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Mid 70's Gitane 3 speed Info Needed Please!

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Mid 70's Gitane 3 speed Info Needed Please!

Old 12-13-16, 05:49 AM
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ronnierjw903
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Mid 70's Gitane 3 speed Info Needed Please!

I can not remember the exact year my parents got this small Gitane for me but I think it was around 1975 give or take a year. I have looked throgh old catalogs and have not found it in them or I do not know what I am looking for in them. I am wanting to know if it is worth restoring or if it is just junk. I have a few pictures any help would be great. Thanks
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Old 12-13-16, 06:45 AM
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juvela
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Welcome to the forum ronnierjw903.

The last year Gitane used these foil transfers your bicycle has was ~1973 so it is unlikely to be later than that.

Can you tell us what is your aim here? Would you like to restore the bicycle as a memory item? Is it a good fit for you today?

If you are new to bicycle restoration this would be a perfectly fine place to begin. Could be a fun learning project. You would want to replace "the consumables": items like tires, cables, handlebar wrap, etc. And relubricate all of its moving parts.

No shortage of readers here who could assist with information and advice.

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Old 12-13-16, 07:53 AM
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It's definitely worth more in memories than dollars since you've had so long.

If the chain guard is original it's neat, don't see that often.
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Old 12-13-16, 08:36 AM
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I had one like it and fixed it up, then gave it to a friend for his nephew when space became an issue. 500A alloy wheels with wingnuts. Looks like yours may actually have the slightly larger 550 wheels. I got the white tires from the old Mel Pinto Imports. Narrow alloy drops from an early Raleigh Competition with Weinmann junior levers. The bike had sat in one position for years, evidently, because the left side was still metallic red while the right had faded to silver. I never got to see the nephew riding it, but...
Flandria and Mark.JPG

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Old 12-13-16, 08:39 AM
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Not really wanting to put a lot into it if there is only sentimental value. I just did not want to give it away if it was a rare gem in the rough. It would be a great children's bike if restored. My Dad told me that they came across the 3-speed at a sporting goods store south of Dallas Tx, My older sister had a larger 10 speed bike and they bought it so I would have a bike like my sisters bike just smaller. Our family has spoke about that bike for many years and never saw another one like it. I may entertain offers in one of the other areas of this forum, I would really like for someone to get it and fix it for their own children, my Son is grown and I do not see any possibility of grand kids in my near future. The bike hung up in the top of a barn for 20 years, that property was sold a few years ago and it has been sitting outside since. Thanks for your comments
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Old 12-13-16, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
I had one like it and fixed it up, then gave it to a friend for his nephew when space became an issue. 500A alloy wheels with wingnuts. Looks like yours may actually have the slightly larger 550 wheels. I got the white tires from the old Mel Pinto Imports. Narrow alloy drops from an early Raleigh Competition with Weinmann junior levers. The bike had sat in one position for years, evidently, because the left side was still metallic red while the right had faded to silver. I never got to see the nephew riding it, but...
Attachment 545741


"Uncle Mel" may well have been the importer for both bicycles.
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Old 12-13-16, 11:36 AM
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Keep in mind that it is a derailleur bike and not an internally-geared three-speed hub. When you say "three-speed" these days most folks will assume the latter and think it's a suitable bike for a kid when it may actually be more complex than they want for that purpose. But as long as the frame, wheels and crank are good it's worth fixing up and would not be prohibitively expensive. Like mine, leave the patina and don't even think of repainting it. If it were mine I'd fix it up and display it indoors. I used to keep mine in front of the fireplace, where it nearly fit inside.

Mine was a Flandria, not a Gitane, by the way. It was brought into the shop where I worked by a woman who'd bought it for her grandson, but the repair estimate (only about $100, but enough to provoke second thoughts) prompted her to mention selling instead and I grabbed it.

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Old 12-13-16, 12:04 PM
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It's an early 70's Gitane "kid's" model. It could have been sitting on display for a number of years. That was between the "chopper" and BMX kid's bike fads. They were not big sellers, more of a novelty.

The faded red paint was called flamboyant in Europe and candy apple in the US. It was applied as a tinted transparent lacquer over a white, silver or gold base coat. Those colors used back in the 1960's and 70's in Europe, especially in France faded quickly when exposed to UV from sunlight.

The value as is... $25.00??? Even fixed up it's probably only worth about $100.00 to a dedicated Gitane collector.

Back during the the bike boom there was no telling what components a bike would be equipped with. Your bike has Huret derailleurs that work with the 1/8" wide chains used with 3 speed freewheels.

There are those in the forum who relish bringing bikes back from the dead... A pure labor of love! For me rust is a fatal flaw!

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Old 12-13-16, 07:41 PM
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