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'85 Gitane Victoire, component upgrades?

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'85 Gitane Victoire, component upgrades?

Old 08-09-15, 01:39 AM
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'85 Gitane Victoire, component upgrades?

OK! so yeah, craigslist found me a sweet new (old) bike! a perfect condition '85 60cm Gitane Victoire, supposedly less than twenty miles on it in thirty years, all original except the tires and brake cables (housing is still original yellow). I've done some research and i'm aware that this was Gitane's entry-level racer. so component wise they stayed away from the top shelf, while still being functional and light. I found a components list for the full 85/86 line http://www.gitaneusa.com/images/catalog/1985_pg5.jpg my qui-shone for yous guys is this: what should my priorities be as I upgrade this french lilac?
first of all obviously is this ridiculous plastic seat-post. other than that i'm not quite sure where to go next.

things to keep in mind: 26, 6'3" 215lbs (and dropping), I wanna make this thing go fast, it's my first "real" bike in a long time but I'm lookin to get sweaty. so I want it to hold up, but I don't want to necessarily jeopardize it's "classic-ness" keeping it stock seems stupid considering I want to actually ride it to hell. but my priorities are thus: Durability, affordability, brand-loyalty-ability, period-correct-ability in that order.

pics to come (i don't have a camera, i'm trying to get the seller to email me the shots from the ad)
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Old 08-09-15, 01:57 AM
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Those components will be fine. Really. Just make sure you clean and lube them. Go ride!
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Old 08-09-15, 02:24 AM
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Post some pictures of your ride.

There are different upgrade theories from keeping 100% original, to fixing what breaks, to stripping to a bare frame, and installing all new/modern components.

Personally, I'd keep what you have, tune up the bike, and start riding it. Perhaps over time you'll decide to make some changes. Perhaps gearing changes????

Shoes and Pedals?

Water bottles?

Pumps?

Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Those components will be fine. Really. Just make sure you clean and lube them. Go ride!
Never count on the grease in an old bike being good. Never hurts to repack all the bearings, wheels, bottom bracket, headset, jockey wheels, etc. It also helps familiarize yourself with your bike.
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Old 08-09-15, 02:41 AM
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The rider makes a bike "go real fast" not the components.

First question, does the bike fit you? If the frame is too big or too small then it wont be comfortable (or safe) to ride.

I'd replace the seatpost. It probably takes a 26.2mm or 26.4mm size seatpost, maybe smaller.

Clean it up, repack the hubs, bottom bracket and headset, lube or replace the cables and lube the components then go ride it. You may need to replace the tires and tubes too.

After you get the seat and bars adjusted to fit you and you put lots of miles on it, then you'll have a better feel for what you might want to change.

Instead of throwing lots of money into this bike, down the road you may want to consider a higher end model.

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Old 08-09-15, 10:42 AM
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thanks for the replies! https://www.flickr.com/photos/134626312@N06/
i'm`glad it doesn't need much. new seat-post for sure. possibly some more comfortable platform style clip-able pedals.thanks again, i'ma go ride around!
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Old 08-09-15, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Superdan View Post
OK! so yeah, craigslist found me a sweet new (old) bike! a perfect condition '85 60cm Gitane Victoire, supposedly less than twenty miles on it in thirty years, all original except the tires and brake cables (housing is still original yellow). I've done some research and i'm aware that this was Gitane's entry-level racer. so component wise they stayed away from the top shelf, while still being functional and light. I found a components list for the full 85/86 line http://www.gitaneusa.com/images/catalog/1985_pg5.jpg my qui-shone for yous guys is this: what should my priorities be as I upgrade this french lilac?
first of all obviously is this ridiculous plastic seat-post. other than that i'm not quite sure where to go next.

things to keep in mind: 26, 6'3" 215lbs (and dropping), I wanna make this thing go fast, it's my first "real" bike in a long time but I'm lookin to get sweaty. so I want it to hold up, but I don't want to necessarily jeopardize it's "classic-ness" keeping it stock seems stupid considering I want to actually ride it to hell. but my priorities are thus: Durability, affordability, brand-loyalty-ability, period-correct-ability in that order.

pics to come (i don't have a camera, i'm trying to get the seller to email me the shots from the ad)
This is my personal opinion- look at the frame and what it is. Going to the catalog you linked to- the Victoire is CrMo main tubes and Hi-Ten stays and fork. I don't think the main tubes are butted- otherwise they'd proclaim that. While Hi-Ten bike can ride quite smoothly, an all CrMo bike can ride as smoothly, without the extra mass that Hi-Ten needs to maintain that strength. Whatever you hang on the bike- it's always going to have that extra mass because that's what that frame is.

My personal opinion- if the bike fits you, and you like it- Ride it hard. Replace only what needs to be replaced (seat post and brake pads). Keep everything clean and lubed... Keep an eye out for a bike that's higher up the food chain. Bikes that have a butted CrMo frame, stays and fork have really good bones to begin with- hanging nice components off a nice frame can make a measurable improvement.

I love putzing with parts- on good bikes and even less than stellar bikes; Sometimes you can put lipstick on Bugs Bunny and he'll look hot. Other times, you just put lipstick on a pig and it's just a pig with lipstick. In either case, that's kind of gross, and probably would get you arrested in most states...
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Old 08-09-15, 12:59 PM
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yeah, guys i'm stoked. these were the replies I was hoping for. I appreciate all the advice, and completely agree. "entry-level" straight guage chromo frame certainly doesn't warrant hanging a bunch of swag components. I was more concerned with having some people with experience look through the list for red-flags. bike has been overhauled, re-greased all the good stuff. seller is actually a pretty rad dude, does a bunch of work on rertro raodies, rebuilding/whatnot and seems willing to help with any future issues / upgrades. I'm now confident it will not fall apart underneath me. and it will get loved, hard.
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Old 08-09-15, 04:23 PM
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Very nice! That's as much a bike as anyone will ever need. At 24 lbs it's pretty light too. I wouldn't change anything and keep it original.

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Old 08-10-15, 05:36 PM
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Put the brake cables behind the bars and ride it.
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Old 08-10-15, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
Put the brake cables behind the bars and ride it.
OK I'm glad you said something, it's been kinda driving me nuts. what's the best way to do this? keepin mind i'm not an eperienced bike wrench, but i'm willing to learn. my thought was pull the stem out. give the bras a straight forward flipp-eroo. good to go. or would it be better to un hook the cables? i'm out of town right now but I'd like to put things right when i get back.
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Old 08-10-15, 11:01 PM
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I would unhook the cables at the calipers and move them. You will need some sort of ratchet clamp or something to hold the calipers closed while you reattach the cables, and then adjust the brakes. You can do it by hand, but easier if you have something to hold the calipers nearly closed while putting the cables back in and retightening. There are special bike tools often called 3rd hand tools that are made for this, but a ratchet clamp works great, is adjustable, and you might just have one around...

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Old 08-11-15, 01:29 PM
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quick-clamp! got one in my tool bag at work!
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Old 08-11-15, 03:33 PM
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Pull the stem out of the fork, and rotate the bars forward one revolution. Replace.
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