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Early 70's Gitane Tour de France Service Course

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Early 70's Gitane Tour de France Service Course

Old 09-01-21, 07:00 PM
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Early 70's Gitane Tour de France Service Course

Just grabbed another oldie but goodie from the Bike Exchange . Best guess is it is an early 70's Gitane T D Service Course.

I can't find any serial number anywhere but from a little looking on the net it is probably early 70's. As you can see from the pictures the paint is poor. I am going to do a repaint.
I can't find a full decal set on Velo Cals. Does anyone know where to get the foil down tube decal? Also, I haven't yet found a catalogue or a list of factory colors.
Someone mentioned orange as a color and I think that would be a good one .

Anyone want to point me to a color chart, catalogue, any other info or comments. I have most of bits I need to bring it back to original spec. including a sweet Ideale Saddle, some new old stock Mafac Racer brakes, and some Rigida rims.
As found, someone had converted it to a fixie with flat bars and cheap plastic pedals which they forced onto the Stronglight cranks. With a BIG wrench I was able to get them off and used the shops pedal taps to tap them to 9/16 so I can use the beautiful mks pedals I found in the bins.

Here are a few pics of the frame after I stripped of f all the garbage.




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Old 09-01-21, 07:41 PM
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-----

recall seeing them in white and in purple flambouyant also at this time

here is a colour chart dated 1970 for U.S. market products -



-----

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Old 09-01-21, 08:33 PM
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First off, the guy you REALLY want commenting on this bike is verktyg/Chas. Colerich, who taught me about everything I know about Gitanes!

If you can post a clearer picture of the seat tube cluster and the top of the seat stays - to see the seat stay cap treatment and the presence or absence of a brake cable stop bridge - that would help to date the bike.

I've owned THREE Gitane TdFs, all the same club green/omnium vert as yours. I have decided my current one is an absolute keeper. Mine, oddly enough, came to me a frameset with its stock Stronglight BB with 118 mm spindle and a mostly Stronglight P3 headset with a Zeus locknut. I acquired it relatively cheaply to build - a fixed-gear. But one with dropped bars and front and rear brakes and set up for a variety of road experiences. Originally I thought it would be an absolute beater for family vacations, but then I rode it a while and found it to be a favorite. There is something about the 60 cm TdF's combination of geometry and metric-gauge 531 tubing that is special beyond words.

Your seatpost should be 26.4 mm; if you make sure the top locknut on your headset isn't smaller diameter than the actual steerer tube, AND if you run a brake cylinder hone down the inside of the steerer to clear up any corrosion or schmutz, you should be able to run a standard Nitto stem without having to sand it down. You've already addressed the pedal tap issue. The stock chainrings on Stronglight 93s used on TdFs was 42/52T, as well as on the Sugino Mighty Competition cranks used c.1973 or so when Stronglights were hard to get. The stock brakes were M.A.F.A.C. Competition, stock derailleurs were Simplex Criterium (?), and it is good that you have an Ideale saddle you plan to use, because the stock Frescchia del Oro saddle was by all accounts an a$$ hatchet. Stock wheels were normally Normandy Luxe Competition high-flange laced to Mavic tubular rims, probably Montlhery but maybe sometimes the cheaper Sport rims when supplies got low. The substitute standard hub was the high-flange Campagnolo Tipo.

While you can certainly rebuild them as box stock, you don't have to. If I were planning to return mine to something resembling stock, I would go with the later alloy Super LJ or similar Simplex derailleurs, Nitto bars and stem, MKS pedals - but the stock parts are fine and they work.

Here is mine, which is a very shabby and battered, wabi-sabi looking specimen that has lived a serious life - but it is an utter joy to ride.


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Old 09-02-21, 05:54 AM
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NDS rear dropout with a “horn” would place it as an earlier example, as would a rear brake cable bridge. The bridge could have been removed, but you would see traces where it was brazed. Foil decals should be available. Do you have the fork?
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Old 09-02-21, 06:15 AM
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Greg Softley at Cyclomondo in Australia has the correct foil decals, and serious Gitane experts assisted him in that endeavor. He's your best bet on those.

There is a timeline that verktyg could describe better, but as I understand it, '69 has the big silver foil decal on the headbadge, which went away quickly; sometime in '70 or '71 Gitane stopped brazing on willow-leaf style caps on the seat stay tops and started just cutting and swaging them over; the next thing to go was the centerpull brake bridge on the rear seat stays, and I want to say that's c.1972, but I'm not positive. Schreck83 noted the NDS "horn," which is present on mine, which I have decided is a '71 as it has swaged seat stay tops, the horn and a rear brake bridge combined with the curlier Nervex Professional fork crown.
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Old 09-02-21, 06:31 AM
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Downtube decals

https://www.ebay.com/itm/17491931950...YAAOSwZtNb3jBb
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Old 09-02-21, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
Greg Softley at Cyclomondo in Australia has the correct foil decals, and serious Gitane experts assisted him in that endeavor. He's your best bet on those..
If you order from him, ask him to check the registration of the colours. I just got a set and the white printing was well off to one side:


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Old 09-02-21, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
Greg Softley at Cyclomondo in Australia has the correct foil decals, and serious Gitane experts assisted him in that endeavor. He's your best bet on those.
....
...+1. I repainted one of these in white, and those are the foil stickers I used. They are very nice. Here is what the blue ones look like.
.

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Old 09-02-21, 12:06 PM
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Thanks for all the replies/ info. keep them coming. Here are some better pictures. I found some Mafac professional brakes in the bin so will probably use them if I have the straddle cables. I have a variety of old French derailleurs. not sure which to use. I plan to contact Clyclomondo for the decals . Hope they aren't too expensive.







This is the Rustoleum orange I think I will paint the bike. have used a number of their colors before but never orange. It should be a Show stopper when it's done.
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Old 09-02-21, 12:33 PM
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WILLOW LEAF SEAT STAY CAPS! I am so, so, SOOOO jealous! They went to the swaged-over ones to save time and money as the great bike boom heated up, so yours will probably have been put together with a bit more care than later examples.

1970, early 71? Earlier than mine, anyway, and just TCFW (too cool for words!). You have a lovely project before you!
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Old 09-02-21, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by capnjonny View Post
This is the Rustoleum orange I think I will paint the bike. have used a number of their colors before but never orange. It should be a Show stopper when it's done.
DupliColor makes an orange "Metal Specks" that looks like this in the shade, where it is actually quite close to the faded version of orange this guy once was:




but I don't have a sunlit picture of that colour, it *really* sparkles in the sun, this is a different colour but the same stuff:



This is a nice paint to work with, it's not hard to get an even-looking coat and I don't think it runs as easily as some of the other DupliColor paints do.
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Old 09-02-21, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by capnjonny View Post
Thanks for all the replies/ info. keep them coming. Here are some better pictures. I found some Mafac professional brakes in the bin so will probably use them if I have the straddle cables. I have a variety of old French derailleurs. not sure which to use. I plan to contact Clyclomondo for the decals . Hope they aren't too expensive.


.
...there are remarkably few choices to use as a rear derailleur with that Simplex dropout hanger. Simplex, of course, which is what it was designed for. The other one that works very well (and is maybe more durable), is the early Shimano Crane derailleur, sometimes referenced as first generation Dura Ace. The short cage ones are bouncing around here and there. The long cage ones have been snatched up, because they work so much better than the period specific alternatives.

But there's nothing essentially wrong with the Simplex rear derailleurs, as long as you make sure the upper pivot spring is functional, and pay attention to the cog limitations. I use them on a few French bikes, and they work fine.
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Old 09-02-21, 05:45 PM
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Here’s mine . As found with only a bath. Found criterium shifters and Mafac levers but frame is 4-7cm too big so looking for smaller one ☹️
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Old 09-03-21, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by capnjonny View Post
I plan to contact Clyclomondo for the decals . Hope they aren't too expensive.
I used Cyclomondo decals on my brother-in-law's early 1970s Gitane TdF. They look great and are pretty easy to apply; just be sure to read and follow the directions. It was about US$45 a set when I did it two or three years ago. I was very pleased with the purchase and the results. My BiL was delighted with them.

And don't be put off by Greg being in Australia. His turnaround time was well within acceptable parameters - about two weeks, as I recall. I certainly had no complaints on that score.
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Old 09-03-21, 05:29 AM
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1969ish Gitane Tour de France

Hang on, help is on the way...

Place holder post, "I'll Be Back"

Teaser pics:






Rustoleum color is too dark. It's what's called "international orange". It's an aerospace color.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_orange

Proper Gitane Orange...

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Old 09-03-21, 09:05 AM
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verktyg,
Glad you're in on this.

School me.

I especially need help on what decals I should buy . It looks like Clyclomondo has them. I am not sure which of them are for my particular bike. verktyg,
Glad you're in on this.

School me.

I especially need help on what decals I should buy . It looks like Clyclomondo has them. I am not sure which of them are for my particular bike. I want to order them soon as I am sure it will take forever to get them. I am not very impressed with VeloCals as they never seem to have the complete decal set and my last order, just a pair of down tube decals for a Centurian Elite I am trying to finish, have taken a couple weeks and haven't even shipped yet. (they didn't have the Elite script for the chain stay). I am going to dig up all my French derailleurs and post a pic so you can tell me which will work on this build.
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Old 09-03-21, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by capnjonny View Post
verktyg, Glad you're in on this. I especially need help on what decals I should buy .
G is for your headtube
B is for your toptube, and I think you'll need one for each side
H is for your downtube, along with the correct thin silver ones you didn't label (one each side)
C on the top of your seattube (front below the 531 decal), with
I on the seattube (also facing front)
A goes on, IIRC, the NDS chainstay
E is for the top of your fork legs, though I have seen bikes with one only, and one 531 decal on the other leg.

F you don't need (Interclub model), and I believe D is for Super Corsa only.

You'll also need a French 531 butted tubes, fork and stays decal.

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Old 09-03-21, 03:31 PM
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Thanks Ex Pres, I think I read that some years don't have the fork leg decal and I have seen some without the hand made decal also. I would really like to pin down the year and make sure I use only the decals that are appropriate.

Below is my collection of French derailleurs and shifters. Looking for advise on which to use.
Right row top Huret shifters
Bottom simplex shifters
second row from right rear derailleurs
top 4 are Huret
Bottom Simplex
3rd row top Shimano crane rear
Bottom Ofmega rear
Rows 4,5,6 top Huret front derailleurs
Bottom simplex fronts





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Old 09-03-21, 07:54 PM
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.
...I don't know all of those rear derailleurs, personally, but I think the Simplex dropout on your frame will limit what you can use.

Huret rears, of the ones I've seen, need a stop, even if it's in a different place than the standard Campy stop. You will have trouble using the Simples ones that have a claw hanger already attached, I think. But if you can flip them over and show the reverse side, I can probably tell which ones will work to be dismounted from the claw, and then reattached, if any. A lot of what I've seen on those, there's some way of mounting the claw to derailleur that is not friendly to dismounting them, but I think it varied over the years.

Essentially, you require something like the Shimano Crane, not so much because of the cage length and extra capacity, but because it has a little tang sticking out that will serve as a positioning stop on that Simplex dropout. I'm unfamiliar with the Ofmega, but anything that needs a stop won't work on that dropout. And to use it, you might have to thread the hanger hole, which is not a big deal.
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Old 09-03-21, 08:56 PM
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...there was a stamped metal adapter around for a while, that allowed the use of that one Huret in your photo, IIRC. But I don't know where you'd find one now, unless maybe it came to you with one.
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Old 09-10-21, 07:31 PM
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I scoured the internet but couldn't find a paint that matches Vertig's Orange frame. The Rustoleum orange is too dark and looks like a traffic cone. I am going to have to re think my color for this bike. Right now I am leaning toward Black. No problem color matching and Rustoleum has an Automotive grade rattle can that should have good uv protection . Black would certainly make all the decals pop. A set of Michelin tan walls for a little color plus maybe red cables . Hmmmmm!
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Old 09-10-21, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by capnjonny View Post
I scoured the internet but couldn't find a paint that matches Vertig's Orange frame. The Rustoleum orange is too dark and looks like a traffic cone. I am going to have to re think my color for this bike. Right now I am leaning toward Black. No problem color matching and Rustoleum has an Automotive grade rattle can that should have good uv protection . Black would certainly make all the decals pop. A set of Michelin tan walls for a little color plus maybe red cables . Hmmmmm!
...is this bright enough ? I think I have the paint code recorded somewhere...it was a Porsche color for a while.




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Old 09-10-21, 08:11 PM
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Signal Orange Paint Color
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Old 10-01-21, 06:20 PM
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Today I took the Gitane frame down to prep it for paint. I previously scraped most of the paint off with a razor knife and sand blasted the lugs. Today I dry sanded everything with 400 grit followed by 1000. Then a wipe down with acetone and it will be ready for primer.

As I was sanding the downtube by the head tube lug I noticed a slight rippling on the bottom of the tube. Damn! I totally missed that before. Now with everything shiny I see it. This is a real bummer. If I don't get it fixed it will really hurt the value of the bike - and I just wired $70. to Cyclo Mondo in Aus. for a complete decal set ($49 plus an extra $20 for package tracking).

I called a shop in Campbell Ca. that does frame repair and will take it in on Tuesday to see if they can fix it and what they will charge. Hopefully they won't try gouging me. There are a couple other places I could take it but they are further away, one about 50 miles, and with the price of gas a 100 mile trip will cost me almost $20 in gas even in my tiny Mazda pick up. If I could figure out a way to do the repair myself I would. I have seen the reference to the Park tool made for this purpose and am tempted to ask a machinist friend if he could make one. If I could I would make a tool out of wood. Hopefully the Campbell shop will do the job cheaply and I can proceed.
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Old 10-01-21, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by capnjonny View Post
Today I took the Gitane frame down to prep it for paint. I previously scraped most of the paint off with a razor knife and sand blasted the lugs. Today I dry sanded everything with 400 grit followed by 1000. Then a wipe down with acetone and it will be ready for primer.

As I was sanding the downtube by the head tube lug I noticed a slight rippling on the bottom of the tube. Damn! I totally missed that before. Now with everything shiny I see it. This is a real bummer. If I don't get it fixed it will really hurt the value of the bike - and I just wired $70. to Cyclo Mondo in Aus. for a complete decal set ($49 plus an extra $20 for package tracking).

I called a shop in Campbell Ca. that does frame repair and will take it in on Tuesday to see if they can fix it and what they will charge. Hopefully they won't try gouging me. There are a couple other places I could take it but they are further away, one about 50 miles, and with the price of gas a 100 mile trip will cost me almost $20 in gas even in my tiny Mazda pick up. If I could figure out a way to do the repair myself I would. I have seen the reference to the Park tool made for this purpose and am tempted to ask a machinist friend if he could make one. If I could I would make a tool out of wood. Hopefully the Campbell shop will do the job cheaply and I can proceed.
...if you're talking about a small dent, you usually just repair those with Bondo, then sand it smooth (very smooth). Then you prime over it and you're good to go. You don't need a frame repair guy for that. If you're talking about a bent tube, from a front end crash, that's something different. I have straightened some of those before, and you still need to fill a little bit, after you get the alignment restored. Nobody can pull it out completely even, without a trace of damage remaining. You just restore the alignment, and use whatever (Bondo or multiple coats of a fill primer, sanded smooth), then paint it.

But if it's been crashed, expect to get less for it when finished.
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