Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Is a Frame up Build on a Made in France Gitanes a Problem Child?

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Is a Frame up Build on a Made in France Gitanes a Problem Child?

Reply

Old 07-21-11, 08:46 AM
  #1  
Lenton58 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Lenton58's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Sendai, Japan
Posts: 1,649

Bikes: Vitus 979, Simplon 4-Star (Romani), Woodrup Giro, Gazelle AB

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Is a Frame up Build on a Made in France Gitanes a Problem Child?

I have tracked down a French made Gitanes frame set — not a gas pipe Canadian boom bike. It may be late 70's. It is entirely 531: tubes, forks and stays according the badging.

I want to transfer all my stuff from my Trek 560 over to the Gitanes, which is more my size. Impossible? Or because it is a Reynolds frame, would they have used English BB threading, a more standard seat tube diameter and steering tube threads.
__________________
Vitus 979, Simplon 4 Star, Gazelle Champion Mondial, Woodrup Giro, Dawes Atlantis
Lenton58 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-11, 08:53 AM
  #2  
CV-6 
If I own it, I ride it
 
CV-6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Cardinal Country
Posts: 4,731

Bikes: Lejeune, Raleigh, Raysport, Jan De Reus, Gazelle, Masi, B. Carré, Springfield, Motobecane, John Howard, Greg Lemond

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 283 Post(s)
You are probably looking French threading. Not at all impossible. Just a matter of getting a French BB and headset. Under normal conditions, I would say with Japan being a hotbed of French cycle fans, you would have no problem finding what you need. Not necessarily cheap, but no dearth of available pieces. But things are still not normal over there. Pics?

Not to change the subject, but how are you doing?
__________________
Lynn Travers

Photos
CV-6 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-11, 09:12 AM
  #3  
Grand Bois
Senior Member
 
Grand Bois's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pinole, CA, USA
Posts: 17,421
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 427 Post(s)
It's Gitane (Gypsy) and a 70's Gitane will have metric-sized Reynolds tubing and French threads. You should read what Sheldon Brown had to say about French bicycles on the Harris Cyclery site. The stem will be 22 mm and it's clamp will probably be 25 mm. The BB and headset will be French. The seatpost will probably be 26.4 mm.

I love riding my Gitane, even though it's a bit too small for me.

Grand Bois is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-11, 09:18 AM
  #4  
Chris Chicago
Senior Member
 
Chris Chicago's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: near north side
Posts: 1,279
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
i have a hi ten gitane. rides great!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
gitane.jpg (96.1 KB, 23 views)
Chris Chicago is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-11, 09:47 AM
  #5  
top506
Death fork? Naaaah!!
 
top506's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: The other Maine, north of RT 2
Posts: 4,508

Bikes: '71 Gitane Super Corsa, '73 Atala Giro d'Italia, '73 Schwinn Super Sport, '76 Viscount Aerospace Pro, '81 Miyata 710, '84 Ross Signature 290s, '85 Miele Gara, '87 Miyata 512, '89 Centurion Ironman, many more

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 253 Post(s)
My 531 Gitane Super Corsa is my favorite ride.

Top
__________________
You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

(looking for a picture and not seeing it? Thank the Photobucket fiasco.PM me and I'll link it up.)
top506 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-11, 10:13 AM
  #6  
wrk101
Thrifty Bill
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Western NC
Posts: 21,724

Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue X2, 88 Cimarron LE, 1975 Sekai 4000 Professional, 73 Paramount, plus more

Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 562 Post(s)
Its all French, doesn't matter who supplied the tubing. Headset, stem, bars, bottom bracket are all french. It probably also has oddball threading on the RD braze on. So no, not all of your Trek parts will match.
wrk101 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-11, 10:35 AM
  #7  
Grand Bois
Senior Member
 
Grand Bois's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pinole, CA, USA
Posts: 17,421
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 427 Post(s)
There is no oddball threading on the derailer hanger. There is no threading at all.
Grand Bois is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-11, 10:40 AM
  #8  
sykerocker 
Senior Member
 
sykerocker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ashland, VA
Posts: 3,994

Bikes: The keepers: 1958 Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix, 1968 Ranger, 1969 Magneet Sprint, 1971 Gitane Tour de France, 1973 Raleigh Tourist, 1973 Lambert, 1973 Schwinn Super Sport, 2 - 1986 Rossins, a third Rossin frame and a '77 PX-10 frame to be built.

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
My advice would be to build the Gitane as a second bike - using French parts. There's something absolutely wonderful with a combination of Normandy, Mavic, Stronglight, Simplex or Huret and Mafac parts on that frame. Finding the proper bottom bracket cups and headset isn't all that big a deal. Your biggest potential problem is if you have Simplex dropouts on the rear. It'll mean that installing a non-Simplex derailleur isn't just plug and play. But it's doable, without too much trouble.
__________________
Syke

"No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton
sykerocker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-11, 10:46 AM
  #9  
LeicaLad 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Work in Asia, now based in Vienna, VA
Posts: 1,695
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
No shortage of people here who love their Gitane bikes. I have two, and love them!

Basically +1 to the advice here. Finding parts shouldn't be too difficult, but it's good to know what to look for. French threaded bits show up often. There is also Velo-Orange for modest-cost BB and headset options.

We definitely need photographs. Lots of them.

I also hope you're doing well.

Cheers!
__________________
1959 Hilton Wrigley Connoisseur (still my favorite!)
1963 Hetchins Mountain King (the gravel grinder)
1971 Gitane Tour de France (The War Horse)
1971 Gitane Super Corsa (The Garage Queen)
1980 Ritchey Touring (The Grail Bike)
1984 Tom Ritchey Team Competition (NOS show bike)
(replacing the stolen 1981 Tom Ritchey Everest custom)
1985 ALAN Record (Glued & Screwed. A gift.)
LeicaLad is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-11, 11:09 AM
  #10  
CV-6 
If I own it, I ride it
 
CV-6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Cardinal Country
Posts: 4,731

Bikes: Lejeune, Raleigh, Raysport, Jan De Reus, Gazelle, Masi, B. Carré, Springfield, Motobecane, John Howard, Greg Lemond

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 283 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
It's Gitane (Gypsy) and a 70's Gitane will have metric-sized Reynolds tubing and French threads. You should read what Sheldon Brown had to say about French bicycles on the Harris Cyclery site. The stem will be 22 mm and it's clamp will probably be 25 mm. The BB and headset will be French. The seatpost will probably be 26.4 mm.

I love riding my Gitane, even though it's a bit too small for me.
Good point. I spaced the stem and seat post in my response. French stems are getting hard to find. You can get a (gasp) adapter to use a modern stem. Depends on how hung up you are on "originality".
__________________
Lynn Travers

Photos
CV-6 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-11, 02:43 PM
  #11  
Grand Bois
Senior Member
 
Grand Bois's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pinole, CA, USA
Posts: 17,421
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 427 Post(s)
What kind of adapter will allow you to use a modern stem on a French fork?

It just takes about 20 minutes to hand sand a 22.2 mm stem down to 22 mm. If you do it right, the modification is completely invisible.
Grand Bois is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-11, 04:37 PM
  #12  
Chombi 
Senior Member
 
Chombi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 11,139

Bikes: 1986 Alan Record Carbonio, 1985 Vitus Plus Carbone 7, 1984 Peugeot PSV, 1972 Line Seeker, 1986(est.) Medici Aerodynamic (Project), 1985(est.) Peugeot PY10FC

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 138 Post(s)
For upper level NOS French components (Mavic bars, Stems, Cranks, Mafac levers, Stronglight cranks. Spidel crnaks and derailleurs....etc...), it could be a challenge presently as French stuff had escalated like crazy in the past few months. Just check the asking prices at eBay. I'm hoping this price spike does not stick permanently. The stuff is not selling because of the prices, but I don't know why these sellers aren't adjusting their prices. Maybe they are just fishing for suckers during the TDF season hype?

Chombi
Chombi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-11, 05:51 PM
  #13  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 36,465

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 387 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5015 Post(s)
I think the cigarette brand is spelled Gitanes, which could explain Lenton's misspelling.

I bet this bike will ride nicely. Send us pictures ASAP!
__________________
Tom Reingold, [email protected]
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-11, 09:16 PM
  #14  
Gyro_T
Senior Member
 
Gyro_T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 225

Bikes: 1974 Jack Davis, Zeus Competition, Bridgestone MB2, Kona Rove Ti 1 X 11, Salsa Fargo Ti

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
You can get some French parts through melpintoimports.com. Phil Wood makes French and Swiss rings for bottom brackets. VO quite supplying them I believe.
Gyro_T is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-11, 07:51 AM
  #15  
CV-6 
If I own it, I ride it
 
CV-6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Cardinal Country
Posts: 4,731

Bikes: Lejeune, Raleigh, Raysport, Jan De Reus, Gazelle, Masi, B. Carré, Springfield, Motobecane, John Howard, Greg Lemond

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 283 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
What kind of adapter will allow you to use a modern stem on a French fork?

It just takes about 20 minutes to hand sand a 22.2 mm stem down to 22 mm. If you do it right, the modification is completely invisible.
This

I had one custom turned for my Lejeune tandem. It was 21mm. I guess the steerer is heavier. Also got a regular one just for grins. Nicely done.
__________________
Lynn Travers

Photos
CV-6 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-11, 07:28 PM
  #16  
Lenton58 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Lenton58's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Sendai, Japan
Posts: 1,649

Bikes: Vitus 979, Simplon 4-Star (Romani), Woodrup Giro, Gazelle AB

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
First, noglider is right about my misspelling of Gitane. Sometimes I smoked Gitanes in my student days — back in the Cretacious.

Thanks for the careful replies. I'm learning a lot here.

I've got so much to do here, including a build for my son. So now I am dithering because I am taking the sobering advice that I approach this as a separate build as opposed to swapping and mixing stuff from the Trek 560. But the frame is really tempting.

One question: do the Italian threads and dimensions cross over at any point? I must have known this and forgotten.

And CV asks:
Not to change the subject, but how are you doing?
Thanks very much for asking. I've updated our situation here, and I have included some news about Northern Japan on a thread started by Bianchigirll. My own thread was on a general discussion forum. It seems to have vanished?! I originally updated on a general thread cuz I thought it was off topic. But virtually all my friends in BF are on CV. And so, I have just chosen to tag my latest message to Bianchigirll's thread. Thanks Bianchigirll! You can read here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...er-from-SENDAI
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Gitane 531.jpg (80.5 KB, 32 views)
__________________
Vitus 979, Simplon 4 Star, Gazelle Champion Mondial, Woodrup Giro, Dawes Atlantis

Last edited by Lenton58; 07-22-11 at 07:43 PM.
Lenton58 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-11, 12:34 AM
  #17  
realestvin7
Large Member
 
realestvin7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Tejas
Posts: 2,733
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Lenton58 View Post
First, noglider is right about my misspelling of Gitane. Sometimes I smoked Gitanes in my student days — back in the Cretacious.

Thanks for the careful replies. I'm learning a lot here.

I've got so much to do here, including a build for my son. So now I am dithering because I am taking the sobering advice that I approach this as a separate build as opposed to swapping and mixing stuff from the Trek 560. But the frame is really tempting.

One question: do the Italian threads and dimensions cross over at any point? I must have known this and forgotten.

And CV asks:
Thanks very much for asking. I've updated our situation here, and I have included some news about Northern Japan on a thread started by Bianchigirll. My own thread was on a general discussion forum. It seems to have vanished?! I originally updated on a general thread cuz I thought it was off topic. But virtually all my friends in BF are on CV. And so, I have just chosen to tag my latest message to Bianchigirll's thread. Thanks Bianchigirll! You can read here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...er-from-SENDAI
That frame has been tempting me as well. You can have it though.
realestvin7 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-11, 05:24 AM
  #18  
wrk101
Thrifty Bill
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Western NC
Posts: 21,724

Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue X2, 88 Cimarron LE, 1975 Sekai 4000 Professional, 73 Paramount, plus more

Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 562 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
There is no oddball threading on the derailer hanger. There is no threading at all.
Well, that is good news!
wrk101 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-11, 11:06 AM
  #19  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 36,465

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 387 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5015 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Lenton58 View Post
First, noglider is right about my misspelling of Gitane. Sometimes I smoked Gitanes in my student days — back in the Cretacious.
Heh. You can call me the biggest human repository of useless facts. I notice the stupidest little details of life and remember them forever, whether I want to or not. Meanwhile, I can't remember to bill my clients or pay my bills. Oy.

One question: do the Italian threads and dimensions cross over at any point? I must have known this and forgotten.
You mean all the specs and not just the BB? Italian specs are a very weird mix of English and metric. There are probably rational reasons for this. For example, if I remember the story correctly, industry -- all industry, not just bikes -- thought it was time to change bearing balls from English to metric. That turned out to be a mistake, because it would be a bad idea to change the sizes, and the exact metric equivalent of the old sizes has too many decimal places. Eventually, the world decided to stick with sizes such as 1/8", 1/4" etc. So maybe the Italian bike industry had a similar reason. So if I remember right, the Italian BB spec is 36mm diameter with 24 threads per inch (tpi). Maybe they didn't want to make new dies for the thread pitch but it was cheap to change diameter. I'm just guessing, but I suspect something like this is (close to) the truth.

The other specs are available online. They're probably on Sheldon Brown's web site, among others. Italian headsets are different from English and French. Stem diameter is the same as English but there are lots of handlebar diameters, so be careful. I think the Italians introduced the 26mm handlebar diameter standard, and it's become common. Unfortunately, there are far too many handlebar diameter standards still in use.

Also, Italian BB width is typically 70mm whereas the rest of the world usually uses 68mm.
__________________
Tom Reingold, [email protected]
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-11, 11:47 AM
  #20  
unworthy1
Stop reading my posts!
 
unworthy1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 10,127
Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 308 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
There is no oddball threading on the derailer hanger. There is no threading at all.
as to the dropouts on that particular frame: they look to be Huret (seems like that little half-moon black plastic stop is there in the slot) and the tab is low on the hanger (in the Campy fashion), so I'd bet this has a conventional THREADED RD hanger...if so, it should work with any conventional RD such as the one you pull off a Trek 560. There's a chance that the BB could be Swiss, but might even be BSC since the graphics point to a '78-'79 frame. Best to inquire with the gitaneusa.com folks about the model (oops, you have ID'd it as all-531, so could be this "Nation 1849" http://www.gitaneusa.com/images/catalog/1978_pg4.jpg) and what that threading could be.

Last edited by unworthy1; 07-23-11 at 12:02 PM.
unworthy1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-11, 12:34 PM
  #21  
Lenton58 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Lenton58's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Sendai, Japan
Posts: 1,649

Bikes: Vitus 979, Simplon 4-Star (Romani), Woodrup Giro, Gazelle AB

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Thanks unworthy1. I would like to plug into your head and record all that you must know about French machines — at least Gitane — that I decidedly do not know.

Whether I bite on this one ... or possibly another one like it down the road, I feel that I have to get into a really French machine* — all the way! (Sounds sexy n'est pas?)

This may not be the right time, given recent events around here. But if I don't make this auction, I may try again later. Still, I might bid on the frame. if I win at my budget price, I'll just hang it up for awhile.

Correct me if I am wrong, but French bicycles are a bit daunting — at least to me. The French have traditionally set their own standards. They differ in so many ways by dimension and even in principle design: initiative, bravery, a thick wallet — they all seem to be called for.

BTW — I had this bike down to about '75-'76. I'll definitely put your finger on it ahead of mine. Thanks!
__________________
Vitus 979, Simplon 4 Star, Gazelle Champion Mondial, Woodrup Giro, Dawes Atlantis
Lenton58 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-11, 02:22 PM
  #22  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 36,465

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 387 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5015 Post(s)
I don't blame the French for doing it their own way. First of all, not only were there various national standards, there were various COMPANY standards. Second of all, metric seemed to be the future. If I had been in their shoes, I would have predicted that the metric system would catch on.
__________________
Tom Reingold, [email protected]
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-11, 03:03 PM
  #23  
Trucker Dan
Senior Member
 
Trucker Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 734
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
They made dura ace 7200 in french sizes. Headset, Seat post, and bottom bracket are 7200 french. Stem and bars are philippe in french size. Proof: my 531 gitane.

Last edited by Trucker Dan; 07-23-11 at 07:49 PM.
Trucker Dan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-11, 02:56 AM
  #24  
Lenton58 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Lenton58's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Sendai, Japan
Posts: 1,649

Bikes: Vitus 979, Simplon 4-Star (Romani), Woodrup Giro, Gazelle AB

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Dan — that is truly gorgeous
__________________
Vitus 979, Simplon 4 Star, Gazelle Champion Mondial, Woodrup Giro, Dawes Atlantis
Lenton58 is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service