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Old Gitane Mixte that just came in to the shop

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Old Gitane Mixte that just came in to the shop

Old 01-09-22, 11:49 PM
  #1  
capnjonny 
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Old Gitane Mixte that just came in to the shop

I went down to the bike Exchange today to volunteer at an event we hosted for high school kids who want to learn how to work on bicycles. while I was there I picked up this old Gitane Mixte that had just been donated to us. I am getting to be the Mixte king, having restored quite a few over the years and am one of the few peeps willing to work on old French stuff. This bike is old enough that it has wing nuts on the front axle and a derailleur I have never seen before a Huret Svelto. that looks like it was made by a blacksmith. A couple of other interesting bits are the braze on mounts for a front rack and what looks like a tab for a rear generator. It also has a chainguard, which is somewhat unusual for a bike with a front derailleur. brakes are Mafac racers, The brake levers are also unique, designed to follow the curve of the handle bars, necessitated by the very short rear facing portion of the bars. So short that standard levers would not work. I have never seen this before. This should be a fun project.




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Old 01-10-22, 04:38 AM
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This should be a fun project FOR SURE.
I would be all over this in a heart beat.
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Old 01-10-22, 04:56 AM
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Early 70's European Model Mixte

Looks to be an early 70's European "Enghien" model mixte, a variation of the Gran Sport Luxe but with braze-ons on the fork for a small front rack and a generator bracket on the left seat stay. It has a unique chain guard with clearance for the front derailleur. One way to confirm this is does the bike have 700c wheels or 27"?



The fenders, rear rack, lights and generator are missing. Someone has replaced the Huret shift levers with Suntour Power Ratchet levers, maybe the FD too. Huret Svelto derailleurs were common on European models. They works OK but not great. About the same as the holy grail weight weenie Huret Jubilee derailleurs that were modeled after the Svelto.

In the US market it would probably have a 14-28T FW for "alpine gearing" rather than a 14-24T FW.

Those plastic Mafac levers were ALWAYS DANGEROUS! I had them break while assembling new bikes BITD. Find some metal replacements.

These photos are a little faded looking. This is what Gitane orange looks like:



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Old 01-10-22, 08:59 AM
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rear wheel looks to be a replacement

note that hub is three-piece small flange all steel while front hub is large flange five-piece bi-metal, likely New Star brand

front Huret Luxe 700 front mech appears to have been replaced with a Maeda

dating - final year for this transfer set was 1973

the Lyotard model 36R pedal may be a helpful dating aid
prior to launch of the R sub-model bolt-on reflectors from Cibie were employed

frame -

laterals bridge is BOCAMA model "plain"

chainstay bridge is ESGE

dynamo boss is NERVEX REf. 898 AR


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Old 01-10-22, 09:19 AM
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That will make a cool project. I guess early 70s was prime time for Bike Boom Mixtes: here's my LeJeune of around the same period with much the same specifications..


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Old 01-10-22, 01:44 PM
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Oh that thing is beautiful. It has a certain style and class of a bygone era just sitting there. This is just me, but I think before I did anything to all that well earned patina, I'd just grease the bearings and ride it for awhile.
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Old 01-12-22, 10:35 AM
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Sorry about the pics. Taken with my phone. don't know why but sometimes the pics come out great and sometimes not. I will try aain an see if I can do better. The color is definitely yellow not orange. I used an ap on my computer to try and sharpen the slightly blurry photos.

By the way, here is a picture of the Stella I have been working on. I did a lot of customizing on it , Sorry Juvela. I figured that even though it is probably a pretty rare bike the changes might make it more desirable as a rider. I just like gilding the lilly I suppose.



here is a before picture. The changes including new aluminum rims, Stronglight aluminum crank, brought the weight down from 29.5lbs to 27.3. not bad with a frame weight of about 5.5 lbs.
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Old 01-20-22, 06:36 PM
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I painted the Gitane Mixte today. I have another Gitane, a 72? Tour de France that is currently waiting for paint and I decided to paint the mixte the same color, Rustoleum Tuscan sun. It was the closest color I could find to Vertig's orange tdf which I admire and want to copy. The color is sort of a mustard and probably not a match for the tdf. On the bike it looks a bit lighter than the paint cap. It is slightly different than the original paint on this bike also. A bit lighter and with a bit of tan in the color. I will wait till it is all finished and assembled to decide if I want to paint the tdf the same.

On another issue, the wheels are mismatched. the front is a 700c Rigida Chromix steel with a lerge flange hub , the rear is also steel, no name, small flange probably Asian. The bike has a number of brazed on wire guides on the down tube and the seat stay which would have been for the generator wires to the front head light.

Another bike which I recently worked on, an Austrian built J C Higgins had stainless steel fenders which I took off as they didn't fit right. Hopefully I can use them on the mixte. I also grabbed a rear rack scheduled for the trash which is a match to the front rack. I have a number of generators lying around and will try to set this bike up with front and rear lights as per the pic below.



original paint sanded waiting for new color

Rustoleum Tuscan sun spray enamel . not, the cap is sllightly darker than the paint on the frame.
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Old 01-20-22, 07:11 PM
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very nice work!

who be the bondage model lady lying down on the job?


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Old 01-21-22, 09:50 AM
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That would be Lola She and Ralph were part of Cap'n Jonny's Outer Rim Tea room at the last (2019) burning man out in the Nevada desert. they were part of my own private burn for the next 2 years until this winter when a big storm blew over my shade canopy and both of my mannequins lost arms. I had them propped up against the garage door for a while but Lola fell down and couldn't get up. Now the earth is slowly reclaiming her. I am currently looking around for replacements for both of them for this years event.


2019 at burning man


My own private burn


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Old 01-21-22, 10:10 AM
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As Youse guys probably know by now I like to "gild the lilly" a bit when I am restoring bikes. I happen to have a cottered Steel Strong light crank in my parts bins . Would it be out of place on this bike? I have been wanting to use it and this bike seems like it could have had one when new.
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Old 01-21-22, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by capnjonny View Post
As Youse guys probably know by now I like to "gild the lilly" a bit when I am restoring bikes. I happen to have a cottered Steel Strong light crank in my parts bins . Would it be out of place on this bike? I have been wanting to use it and this bike seems like it could have had one when new.
-----

thanks very much for the reply above

Verot chainsets -

a Competition 55 model would be a bit "over the top" for this mount while a model No. 52 would be perfectly fine:




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Old 02-16-22, 11:05 AM
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The Gitane Mixte is finished. I'm thinking it might be a 68 or 69 but not certain. I tried to use original or era specific parts where ever I could. The original bars were so short that no brake levers other than the original curved plastic ones would work so I substituted some "mustache"? bars that were similar and allowed for vintage levers. I had some trouble getting the shifting to work. The chain kept jumping off the chainring . I finally determined that there wasn't enough adjustment in the front derailleur stops. I substituted a longer adjustment screw in the outboard stop and that allowed me to move the stop closer to the chain which solved the problem. Now it shifts as well as the antique mech is capable of. The paint color is Rustoleum Tuscan gold. I am going to use the same paint on the Gitane TDF Service course that had a bent frame which I had professionally repaired and re aligned. It should be a beautiful pair of bikes.







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Old 02-16-22, 11:38 AM
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...you could order a Cinelli SC in the Tuscan Yellow colorway for a while. I've always like the color.
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Old 02-16-22, 11:46 AM
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Fantastic work! That looks amazing.
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Old 02-16-22, 12:40 PM
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Wow- stunning! And lots and lots of cool details (love the wing nuts).....Well done.
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Old 02-16-22, 03:14 PM
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bravissimo!!
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Old 02-16-22, 03:49 PM
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Stella = Nantes, France

Imported by Wil-Go distributors = California ( 70's )
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Old 02-16-22, 05:41 PM
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Not to pile on, but that is simply a lovely restoration. Fine work!

Thanks for sharing the images.
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Old 02-16-22, 05:42 PM
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Plus one on the compliments. Beautifully done.
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Old 02-16-22, 05:52 PM
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Nice job on the paint. There was a lot of posting about paint this past weekend and you have seemed to prove that good looking results can come from a can.
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