbers

    I have an old (I have yet to figure out how old) Gitane Super Course, and one of the curious things about it is that it has not serial number (I have striped it down to the frame and have found nothing). Is there an approximate date that the French had some sort of revelation and started to use serial numbers?
    "Where you come from is gone;
    where you are headed weren't never there;
    and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it."

  2. #2
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    I don't recall a Super Course, do you mean a Super Corsa? I recall seeing serial numbers as far back as the early 1970s. The lack of one could be due to lack of quality control, which was a big problem particualrly during the pressure of the early 1970s bicycle boom or it could be tied into the fact that high end frames came from other line and may not bear serial numbers.

    The French component manufacturers also were not fond of putting date codes on the parts, so that is no help. Your best bet to date it is via frame details, particularly the decal style. If you post pics, I'm sure some member can help you out or you can pick through the catalogs at www.gitaneusa.com . But be aware, that many of catalogs are of French origin and do not necessarily reflect the US product.

  3. #3
    * vpiuva's Avatar
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    You'll find on that web site that Gitane was spotty at best with numbering, and even when you have a number no one has yet figured out how to decipher them. Check the rear dropouts, too. Sometimes you'll find one there

  4. #4
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    You are right T-Mar, it is a Super Corsa. At the risk of crucifiction, I pulled most of the exceedingly ugly chrome/light blue stickers off the bike, leaving the ones with gold script. I am already regretting it, but I'm going to ride it unitl it dies (it is my favorite bike). The what-ever-the-hell-we feel-like-doing-today nature of french compentry has made it difficult to date. It has the older high-flange Campy hubs (round holes) and Grand Sport derailuer w/ round pulleys (no chain divits, and not the 'Nouvo' one). The frame has the campy dropouts and non-nervex lugs, but the fork is off a TdF with chromed Nervex crown (yes, it is the orginal fork). I'm thinking mid-'60's, but it is a guess at best. All of the on-line info I have found so far has not helped much.
    "Where you come from is gone;
    where you are headed weren't never there;
    and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it."

  5. #5
    Chrome Freak Rabid Koala's Avatar
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    My Gitane TdF has a serial number on the left side dropout.

    Gitanes can be frustrating, to be sure, but are a very nice ride.
    1971 Paramount P-13 Chrome
    1972 Paramount P-15 Chrome
    1973 Paramount P-15 Opaque Blue
    1973 Gitane Tour De France
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    My TdF has a Super Corsa fork with Campy ends as original equipment. Maybe they switched our forks at the factory.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vpiuva View Post
    You'll find on that web site that Gitane was spotty at best with numbering, and even when you have a number no one has yet figured out how to decipher them...
    Hmm, maybe Gitane should my next serial number database. And while I'm feeling masochistic, we can always throw in 1970s Peugeots.

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