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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 05-22-11, 10:12 AM   #1
Biker zack
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Potential project

Earlier this month my soon to be father in law gave me a Gitane Service Course. Part of the label is missing for the model. What I was told is that his friend got the bike in the 70s and later down the road my FIL got it from him. Its been hanging in his garage for a number of years.

So, today I had a chance to get a good look at it and give it a good cleaning. As of now the frame is stripped of all components, except for the seat, crankset and handlebars. The frame does show its age. The paint is faided in most spots, chipped and rusting in a number of areas.

What I'm looking at doing is turning it into a single speed due to the fact all of the deraileurs are beyond repair. The brakes are still useful, Weinmann calipers. Some cleaning and they will be back to a useable state. The wheels are junk, cracking in a few spots where the nipples are and the spokes are rusting.

What Im wondering if the frame, fork, and original gearset would be worth the effort into getting it running. My concerns are that the rust is weakening the frame. If not I was thinking of if I should strip the frame, prep prime and paint it or leave it in its current state showing its character. Oh, one thing I like about the frame is that it was hand made, and it has the licencing info from CA and HI, adding to its character.

I do have pics, I dont have the time at the moment to upload them.
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Old 05-22-11, 10:32 AM   #2
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First off, you may want to post in the Classic & Vintage forum on this. AFAIK, Service Course simply means for road use, so it could be any of several models. Without photos and a description of the components, it's difficult to precisely identify the model. Also, French bikes of that era used French or Swiss threading and dimensions, so you need to take that fact into account when replacing parts such as bottom brackets. One factor in your favor for conversion to SS or FG is that the dropouts are horizontal and rear spacing is 120mm. As to the rust, you will to determine if it is surface rust, which is rarely a problem, or if it has rusted from the inside.
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Old 05-22-11, 11:59 AM   #3
Biker zack
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What my goal is to have a secondary commuter bike. I have no intention to adding racks or any other gear of the sort. It would be nice to have a secondary older bike that im not as worried about getting stolen as I would be with my trek 7.1.
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