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I got a free bike off FB and restored it

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I got a free bike off FB and restored it

Old 03-28-22, 06:03 PM
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I got a free bike off FB and restored it

I saw an ad for a free 10 speed bike, I could tell it was lugged but that was about it so I claimed it. When we went to pick it up it turned out to be a 1970 Gitane Tour de France in Reynolds 531, that was my husbands size, and it had been very well ridden. The husband came out and told us all about it, how his first Gitane got stolen 6 months after he bought it so he replaced it with the exact same model and color because he liked it so much. He rode this bike a LOT. The original rear derailleur cracked so he replaced it with a Campy one. (so did the front so we threw on what we had lying around) This bike came with campy hubs which some did. My husband re-laced the wheels and painted the frame. There was some kind of grey overspray on everything and it would not come off the paint, plus Gitanes have terrible paint jobs and it was warranted. He will be putting a triple on this so it can be ridden in our mountainous area but we wanted to show the original owner what it looked like all cleaned up. He was so happy the bike was going to someone who would appreciate it and more importantly, ride the crap out of it!



The day we brought it home

Overspray everywhere!

There's chrome under that paint!

Gitane didn't clear over their decals!

I thought it had pin stripping, nope just dirt

Ready to ride

Cleaned up ok

We like the full chrome fork better

Gitanes are known for terrible finish work, this one did not disappoint
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Old 03-28-22, 06:10 PM
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Great job!
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Old 03-28-22, 06:17 PM
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Very nice! I hope you keep the Stronglight crankset- if you need a triple get one of the Red Clover triplizers!
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Old 03-28-22, 06:20 PM
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I am surprised the chrome under the paint was that good.
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Old 03-28-22, 07:59 PM
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You will love the ride quality. I am a fan of French bikes, and Italian bikes, and Canadian bikes, and one German bike.
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Old 03-28-22, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
I am surprised the chrome under the paint was that good.

Yeah, no kidding! As bad as that bike looked when we got it I was kind of surprised the chrome wasn’t peeling off!
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Old 03-28-22, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by motochick
we wanted to show the original owner what it looked like all cleaned up. He was so happy the bike was going to someone who would appreciate it and more importantly, ride the crap out of it!
Nice work. But these last two statement were the best part of the post. That probably meant more to the previous owner than money.
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Old 03-28-22, 08:46 PM
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That's the same as the one I bought in early covid. I got it home and found a cracked headlug... bummer.
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Old 03-28-22, 09:57 PM
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Nice job; looks great!
I'm not surprised the plastic saddle didn't make the cut.
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Old 03-29-22, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuck M
Nice work. But these last two statement were the best part of the post. That probably meant more to the previous owner than money.
That was the case with my Bianchi, as well, when a neighbor gave it to me, because he knew it would be ridden and cared for.
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Old 03-29-22, 09:43 AM
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Very nice restoration!
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Old 03-29-22, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Schreck83
Nice job; looks great!
I'm not surprised the plastic saddle didn't make the cut.
LOL! And now somehow I have two of these crazy saddles! He tried to ride it down the block with it on and didn't get 30ft.
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Old 03-29-22, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Dylansbob
That's the same as the one I bought in early covid. I got it home and found a cracked headlug... bummer.
Parts bike.
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Old 03-29-22, 11:16 AM
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I have six or seven bikes that need your attention.
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Old 03-29-22, 11:46 AM
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Those US-spec TdF's are nice. Here in Europe we only got the "trois tubes" version, with no chromed rear end.

Even those are very, very nice, though.

This is my TdF on a tour in southern France a few years ago:

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Old 03-29-22, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage
Parts bike.
That's what I did, but I keep thinking I'll rebuild it and ride it a bit just to see how long it takes for the crack to grow.
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Old 03-29-22, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bamboobike4
I have six or seven bikes that need your attention.
Me too! Although not to this degree.
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Old 03-29-22, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by John E
That was the case with my Bianchi, as well, when a neighbor gave it to me, because he knew it would be ridden and cared for.
That was also the case as well when my 1974 Sears 531 DB Ted Williams bike was sent to me by the previous owner.

Very nice job on that Gitane machine!

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Old 03-30-22, 05:39 AM
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Wonderful work and great to see it's back on the road.
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Old 03-30-22, 06:42 AM
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I had a similar TDF apart recently. If you can (else get a shop to check) take the bb out, cups and all, and check for this flaw:




That's rust from water that has collected and puddled right behind the flash left after sizing the chainstay sockets. I was lucky, this bike came from a dry climate, it wasn't much more than staining.

Here's the fix (before a dab of rust-paint) - 5 minutes with a Dremel and a cylindrical grindstone:




And if your bb shell lacks one, drill a drain hole.
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Old 03-30-22, 11:56 AM
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Well done! I love that "Custom Made" sticker.
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Old 03-30-22, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by oneclick
I had a similar TDF apart recently. If you can (else get a shop to check) take the bb out, cups and all, and check for this flaw:
That's rust from water that has collected and puddled right behind the flash left after sizing the chainstay sockets. I was lucky, this bike came from a dry climate, it wasn't much more than staining.
Here's the fix (before a dab of rust-paint) - 5 minutes with a Dremel and a cylindrical grindstone:
And if your bb shell lacks one, drill a drain hole.
Thanks for the heads up! Adam checked the BB area and saw no rust but he will check again for this flaw. Luckily rust was not an issue with this bike but better to be safe than sorry! This gives me something new to check on every bike from here on out
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Old 03-31-22, 07:06 PM
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You are a good wife! Mine always lets me know when she sees bike and audio gear. I always appreciate her
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Old 03-31-22, 10:23 PM
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Nice find.
Great job!
Beautiful bike.
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