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Old 10-27-09, 02:06 PM   #1
MetinUz
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Help ID this possible Gitane Super Corsa

I went to look at this bike claimed to be a Paramount. It wasn't, but I still couldn't resist buying it. If the frame fits...

The seller said it belonged to his father, who had bought in between 1969 and 1971. The bike is clearly very French. The NR derailleur marked "Patent" and the Universal 68 brakes probably narrow it to a similar range. My guess is a Gitane Super Corsa. It has Stronglight headset, bottom bracket and Model 93 cranks, Campy NR seatpost, derailleurs and barcon shifters, Nisi rims laced to LF Record hubs. The serial is stamped on the left dropout: 552024. If this is a Gitane, there seems to be no obvious way to decode it.

The paint is in horrible shape, and looks to be a repaint. At least the fork crown seems to be chromed under the paint. I am a believer in keeping the original "patina", but I think this one is too far gone. I am thinking of using some chemical paint stripper to see what is under. Any recommendations?










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Old 10-27-09, 03:04 PM   #2
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With the Campy DO, if it is a Gitane, I think it is a Super Corsa. In the 70's Gitane also sold a few TdF with Campy DO. The Super Corsa has Chrome fork and stays though.

Last edited by abarth; 10-27-09 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 10-27-09, 03:12 PM   #3
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The seat stay attachment is not reminiscent of my TdF. Have you posted this to the GitaneUSA forum to ask their opinion?

Another edit: the seat stay attachment does look like another earlier TdF posted recently. Mine was a later ('72-3 ish) Bocama lugged model. I guess they had changed the seat stay as well.

Edit: Looking at my pics, the rear dropout attachment method and brake bridge agree, however.

And I think you're beyond "patina" as well. Any stripper labeled "aircraft" or "epoxy stripper" available at AutoZone, HomeDepot, etc. will work.

Last edited by Ex Pres; 10-28-09 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 10-27-09, 03:41 PM   #4
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It,s full resto time !
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Old 10-27-09, 04:49 PM   #5
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The fork crown and the "fishmouth" stay ends look like my Gitane TdF. That T.A. seat clamp bolt looks familiar, too. The lugs don't match mine. Are they Bocama? The seatstay caps look like mine would look if they neglected to smooth them.
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Old 10-28-09, 12:08 PM   #6
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Any recommendations?
Maybe you can run the bike license number and see it it lists what the bike was registered as.
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Old 10-28-09, 07:43 PM   #7
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Be carefull with the height of that stem. Looks like its about to pop out of the steerer.
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Old 10-28-09, 08:19 PM   #8
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Maybe you can run the bike license number and see it it lists what the bike was registered as.
I may give it a try, especially since it was registered in Palo Alto, but I doubt they keep these records for 40 years!

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Be carefull with the height of that stem. Looks like its about to pop out of the steerer.
Yes, the seller was too tall for his father's bike, and I was happy to see that the seatpost and the stem had been moved. Surprised me that he would attempt to ride the sew-ups held together with loose strands of cotton I won't do a test ride until I grease all the bearings, and use another set of wheels for now.
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Old 10-28-09, 08:22 PM   #9
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3M paste and stripping pad - just do it somewheres ventilated
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Old 10-28-09, 10:53 PM   #10
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I think you have a Gitane Super Corsa, or at the worst a Gitane TdF with substitute Campy DOs (cause they were out of Simplex that day). The "leaf plate" stay caps are exactly like my old Gitane TdF had, it may be unusual to other Gitane owners but looks perfectly normal to me.
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Old 10-29-09, 12:44 AM   #11
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Another question: I don't like the cheesy foil decals that came on many early 70's French bikes. What do you think about leaving it not decaled after a repaint? I prefer this over using not period correct decals that are less cheesy.
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Old 10-29-09, 01:18 AM   #12
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Lack of chrome seems suspicious at first, but as there are no decals to speak of either, it may be a (bad) repaint (even painting over the chrome - some people do. You might check if they did; should be easy to see). Like B.Barker said, by all means ask the Gitane USA forum; those guys will nail down the exact model/year no problem

Joseph

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Old 10-29-09, 08:04 AM   #13
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Another question: I don't like the cheesy foil decals that came on many early 70's French bikes. What do you think about leaving it not decaled after a repaint? I prefer this over using not period correct decals that are less cheesy.
It will be another anonymous repainted bike if you leave off the decals. That's okay, though. Gitane last used the cheesy foil decals in 1973. If I ever get my Gitane painted, I'm going to call it a '74 and use the later decals.
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