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Old 09-08-2014, 11:42 AM   #1
eatpasta OP
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Restoring a 1971 Gitane Road Bike (not shiny yet)

No this is not a motorcycle.
My mom bought this fancy-ass road bike for my dad in 1971 and he was never really into bicycles so it's sat for most of it's life. Dad estimated that at most, it only has a few hundred miles on it.
For the last few years I have been doing short Triathlons on my mountain bike which is fine but I get passed by EVERYBODY, including children and old ladies..... which after awhile kind of sucks.

Recently, I was challenged to do another Sprint Tri by a good friend of mine and I desperately want to beat him so I needed a road bike....


















I dont have much time to work on this thing, so Im going to try and have a friend take apart the crank and repack all the bearings. The cosmetic stuff I can do the bulk of so it shouldn't require too much elbow grease.....

A beer and some 000 steel wool and I was off and running




the tri is in three weekends, so there isnt tons of time but I think I can pull it together
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Quote:
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MX stuff isn't my cup of tea, but falling down the side of a mountain is
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Old 09-08-2014, 01:55 PM   #2
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Ran when parked, low miles.

My brother had a Gitane back in '73. His was red.
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by vtwin View Post
Ran when parked, low miles.

My brother had a Gitane back in '73. His was red.
I think most of them were red. I was nearly hit and killed on a red one in grade school..... handled good though

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnszilla
I was SO high, I could have hunted duck with a rake
Quote:
Originally Posted by VxZeroKnots View Post
MX stuff isn't my cup of tea, but falling down the side of a mountain is
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:38 PM   #4
Gundecker
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"Garage kept and adult owned"
Cool bike!
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:42 PM   #5
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New tires and tubes

Repack hubs

Repack headset

Repack BB

Degrease and re-lube the chain

Drip some oil in the freewheel

Let the cosmetic stuff be till you've got time to spend on it.

HTH

M
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:57 PM   #6
filmfan
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+ new brake pads and new cables.

Harris Cyclery in Newton MA would be a good source for parts you may need (they have a web site and do mail order).
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:40 PM   #7
2whlrcr
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I think you're still gonna get passed by children and old ladies.

But it's cool you're fixing up your dad's old bike.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:52 PM   #8
eatpasta OP
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Originally Posted by 2whlrcr View Post
I think you're still gonna get passed by children and old ladies.

But it's cool you're fixing up your dad's old bike.


we'll see about that!











....maybe not old ladies
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We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnszilla
I was SO high, I could have hunted duck with a rake
Quote:
Originally Posted by VxZeroKnots View Post
MX stuff isn't my cup of tea, but falling down the side of a mountain is
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:51 PM   #9
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Back when a 10-speed had 10 speeds.

At least the bike has cotterless cranks, I think that must have been right around when they first started using them.

I'm not sure from the pictures, but it looks like it has steel rims. If it does, make sure you get the stickiest brake pads you can find, those steel rims had marginal braking dry and almost no effect at all when wet.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:03 PM   #10
eatpasta OP
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Im thinking about getting new wheels...... does anyone know what will fit this frame?
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We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
T. S. Eliot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnszilla
I was SO high, I could have hunted duck with a rake
Quote:
Originally Posted by VxZeroKnots View Post
MX stuff isn't my cup of tea, but falling down the side of a mountain is
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by eatpasta View Post
Im thinking about getting new wheels...... does anyone know what will fit this frame?
Hmm, I'm not a total expert on this but modern road wheels should fit. Rear hub spacing has gotten a bit bigger (125mm to 130mm, I think), but a steel frame will take it with no problem- you can cold set the frame a bit, or just spring it open every time you put the wheel in, 5mm isn't really that much. I've actually got a set of wheels that came on a specialized allez that are just taking up space in my garage that I'd give you for free, but I honestly don't know if they're worth shipping, seems like you could find something local fairly cheap.

My 2 cents:
new cables
new chain
new brakes (the whole calipers, they're not that expensive on ebay, they work so much better and are easier to set up- shimano 105 or tiagra would be fine).
new wheels and tires, of course.
different pedals
bar wrap
And of course seats are whatever works best for you.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:54 PM   #12
cogitate
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Originally Posted by eatpasta View Post
Im thinking about getting new wheels...... does anyone know what will fit this frame?
I saw this earlier, but did not have time to post: the wheels have galvanized spokes, and the rims are steel. Unnecessarily heavy, btw, but those spokes will probably snap as soon as you stand to crank on a hill.

I am not sure if those are 27 inch or 700 c wheels, but you may be able to source a set off of CL. That said, I think the rear hub spacing between dropouts is 120 so that might be tough.

Those are Normandy hubs: even when new, the bearings were shit. Sorry, Dad. So overhauling them might also reveal scored races, hard to find. So, if you do decide to ride this bike, newer wheels might be in order.

Also, the freewheel is most likely an Atom, french threaded. I will probably be stuck on there. French threaded freewheels are impossible to find.

The stem is a PIvo, correct? Gravity cast, they were not strong to begin with, and is likely frozen in the steerer tube. I personally would not do any vigorous riding on a Pivo stem from the 60's/70's. Also, the diameter of modern quill stems are 22.2, French bikes of that time period take a 22.0. If you do find one, it is going to be expensive, or an old one like yours.

I think it is great you want to use your Dad's bike, but frankly, for less than 200 on CL you can find a much new, roadworthy steed to ride, and restore this when you have time. It was never a race bike when it was new, but it would make a nice tribute as a restored example.
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatpasta View Post
Im thinking about getting new wheels...... does anyone know what will fit this frame?
If you get a set of drop bolts (PM me if you want to buy a set) you can run 700c wheels on that bike.

Otherwise, you're stuck with 27" stuff. Your LBS can get decent 27" wheels thru J&B, but tire options are somewhat limited.

HTH

M
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:51 AM   #14
eatpasta OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cogitate View Post
I think it is great you want to use your Dad's bike, but frankly, for less than 200 on CL you can find a much new, roadworthy steed to ride, and restore this when you have time. It was never a race bike when it was new, but it would make a nice tribute as a restored example.
The real problem for me finding a solid used bike on CL is that I'm 6'3 - and almost nobody has a bike that can fit me. If I were 5'8 - no problem!
The more research I do online, the more the safety of this bike is called into question so Im going to meet up with an inmate tomorrow night that has a bike he might sell me for the price of a decent set of wheels.
I will restore this bike and ride it, but I dont want to do a rushed, half ass job
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We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
T. S. Eliot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnszilla
I was SO high, I could have hunted duck with a rake
Quote:
Originally Posted by VxZeroKnots View Post
MX stuff isn't my cup of tea, but falling down the side of a mountain is
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:39 AM   #15
chazbird
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These bikes were recreational bikes when new and also used as the uber college bicycle. Unless you had a much higher grade Gitane, Motobecane or Peugoet (sp?) by the mid 70's the Japanese were killing these bikes for functionality, performance and value; IE Nikishi, Fuji, Centurion, then Bridgestone. Riding that Gitane, even fully overhauled, on a tri event, would be torture.
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