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Old 08-09-10, 08:19 PM   #1
scozim 
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Update: "love" the quirks of the French bikes

I've been diving into the mid to late-60's Gitane that I got from the bike shop. Due to cash issues this will be a Frankenbike. It'll be heavy but a great winter trainer and one to ride around with the kids.

For the most part it's gone pretty well except for mushrooming the end of one of the cotter pins. The races on the bb spindle are pitted pretty badly so I can't adjust it properly without side play in the spindle or too tight that the bearings catch. That will be fixed thanks to a BF'er.

The seatpost - what a pain today. The original that was in it was a cheap steel 25.4 (actually measured a little over 25.3 mm). I grabbed another cheap one that came off one of the kids old bikes and it said 25.4 on it. I measured with my calipers and it came out at 25.17 or essentially 25.2. That one worked but it's ugly and I'm not going to use it. Now the search is on for a 25.2 seatpost (preferrably alloy). The saddle will not be staying on it!

The Simplex Prestige rear derailleur cleaned up well ($4 used at a shop in Seattle) and the Weinmann 27" rims with Helicomatic hub and freewheel on the rear fit well (from a Trek mixte). I have almost NOS Dia Compe center pulls for the brakes and Simplex shifters and SJA 102 front derailleur.

The handlebar came from another French project bike. It is steel so I'll look for an alloy version at some point. The Pivo stem was with the frame when I got it. The Nervar cranks (cottered 52-36) and Lyotard pedals have cleaned up very nicely and will go back on the bike.

I took some photos just to get an idea of what it will look like when done (that's a long time off) and decided to include it here. The paint is pretty rough. I've waxed it and tried to remove most of the rust but am not sure if I can find a close match to the blue to fill the nicks and scratches.







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Last edited by scozim; 08-09-10 at 08:37 PM. Reason: rephrasing
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Old 08-09-10, 08:36 PM   #2
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I should add two more photos showing how the bike and cranks looked when I got it.



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Old 08-10-10, 04:57 AM   #3
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Sounds a lot like my own adventures with the Follis 072 I'm currently working on!
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Old 08-10-10, 05:41 AM   #4
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What happened to the original Mafac brakes?
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Old 08-10-10, 06:10 AM   #5
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Looks like you are doing a great job on an old French bike. Yes, they certainly have their quirks. I never like working on 1970's era French bikes,because even though they were light and responsive, repairs were headaches, as you have mentioned. Cotter pin and bb spindle problems, French threaded freewheels, headset problems, yeech !.I will gladly work on any Japanese made bike any day -fuji, panasonic, shogun, nishiki.
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Old 08-10-10, 07:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
What happened to the original Mafac brakes?
I still have them and am hanging on to them. They may still go back on the bike but are just really faded and tired looking and the springs are quite rusty compared to the Dia Compe brakes I have on there now.
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Old 08-10-10, 09:15 AM   #7
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I love my quirky Gitane TdF, so much so that I decided to keep another frame that I had purchased with the intent to resell.
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Old 08-10-10, 09:25 AM   #8
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I love my Dad's Tdf as well and he's given the green light to go full campy 10 or 11 speed!
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Old 08-10-10, 09:44 AM   #9
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This is my 3rd Gitane. It's the oldest and the first "bottom dweller". It's still fun to work on - and the price (FREE) for the frameset was good enough for me.
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