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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 12-22-06, 07:52 PM   #1
DoshKel
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Help me build a French track bike.

Ok, so I am seriously considering selling my Concept and building up this Gitane from Fyxomatosis:



Actually, I have my Concept apart right now and am planning to take pictures tomorrow and then put it up on Ebay. But, the thing is, I have seriously limited experience with French track components. I would love for you guys to help me out. I would also appreciate this like nothing else.

I have a wheelset, pedals and saddle already (subject to change later though), and as you can see, the Gitane comes with BB and headset. I still need seat post, stem, bars, and crankset. Maybe a new saddle also if the seatpost I buy has different rail size. I'm trying to keep it period, and background specific, but i'm sure that can come at a later date.

So, I humbly ask, how should I build this beaut up?
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Old 12-22-06, 07:57 PM   #2
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Well, the french threaded BB is all set.. what diameter stem does it take? I know older french stuff is narrower than 1".
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Old 12-22-06, 08:01 PM   #3
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I'm fairly sure older French stems are 22mm. I'll check on that.
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Old 12-22-06, 08:04 PM   #4
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I had a friend who managed to fit a regular nitto stem in his gitane with no problem.

bb will have odd threading, too, but phil wood will solve that. the only other oddity ive seen with french bikes is that the front spacing for the hub was narrower. but a very minor resetting of the fork solved that...
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Old 12-22-06, 08:32 PM   #5
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Yeah, sheldon says to just take 5 minutes to take a normal stem, wrap sandpaper around it, twist.. and ta-da! It fits.. and yeah, my pug conversion had a narrower front fork, but it works with a little "persuasion".. do that a bunch of times, and it won't be necessary anymore.
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Old 12-22-06, 08:34 PM   #6
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it needs a white bandana.
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Old 12-22-06, 08:35 PM   #7
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Yea, i've been looking around and it seems I can just convert parts to fit. Which is a lot easier for the early stages of the bike. I'll probably just build it up with pretty random parts, and wait until I win the lottery nto go French specific.

So what do you guys think I should put on it? I would love to hear everyone's thoughts.
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Old 12-22-06, 08:39 PM   #8
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i just converted a gitane roadie i found in my rafters at home to fixed.
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Old 12-22-06, 08:40 PM   #9
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campagnolo, campagnolo, campagnolo!! (i am thinking rounded, not fluted for the cranks, crec if you win the lottery?)

front end should be ttt or cinelli.

at least, thats how i would do it.
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Old 12-22-06, 08:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekRI
Yeah, sheldon says to just take 5 minutes to take a normal stem, wrap sandpaper around it, twist.. and ta-da! It fits.. and yeah, my pug conversion had a narrower front fork, but it works with a little "persuasion".. do that a bunch of times, and it won't be necessary anymore.
5 minutes my @ss. You can do it, but not in 5 minutes and sandpaper. It took me like an hour, but it's doable. But if you decide to, only do it to an alloy stem, steel will rust.

BSA= 22.2
French= 22.0

BTW Velo Orange has some rad gold french headsets for pretty cheap too.
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Old 12-22-06, 08:55 PM   #11
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Old 12-22-06, 08:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onetwentyeight
campagnolo, campagnolo, campagnolo!! (i am thinking rounded, not fluted for the cranks, crec if you win the lottery?)

front end should be ttt or cinelli.

at least, thats how i would do it.
Oh god yes.

I'm thinking ttt for stem and bars as well. This is mainly because a) I can get them for real cheap from a friend, and b) they are hott.

I should probably find out with the spindle length for this BB is.
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Old 12-22-06, 09:01 PM   #13
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Specialities TA
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Old 12-22-06, 09:04 PM   #14
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too vintage-y for that frame, in my opinion. that thing is calling for 80s parts. TA's modern stuff looks very bland to my eye.
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Old 12-22-06, 09:05 PM   #15
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Old 12-22-06, 09:08 PM   #16
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1978 catalogue. matches those decals. i stand by my previous build idea tho, id change a few things from their stock build. that stem. blech!
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Old 12-22-06, 10:03 PM   #17
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Wow... thanks so much 128. That gives me some great ideas. I want those tires as well .
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Old 12-22-06, 10:31 PM   #18
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That frame is wicked overpriced with shipping from AU. $700 for just the frame shipped! You'd be lucky to get $700 for your complete concept..
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Old 12-22-06, 10:47 PM   #19
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^^^I agree that the price is a bit high, but the fact that he has multiple vintage track frames in stock at one time is pretty cool. To my knowledge, there's not a lot of people keeping 10-20 vintage frames in stock that are all available for sale to anyone.... He should certainly be able to charge more for that service and make a bit of money out of it.

If you find a frame you really like, I don't think there is a problem with paying a little more than its *worth* to get it. It might be a while before a similar Gitane pops up on eBay with a well maintained hs and bb in this same size.
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Old 12-22-06, 10:50 PM   #20
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The ****ty us dollar and the shipping is what kills you..a few years ago the exchange rate used to be like 1.50-2AUD/1 USD or something.
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Old 12-22-06, 11:36 PM   #21
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i've got a cool 3ttt stem for french steerers up for trade...
perfect vintage for this frame.. its a bit long, 135mm
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Old 12-23-06, 12:31 AM   #22
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Great idea for a vintage build! You have good taste.

Stronglight Crankset
TA pedals
Mavic wheels
Ideale Saddle
Campy hubs
3ttt stem
Dugast tires
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Old 12-23-06, 02:09 AM   #23
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serendipper - its a pretty build, but it wont hold up to abuse. theres a balance between restoration and function. also for some reason the japanese are tripping out over high end ideale saddles, they are going for way over their value. they love the vintage french componentry.
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Old 12-23-06, 02:20 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoshKel
I'm fairly sure older French stems are 22mm. I'll check on that.
Let me check my parts bin - some older Polish frames used 22mm stems - I had two of these: 100 or 110mm and 70mm. I will PM you when I find them.
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Old 12-23-06, 03:02 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onetwentyeight
...its a pretty build, but it wont hold up to abuse. theres a balance between restoration and function.
You just gave me a wicked insight into my current project's conundrum.
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