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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:05 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Feb 2016
Posts: 1
Location: Denver CO

so I've recently picked up a pretty solid ~'71 Tour de France, everything seems pretty straightforward, stronglight cranks and headset, Simplex dropouts w/out a hanger & derailleur with "claw", early-style pivo stem, long point lugs, nervex pro crown, swagged seat stays, Mafac Competition brakes. maillard hubs instead of Normandy. so far so good, but things get a little weird with the wheels...

has anybody heard of these coming out with Rigida 27" clincher rims instead of the Mavic tubulars? I'm a little bummed I was looking forward to giving tubular tires a shot. as I look for some "correct" rims to replace these is there any thing specific i should be looking for to make sure i get the right ones?

ok can't figure out the photo. but anyway, glad to be here! I'm Dan from Denver CO thanks for your enthusiasm for these really cool bikes!
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1971-72 Tour de France 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:08 am Reply with quote
Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Posts: 2814
Location: SF Bay Area
Welcome to the Forum...

I reposted the picture of your bike:

Looks like you have an all original (except for wheels) late 1971 early 1972 Tour de France.

Check out my message "Gitane Tour de France Dating Guide" in this thread:

The original TdFs came with Normandy Luxe Competition hubs with Mavic tubular rims.

Those hubs were highly polished and had gold foil Normandy stickers in the centers.

Back in the 70's many owners had their tubular rims changed to clinchers.

27" was the US standard for clincher rims. That's why your wheels are that size.

Those Rigida rims date from the mid 70's and later.

Tubular rims are the same diameter as 700c clinchers which were the French standard. 700c clinchers became the de factco US standard size in the late 1970's.

Sometimes bike shops just changed out the tubulars for wheels with 27" or 700c clinchers.

Frequently those wheels came with standard quality Normandy Sport hubs or similar Japanese makes.

The Normandy Luxe Competition hubs were better quality but the replacement parts are unavailable. If they spin smoothly then they are worth having them re-laced with new spokes and tubular rims.

Figure on at least $200 for rims, spokes, tires and labor.

If they have Normandy Sport hubs, they're not worth changing over.

You can frequently find original tubular wheels with Normandy Luxe Competition hubs on eBay.

They came on early 70's Gitane TdFs, Peugeot PX-10s, plus some Motobecanes and other French bikes.

SF Bay Area, CA USA
1984 Criterium
1969 TdF
1971 TdF
1974 TdF
1984 TdF x 2 Bikes
1970 SC
1971 SC
1972 SC
1984 SC
1984 Team Pro
1985 Professional
1990s Team Replica
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