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Thread: Help ID bikes

  1. #1
    Beyond caring. . . goose's Avatar
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    Help ID bikes

    I am new to biking so I don't know too much about bikes. A guy I work with gave me 3 he had sitting in his barn. One I have heard of (Huffy, flashback to about 7 yrs old) the other two I don't know anything about.

    I am just curious about them. One is made in Holland, and is called a "Pegasus" and the other is made in France and is called a "Gitane".

    I would like to clean 'em up and use 'em. Thanks for your help and patience.

  2. #2
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Hey goose, welcome to the forum. I hope Netherlands-based Gary Mason can help with the Pegasus. Gitane was a venerable French frame builder, smaller than Peugeot ("the Schwinn of France"), but with a comparable, arguably better-finished, line of bikes. Gitanes came into the U.S. primarily during the 1970s bike boom. Sheldon (sheldonbrown.com) and Dale (www.classicrendezvous.com) probably have some Gitane data. The basic 10-speeds, with plain carbon steel frames, are decent recreational and transportation machines; Gitane's high-end Reynolds 531 frames are world-class. The lower-end Gitanes are not yet collectible, but even these have started to appreciate noticeably. Take good care of the headset and bottom bracket bearing cups, which use the obsolete French (before 1978) or Swiss (after 1979) thread standard.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  3. #3
    Beyond caring. . . goose's Avatar
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    Thanks for your help. The Gitane does have a sticker on the frame that says Reynolds 'something' 31 (Sticker is torn, sorry). They both seem to be in decent shape (other than dry rotten tires). Just wondering if they are worth fooling with.

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    KEEP THAT GITANE!!!
    It has a reynolds 531 frame.
    Gitane has made many tour-de France winners, and has been around for a long time. They still make high-end bikes in Nantes, France. If it has Campagnolo hubs or derailleurs, it is definately a find. If it still has a decent Ideale seat, that alone could be worth $200 on eBay to some old bike sucker.
    We need more info!
    BTW, the huffy is junk-use it as a doorstop.
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

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    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    Wow! A 531 Gitane. If it fits you, it could well be the bike of your dreams. Gitane made an amazing bike. I, for one, loved them more than Peugeots. When I was a kid, there was a girl in the neighbourhood who rode seriously enough to have a really hot bike. It was a Gitane [I think it was a Tour de France]. I was in love [from afar, of course] with the girl, but I was more in love with the bike, which was a deep metallic blue.

    Keep that bike. Build it up with modern or vintage components [your choice] if necessary. You have found the bike equivalent of a '62 Renault Caravelle.

    Why does this never happen to me?
    when walking, just walk. when sitting, just sit. when riding, just ride. above all, don't wobble.

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    Beyond caring. . . goose's Avatar
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    Okay- here's what I've been able to spot on the bike:

    Pedals/crank- Stronglight
    Derailers (sp?)- Simplex
    Brakes- Mafac "RACER"
    Seat- Ideale (dusty, but no tears)
    hubs- Campagnolo (sp?)
    This one has "Tour de France" decals on it, and it's some shade of green. Thanks again for your help.
    Last edited by goose; 02-20-02 at 08:01 PM.

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    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    Sounds mid-70s to me. If I'm not mistaken, it would date from the time before Simplex went south quality-wise. Cleaned up, polished and tuned, it would sell for a few hundred these days. I remember seeing one advertised around $450...
    when walking, just walk. when sitting, just sit. when riding, just ride. above all, don't wobble.

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    Senior Member (Retired) gmason's Avatar
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    Sorry - I have asked around a bit, but no one here (including me) has ever heard of Pegasus. OTOH, I did find an Australian bike here: http://www.the-pegasus-crew.com.au/ - look at the Specialty Bikes page.

    Just curious - how do you know it was made in the Netherlands?

    Cheers...Gary

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    It's only a hill. Weasel's Avatar
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    I've seen Pegasus bikes in the shops here, so they are still being made, but they tend to be town bikes which are used for shopping or small commutes. For this purpose they are made fairly heavy and strong. More about these bikes I couldn't tell you.
    If you want spectacular results, you have to know how to treat your bike badly.

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    Beyond caring. . . goose's Avatar
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    About the Pegasus- the decal on it says "Made in Holland" right under the bike name.

    The story is that both of these bikes were bought overseas and shipped back home (home being the US). How true is it? I really don't know. I know the guy I got them from wouldn't lie to me intentionally, but he knows as much about bikes as I do.

    The Pegasus is noticeably heavier than the other, but in decent shape.

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    Senior Member (Retired) gmason's Avatar
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    the decal on it says "Made in Holland" right under the bike name.
    Well that certainly would be the first clue.

    Since my last note, I have asked a few more people, some of whom are real bike people, and I still have no information.

    But given the heavier nature of the bike, the idea about its being a city bike is probably right. Does it have a geared hub in the rear, or a derailleur? If it is a hub (probably three, four, five, or seven), and a single chainring, that would be rather definitive.

    Cheers...Gary

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    Thanks for taking time to respond. The Pegasus has a derailleur.
    Shimano stuff.

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    Senior Member (Retired) gmason's Avatar
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    It still could be a city bike, because a lot of the "higher end" ones do have Shimano low-end derailleur drivetrains. I have seen up to 27 speeds, but it is more common to see 21.

    Enjoy your bikes!

    Cheers...Gary

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    Your Gitane is a real find , so hang on to it, ride it, but try and keep the components original. The bottom bracket threading on the frame will be French, so if it ever needs sevicing, take it to a mechanic who knows what they are doing, or do it yourself.

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    RE: Gitane
    The Simplex Derailleur is probably original, but would best be replaced. The Campy hubs should be pulled apart, and cleaned. They may still have life left in them. The Mafac Racer calipers mark it as being less-than-best quality, but a 531 frame, if straight, is worth keeping. The tyres are, no doubt, tubulars. When you get new tyres, don't by the cheap ***** Vittorias or Conti Giro's. Spend the mony, and get something decent, like a Vitt Corsa, Tufo S3, or Conti Sprinter. Nashbar has some nice "store brand" tubulars (actually Tufo S22's) for a very good price, too.
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

  16. #16
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MichaelW
    Your Gitane is a real find , so hang on to it, ride it, but try and keep the components original. The bottom bracket threading on the frame will be French, so if it ever needs sevicing, take it to a mechanic who knows what they are doing, or do it yourself.
    1) I agree -- the 531 frame is a real find. If the "531" is printed diagonally, you have a thoroughbred, full-Reynolds frame and fork with butted main tubes. If it is printed horizontally, you have a much less collectible mixed-tube frame (Reynolds 531 main triangle, carbon steel stays and forks) or a full-Reynolds frame with a straight-gauge main triangle. Can you read any of the (French or English) printing on the 531 decal? (Example: my Peugeot PKN-10 says "3 tubes renforces," meaning double-butted 531 main triangle only.)
    2) You do not have to keep the bike all-original (I am not a Simplex fan), but do keep and store any components you remove.
    3) That Ideale saddle is worth the price of admission, and then some!
    4) Gitane and Motobecane changed from self-loosening French BB threading to self-tightening Swiss BB threading during the late 1970s. By 1980, even Peugeot had finally seen the light. If possible, before trying to remove the fixed cup, shine a bright light into the BB shell and try to ascertain the thread direction. If the fixed cup is gold/brass-coloured, it is probably left/reverse (Swiss) threaded.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
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  17. #17
    Beyond caring. . . goose's Avatar
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    Thanks to all who have responded. About the sticker; on the frame (under the seat) there is a large Reynolds sticker with the 531 printed diagonally. Below this is a small decal with a hand and the words "custom made".

    There is also a small decal on one side of the forks that has "Reynolds 531 " Four something. It also has decals on the frame identifying it as a Service Course Professional Tour de France

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    Oh, man!!!
    What is the size of the frame? Measure it from the center of the BB to the center of the Top Tube, along the seat tube. If it's a big frame, i might be interested. Post a pic if you can! you have a full 531, and a good one, at least when it was new. The Mafac Racers may have been installed later.
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

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    Gitane Tour De France and it sounds like from the 1970's.
    You need to know these things: It will need French-specific sized handlebar stem if you ever want to change your position, it will need a French-threaded freewheel if you want to change gearing--a standard freewheel will strip the threads on the rear hub, thus ruining it. You will need to find a bike store that knows about bikes that were made before last week; most big cities have one or two. It's a good, solid bike that's really more versatile, lower maintainance, and user-friendly than many contemporary road bikes; mazel tov on your barn find!

  20. #20
    Beyond caring. . . goose's Avatar
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    For those who might be interested- I posted some pics of the Gitane here- http://members.truepath.com/sbg5890/gitane.html

    It's not pretty (the page or the bike) but it's there. Maybe I can get the Pegasus on there sometime. Thanks once again for those who took time to answer.

    - 'goose

  21. #21
    Lagomorph Demonicus stumpjumper's Avatar
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    Not to hijack your post, but since we're on the subject I have the chance to buy an electric blue 60cm Gitane Service Course (also Renolds 531) from a friend in great shape, including:

    Campy Nuevo rear der' (drilled)
    Campu 3-arm cranks (steel) and alloy chainrings
    Campy headset/bb
    700x32 weinmann alloys on campy hubs
    Weinmann brakes
    Ideale seat (yes Alex, it is in great shape)

    Whats a fair price to offer??:confused:
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    Lagomorph Demonicus stumpjumper's Avatar
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    Interesting- I have that exact stem kicking around the bottom of my parts box in better shape.

    Interested in trading something for it?
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  23. #23
    Beyond caring. . . goose's Avatar
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    Hello Stumpjumper-

    I am sure that some of the people here can help you. I really don't have anything to offer (advice or trades as far as that goes!). I didn't set out to buy my bike, it just kind of fell into my lap.

    As I said in an earlier post, a friend gave me the two road bikes (he had rescued them from the landfill years earlier), and after learning what I have from the folks here, I consider myself pretty fortunate. In all honesty, I am not a serious enough cyclist to have ever paid out the money for the Gitane.

    Hope it all works out for you.

    'goose

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    Those rims are awfully wide for a road bike. sounds like the saddle is worth as much as the rest of the bike. 3-arm cranks? What is the BCD on them?
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

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    Lagomorph Demonicus stumpjumper's Avatar
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    www.mcmrdd.org/deneski/gitane/

    Spent some time on the Classicrendezvous mailing list where I have learned its a Gitane Super Corsa, which is basicly a TdF with Campy fork ends and Campy parts. The Campy 3-arm crank is not original (needs an NR crank). Check it out.


    I have a Gitane catalog and will try to scan the specs page for your TdF if you would like. Post if you want it.
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