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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I bought an 1972 Gitane Tour de France frame, fork and headset several years ago. It had been rattle canned black, so I stripped it and had it pwoder coated red. I rode it for 4 or 5 years as a single speed, lately as a Gentleman Cruiser. It just didn't seem right.

I found that Cyclomondo on Ebay has reproduction decals, so I set out to restore the bike. Searching for proper French parts, I quickly became impatient and turned to my parts box. I was surprised that I could build up a nice period correct bike and only needed to purchase a few cable stops and clamps. I threaded and re-shaped the Simplex deraileur hanger to work with a Suntour Cyclone GT rear derailleur that I had. I learned that 68 mm bottom bracket axles work in French bottom brackets, so I installed a Shimano 600 Arabesqe Crankset. I had a set of Weinmann Vanquier Centerpulls that I rescued from bike in the trash.

Hubs are Campy Nuovo Tipo's I bought several years ago. Ebay vendor failed to say they were French threads and I failed to ask. They came with a nearly new but completely gummed up Cyclo 14-28 5 cog freewheel. Spokes and Mavic MA3 rims from the old single speed wheelset worked with the new hubs, but I had to use 4 cross lacing. I even had the brown handlebar tape from when I put Brooks Leather on one of my other bikes.

It was 73 degrees and sunny in St Louis, so I skipped out of work and went for the first ride on my rebuilt Gitane TdF. I love it. For a while my legs were back in the 70's.
Below are the pictures with the ubiquitous steel garage door.
 

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Nice

Very nice. I rode my 78 Trek the other day when it was nice out. Nice out meant 40 degrees and no rain (it's all relative). Yours looks great and reminds me of my Gitane TDF from years ago (mis 70's). they are nice rides. I remember lots of rides home from the bar at 2 am going 15 miles to my apartment (you would have thought I would have found a closer bar)
Are you running sewups (tubulars) on that? I have sewups on mine(the current Trek and the Gitane when I had it) and it's just about as nice a ride as my Serotta or Trek Madone ride quality wize.
 

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Nice work. I hate to be picky (especially since it ain't my bike) but I wonder if another more traditional looking crank would complement it better? Aside from that it looks perfecto.
 

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Cool.

Stronglight or Nervar cranks. Keep looking......

My first two 'real' bikes were a Jeunet and a St. Etienne. I cut my teeth on the pain of all that French weirdness. BB, Headsets, stems, bars, hub threads, even the damn cotters on cottered cranks were 'French'. Unthreaded derailleur hangers? Why on earth?

However, I still think Ideale saddles were the most comfortable ever made. Where did you get that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
martinrjensen said:
Very nice. I rode my 78 Trek the other day when it was nice out. Nice out meant 40 degrees and no rain (it's all relative). Yours looks great and reminds me of my Gitane TDF from years ago (mis 70's). they are nice rides. I remember lots of rides home from the bar at 2 am going 15 miles to my apartment (you would have thought I would have found a closer bar)
Are you running sewups (tubulars) on that? I have sewups on mine(the current Trek and the Gitane when I had it) and it's just about as nice a ride as my Serotta or Trek Madone ride quality wize.
I went with clinchers. I have Mavic red label rims for sewups but decided against it
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
rcnute said:
Nice work. I hate to be picky (especially since it ain't my bike) but I wonder if another more traditional looking crank would complement it better? Aside from that it looks perfecto.
I agree. I'm considering a stronglight 49d so I can have a small chainring even though a 93 would be correct. The shimano 600 arabesqe was from1978 and I had it so I put it on. I really appreciate your input. I also would like Mafac competition or Racer brakes. I'm not inclined to use simplex criterium derailleurs.
 

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That's a sweet bike. Good job and I don't care if it's not perfectly "correct." I'm not much on wall art and trailer queens. Bikes are meant to be ridden (at least that's what Dave Moulton told me.)
 

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Beautiful bike.

I've got a Nervar 52/42 with BB that I pulled off an early 80s Austro Daimler SLE. I'm going to EBay it eventually, but thought I'd mention.

Also a Huret DuoPar (steel) off the same bike...

Gonna clean them up and take pictures this weekend.
 
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