|1976 Gitane TdF from a Bicycling Magazine|
|My prize a mid 1970s Gitane Tdf|
Wait -"too many glasses of wine" is a thing? Ok so its not a glowing recommendation but two things drew me to this bike; Reynolds 531 tubing and components.
You may be wondering how I arrived at 1975 for this bike? Short of taking apart the headset and looking at the fork steerer which is rumored to be stamped with the year of manufacture I looked for a distinguishing feature like these rather unique rear drop outs which I see on Gitane TdF's from about 74-77. And the Huret rear derailleur model came on the scene in 1975.
|unique "window" rear drops|
I have a little different plan for this bike than normal, I have bought bikes just for me before but this one is too big, and I have of course refurbished a metric ton of old bikes but for this one I am going to take the part it out approach. Its what the seller had intended to do but he had too many projects and I gather a bit of pressure from the S.O, in a two bedroom apartment, to clear it out. The buy it and strip mode isn't my new new approach but I thought I would try it out. I figure there are four main areas of value in this particular bike that could potentially bring me a nice return on my investment...or it could all just blow up in my face.
This is a Reynolds 531 frame which gives it some cachet and I would be selling it along with the following items:
- Bottom bracket
Those are the areas that usually give people trouble when sourcing/working on a French frame build so hopefully their inclusion will allay some fears.
This bike is equipped with a Stronglight crankset and as a bonus it has the end caps and the inner ring is even a factory drilled model. This part does present two potential challenges 1) it requires a special crank puller which I do not have and a new one costs over $50, however I have a couple local bike shops that should have one and can pull the cranks for a modest fee. 2) Some early models were tapped for french pedals which are smaller than the normal 9/16 size so I need to check that out. If I need to sell the pedals along with the cranks then no big deal.
|drive side with drilled inner ring|
3. Brakes and Levers
This is what originally piqued my interest in this bike, it comes with Mafac "Competition" center pulls the big brother to the more ubiquitous "Racer" and I have the Mafac levers with hoods in ok condition. On a good day these could fetch more on ebay than I paid for the bike, or I could save them for my Motobecane Grand Touring and sell the Racers I purchased for it...
|Mafac Competition Center pulls|
|Mafac levers with adjusters and decent hoods|
4. Shifter and rear Derailleur
And the finally area of value I see are the Huret Jubilee down tube shifters and rear derailleur, both in good shape and appear to fetch decent prices on ebay.
|Lovely designed rear mech|
|With the original rubber caps and you see the remnants of the 531 sticker|
In addition to the items above are the nice wheelset- mallard hubs with aluminum rims and presta valves, so a step up from the entry level steel wheels. I may sell them as well or keep them for one of my frame only builds ups. I did notice something amusing, the hubs are model 700
but are laced to 27 inch rims, seems a bit confusing.
|you can just make out 27 x 1 1/4 on the tire|
And if I am able to successfully part out the other items I will be left with about $40 worth of parts I can use on other builds.
A water bottle cage
Handlebar and Front derailleur that were thrown into the deal since the HB on the bike is bent and its missing a FD.
And if the Stonglight cranks end up accepting 9/16 pedals then I will probably hang onto these
So thats the story on this diversion from the regular path, we'll see how it goes. Until next time. Ride.Smile.Repeat.