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Old 06-20-11, 09:49 AM   #1
Baroudeur
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Is this something worth pursuing?

Hello everyone - I'm currently studying in France, but I'll return to the United States later this summer, and (per prior advice conferred upon me by y'all) I've been hoping to bring a bicycle back with me. I haven't had any luck finding anything worthwhile, though... at least, not until today (I think), which is why I'm here.

Is this bicycle the one? By that, I mean this: I can only bring one bicycle back with me. Should this be it, or have I mistaken something mundane for something awesome?



In particular, I'm wondering:
1) I see some Campagnolo - is this a Lejeune Tour de France, or another worthwhile model?

2) Can anyone make out the tubing stickers? They look too yellow for Reynolds, to my eyes. I realize it's not the best picture, but it's the only one to which I have access.

3) The bicycle is advertised as "56-57 cm" - judging by the picture, does that look right? I'm not the best judge of size, and I do not want to wind up with a 54cm frame, as that's too small for me.

4) I'd love to know anything else anyone can tell me.
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Old 06-20-11, 09:59 AM   #2
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3) The bicycle is advertised as "56-57 cm" - judging by the picture, does that look right? I'm not the best judge of size, and I do not want to wind up with a 54cm frame, as that's too small for me.
It does look 56-57 to me, definitely to big to be 54.
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Old 06-20-11, 10:03 AM   #3
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1) yes, Nuovo Record or Nuovo Gran sport. That's good
2) they look too green for me to be columbus, and my judgement is clouded by the huge columbus logo on the water bottle - difficult
3) size is about right
$) quite a well known and big brand.

This bit from the late Sheldon Brown is however the cause for some excitement!

LeJeune
A classic case of where our previous price guide missed the point - in the last guide LeJeune received rather ho-hum treatment. In reality, there is a significant level of interest in these French bikes. LeJeune was a significant name in the racing world. A LeJeune was ridden by Lucien Van Impe in the 1972 Tour de France. There were also gorgeous LeJeune track bikes in the same gorgeous but simple red paint scheme.
Workmanship on these bikes is certainly not stellar, but these bikes have a very nice aura about them. The famous red LeJeune roadbikes with N.R. components, in guideline condition, are worth about $900. For the matching track bike perhaps $ 800 would be fair. There were also interesting top-end bikes other than the neat red ones. We've seen other gorgeous hand-worked team issue bikes with super lightweight tubing that were quite extraordinary. There fun bikes with really nice detailing for relatively affordable prices.
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Old 06-20-11, 10:24 AM   #4
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Bringing back this one is cool - Especially if you upgrade a few of the components before shipping...
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Old 06-20-11, 10:24 AM   #5
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That is one seriously nice bicycle. You might be able to find better, but if I came across that, I would consider it worth keeping.
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Old 06-20-11, 10:30 AM   #6
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I hope you're aware of the fact that shipping oversees or taking it with you on the plane is has become very pricey. $150 and up.
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Old 06-20-11, 10:45 AM   #7
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I'm aware of the cost of shipping... the price of this particular bicycle makes the total cost of getting it home reasonable in my eyes, assuming the bicycle is what I hope it is.

Can anyone comment on the lack of chrome? Should that worry me? In the past, all of the nice Lejeunes that I've seen have had chromed forks and stays. Also, could those be Vitus decals on the frame? They don't look like Columbus to me, either, despite the water bottle.

I'm very seriously considering calling or emailing the seller tonight, depending on the feedback I get. Though I've learned a lot in my year here at BF, I'm still an amateur compared to all of you!
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Old 06-20-11, 11:12 AM   #8
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Lack of chrome is not an issue. Good frames have come with lots of chrome, some chrome, just a tiny bit of chrome, and no chrome.

[Edit: Lack of chrome is not an issue in and of itself. With some makes, presence or absence may be a clue as to what model it is, and hence where the frame is on their hierarchy. My recollection - and I am not positive about this - is that Lejeunes were not real chrome-heavy; I think I've seen some with chrome on the ends of the forks and stays, but i also know I've seen them with no chrome. Perhaps others with better memories or, better yet, one or more high-end Lejeunes in hand can fill in the blanks here.]

Based on my (crappy) laptop screen and the pic, I would guess it has a Columbus sticker. Somebody certainly wants to reinforce that idea by emphasizing the water bottle. The set-up says 1970's to early 1980s to me, so if it is a Columbus sticker, it is probably an SL tube set - possibly SP (a tad thicker and heavier - good for beefing up frames for giant economy sized types like me), but more likely SL. This was Columbus' top tube set at the time, and along with 531 was the Top o' the Heap for many years.

Lejeune had a good rep back in the day, and there are a few BF members who have some gorgeous examples - try searching for "Lejeune" in the forums to see if you can pull up any threads. Every nice one I've ever seen in person and most that I've seen in photos were that shade of red, so to me, that's the color a Lejeune ought to be - YMMV.

Try to inspect it in person. But since it sounds like the price is right, even throwing in the shipping, I think this just may be your Euro-find.

Of course, this opinion is worth exactly what you're paying for it . . . .

Good luck. Be sure to post pics if and when you get it home.
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Old 06-20-11, 11:19 AM   #9
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And some crappy bikes were loaded up with chrome. The amount of chrome (or lack of it) is a poor guide to quality. What those tubing stickers say will tell you what you need to know, along with the overall condition. I've seen some Tange tubing stickers that were green like those, but I would not expect this bike to have a Tange frame. Might want to do a web search on various Vitus stickers.
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Old 06-20-11, 11:33 AM   #10
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Looks like a late 70s or early 80s bike. Campy NGS group: not as desirable as NR but very good and functional parts. I like the graceful fork rake. Many top end Lejeunes had no chrome at all. My daughter has three of them: road, track & CX. All are from the same era, all are Reynolds 531 and none have any chrome. Lejeunes are great riding bikes and the company has a deep racing history. If the price is right, I'd grab this without hesitation. It looks to me like it wears a later Reynolds sticker: the pump shows a green reflection. 56/57 cm seems about right.
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Old 06-20-11, 11:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Baroudeur View Post
Hello everyone - I'm currently studying in France
where in france?

bike look good, its often hard to find a good bike since there are many people making a living from buying and selling parts in france.
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Old 06-20-11, 12:21 PM   #12
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Looks like a late 70s or early 80s bike. Campy NGS group: not as desirable as NR but very good and functional parts.
Just for curiosity's sake, how do you ID it as NGS instead of NR just based on the pic? I'd like to know to beef up my crappy online seller pick campag hunting skills
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Old 06-20-11, 01:20 PM   #13
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how do you ID it as NGS instead of NR
The brake levers are Campy, so it is reasonable to assume the calipers are too. The derailleurs are both definitely Campagnolo. The crank could be another brand, but it seems unlikely.

Two things make me certain it is fitted with a NGS group: the rear derailleur mounting & pivot bolts are hex head instead of allen bolts as they are on the Nuovo Record; the crank spider arms are a little wider than NR arms. I'm almost certain the QR mechanism on the front caliper is the NGS, but I could be wrong.
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Old 06-20-11, 02:13 PM   #14
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Another lesson learned. Thanks!
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Old 06-20-11, 02:32 PM   #15
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A million curses! The add was taken down while I had dinner... that's a bit painful. I would otherwise be calling the number listed right now...

Thanks anyways, everyone, for your advice!

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