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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Vicarious bike purchase

    I just bought a bike - sight unseen. A Gitane Hosteller. Fifteen speed, fenders, lights, and possibly a death stem. Am I nuts? It looked nice in the pix, and a friend will deliver to me.

  2. #2
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    I think most us here fall into that category.

    Did you buy this one for $50



    Or this one for $500?



    Top pic gleaned from, 1974 Gitane Hosteller Touring Bicycle : Lot 427

    Bottom pic from BigChainring.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  3. #3
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    BG, I think it is in between nearly pristine and neglected and uh-oh. I don't gamble normally, but I thought this may be nice.

    vintage Gitane Hosteller

  4. #4
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Nice looking. I may have taken the bait at that price.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  5. #5
    Wood David Newton's Avatar
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    A craigslist bike ad with 3 of the 4 photos on the drive side? You had to buy it!
    Now please add your own (better) pictures to this thread in a timely fashion.
    http://davidnewtonguitars.squarespace.com/

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Newton View Post
    A craigslist bike ad with 3 of the 4 photos on the drive side? You had to buy it!
    Now please add your own (better) pictures to this thread in a timely fashion.
    I don't have it yet. I should get it this weekend, so job #1 will be "as found" photos. In the meantime, I'll be searching for old Gitane catalog scans so I can determine the age.

  7. #7
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    OK, I took delivery of the bike today. It is not as good as I hoped, and not as bad as I feared. First thing I did was check the stem and seat post - they are free. Here is a quick list of major components and some photos (there will be more - my battery died)...

    Steel cranks, can't find a brand name yet
    Weinmann brakes and levers
    Pivo stem
    No name alloy handle bars
    Huret shifters
    Huret Allvit rear derailer
    Suntour Spirt front derailer
    Front rim DEA "Super Chrome"
    Rear rim Rigida "Super Chrome"
    Plastic covered over plastic base saddle (no name, Made in Italy)
    Simplex skewers
    Christophe toe clips and straps (took them off for an Oxalic acid bath)
    Hubs too dirty to identify

    I understand that Gitanes came out of the factory with a mishmash of components during the bike boom years, so i have no idea if this bike has original parts.


    Paint varies from OK to faded badly to not there
    Decals are not bad to good
    Rims and hubs are OK, some spokes are rusted badly
    Drivetrain works, shifts through all gears
    Brakes work, but the old orange pads are shot
    Rear fender needs a bit of body work
    Generator and lights - well, that's a project for another day
    It is heavy, but rides like a dream

    My final cost was $70, so I am satisfied. I'm not quite sure which approach I will take on the bike. I don't think it is worth a repaint, but I'll probably replace the wheels and maybe the crankset.

    IMG_0174.JPGIMG_0173.JPGIMG_0172.jpgIMG_0171.JPGIMG_0170.jpgIMG_0169.jpgIMG_0168.jpg

  8. #8
    Senior Member Shp4man's Avatar
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    Nice! Looking forward to a pic of the whole bike.
    "Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use." -Charles M. Schulz

  9. #9
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    Camera battery recharged. So here are a few more photos.

    It looks orange in the photos, but the seller said that it had been in a window for several years, so the paint bleached and faded. It had obviously been outside for a while as well.

    P1000290.jpgP1000289.jpgP1000288.jpgP1000287.jpgP1000286.jpgP1000285.jpg
    Last edited by dweenk; 07-28-14 at 04:23 PM. Reason: Add comment

  10. #10
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Not too bad looking. that paint is just sun faded and not super rusty right?

    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  11. #11
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    I think it's awesome! It's much more interesting and desirable to me than the higher end "race bikes". Don't change anything! Leave that beautiful crank where it is. Preserve it and don't do anything to destroy the patina. I wouldn't even change the steel wheels. It will stop eventually.

    Those Simplex skewers are worth more than you paid for the bike if they're complete. White is worth more than black and I've seen black go for $120.

    The Huret Alvit is clunky looking and heavy, but it was ahead of its time and it works. I've seen them on Singers. They liked them for touring bikes because they were reliable and nearly indestructible.

  12. #12
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    BG - the paint issues are mostly due to fading. There is rust on the top tube near a cable housing guide, and two spots on the chainstays. I may spot wet-sand those and cover the metal with primer and touch-up paint.

    GB - OK, I'll clean up the cranks and chain wheels and keep them. I've got a pair of 27" alloy rims that I will probably use for riding, but I'm going to keep the old wheels, and I really do like that Allvit RD.

    Does anyone know if the Spirt FD was original? I'm also thinking that the original saddle was an Ideale. I also need a rear fender stay, would an SKS or Planet bike stay work - I know I can easily get those parts?
    Last edited by dweenk; 07-29-14 at 04:33 PM. Reason: Add text

  13. #13
    South Carolina Ed
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    I think most us here fall into that category.

    Did you buy this one for $50



    Or this one for $500?



    Top pic gleaned from, 1974 Gitane Hosteller Touring Bicycle : Lot 427

    Bottom pic from BigChainring.
    So true to real life!

    I forgot about Mel Ramos....Thanks.

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