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Old 01-05-13, 09:24 AM   #1
big chainring 
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New years Day Gitane - revived - repainted

On New Years day I picked up a nice Gitane TDF Service Course frame. The guy I bought it from had it listed on CL for a couple weeks. When I first saw the listing, a couple days before Christmas, I jumped on it. Exchanged texts. But with the holidays I just couldnt find the time to go get it. I texted again New Years eve to see if i could pick it up New Years day. And I did.

The frame was rough, very rough. Top tube and down tube were faded down to the primer. Scratches, chips, grunge, you name it. But the color was outstanding. I have only seen a couple of Gitanes in this metallic orange copper color. The fork was a nice example of what the original color was along with the drive side chainstay. The rest of the bike was faded, and scratched.

When I got the bike home and examined it more the finish on the bike was really shot. I attempted to do some touch-ups but the color varied so much from tube to tube. My next approach was to do sections of the bike and try to blend in to any original finish still in good shape. I kept going and going, doing more and more. I layered the paint mixing in clear lacquer to mimic the original paint. I used Testors red and a sign painters gold paint that I picked up at Dick Blick. The addition of the clear lacquer really brought it together. And of course this is all brush worked. The lugs are double lined in gold and black.

EDIT: To make it clearer, the only part of the bike that is original paint is the driveside chainstay, small section of seat tube from seatlug to decal. and the fork. All other tubes and lugs are a complete repaint. I think its kind of cool to leave these as is for a reference to the original paint color.

The results


The seat tube from the seat lug down is original paint. The top tube, seat lug, and seatsays are repainted.


Chainstays original color. BB lug and tubes repainted.

Last edited by big chainring; 01-05-13 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 01-05-13, 09:38 AM   #2
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BCR,
That turned out really sharp, your work looks good, it should make a nice build. What components are you going to be using?

Bill
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Old 01-05-13, 09:43 AM   #3
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Amazing job. Boy, my touch-ups never look like that... I've gotta say though, if you can paint like that, why not just do the seat-tube and stays as well, and paint around the decals?
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Old 01-05-13, 09:46 AM   #4
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BCR,
That turned out really sharp, your work looks good, it should make a nice build. What components are you going to be using?

Bill
Thanks. I have Stronglight 93 crank, and a set of Campy hub tubular wheels. ChicagoAl has a Simplex Criterium derailleur for me.
Brakes, I might "brake" from the MAFAC norm and go Universal sidepulls, which I have on another bike. The frame came with a seatpost and Pivo bar and stem which are sized appropriately.
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Old 01-05-13, 09:49 AM   #5
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Amazing job. Boy, my touch-ups never look like that... I've gotta say though, if you can paint like that, why not just do the seat-tube and stays as well, and paint around the decals?
That small little section of seat tube and the drive side chainstay, and forks are the only parts I didnt paint. The rest of the frame is completely repainted(working around decals). Seatstays, seatlug top tube are complete repaint. Head tube and lugs complete repaint.

Last edited by big chainring; 01-05-13 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 01-05-13, 09:49 AM   #6
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That was a great deal on a really nice frame. Seller is a nice guy as well. I'd passed on it since last summer (he offered it at some local sales) but shot him an email to see if I could put some 650b wheels in it to check for brake clearance and bb height. But, you beat me to it. Congrats!

Nice job with the paint....
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Old 01-05-13, 09:55 AM   #7
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. I have only seen a couple of Gitanes in this metallic orange copper color.
^ +1.
These are tough to find in any of the less common colors, and even then, most that I've seem are very small frames.
Good work on the paint restoration, BC. Looking forward to the build!
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Old 01-05-13, 11:17 AM   #8
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You are really skilled with the touch up brush.

Have you considered making a business of it?

Might start out doing a couple jobs for BF folks and see how the money-time ratio works out.
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Old 01-05-13, 11:30 AM   #9
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+1... that looks quite good!
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Old 01-05-13, 05:31 PM   #10
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That was a great deal on a really nice frame. Seller is a nice guy as well. I'd passed on it since last summer (he offered it at some local sales) but shot him an email to see if I could put some 650b wheels in it to check for brake clearance and bb height. But, you beat me to it. Congrats!

Nice job with the paint....
Its funny, I actually brought up your name to the seller. I thought That you had sold a Gitane not so long ago and thought this might be the frame.

He said he knew you, but didnt mention your interest in it. I think 650 b wheels would be a tight fit.. 16 1/2" chainstays and not too much width between them at the BB.

You will probably see it on a C&V ride in the spring perhaps.
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Old 01-06-13, 06:06 AM   #11
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Can you describe the paint you used for the touch-up? Does your color have a white or silver base coat?





'my sweet lil thang..


29 788 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr

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Old 01-06-13, 06:39 AM   #12
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Great color. Don't see many Gitanes that color. Nice job, Big Ring.
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Old 01-06-13, 07:46 AM   #13
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Can you describe the paint you used for the touch-up? Does your color have a white or silver base coat?





'my sweet lil thang..


29 788 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
The original paint finish is really beautiful. It must have been some kind of layered lacquer to get the depth of color.
What i did was use Testors Red, Model Masters British Crimson, and Dick Blick sign painters gold. I mixed those three paints together and added Testors clear lacquer to the mix. Theres three coats in varied shades. The clear gives some depth to the finish.
I painted right over the original finish. Just a light sanding to smooth out chips and other imperfections. Again its a total repaint except for the few areas i left as original.
For ten dollars in paint and a few evenings of work, i am very pleases with the result.
I have to add that I am a painter and artist. I can mix and match colors. This however is the first time i have tried matching a metallic finish.

Last edited by big chainring; 01-06-13 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 01-06-13, 07:51 AM   #14
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Just FYI Frank, and BCR. My purple one seems to have a white base coat. Over chrome on the chain stays and fork, which may have given the paint a bit of extra luminescence. My touch ups came out OK, but not fantastic. Toughest color match I've ever tried.
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Old 01-06-13, 08:09 AM   #15
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New years Day Gitane - revived - repainted

From what I can tell my frame had a white basecoat ad well. When I was trying to do touch- ups my paint appeared too flat and opaque. I really don't know how the original paint was accomplished. I'm guessing that it was a translucent paint over a white base. The bikes that were painted in this fashion seem to fade, sometimes dramatically, over the decades.
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Old 01-06-13, 08:31 AM   #16
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I'll agree BigRing. The paint almost looks semi-cromo-velato. Semi transparent. It certainly is unique. But a b***ch to match.
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Old 01-06-13, 10:49 AM   #17
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Mine has the white base also. I guess I need to try this. I have been afraid to tackle the translucent finishes.
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Old 01-06-13, 11:27 AM   #18
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Mine has the white base also. I guess I need to try this. I have been afraid to tackle the translucent finishes.
That's odd. Mine is the same color and has a silver base coat.
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Old 01-06-13, 04:06 PM   #19
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That's odd. Mine is the same color and has a silver base coat.
May be I should look closer at mine. I am sure you are one of the most observant forum members.
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Old 01-08-13, 12:58 AM   #20
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Nice Gitanes! I recall mine fondly-

My Super Corsa was my first full Campy bike in the summer of 1971, when my Schwinn Varsity was stolen, and I had just finished second in the ABL of A junior division at the Indiana state championships behind Wayne Stetina. The Campy side pulls were the first ones that the racers in the Speedway Wheelmen of Indianapolis had seen come stock on a bike- though the other Nuovo Record components were more common- most club racers were using Universal center pull.

The picture or two I had got away, but the next year my parents gave me a super 8 movie camera for graduation and the first thing I shot was the purple Gitane in my bedroom:

I rode and raced mine for a couple of years and then put most of the parts on a Colnago a centimeter shorter- the Gitane was eventually built back up and sold at college-

The Gitanes above are of that same early '70's-ish era- in about '74 or '75 they went to transparent decals and different script. The old foil decals got damaged easily, and several french companies used them- but when I see them now and stilll in good shape, they are like old friends.

bon chance!
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