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Old 12-27-02, 06:06 AM
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Information about this Bike

Does someone knows any information about this Bicycle? With Campagnolo Parts!!!
Road Racer (Man. 1938)
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Old 12-29-02, 03:26 AM
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Nope, but I like it, you have any info on it? It looks like chrome drops, nice lugs too.
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Old 12-29-02, 09:43 AM
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It's certainly a Gitane, made in Nantes, France. Gitane has produced many top-notch racing bikes, and has probably won more Tour De France's than any other manufacturer. Even their cheapest bikes were at least mid-range.
Are those the old "Suicide shifters" on the seatstays? Or is it a chain-grabber for wheel changes? whatever it is, it's certainly 40+ years old. Is the bike a fixed/free with a flip-flop hub? Those bars look like pre-war or maybe immediately post-war.
Where is JohnE whenn you need him?? Could you post some bigger pics-with close-ups of the rear hub, saddle, lugs, etc?
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Old 12-29-02, 09:44 AM
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TOC,
Check classic Rendezvous French Bikes
Link here
Gitane was a respected French Marque.
I'm surprized at the Campagnolo parts,
French bikes usually used French components
exclusively.
The rear derailleur is a either a campy
cambio corsa or a Paris roubiax system.
As much as I'd like to say I'd give ya
$100 for it, it is worth MUCH more. The cambio
corsa (if thats what it is) sells high. Last one
sold in e-bay for over $1000. If your stuff is
1st gen campy it is worth a small fortune.
How did you date bike at 1938?
Can you please post more pics, or describe
components in a little more detail?

Marty
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Last edited by lotek; 12-29-02 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 12-29-02, 11:48 AM
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About 7 years ago I new a guy who had one of those. Unforunatly he got caught up in the drug scene and lost every thing. It was a sweet bike. I do not know much more then that.
His one in immaculate condition.

Slainte
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Old 12-29-02, 12:23 PM
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Most likely '46 -49 Gitane with Campagnolo Cambio Corsa gearing system. Email me direct for more discussion. I'd like to know more about componentry, etc.
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Old 12-29-02, 01:51 PM
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FWIW, the best racing bikes of all countries then usually had Campagnolo components. Also, Gitane is still very much alive.
https://www.gitane.com/
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Old 12-29-02, 04:43 PM
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actually, you will bve surprised to find that _most_ of the pro-peleton was not equipped with Campagnolo components. Simplex gears, cranks, dropouts, and hubs were the weapons of choice. Sure, Coppi and Squadre Bianchi was Campagnolo sponsored and equipped, but that did not detract from the majority of pro teams and independents choices of the time. The Cambio Corsa gear was cumbersome and difficult to use, and even it's improved version, the single lever Paris Roubaix gear (made famous by Coppi in '50) was still a contraption that was inferior to Simplex TdF and Campione del Mondo (Champion du Monde, Champion du France) gears. Campagnolo's quantum leap to superiority came in 1951, with the introduction of the Gran Sport parallelogram gear, quite a bit later than the date of the Gitane we're talking about here.
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Old 12-29-02, 06:41 PM
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sorry for the typo. That's a Gitan we're discussing, not a Gitane.
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Old 12-29-02, 08:24 PM
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Originally posted by BellaBici
sorry for the typo. That's a Gitan we're discussing, not a Gitane.
Was Gitan a French marque? Italian?
I'm not familiar with it, when I saw the GITAN I
incorrectly thought the "E" was just not in the
photo.
I'm a relative Newbie at vintage bikes, didn't know
differencte between Cambio and Paris Roubaix until
this thread so its been a learning experience for me.
Most of the stuff I've been interested in were post
50's.

thanks,
Marty
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Old 12-29-02, 09:09 PM
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Gitan was an Italian marque of the 40's. Not sure what it means though, but I'll bet AltaVista Translator can tell you.
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Old 12-30-02, 07:18 AM
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From what I learned on Classic Rendezvous list
Gitan is Italian for Gypsy.

Marty
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Old 12-30-02, 07:53 AM
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That's an oldie for sure. Those old Campy set-ups bring good money on eBay pretty consistently. 1938 is possible as I agree that this bike has the older "Cambio" setup. The frame must have the proper dropouts so the bike and the gearing are not really separable.

From what I've read I think Bellabici's analysis is right. Tullio C hit it big by designing/patenting quick releases in the 30s but during that time Simplex and the British "Cyclo" were the preferred changers.

I too thought "Gitane" when I first looked at the headtube but I believe Bellabici (nice tag btw) has got it right.

Racers of that vintage and in this apparently good shape are rare and are a treat to see. Hopefully that bike'll end up on display somewhere. I hope TOC posts some really detailed pics on a website (hint, hint ) before this bike goes to its eventual home.

I'd love to think that that home would be mine but I don't think the spouse would let me hang it from the wall in my living room.


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Old 12-30-02, 09:50 AM
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Cool! It looks Italian--it can't be a FrenchGitane as the company didn't exist until after WWII and the frame details--fork crown, lugs, etc., are very Italian looking. It has the Campagnolo Corsa derailleur system. A very nice piece of history if it's in basic good shape i.e. straight frame.
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Old 12-30-02, 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by D*Alex
Where is JohnE whenn you need him??
Thanks, Alex, but this thread is evolving nicely, without my help.

Tullio's Cambio Corsa gear (perhaps the ultimate suicide shifter) is a great example of, "When you tool is a hammer [quick-release hub, which T.C. invented], every problem [e.g., gear changing] looks like a nail." It was obsolete well before the company discontinued it in 1956. In its defense, the CC gear carries no extra chain, runs as quietly as a single-speed freewheel rig, and shortens the wheelbase for climbing. However, in "The Dancing Chain," Frank Berto notes that it took him 10 minutes to figure out how to execute a gear change with one. One of the most interesting transmissions pictured in his book combines a suicide-style front shifter with a Cambio Corsa rear.

A couple of years ago, an Austrian gentleman emailed me a picture of a 1937 Capo with what appears to be a Germanic interpretation of the Cambio Corsa -- I'll try to find and post it.
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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
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Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1982 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
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Old 12-30-02, 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by lotek
... Gitan is Italian for Gypsy.
Likewise, "Gitane" is French for "Gypsy."
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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
Carlton: 1962 Franco Suisse, S/N K7911
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1982 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
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Old 12-30-02, 09:21 PM
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Contrary to Walter's assertion, the Campagnolo Cambio Corsa on this Gitan is actually not the earlier variation. The early, pre-war (WW2 that is) model was developed in the 30's, along with the quick release mechanism (in partnership with the Ambra Superga F-B hub). Both the hub and Cambio Corsa gear quick releases had round section handles with a pair of knurled rings on them, and were marked Campagnolo Vicenza. After WW2, that design was changed to a flat section "paddle" shape with the popular "jeweled" casting and "Campagnolo Vicenza" cast prevalently on the face, outlined in beaded filagree (a design that was to last nearly 40 years with only cosmetic design variations).

The early round section variation is as rare as hens teeth, and I have only seen two in my short 50 year life, and one of them was in a photograph in CycleSport last season. Based on this observation, assuming the gear system is original, the bike is definately a post-war model, and not a 1938 machine. I did not get a private email from TOC, but could probably help himto narrow this down with more details (such as componentry markings, etc.).
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Old 01-27-03, 01:47 PM
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Thanks for all your answers. I uploaded the Pics to download.
The guy who owned this Bike bought it in Italy in 1938.

https://home.tiscalinet.ch/roland.bleisch/

Roland

Last edited by TOC; 01-27-03 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 01-27-03, 06:44 PM
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Likewise, "Gitane" is French for "Gypsy."
And also the name of a very popular brand of cigarette. Smoke a couple of them, and you'll be walking your bike up the hills.........
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