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Early (69-71) Gitane Tour de France build

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Early (69-71) Gitane Tour de France build

Old 01-08-16, 05:58 PM
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Jakenks
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Early (69-71) Gitane Tour de France build

I picked up this frameset a while back and was trying to decide what to do with it. In the meantime, I came up with a complete rideable 73-74 TDF. I decided to build up the old TDF with some new color and make a nice rider. Just back from a low mil thickness powder coat that is a reasonable facsimile of the orange from those years. I dug up a Stronglight headset and my favorite local bike shop came up with some new Sugino French threaded cups for the bottom bracket. It has an ATAX stem and some Guidons Phillipe bars. It's rolling on some Champion rims with Maillard 700 hubs. Most of this stuff is parts laying around that are French and period appropriate. I've got a nice set of MAFAC "RACER" brakes on it now. I've got a set of Competition also, but they're a bit rough. Hopefully I'll have this done by spring, if I can find the stuff I need.
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Old 01-08-16, 07:42 PM
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Wow, top it off with a nice Ideale and that's French heaven. Good job on the colour choice and parts selection!
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Old 01-08-16, 07:58 PM
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Looking very good so far.

I bought my 1971 TdF brand new in Lawrence, Kansas.

:-)
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1959 Hilton Wrigley Connoisseur (still my favorite!)
1963 Hetchins Mountain King (the gravel grinder)
1971 Gitane Tour de France (The War Horse)
1971 Gitane Super Corsa (The Garage Queen)
1980 Ritchey Touring (The Grail Bike)
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(replacing the stolen 1981 Tom Ritchey Everest custom)
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Old 01-08-16, 09:40 PM
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thanks, y'all. I got my first one, a 74 I think, in Lafayette La. back in 75.
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Old 01-08-16, 09:54 PM
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here's my other TDF, a 73-74, was a Bikecentennial participant.
Got it from the nephew of the original owner. Has a cool Campy seat post on it ....
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Old 01-09-16, 12:07 AM
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I agree - really like the color and the way the build is looking.
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Old 01-09-16, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Jakenks View Post
here's my other TDF, a 73-74, was a Bikecentennial participant.
Got it from the nephew of the original owner. Has a cool Campy seat post on it ....
Man, this pretty much sums up cool to me. Wouldn't change a thing on it. Something about the combination of the understated but unusual colour with that saddle and bar tape just look right. Love the racks as well.
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Old 01-09-16, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by devinfan View Post
Man, this pretty much sums up cool to me. Wouldn't change a thing on it. Something about the combination of the understated but unusual colour with that saddle and bar tape just look right. Love the racks as well.
Thanks, I agree. mechanically, it's perfect, just an old repaint and unusual. I love the patina. Not changing anything, except changing the 27" rim on the back to a 700 C so it matches the front'
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Old 01-09-16, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Jakenks View Post
here's my other TDF, a 73-74, was a Bikecentennial participant.
Got it from the nephew of the original owner. Has a cool Campy seat post on it ....
What color is that bike? Looks sort of...tan...in that pic.
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Old 01-09-16, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
What color is that bike? Looks sort of...tan...in that pic.
It is a tan, whiteish sort of repaint.
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Old 01-09-16, 01:50 PM
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Ah...I see. thanks.
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Old 01-09-16, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Ah...I see. thanks.

It's not a pretty paint job, it's full of cracks and scrapes. It was originally gold. But the original owner painted it, and it's part of the patina. Bike has been cross country at least once.
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Old 01-09-16, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Jakenks View Post
here's my other TDF, a 73-74, was a Bikecentennial participant.
Got it from the nephew of the original owner. Has a cool Campy seat post on it ....
Saw your bike at T.Sawyers... pretty cool.
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Old 01-10-16, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Jakenks View Post
Thanks, I agree. mechanically, it's perfect, just an old repaint and unusual. I love the patina. Not changing anything, except changing the 27" rim on the back to a 700 C so it matches the front'
That sounds perfect. Normally I'm not a fan of repaints but this one is so old it has its own character. I think it might be old auto paint. Your TDF is exactly the colour of my old Austin Mini! I really like the decal choice and placement on yours as well.
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Old 01-10-16, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Jakenks View Post
I picked up this frameset a while back and was trying to decide what to do with it. In the meantime, I came up with a complete rideable 73-74 TDF. I decided to build up the old TDF with some new color and make a nice rider. Just back from a low mil thickness powder coat that is a reasonable facsimile of the orange from those years. I dug up a Stronglight headset and my favorite local bike shop came up with some new Sugino French threaded cups for the bottom bracket. It has an ATAX stem and some Guidons Phillipe bars. It's rolling on some Champion rims with Maillard 700 hubs. Most of this stuff is parts laying around that are French and period appropriate. I've got a nice set of MAFAC "RACER" brakes on it now. I've got a set of Competition also, but they're a bit rough. Hopefully I'll have this done by spring, if I can find the stuff I need.
Did you get the "RACER" to fit in front? In my experience their reach is too long and you need the Competitions on these bikes.

Nice bike, BTW.
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Old 01-10-16, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by devinfan View Post
Man, this pretty much sums up cool to me. Wouldn't change a thing on it. Something about the combination of the understated but unusual colour with that saddle and bar tape just look right. Love the racks as well.
I should have taken a closer shot. The bar tape is actually very old, very dirty white cotton. However, it is so cool looking in keeping with the character of the bike that I'm not changing it.
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Old 01-10-16, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Did you get the "RACER" to fit in front? In my experience their reach is too long and you need the Competitions on these bikes.

Nice bike, BTW.
Thanks. everything is just mocked up, but the front brake seems to be ok.
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Old 01-10-16, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
Saw your bike at T.Sawyers... pretty cool.
Thanks! My favorite LBS. Alan is a righteous guy. He has helped me immeasurably, and willingly. Most other shops were either "no" or "meh" when I inquired about help with an old French bike for service and build assistance. I even met the original Tom Sawyer the other day.
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Old 01-10-16, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by devinfan View Post
That sounds perfect. Normally I'm not a fan of repaints but this one is so old it has its own character. I think it might be old auto paint. Your TDF is exactly the colour of my old Austin Mini! I really like the decal choice and placement on yours as well.
thank you. The old gypsy girl has a lot of character. From what I was told, the Bikecentennial decal was placed on when the PO rode the route from east to west. The route actually went through Kansas, including Newton, just north of Wichita. The head logo, if you will, is a mystery. Hand painted and no one really knows what it means.
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Old 01-10-16, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Jakenks View Post
thank you. The old gypsy girl has a lot of character. From what I was told, the Bikecentennial decal was placed on when the PO rode the route from east to west. The route actually went through Kansas, including Newton, just north of Wichita. The head logo, if you will, is a mystery. Hand painted and no one really knows what it means.
Nice story about the decals. The headbadge almost looks like Native American spirit colours to me, but maybe I'm way off.
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Old 01-10-16, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Jakenks View Post
Thanks! My favorite LBS. Alan is a righteous guy. He has helped me immeasurably, and willingly. Most other shops were either "no" or "meh" when I inquired about help with an old French bike for service and build assistance. I even met the original Tom Sawyer the other day.
Alan's a treasure, for sure. The nicest guy anyone could ever imagine meeting. He's always helped me out too, with my sad vintage lot of rides. As far as the headbadge, I believe that's an old gypsy symbol for warding off evil spirits (and if it's not, it should be). I would keep all the patina too, if it were mine; especially the faded Bikecentennial sticker. It's all great provenance, and allows you to ride the bike without the worry of keeping it pristine.
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Old 01-10-16, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
Alan's a treasure, for sure. The nicest guy anyone could ever imagine meeting. He's always helped me out too, with my sad vintage lot of rides. As far as the headbadge, I believe that's an old gypsy symbol for warding off evil spirits (and if it's not, it should be). I would keep all the patina too, if it were mine; especially the faded Bikecentennial sticker. It's all great provenance, and allows you to ride the bike without the worry of keeping it pristine.

I agree. When I brought it home, I started cleaning it up (it had been in a closet for about 7 years) and changed the tires. It has a 27" in the back and a 700C in front. It has front & rear pannier racks, which I took off to facilitate Alan working on it. I will put them back on. The nephew of the original owner is trying to locate the pannier bags. My last act, outside of riding it, will be some frame saver and having a 700C laced on back. I got one with the bike. I may try to find a Campy RD to add in lieu of the SunTour back there, but that would only be for aesthetics. Gypsy symbol? that's a cool thing...must be working, no one else bought her and stripped her for parts....
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Old 02-05-16, 04:59 PM
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Decals and more Campy stuff....
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Old 02-05-16, 05:13 PM
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Here's some info that may help:

http://www.gitaneusa.com/images/catalog/1970_pg11.jpg


I've just bought one .... lovely to ride (and fast aswell)
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