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Gitane 531 part 2

Old 12-18-11, 08:40 PM
  #1  
zukahn1
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Gitane 531 part 2

I posted about this bike a while back and it seemed to get a lot of interest. Beat up old Gitane road bike with 531 touring frame and cool rack.



Based on your encourgment I to the plunge and decided to rebuild this bike. What I thought would be an easy 5 hour build turned into a 3 day build. Though BB and crank where toast ounce I got them apart. The Mafac brakes where a pita to rebuild and adjust and the first set of derailleurs I put on it blew up on the first test ride. In the end I got it done with in my goal of using all salvage and used parts I had on hand so the only money I spent was $4 for bar wrap, also I got the bike for free out of the scrap pile at the local bike coop. So here are the pics.







Built up with nice set of 27inch Matrix wheels whith Helicomatic hub, Sugino Custom crank, basic set of Suntour tension derailleurs and original Mafac racer brakes with Diacompe areo levers. So how do you guys think I did and what do you think I could sell it for if I don't keep it? It is a little small for me 55cm and I usually ride a 60cm.
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Old 12-18-11, 10:53 PM
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I'm only familiar with the Super Course and Tour De France coming with "531". What model is it. Were you able to date any of the original parts. Looks like a vary nice ride. Don't feel bad about how long it took to get going, some of us have projects going on weeks, months, and years. I hope you can enjoy it even if it's a little small.
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Old 12-18-11, 11:05 PM
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What did you end up doing with the leather saddle?
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Old 12-18-11, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by anixi View Post
What did you end up doing with the leather saddle?
I still have it probably won't do anything with it the leather is bowed out and starting to where through in places it just wasn't usable.

As for the model I have no clue it's not marked on the bike and I haven't seen any similar Gitanes. As for dating none of the original components had date codes, undated campy hubs laced to steel wheels, undated stronglight crank, no dates on brakes stem. The only indication of date is that it has a strait 5 digit serial number. My best guess is it was made just before the bike boom in the late 60's or first couple of years of the 70's.

Last edited by zukahn1; 12-18-11 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 12-18-11, 11:44 PM
  #5  
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Nice rebuild! The Sugino crank was a good upgrade. The frame is made of 3 butted 531 tubes, and probably has a high-tensile rear triangle. The headset appears to be a Stronglight Competition. The fork looks to be Reynolds. The rear rack is superb. You have a fine bike! Enjoy it.
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Old 12-19-11, 07:44 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
I still have it probably won't do anything with it the leather is bowed out and starting to where through in places it just wasn't usable.

.
user RHM would probably take the frame off your hands. He rebuilds saddles with new leather.
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Old 12-19-11, 09:08 AM
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The headtube badge guarantees this is NOT from the 70s. It is mid-1960's.

Have you posted this over at the GitaneUSA site? Chas seems to have resurfaced, and he is among those most likely to give a more detailed overview. But he is also not the only Gitane expert there.

Same would be true with valuation.

Nice rebuild. Shame about the small size, tho.

Cheers!
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Old 12-19-11, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by LeicaLad View Post
The headtube badge guarantees this is NOT from the 70s. It is mid-1960's.

Have you posted this over at the GitaneUSA site? Chas seems to have resurfaced, and he is among those most likely to give a more detailed overview. But he is also not the only Gitane expert there.

Same would be true with valuation.

Nice rebuild. Shame about the small size, tho.

Cheers!
The steel Sturmey Archer touring rims laced to older Campy hubs that where on it made me think it was from the 60's. Also the cotter pin higher grade Stronglight crank was tip off that it was diffetly made no later than 72 or so. Thanks for the info mid 60's does seem to be about right for age.
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Old 12-19-11, 11:04 AM
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I did some research and figured out the year and model. It was a 1964 or 1965 Hosteller US import model.
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Old 12-19-11, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
I still have it probably won't do anything with it the leather is bowed out and starting to where through in places it just wasn't usable.

As for the model I have no clue it's not marked on the bike and I haven't seen any similar Gitanes. As for dating none of the original components had date codes, undated campy hubs laced to steel wheels, undated stronglight crank, no dates on brakes stem. The only indication of date is that it has a strait 5 digit serial number. My best guess is it was made just before the bike boom in the late 60's or first couple of years of the 70's.
Actually, I could use the frame for a saddle that has a broken frame. Please let me know if you could spare it and I'll pay postage. PM me if you would be willing!
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Old 12-19-11, 02:12 PM
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Looks great and I bet it rides nice. I just want to reach into the monitor and straighten that rear rack!
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Old 12-19-11, 03:38 PM
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Will I got some time today and straitened the rack it's a lot better now but still not quit perfect.
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Old 12-20-11, 12:38 PM
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Here are some more and better detailed pics.








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Old 12-20-11, 03:29 PM
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Nice job - love seein' the real old Gitane's.
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Old 12-20-11, 03:54 PM
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Nice bike, and I really love the matching rack. Here's a similar, but I suppose non-531 Gitane on the local CL. Nice matching green fenders:
http://baltimore.craigslist.org/bik/2745007046.html
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Old 12-20-11, 05:30 PM
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Hold onto that Stronglight cottered crank. If you ever sell it, the buyer may want to put it back on. I know I would.
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Old 12-20-11, 06:50 PM
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I have kept the old parts including the crank and will hold on to them. I would have used the Stronglight except it needed a axle which was rusted and pitted and new pins. I still may see if I can find the parts and put it back on the bike.
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Old 12-20-11, 07:22 PM
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I love the rack!!!!!
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Old 12-21-11, 11:17 AM
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I just noticed the huge fork crown to tire distance. Your brakes barely reach. My TdF has the opposite problem. I'd like to install fenders, but there's no room in the front.

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Old 12-21-11, 12:31 PM
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Yeah the brakes are a close fit but they are basically what was on the bike originally just a slightly nicer pair. So I'm stuck running 60 or 65 mm center pulls. The long fork crown to tire distance is to accomadate the large touring fenders and generator that where on the bike to bad they where in to rough off shape to be saved.
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Old 12-24-11, 11:21 PM
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Again, the rebuild is well done and you now have what should be a nicely riding 60's Gitane commuter. That rack, which is stock for the frame (with OEM seat stay braze-ons) makes the bike fairly rare, and it could be worth $600-$700+ if restored with OEM parts (so keep that old cottered SL crank and polish it up). The crank axles appear on EBay. I wouldn't repaint at this point, but I'd carefully sand out the rust in the frame paint scrapes and seal them, and treat the frame tubes internally for rust prevention. Your wheel uprade is fine. A very nice bike that you don't see everyday (alon with the Nervex stamp on the BB).
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