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Finished at last 1970 Gitane Tour de France Service course

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Finished at last 1970 Gitane Tour de France Service course

Old 04-21-22, 07:28 PM
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Bikes: Miyata 610(66cm), GT Vantara Hybrid (64cm), Nishiki International (64cm), Peugeot rat rod (62 cm), Trek 800 Burning Man helicopter bike, Bob Jackson frame (to be restored?) plus a never ending stream of neglected waifs from the Bike exchange.

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Finished at last 1970 Gitane Tour de France Service course

Finished at last , the 1970 Gitane tour de France

I tightened the las bolt today on my 64 cm 1970 TDF today and took it across the street to take its glamour shots.

It’s been quite a saga. It started in September of 2021 when I saw it at the bike exchange looking very tired. Paint was thrashed and it looked terrible. I took it home and striped the paint off the frame, ordered decals from Australia, and was getting it ready to repaint when I saw a slight wrinkle in the down tube right behind the lug. It was so minor I hadn’t noticed it before I stripped off the paint.

The bike Exchange has friends and one of them is a local frame builder. He graciously offered to repair the frame for us, Gratis, and did a great job, adjusting the frame and fork alignment at the same time, bring everything back to original specs.

Painting was a 2 month process, strictly following the Rustoleum Mfg. guidelines for recoating and dry times (I had multiple conversations with their tech dept. to insure the best possible results).

A day of careful prep and application and all the decals were applied in their correct places and a clear coat of Rustoleum Automotive clear Acrylic enamel and it was ready for reassembly.

At this time I decided to make a few changes. The first was replacing the 14-28 Atom freewheel with a Suntour 14-32 to make sure that when the bike entered it’s first Eroica ride it would make it up all the hills. To this end I also installed a Shimano Crane long cage derailleur. This was the only unit that would work on the Simplex dropout on the bike. It is also a fine piece of kit.

Next was wheels. I had originally planned to use 27 x 1 Rigida rims but my bike shop buddy convinced me that 700 c would be better so I swapped in a pair of Super Champions on Campi large flange hubs with 28mm Michelin Dynamic Classic gum walls.

Looking at the bike my friend said he didn’t like the plastic Simplex downtube shifters. On reflection I agreed and swapped in a Campi unit along with a Campi cable stop and front derailleur. Now I had a killer transmission.

Finally, I fit the cockpit with a set of Italian ITN bars, Mafac professional levers, and dark blue cotton bar tape.

But there’s more.

I also have a 52 cm 1967 Gitane Grand Sport Deluxe Mixte that I restored at the same time complete with all the bells and whistles including a factory chain guard which I have not seen on any other bike. These bikes will be sold by the bike exchange to raise money for our nonprofit that fixes donated bikes and donates them back into the community. You can check out our website at bikex.org.


Last edited by capnjonny; 04-21-22 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 04-21-22, 07:35 PM
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Looking forward to seeing it in person.
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
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Old 04-22-22, 02:49 PM
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Gitane orange is a classic. Love the bike.
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