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Picking up this tandem in a couple of weeks. Looks like a project!

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Picking up this tandem in a couple of weeks. Looks like a project!

Old 12-14-18, 05:42 PM
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52telecaster
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Picking up this tandem in a couple of weeks. Looks like a project!



Anyone have experience with an old gitane tandem?
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Old 12-14-18, 06:08 PM
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Oooh. That looks nice. A French tandem Mixte, with fenders and light(s). That looks like twin laterals on both the front and rear. I'm looking forward to more pic's, especially since it looks to be mostly all original. Let us know how it rides too.
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Old 12-14-18, 06:11 PM
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Looks nice - I especially like the rack on the front. A friend at the bike co-op near me had one, but he kept putting off working on it. I would think that the usual cautionary comments about scarcity of French parts may be double for a tandem. Recently, I have suffered the challenges of finding French cotter pins (narrower than others), which may mean that you want to avoid opening the BBs until you have replacement square taper axles to install (and then a new pair of cranksets). Does it have 27" wheels?

I would post something in the tandem cycling forum, too.
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Old 12-14-18, 06:36 PM
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Havnt seen good pics of it yet. It does have 27s and i am assuming much work needs to be done. For 99.00 i figured it was an interesting adventure. Plus its my size
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Old 12-14-18, 09:47 PM
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We had one but it was pretty stripped down when we got it. The stoker section is pretty tight, so I had an MTB seatpost turned down to fit the rear seat tube to give the stoker a little more room. I did a straight bar conversion and put a T/A tandem triple on it and also still have most of a second T/A tandem crankset (missing the right front arm).
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Old 12-14-18, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
We had one but it was pretty stripped down when we got it. The stoker section is pretty tight, so I had an MTB seatpost turned down to fit the rear seat tube to give the stoker a little more room. I did a straight bar conversion and put a T/A tandem triple on it and also still have most of a second T/A tandem crankset (missing the right front arm).
was it fun to ride? My gf is stoked...... actually we havnt decided who the captain is.
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Old 12-14-18, 10:59 PM
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Looks a bit older than my Gitane tandem (1983). Hard to tell from your picture, but proprietary bits on mine include an 11mm rear hub axle in a metric-thread Atom drum brake hub, a dual-cable MAFAC brake lever to operate the cantilever brakes, and a single cable lever for the drum brake. Metric threads on both bottom brackets and steer tube. 40-hole rims front and rear. Otherwise fairly typical.
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Old 12-14-18, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Looks a bit older than my Gitane tandem (1983). Hard to tell from your picture, but proprietary bits on mine include an 11mm rear hub axle in a metric-thread Atom drum brake hub, a dual-cable MAFAC brake lever to operate the cantilever brakes, and a single cable lever for the drum brake. Metric threads on both bottom brackets and steer tube. 40-hole rims front and rear. Otherwise fairly typical.
wow thanks. The guy selling it says the rear hub has been professionally serviced. Hopefully that means the drum is working well.
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Old 12-14-18, 11:22 PM
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Thatís so cool! Been trying to talk my wife into a tandem for what seems like forever. I assure her itís for practicality. Iím looking forward to seeing progress. Do you still have that orange le tour?
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Old 12-14-18, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
Thatís so cool! Been trying to talk my wife into a tandem for what seems like forever. I assure her itís for practicality. Iím looking forward to seeing progress. Do you still have that orange le tour?
the letour hangs in the garage.
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Old 12-15-18, 08:31 AM
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The tandem might wind up hanging in the garage with it. It's nice that yours is mostly original and they're neat things to have, but a modern tandem rides so much better. I had the Gitane and a 5-speed Schwinn Deluxe Twinn before that and I'd put them both in the "bicycle built for two" category and not "serious tandem" category. They can feel cramped and they're whippy. Ride either one of those and then go ride a Santana or Cannondale and see if you don't agree. But it'll be a fun thing for you two and an introduction to the breed.
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Old 12-15-18, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
The tandem might wind up hanging in the garage with it. It's nice that yours is mostly original and they're neat things to have, but a modern tandem rides so much better. I had the Gitane and a 5-speed Schwinn Deluxe Twinn before that and I'd put them both in the "bicycle built for two" category and not "serious tandem" category. They can feel cramped and they're whippy. Ride either one of those and then go ride a Santana or Cannondale and see if you don't agree. But it'll be a fun thing for you two and an introduction to the breed.
My 5spd Schwinn Twinn is perfect for riding the bike path into town for a dinner date.
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Old 12-15-18, 10:03 AM
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I hope that your sig other is into the tandem. I bought a Lejeune tandem. Wife and I rode it three times. Wife declared she would rather ride solo. Tandem hangs in basement.
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Old 12-15-18, 10:44 AM
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We'll see how it goes. She wants to try it out. Its her idea. Its teally hard to talk me into an old bike you know.
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Old 12-15-18, 11:02 AM
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We have the 'men's/men's' version of that tandem. Bought it used in '72 and figured it was probably made around '65. Changed the cranks over to TA cotterless and also started to have problems with the rear spokes breaking when we loaded it down for touring. So we replaced the rear drum brake hub with a Phil Wood 48-hole one. In addition to some touring, it served as our daily commute vehicle for a number of years and was converted to kid-back duty when our daughter was young and I used it to take her to school before continuing on to work.
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Old 12-15-18, 11:26 AM
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Quite the project but a good pick. Appears to have some neat extras. Good for neighborhood cruising and all ages.

Found this style Gitane tandem on a local sale listing for a couple I know. Sold ridiculous cheap, very clean with the classic Gitane blue and yellow font graphic. The drag brake was removed but doubt the couple will hit the hills.

I took it for a few mile test ride, found it sufficient for the occasional tandem experience but not long haul or long day. Torsional flex was 'very' noticeable.
For lighter riders.
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Old 12-15-18, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
Quite the project but a good pick. Appears to have some neat extras. Good for neighborhood cruising and all ages.

Found this style Gitane tandem on a local sale listing for a couple I know. Sold ridiculous cheap, very clean with the classic Gitane blue and yellow font graphic. The drag brake was removed but doubt the couple will hit the hills.

I took it for a few mile test ride, found it sufficient for the occasional tandem experience but not long haul or long day. Torsional flex was 'very' noticeable.
For lighter riders.
I don't believe I have seen a curved seat tube French tandem before. I can see why it was flexible.
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Old 12-15-18, 12:45 PM
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Nice find! Should provide an interesting adventure if anything.
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Old 12-15-18, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
Found this style Gitane tandem on a local sale listing for a couple I know. Sold ridiculous cheap, very clean with the classic Gitane blue and yellow font graphic. The drag brake was removed but doubt the couple will hit the hills.

I took it for a few mile test ride, found it sufficient for the occasional tandem experience but not long haul or long day. Torsional flex was 'very' noticeable.
For lighter riders.
Looks exactly like my '83 Gitane "Rallye" tandem, right down to the color:



I've made a few changes over the years: added a rack and mudgards, BB generator light, replaced rear derailleur, moved the drive crank to the stoker BB, roller bearing headset, different saddles. For a while it had a "kid back" on the stoker seat tube so I could ride my daughter to elementary school. It was always a big hit with the kids.
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Old 12-15-18, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Looks exactly like my '83 Gitane "Rallye" tandem, right down to the color:



I've made a few changes over the years: added a rack and mudgards, BB generator light, replaced rear derailleur, moved the drive crank to the stoker BB, roller bearing headset, different saddles. For a while it had a "kid back" on the stoker seat tube so I could ride my daughter to elementary school. It was always a big hit with the kids.
John, I didn't realize you got one of these too. Rachel and I had this same one, good deal at our employees discount. I made the same changes you did with the drive train. I ended up trading it for an Italian road bike once again we had moved to PA. Didn't get back into a tandem till about 10 years ago and are now all in with tandeming.
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Old 12-15-18, 01:28 PM
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Modern tandems are pretty great but I wish they had more options with step through frames like this.
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