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French Bike ID Help

Old 07-14-10, 06:53 PM
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French Bike ID Help

I picked up this unbranded French bike (I think) off of CL today for $75. The seller told me it was a Schwinn and that he was getting rid of it because it had no extension levers.... Anyway, I thought it might be a Gitane TDF that had been repainted & modified but now I am not sure. Please take a look and tell me your thoughts.

The bike came with:

Stronglight headset
Stonglight 93(?) cranset
Simplex Seat post 26.2mm
Mafac Competition brakes
Campy downtube shifters & FD
Simplex RD w/broken pulley wheel
Belleri(?) bars
Course Stem
Mormandy Luxe hubs laced to Araya 700c rims

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 07-14-10, 06:59 PM
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Don't think it is a TDF. I'm thinking Motobecane?
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Old 07-14-10, 07:11 PM
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Definitely not a TdF. I got a '69 TdF with the same crankset (yes it is Stronglight 93) and Mafac Competition brakes and looks nothing like this (and does not have any braze ons).

I think that this is an older bike and the crankset and brakes were retro-fitted. Lots of braze ons and that tells me at least 80s. The BB cable guide looks like a later add on (you got to check the BB and make sure that it is in good working order, because those screws look shot)

Huge question: Is it french-threaded?
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Old 07-14-10, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by EjustE
Definitely not a TdF. I got a '69 TdF with the same crankset (yes it is Stronglight 93) and Mafac Competition brakes and looks nothing like this (and does not have any braze ons).

I think that this is an older bike and the crankset and brakes were retro-fitted. Lots of braze ons and that tells me at least 80s. The BB cable guide looks like a later add on (you got to check the BB and make sure that it is in good working order, because those screws look shot)

Huge question: Is it french-threaded?
I have not removed the crank set yet but the seat post being 26.2mm, according to my calipers, made me think it was French.
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Old 07-14-10, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by fender1
I have not removed the crank set yet but the seat post being 26.2mm, according to my calipers, made me think it was French.
Just measure the seat tube. If it is 28 instead of 28.6, it is French. Easy way to tell
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Old 07-14-10, 07:37 PM
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I agree it doesn't look like any Gitane and with those diamond piercings in the lugs I'd have been tempted to say "miyata", but it's clearly not. The "leaf" additions to the stay caps are a signature of a Particular French builder whose name escapes me just now, but he was copied by others in his region (which happens to be near Gitane). Looks like a nice one!
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Old 07-14-10, 07:50 PM
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I just measured the seat tube outside diameter. 28mm so it seems its French.
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Old 07-14-10, 08:55 PM
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The way the stays are crimped on to the "implex" lugs before brazing reminds me a lot of my 1980 Gitane. It was a different model though because it did not come with chrome ends. I don't know if that is a standard way to do it though.
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Old 07-14-10, 09:09 PM
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Mercier 300? LeJeune? It seems like someone's PX-10 clone, probably French, tres cool.
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Old 07-15-10, 07:08 PM
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John thanks for the suggestions. Anyone else?
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Old 07-15-10, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1
I agree it doesn't look like any Gitane and with those diamond piercings in the lugs I'd have been tempted to say "miyata", but it's clearly not.
Simplex dropouts argue strongly against Miyata or any other non-French marque.
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Old 07-16-10, 08:28 PM
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80's vintage Gitane?

SP
Bend, OR
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Old 07-16-10, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by garage sale GT
The way the stays are crimped on to the "implex" lugs before brazing reminds me a lot of my 1980 Gitane. It was a different model though because it did not come with chrome ends. I don't know if that is a standard way to do it though.
I don't think the stay ends look like yours at all. They're not crimped, they're fishmouth ends like on my early seventies Gitane TdF. I'm not saying that I think it's a Gitane. I don't know what it is. You could ask the experts at Gitane USA if they think it's a Gitane.

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Old 07-16-10, 09:09 PM
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Whatever it is, it's been done quite nicely. Curious, are the seat stay caps stepped at the bottom? If so, I'd suspect someone copying Jan Legrand's treatment on the Raleigh Pros.

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Old 07-16-10, 09:27 PM
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I am looking at this seat tube cluster again and the more I look at it, I think that it might be a custom job:



And not (only) because of the cutouts on the lugs. Just look at how little of the seat stay is attached to the cluster without it being a wrap around the front or a fast back. Have not seen that in many mass production bikes. Beautiful job.
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Old 07-16-10, 09:38 PM
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What gets me is how the cap seems to be stepped - not smoothed flush - at the ends. A couple of builders started using this treatement after Legrand popularized it.

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Old 07-16-10, 09:48 PM
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Thanks for the responses so far. Kurt, I don't think they are capped at the end. I initially thought it might be a Raleigh product until I saw the Simplex drop-outs. I am going away tomorrow but when I am get back I am going to disassemble the bike and look for more clues.
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Old 07-16-10, 11:00 PM
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The "leaf" stay-cap was employed by French builders long before Jan Legrand built Raleigh Pros...but the one I was trying to remember was paris-based Bernard Carre, and his work (he did a lot of lejeunes but others, too) featured a different "leaf" shape than Legrands or of this mystery...here's a pic of one Carre Lejeune from '73:
https://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/v/...90323.JPG.html
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Old 07-17-10, 08:02 AM
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I love the IMPLEX dropout!
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Old 07-17-10, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
I love the IMPLEX dropout!
Gotta love the French. Must have been a 5 glass of wine lunch before they cast that dropout
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Old 07-17-10, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by nikkorod
Gotta love the French. Must have been a 5 glass of wine lunch before they cast that dropout
Yeah the drop-out on the non-drive side says "SIMPLE" but I think it is the brazing , not the casting.
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Old 07-17-10, 09:22 AM
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I shined a bright flashlight on the top & bottom head tube lugs and both are stamped "B M" I tried to get a picture but the repaint makes it difficult to see. So far I can find no other markings.
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Old 07-17-10, 09:31 AM
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Are you sure it's not BCM?
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Old 07-17-10, 09:49 AM
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Could be. They are barely visible through the paint. That would Bocamma(?) then?
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Old 07-17-10, 10:00 AM
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Bocama is right and that's what the lugs look like: Bocama Professionals...but those diamond piercings are not your everyday feature, never seen BCMs with those before.
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