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Bike Boom Gitane TDF Conundrum

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Bike Boom Gitane TDF Conundrum

Old 09-10-23, 02:59 PM
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Bike Boom Gitane TDF Conundrum

Hi Folks,

I just received a 64cm circa 1970 Gitane Tour de France from a seller in California (I live in Washington State).

When I looked at the rear dropouts I thought the derailleur hanger had been cut off, but looking at the 1971 Simplex catalog on Velo Pages revealed that Simplex offered 2 sets of dropouts, with and without a derailleur hanger. 🤔

The set with the hanger also have a “guide horn” for rear wheel placement on the non driveline side. They also have a pebbly surface, which I assume is because they were sand cast?🤔

Despite the TDF being illustrated in the 1970 Gitane catalog with a derailleur hanger, my frame came with the lower quality dropouts without a hanger. Bummer!😡

Is this yet another Bike Boom case of “build it with whatever parts we have in stock?” The TDF was supposed to be equipped with Criterium derailleurs but mine came with Prestige. The rest of the components are per catalogue spec.

Here’s the frame. I apologize for the dim lighting!

Here are the dropouts in question.


BTW, does anyone have a Simplex Criterium RD with a hanger to sell?

Thanks for looking!
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Old 09-10-23, 03:07 PM
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Old 09-10-23, 03:24 PM
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Count your blessings, man. You can put a claw on there and use any derailleur you want--and without the stigma of Simplex-hanger butchery. That's a win-win.
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Old 09-10-23, 03:28 PM
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Don't just stay away from any Simplex derailleurs - run away from them!
No shame in shifting (lol) to a set of Campy Nuovo Records.
You can buy the non-integrated hanger all day long on eBay.
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Old 09-10-23, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by roadcrankr
Don't just stay away from any Simplex derailleurs - run away from them!
No shame in shifting (lol) to a set of Campy Nuovo Records.
You can buy the non-integrated hanger all day long on eBay.
Oh, come on--Simplex derailleurs aren't as bad as some would have you believe. And Campagnolo derailleurs aren't as good as some would have you believe. I'd hang some Suntour derailleurs on that sucker if it were mine.

Nice bike, by the way--the paint and chrome look good, at least in the posted photo.
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Old 09-10-23, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara
Oh, come on--Simplex derailleurs aren't as bad as some would have you believe. And Campagnolo derailleurs aren't as good as some would have you believe. I'd hang some Suntour derailleurs on that sucker if it were mine.

Nice bike, by the way--the paint and chrome look good, at least in the posted photo.
You looked at the wrong photo of the rear dropout area. The chrome looks like it went thru a garbage disposal.
Okay, so let's see your stable of bikes outfitted with Simplex gear changers.
At least he can buy period-correct Campy. Very sturdy and dependable. Simplex...hmmm...not so much.
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Old 09-10-23, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara
Oh, come on--Simplex derailleurs aren't as bad as some would have you believe. And Campagnolo derailleurs aren't as good as some would have you believe. I'd hang some Suntour derailleurs on that sucker if it were mine.

Nice bike, by the way--the paint and chrome look good, at least in the posted photo.
even with metric tubing, that plastic front derailleur body is marginal. I have had one just bust open while in shaded storage.
very fortunate was not in use.
there are later Simplex LJ units that are more or all metallic. Will keep it tout Francais.
Or go Suntour as Gitane did on some models later.
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Old 09-10-23, 05:29 PM
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I have two Simplex-equipped bikes at this point. I don't have any photos of the TdF , but here's the LeJeune.

You're right about my looking at the wrong photo of the OP's chrome--it is pretty rough, which is more or less par for the course.
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Old 09-10-23, 05:30 PM
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Dropouts are luck of the draw on these. My 1972 TDF has Campagnolo dropouts front and rear, and it’s not a Super Corsa, it’s a TDF.

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Old 09-10-23, 05:32 PM
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I have a large (too big for me) TdF frame from the same time period w/o a hanger, too.
Now I wonder if they made a run of large frames sans hangers.


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Old 09-10-23, 06:31 PM
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Tig a hanger on.

The way that chrome isn't, it'll blend right in.
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Old 09-10-23, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara

I have two Simplex-equipped bikes at this point. I don't have any photos of the TdF , but here's the LeJeune.

You're right about my looking at the wrong photo of the OP's chrome--it is pretty rough, which is more or less par for the course.
Well, that's not the crappy versions of Simplex from 1970.
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Old 09-10-23, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by roadcrankr
Don't just stay away from any Simplex derailleurs - run away from them!
No shame in shifting (lol) to a set of Campy Nuovo Records.
You can buy the non-integrated hanger all day long on eBay.
There's also no shame in wanting it to be set up as it was originally. I have no period-correct time-capsule bikes myself, but I can see the appeal.

Jacob has other bikes to ride, so he doesn't need this one to be his end-all and be-all. This one can be his early-'70s TDF, i.e. "it is what it is".

I wouldn't blame him for wanting a hanger welded on, though I would hope it's a Simplex hanger. To balance out all the Drew jobs out there.

My 1958 Follis came to me with a drewed Campy dropout, gear hanger cut off so the guy could mount a Huret Allvit on an adaptor claw! I definitely put a Campy hanger back on there.

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Old 09-10-23, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara

I have two Simplex-equipped bikes at this point. I don't have any photos of the TdF , but here's the LeJeune.

You're right about my looking at the wrong photo of the OP's chrome--it is pretty rough, which is more or less par for the course.
You decide to keep this one? I believe you were about to sell it, weren't you?
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Old 09-11-23, 12:06 AM
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Thank you for posting these Simplex catalog scans. They help illustrate my point.
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Old 09-11-23, 12:15 AM
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I have plenty of Campy & Shimano equipped bikes. Simplex lost "the war" and is now extinct, but I have a soft spot for it, and all French bike stuff!
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Old 09-11-23, 12:17 AM
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The next model in Gitane's line is Campy equipped. I have a Campy equipped Bertin C-37, so I'm good where Campagnolo on French frames is concerned.
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Old 09-11-23, 12:20 AM
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The paint & chrome are as good as they look in the photos, in person. But man, these foil Gitane stickers-as the French would say, "Pourquoi (why)?"
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Old 09-11-23, 12:22 AM
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"The chrome looks like it went thru a garbage disposal." Ouch, don't hold back!
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Old 09-11-23, 12:27 AM
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The AV 3 SC front derailleur. Hard to find one, and expensive when you do.

I do have a slightly more modern Simplex derailleur, with less plastic and more metal, in mind. Anyone got one?
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Old 09-11-23, 12:29 AM
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Nice looking Lejeune. Is it a 25" (64cm) frame?
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Old 09-11-23, 12:31 AM
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I am VERY jealous of your TDF with Campagnolo dropouts. I officially hate my life.
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Old 09-11-23, 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Jacob_R_59
The AV 3 SC front derailleur. Hard to find one, and expensive when you do.
I've got one.
It's cracked.
I've got (at least) one of every Simplex plastic front mech in Velobase.
They are all cracked, or broken.
I have no - zero - uncracked ones, and I keep *everything*.

The alumnium -bodied ones don't, of course, so if it must be Simplex you are limited to the
651 ugly, no cable stop
SJ 102 (double) or 103 (triple), both clamp mount
SJ 222/223 special braze-on versions of the 102,103
any of the various Super LJ
the early aluminium LJ23
or of course lots of even earlier front mechs before the plastic craze.
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Old 09-11-23, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Sedgemop
You decide to keep this one? I believe you were about to sell it, weren't you?
No, I'm still planning to list it on the For Sale thread here when I get around to it. But I'm naturally lazy and have other projects going on right now. It will happen in the next month or so.
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Old 09-11-23, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Jacob_R_59
Nice looking Lejeune. Is it a 25" (64cm) frame?
Yes, 25" is right. It's a good fit for me.
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