Sunday, July 31, 2016

1975 Gitane Tour de France Part II -the breakdown

back on the rack
I have acquired enough bike specific tools that I rarely need to run to my LBS, heck I can even tackle cotttered cranks but as I mentioned in the last post this Gitane has a Stronglight Crank and it requires a special crank puller to remove, and add to that the you need either a special tool or very thin walled socket to get the cranks bolts out and its time to head to the local bike shop.

Soma Grand Randonneur

Some modern shops don't want to be bothered with working  on a bike if its over about 5 years old, but I am fortunate to have a number of shops locally that deal with both Steel bikes and the old stuff, so I was fairly certain one of them would have the correct puller.   My faith paid off and Alki bike and board, only 2 miles away, took care of me for $15.  That was about a quarter of what buying the tool would cost and I don't expect to run into another Stronglight anytime soon.  With the crank job done I could take of the rest myself, although I did pause to look around the shop while I was there as the pictures above-Soma -and below- Motobecane- attest.  I have had my eye on the Soma for a while, they are now on to a version 2 of this frame- a nice white with red accents, I have even gone so far as to mock up a build spreadsheet but to be honest I couldn't ride 5 miles of a Rando event without needing a break right now so I think its more about dreaming and hunting parts and doing the build than the actually riding.  As for the MB I didn't see a model name but going by the Campy hubs and derailleurs, Stronglight cranks etc. I would say it was a Grand Jubilee or above.

Motobecane Grand Jubilee(?)
So back home I got to wrenching and began stripping parts off the bike to get it down to the frame and to have the parts off so they could be cleaned, the seat-post and stem will go back on after a clean and new grease but the rest will either be sold or used on other builds.

table full of parts
As discussed last time I think there are some parts that will bring value on ebay;

Mafac "competition" brakes and levers.

Stronglight crankset with bolts and end caps.

Huret Jubilee rear derailleur and shifters.

I still need to remove the front brake cable guide to include with the sale of the Mafac brakes and then it will be time to get to cleaning and listing.  If I got ambitious I might even remove the whole headset so I can see what date is on the fork steer tube and have a positive ID on the year of manufacture.

Until next time. Ride.Smile.Repeat.


  1. I was away from any computer for a week and BOOM! A bunch of posts from you. I am like tj and am now caught up. I do not have a great Nishiki story like tj or even a Gitane tale, but I sure enjoyed the posts. Way to go on 100 posts. I will not live long enough for 100. Plus, not that many cool things are going on with me like cool old bikes.
    That Soma will be a nice ride for somebody and with the "not for sale" sign on the motobecane the owner knows the value of that.
    Keep cranking out the posts of your purposes in life now is to entertain us old goofy bike geeks

    1. Hey "Old Goofy bike geek" kind of sums me up Jim!

  2. I'm the guy who bought this frameset. You mismeasured the frame. It's a 62cm CTT. On top of that it's got a crack at the top of the driveside seatstay.

  3. Michael I am sorry about how this has turned out I am working with Ryan N on a refund and asked for a photo of the chain-stay crack.