I just had the wonderful experience this weekend of beating a lot of modern bikes with my 1984 Gitane Tour de France and I had a blast doing it. I had been training for this 17 mile race/ride that I haven't done in 25 yrs and have been planning on using the TdF for this ride for 9 months. The last 11K climbs almost 1850 feet. Did I mention I love hills.
I was curious to see how my 6 spd (13-26) downtube shifters would work in the lead group where all the bikes had modern brifters. Turned out it wasn't an issue I had no problem with shifting quickly and felt completely comfortable in the middle (and in the front) of the pack.
At one point as we're cruising along in the paceline I had a rider from the University of Idaho team say I was doing well. I told him "hey, mid-40's and a 25 yr old bike and I'll keep up with you." His reply was "I got you halved" (i.e. 21 yrs. old and a 10 yr old titanium bike). We both chuckled at that.
We hit the bottom of the hill and I was in 6th place and held it all the way to the top pretty easily, well there was a lot of pain involved also. I obviously have some work to do on the conditioning but overall was thrilled that my TdF performed so well.
The set up was:
**Suntour Blue Line derailleurs
**Regina Superlegerra alloy 13-26 freewheel
**Ofmega 52-42 cranks with original Look Delta pedals
**Mavic Gel 280 tubular/Suntour Superbe hub with Continental Sprinter tubular
** Original Wolber Aspin tubular rim/Ofmega hub with Bontrager 270 gr tubular
** Modolo Speedy brakes
** Finally, the original Bernard Hinault Turbo saddle
Weight was right around 20 pounds and close to equalling my dad's 1991 titanium frame.
I had a great conversation at the top with a guy who used to own a Gitane and raced Peugeot's 20+ yrs ago. His current vintage ride is a 1970's Masi with Super Record for components. I would have loved to have seen that bike.
It was such a fun weekend I just had to share. A photo after the finish at the top is included.