Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Gitane Project


When I was a teenager, I would have killed for a Gitane bicycle. My uncle owned a bike shop, lead bicycle tours, did all that cool stuff, and now you know why I ride. It is entirely his fault.


He's cleaning out his garage, and I have somehow found myself the proud, yet bemused owner of a 1971 Gitane Tour de France 12 speed. 700c wheels, lots of clearance for fenders. Maillard Helicomatic hub. Simplex derailleurs and downtube shifters. Weinmann side-pull brakes. Rack/fender eyelets. Reynolds 531 lugged steel frame. Probably French-threaded everything. Pedals with Christophe toeclips.

Simplex rear derailleur, 6 speed

It needs a complete overhaul before it even contemplates being rideable. Spousal unit is less than thrilled. (What, ANOTHER bicycle?) Stay tuned.

Intake photos here


Kevin said...

Can't help but smile as I read this. Another bike.... the joys!
Have a great time with this project.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynne
please can you take a look at my bike, I cant trace it's origins (the transfers it now has are misleading) I stumbled across your blog by hazard, & seeing your Gitane, I think it may be a close relative???

sincerely Ben Part

(please leave a response on my blog there)

Duncan said...

Hi Lynne,

I realize I'm probably way too late, but does your uncle have anything left from his garage? I have a minor obsession with old French bikes and components, and would gladly help him lighten his load. I hope you are enjoying the Gitane!

lynnef said...

ah Duncan. You probably don't want to know that an Ideale saddle appeared in the mail this week. It will probably go to my husband. I'm waiting for when he decides to get rid of the complete VAR toolset...