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  1. #1
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    Anyone racing on a Gitane Kilo?

    Looking for opinions on the early to mid 80's Gitane kilo for track racing. I have the chance to get one and want to make sure it's track worthy. Thanks
    Semper fi

  2. #2
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    We have an older gitane in the loaner fleet at kissena. It's probably a kilo. The geometry should be fine, the bike is just a bit outdated. If a lugged steel bike speaks to you, go for it. If you're prone to bike envy, you'll probably kick yourself when you toe the line against riders on more modern bikes. Unless you beat them, of course.

  3. #3
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    I'm a vintage steel guy, all my bikes are lugged steel. My newest bike is an 86 DeRosa SLX. That's why I'm interested in this Gitane, I just wanted to make sure it was fine for the track.
    Semper fi

  4. #4
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloar View Post
    I'm a vintage steel guy, all my bikes are lugged steel. My newest bike is an 86 DeRosa SLX. That's why I'm interested in this Gitane, I just wanted to make sure it was fine for the track.
    Yes, it's fine (assuming that it's in safe working order).

    As you know well, 95% of what makes the bike fast is the "engine". So, don't think that you'll be at any significant disadvantage.
    Quote Originally Posted by gtrob View Post
    Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.

  5. #5
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    Thank you! It's mint, I just need to change out the front skewer.
    Semper fi

  6. #6
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    With an older French bike check the bottom bracket and headset. French threading and sizes can be hard to replace so know what standards it uses.

  7. #7
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    I believe this one is standard threaded.
    Semper fi

  8. #8
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    Do it up ! --- Those lugged steel track bikes are sex on wheels ! - I'm 44 yo, so i definitely came up being surrounded by carbon and aero formed aluminum bikes, but if the Gitane fits -- its not going to be a deciding factor on whether you Cat up from 5 to 4 to 3.

    I'm at a place in life where i can ride anything i want within reason, but i choose to stick with a lugged steel bike as well. (i put all my bike cash into my mountain bikes ) -- I might prioritize a bike upgrade if i was on the cusp of making a jump to Elite status, or if i was going to make a serious run at MAsters Worlds or something -- but i'm not -- and for now, its not holding me back --- there are any number of guys at the track who could jump on my personal machine and beat my 200M time by a second or more

  9. #9
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloar View Post
    Looking for opinions on the early to mid 80's Gitane kilo for track racing. I have the chance to get one and want to make sure it's track worthy. Thanks
    Before the recent lamentable "fixie fad" Track Bikes were designed for operation on, of all places, a Velodrome.
    Proceed.

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the replies, I should be getting it this weekend. Pics for sure.
    Semper fi

  11. #11
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    Semper fi

  12. #12
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Nice!

    My only suggestions:

    - Switch the pedals to modern clipless style unless you are 100% comfortable using the old style and have the shoes and cleats for it. Like 100% not "I'll be fine...".
    - Check the chainring bolts and make sure they are steel. If they are aluminum, replace them with steel.

    Those are safety concerns. The tires look fresh.

    Also:

    - Check the chain for wear with a basic chain-checker tool.
    Quote Originally Posted by gtrob View Post
    Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.

  13. #13
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    Pedals will be changed out for sure. I also need to switch out the qr on the front wheel. And it will get a full service over the winter. Thanks
    Semper fi

  14. #14
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Old School tip:

    When sure that you have the correct stem length/height get a roll of cotton handlebar tape, or a suitable substitute, turn the bars until they contact the TT and wrap that spot on the TT a good few turns. When, not if, you crash on the track the TT will be less likely to be dented by bar contact.

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  15. #15
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    It's very trackworthy. My first track bike was a Kilo that I bought used (I think I was the third owner) and raced until I bent it (head tube and fork) at Northbrook. I had it straightened and later gave it to Megan at Moth Attack to take apart or do what she wanted with it. It eventually got set up as a road fixie and is probably somewhere in Las Vegas. It came with Nervar cranks, which had some strange bolt circle and were super flexy. I don't remember if the threading on the BB was english or french, but probably english - I think I changed out the whole BB/Crank assembly.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

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