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Please Help Identify This French Frame

Old 02-14-24, 06:25 PM
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Please Help Identify This French Frame

I'm needing help identifying this French frame.

It came to me 3 or 4 years back as pictured without a fork and has been hanging in my garage since.

I finally decided to try and get it going as the 60cm C-T ST and 59cm TT fits me just right on most frames.

At least I think it's French based on a French bottom bracket easily screwing into it.

I have a spare 1" threaded fork that fits fine into the head tube.

Here's what else I know so far.

22.2 rear drop spread.
26.4 seatpost fits very nicely.
I measured 43cm chain stays.
​​​​​​
Frame as pictured weighs 4.77 lbs.
I guesstimate with all clamps and housing removed it'll come in close to 4.5 lbs.or so.

Along with the 1.80 lbs fork I have that would give me 6.3 lbs or in that neighborhood before any parts added.

That's not a super lightweight racing frame buts it's no tank either.

The BB clamp is an old looking Huret.
The two TT clamps are Campy.

​​​​​​I can find no serial number after close examination.
There is a single 1 on the bottom bracket shell as pictured.

Since the paint is shot I brushed the BB to see if a serial number was hiding under the paint.
Nope only that single 1.
I cannot see any numbers on the stays or seat tube either.

There was no head badge either.

I've taken a lot of pics to perhaps aid in the ID.

Thanks for any assistance in identifying this mystery frame..
At least it's a mystery to me.
Some of you folks probably will know what is immediately.












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Last edited by cooperryder; 02-14-24 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 02-14-24, 06:34 PM
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More pictures:
Please forgive if I duplicated some pictures.










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Old 02-14-24, 06:46 PM
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-----

the pentagonal no-slide pibb is another confirmation of frankishness

the combination of lug pattern, brake bridge detail, seat stay detail & "fish mouth" taper tube joinery suggest a possible MICMO origin (Gitane, Helyett & other marques)

the Huret bottom bracket cable guide is a Jubile ensemble part, launch was 1973

have never before seen a gear hanger such as the one pictured; must represent a modification

suspect true saddle pillar size to be 26.6mm; 26.4mm measurement likely due to some combination of dirt, rust, paint, heat deformation, pinched binder ears or an out-of-round opening from running a too small saddle pillar

date appears early 1970's

-----

Last edited by juvela; 02-14-24 at 07:05 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 02-15-24, 02:04 AM
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Looks like a match for an early seventies Gitane Tour de France. The US market version, as the European version didn't have the fish mouths.
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Old 02-15-24, 05:58 AM
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The pie-cut and crudely bent (swedged) finish of the seat stay tops is a hallmark of a post-1970 Gitane. Lacks honeycomb dropouts so its from first half of 1970s.

Last edited by Markeologist; 02-15-24 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 02-15-24, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie
Looks like a match for an early seventies Gitane Tour de France. The US market version, as the European version didn't have the fish mouths.
Thank you juvela, non-fixie, and markeologist for the helpful replies.

Could you clarify what the 'fish mouth' means and where on the frame I can see this?

I guess serial numbers were not added to frames until later and maybe that solitary 1 on the BB had to do with the particular BB shell used.

It's probably a very longshot to actually determine the. model of this frame.

I'm still trying to decide if it's worth building the frame up which would mean investing $80 in powder coating.

I have enough miscellaneous parts on hand to get it rolling.

What's anyone's best guess on the tubing used during this era? With the approximately 4.5 pound frame weight I would guess it wasn't hi-tensile but some butted tubeset.

Some of the catalogs I found showed some of the nicer frames built with Reynolds 531.

Thanks again.
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Old 02-15-24, 03:06 PM
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An example, as presented earlier by juvela in another thread. The seat stay has a "fish mouth" attachment, the chainstay is "domed".



And if it is what I think it is, a Gitane Tour de France, then it's worth a bit of trouble and coin to get it back on the road. Their ride is highly regarded by many here, including myself.
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Old 02-15-24, 03:24 PM
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-----

suspect frame a model above the TdF

the U.S. market TdF at this time was constructed with Simplex forged frame ends to go along with its Simplex gear ensemble

cycles above the TdF in the range came with Campag frame ends to go with their Campag gear ensembles

frame tubing is a nominal eleven tube Reynolds 531, possible head tube may be seamed, possible steerer may be NERVOR

in case you have not found it already there is a U.S. based Gitane discussion forum exclusively for the sharing of information regarding MICMO products -

gitaneusa.com

-----
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Old 02-15-24, 03:54 PM
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Best way to distinguish between a TdF and the Super Corsa, especially during bike boom of early 70s, is the length of the steerer as Verktyg (Chas) taught us. The SC had a longer steerer as it used a Campy headset with a stack height of 39-41 mm while the TdF which used a Stronglight headset had a shorter steerer as headset only had a stack height of 34 mm….sounds like the fork you have is not original so no help there… did the frame have the races for the headset as that would help ID. Looking closer it does appear to have long point lugs so if a TdF then would be a 71-73 as I recall.
Here is pic I posted just the other day of my early (69/70) SC. It has the Carre-style willow leaf stay caps that were eliminated shortly thereafter, replaced with the cut and bent stay top finish as found on your frame. Before spending too much effort on your frame, consider cost and time involved and compare against finding a complete SC or TdF.

Last edited by Markeologist; 02-15-24 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 02-15-24, 07:02 PM
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I found some good info here.



https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...fessional.html

This particular reply from
verktyg leads me to think my frame might be the European version rather than the US due to the absence of chrome on the stays.

Perhaps mine has the Huret dropouts?

No fork came with mine so that part is unknown.

Also cool Dec 1970 Gitane review from Bicycling Magazine on that thread

Quote from vertyg:

"1970 Gitane Tour de France Review
Looks completely normal and correct for a 1969/1970 US model Tour de France (except maybe the Nitor plastic saddle).

The European TdF frames only used Reynolds 531 in the 3 main tubes plus they were built with either Simplex or Huret dropouts depending of the brand of derailleurs that the bike was equipped with. Also, the seamed tube rear triangles were painted not 1/2 chromed like the US models with Reynolds tubing."

https://www.bikeforums.net/20832318-post2.html
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Old 02-15-24, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela

have never before seen a gear hanger such as the one pictured; must represent a modification

-----
It's a bit brazed on to be a forward rear mech stop for a Huret.
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Old 02-15-24, 07:44 PM
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Couple things given last two posts;

Kind of looks like there is chrome around dropouts, maybe strip some of that paint off …

… and while you are at it, clean up the dropouts and see if you can figure out who made them. The hangar certainly looks to have been modified so tough to tell what is going on.
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Old 02-15-24, 08:00 PM
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I'm gonna say '71-'73 Gitane Tour de France. While the standard spec rear dropouts were normally Simplex forged, this was built during the Bike Boom, and Gitane used whatever they had available in the bins. These look to me like they started life as Huret ends, and a quick run out to the garage to examine the Hurets on my '73 Raleigh Competition has about convinced me. They look like they have been modified, almost like someone adapted them to better git a Simplex, but a Simplex would have fit them when stock, right? Couple that with the Huret Jubilee clamp-on cable guide and now I wonder if this was a European market bike that made it over here, or just a case of Gitane building with what was in the bin that day. Chas Colerich, aka verktyg, wrote extensively on the old GitaneUSA forum about the varying rear ends used on US market TdFs - and for that matter, they also used Huret ends on European market bikes comparable to this one. As a side note, I am having trouble accessing that site, which is a pity, because verktyg's writings there helped me immensely in playing with old French bikes! Numerous examples of the TdF have surfaced through the years with Campagnolo dropouts but with the fork steerers cut for the smaller stack height Stronglight P3 headsets, which is pretty much the best indicator of whether the bike is a Professional Super Cross or a TdF.

If memory serves, US/Mel Pinto TdFs have been documented with the standard Simplex forged ends, with and without the left-side "horn" to aid wheel insertion; the hanger-less Simplex ends used with an adapter claw; and Campagnolo ends. Several years back I saw for sale on FB marketplace a Gitane with the fish mouth stay ends associated with full 531 frames, Huret ends and an Allvit (!!!) rear mech, and NO chrome on the rear stays with what looked like factory blue paint. These are just ... interesting.

If I remember the chronology correctly, the earliest of the Mel Pinto-spec'ed Gitane TdFs hit the market in 1969. They had the cool willow-leaf seat stay caps, long point Prugnat lugs, the pentagonal pip on the top of the downtube to secure the clamp-band shifters, a flat-plate center pull brake cable stop bridging the seat stays and those lovely rear brake bridge reinforcements - and everything else was clamped on. Earlier ones had Nervex Professional fork crowns with the curlicues.

I think the first cost-cutting move was to ditch the willow-leaf stay caps and replace them with the simple swaged over treatment, and that was in place sometime around 1971. Not sure of the exact chronology, but the fork crown switched over to the plain Nervex DuBois pattern (same one Peugeot started using on the PX-10 around the same time), then they switched to the bog-standard, everybody used 'em short point Bocama Professional lugs around maybe '72 followed by ditching the rear brake cable stop on the rear stays c. maybe 1973? I can't tell if this one ever had the flat brake stop bridge, but I suspect it didn't, so maybe say late '71 early '72?

All of my 531-tubed Gitanes took 26.4 seat posts - a sample of two Super Corsas and three TdFs (all of three in that green they called Omnium Vert), which I figured meant Gitane was playing it safe using 1.0-.7-1.0 butted tubing as opposed to the .9-.6-.9 stuff Allegro used for their comparable No. 76 (in all its various component flavorings).

If you can find a fork with a rake that puts you in the realm of 40 mm trail, you're in good shape and about to experience arguably my favorite ride. FWIW, my '71's measurements, as best I can determine them with iffy equipment, go 60 cm center to top with a 58 cm top tube, what appears to be 74-degree head and 73-degree seat angles, with 55 mm of fork rake yielding 400 mm of trail on a 101.5 cm wheelbase with 43 cm chain stays.

Is it worth getting a good fork for it, along with the $80 or more to powder coat it? I'll put it this way - if I had not recently moved into a house with very limited storage, and had not already had to part with several cool bikes I liked, and if I wasn't grappling with how to properly store bikes I cannot bear to part with - I would be angling how to make a deal with you. This one is even my size - but I note that I already HAVE one of these, and one TdF will have to do. FWIW, I acquired mine almost 11 years ago as a battered frame, fork, headset and bottom bracket from a gentleman in the Pacific Northwest, wherein had hung stripped in a basement for at least a decade. I paid twice as much to have it shipped to me as I paid for the frame - $50. I initially thought it should be rattle-canned black, but the beat, wabi-sabi paint grew on me.

I built my TdF up to be a beater for family beach vacations - and then discovered it is the slickest running fixed-gear road bike I have ever encountered. Mine bears a four-decade timeline of parts, from period correct Stronglight 93s running a single 45T ring to a Phil BB with French mounting rings, the original P3 headset with a Zeus top nut, Nitto bars and stem, an old SR LaPrade seat post, MKS Sylvan pedals, Kogswell 2nd-model sealed fixed-gear hubs on Mavic MA3 rims, Weinmann Carrera side pulls, aero levers ... and it somehow is the smoothest running bicycle I think I have ever encountered. It very rapidly became the bike I grab when I just want to go ride for a while, the perfect early morning Dawn Patrol steed, with excellent road manners and a springy, sprightly ride.

I hope this helps!
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Old 02-16-24, 09:51 AM
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It looks like there is a number stamped on the non-drive side rear dropout. Scrape away the paint on the inside faces of the dropouts; there may be stampings there. too.


Here are some details from Tour de France frames. Simplex dropouts without adjusting screws.


Note the fish mouth stay end treatment is only on the outside face.

X4 was stamped on the inside face of both dropouts

Note the lack of cut-outs on the brake bridges; not sure if the Super Corsa had these.




Another difference between the TDF and your frame is the head lugs. Maybe someone with a Super Corsa could post regarding these differences.


Bocoma lugs with ridge at the headset cup.
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Old 02-16-24, 11:27 AM
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Man!
You guys rock!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the great replies.

I did as suggested and brushed off that non-drive dropout and sure enough it's stamped Campagnolo along with a serial number.

The serial number is 245221.

Pics below:

Does this particular drive side hanger mean I need to run a particular derailleur like a certain Huret?


Outside non-drive view with serial numbers and Campagnolo stamp.

Inside non-drive view.

Inside view.

Outside view.
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Old 02-16-24, 11:56 AM
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I vote for "Super Corsa", and given how that modified RD hanger may ALSO have bodged threads maybe find a frame repairist who can cut off the old and braze on one of the Campy bits made for this job (the 80/1 from 1967 catalog)

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Old 02-16-24, 12:12 PM
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-----

there appears to be an above the axle slot marking which commences with a numeral five -



-----

Schreck83 -

the lug pattern on your red frame appears to be BOCAMA Professional




thar be also the BOCAMA Super Profesional




---

our Il Gugissimo reports that the Campag braze-on gear hanger tab Nr. 80/1

has been unavailabe for several decades


-----
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Old 02-16-24, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Schreck83
It looks like there is a number stamped on the non-drive side rear dropout. Scrape away the paint on the inside faces of the dropouts; there may be stampings there. too.


Here are some details from Tour de France frames. Simplex dropouts without adjusting screws.


Note the fish mouth stay end treatment is only on the outside face.

X4 was stamped on the inside face of both dropouts

Note the lack of cut-outs on the brake bridges; not sure if the Super Corsa had these.




Another difference between the TDF and your frame is the head lugs. Maybe someone with a Super Corsa could post regarding these differences.


Bocoma lugs with ridge at the headset cup.
My 69/70 SC has the cutouts on brake bridge…plus the brake cable hangar for Mafac center pulls, and Carre-style willow leaf stay caps. I have Campy brakes which have always been a question as they were supposedly an option but maybe only as a swap by importer Mel Pinto…well the hole on the hanger has absolutely no scarring on either side from having anything ever fit to it….
I also have fish mouth stay ends at dropouts. Later Campy NR derailleur.



Last edited by Markeologist; 02-16-24 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 02-16-24, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cooperryder
Does this particular drive side hanger mean I need to run a particular derailleur like a certain Huret?
.
As it is, Huret should fit and Simplex may fit, perhaps with a bit of filing on the part that was added to the dropout.
Campagnolo-style derailleurs can be used with the addition of a tabbed washer that you can make easily. The tab shifts the stop from the 4:00 position to the 7:00 position. I posted a how-to a couple years ago with dimensions in response to 52telecaster’s RFI. Google should find it.
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Old 02-17-24, 12:37 AM
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My former Super Corsa also had the brake bridge cut outs.
Head lugs appear to lack the “open book” pattern of the TDF (same bike as shown above).

Last edited by Nwvlvtnr; 02-17-24 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 02-17-24, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Nwvlvtnr
My former Super Corsa also had the brake bridge cut outs.
Head lugs appear to lack the “open book” pattern of the TDF (same bike as shown above).
Yours is newer than mine by a bit as you have the cut and bent seat stay caps as opposed to the Carre-atyle willow leaf which were dropped in 1970 best folks have been able to determine. You do still have the cable guide for center pull brakes though…interesting. I need to go back and search some other threads as well as gitaneusa website, not sure the cut outs on brake bridge has been mentioned as a potential identifier.


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Old 02-17-24, 10:15 AM
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A few more Super Corsa photos. Again these are all of the same frame. Schreck83 I built this largely from the parts that came from your Grand Jubilee.


Found this on my phone.





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Old 02-17-24, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela
-----

there appears to be an above the axle slot marking which commences with a numeral five -



-----











---

our Il Gugissimo reports that the Campag braze-on gear hanger tab Nr. 80/1

has been unavailabe for several decades


-----
rather than a "5" could be the "B" from "BREV..."
and if nobody on Earth has the genuine 80/1 part in their stash, I would not hesitate to find a trashed donor frame with good forged RD hanger (Campy but if not then ANY quality brand with correct threading and profile) and cut off the segment and then the offensive hanger on this sorry frame and let a skilled brazer (or Tig welder) make it whole again!
My gut is this repair is still not for amateurs but far easier that a full DO replacement

BITD Ed Litton did that repair to my old TdF (crapified Simplex DO) and it was masterful!

Last edited by unworthy1; 02-17-24 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 02-18-24, 12:39 AM
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As others have pointed out, without the original fork we simply won’t be able to determine which model it is. Here’s my TDF for comparison. In another thread Verktyg has officially declared mine to be a 1972. Campagnolo dropouts both front and rear, window cutouts on the brake bridge just like the Super Corsas shown above, long point lugs, fish mouth stay ends and swaged stay caps. Yet mine is not an SC because it won’t accept a Campagnolo headset. That’s the only consistent difference in the frame between the two models. In this era Gitane would seemingly do anything at all to fill a TDF customer order quickly. Seat post size is 26.4.


That’s a cool frame you found! There are a couple of appropriate Gitane forks available on eBay right now, couldn’t tell ya if they’re your size or what headset stack height they’ll accommodate.

Last edited by Pcampeau; 02-18-24 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 02-19-24, 02:39 PM
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Thanks to everyone for your replies.

I've got the paint mostly stripped off.

There are a few light rust spots, not bad though.

I think they will brush or sand off.

It does have chrome on part of chain stays.










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