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Is this Craigslist 1970/71 Gitane Tandem worth $1,000? 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:37 am Reply with quote
mnic001
Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Posts: 3
Hey everyone, I have been looking for a road tandem for me and my pretty little stoker for most of 2009. I don't really want to spend more than $1,000 (admittedly a low amount) but I want to supplement our one-speed '69 Schwinn Twinn with something that has a little more zip.

I found this Gitane on Craigslist and have e-mailed the owner to go take a look. It seems to me that a tandem from the 1970s shouldn't really be priced much higher than $500. It *sounds* like it's in really good condition and he says it is "in better condition than when [he] bought it."



So what I want to know is:

1. How much would you guess a 1970/71 Gitane Tandem in "almost-new" condition is worth?

2. Are vintage Gitane tandems remotely comparable to a more contemporary tandem? Is it worth putting money into this old steel frame or should I be looking for something newer/stiffer? I like the look of a vintage bike and we're not going to be doing anything more than light loaded touring-- definitely no races.

Any and all opinions are welcome. Thank you.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:39 am Reply with quote
mnic001
Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Posts: 3
For the record, here is the full text of the Craigslist Ad:

Quote:
Gitane Tandem, ready to ride - $1000 (Fort Hill Boston)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



GITANE TANDEM FOR SALE
$1,000



This Gitane tandem is ready for serious touring or public rides. Everything works. Bought new in 1971, it has about a thousand miles on it mostly in the first ten years There many improvements from the original, particularly in the drive train and rear wheel. At the time it was new Gitane tandems were most popular high end, mass produced tandem bicycle. You could see more Gitane tandems at bicycle rallies than any other brand. On this bike rear handlebar shifters can be operated by either rider. There is a wide lady’s saddle in the back. The gear range, 25 to 112, is extra wide for touring. Come and give “The answer true” a test ride!


Frame size: 24 front, 21-1/4 rear
Wheels: 36 spokes, front & rear
Tires: 27-1/4 front, 650 mm rear
Brakes: Mafac Center pull on rims, large drum brake on rear axle.
Derailleurs: Shimano front with a long cage, Suntour rear with a long arm
Handlebars: Dropped bars front and rear.
Luggage racks: Generic, front and rear.
Pedals: With toe clips and bright reflector tape.
Cranks and chainwheels: TA, triple front c/w.
Eccentric front bottom bracket for adjusting tension on timing chain
Original Gitane decals. Red reflector tape and two grass reflectors.
Gear table: Beautifully designed for even and useful steps:
-- 104 112
-- 79 86
38 68 73
33 59 63
25 45 --
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:44 am Reply with quote
sandranian
Site Admin
Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 2701
Location: Southern California
What the bike is "worth" is purely speculative. I have noticed that tandems are going for quite a bit of money lately. However, I noticed that the listing failed to mention what type of tubing the bike was made out of. In my opinion, a vintage tandem would only be worth over $500 if it was made with Reynolds 531 tubing. Otherwise, you are purchasing an entry level model with straight-guage tubing -- really nothing that "special" or coveted.

A new tandem will, no doubt, be stiffer and lighter. The ride quality, I guess, would depend on the make and materials. That being said, I am sure this is a nice-riding tandem, even if I don't understand how the gears could be changed (comfortably or safely) by either rider!

My initial reaction is that the bike's price is inflated. But that is purely subjective....

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:56 am Reply with quote
mnic001
Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Posts: 3
Thanks for the quick response. I'll check to see if it's 531 when I go see the bike. Assuming I'm still not sure how to feel after checking it out, I will try to post some more details. He may also e-mail me some better pictures.

Does anyone with experience riding a Gitane (or other) tandem of this vintage AND a modern steel tandem care to chime in on how the ride quality compares? Is this going to feel like riding a noodle or can we actually forget about the frame and have fun on an older tandem?
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Gitane Tandem 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:53 am Reply with quote
verktyg
Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Posts: 2813
Location: SF Bay Area
As Stephan said, this is an entry level Gitane tandem with a few upgraded components.

We sold some of these bikes back in the day. They were a tandem equivalent of a Gitane Gran Sport model which had a seamed carbon steel frame, steel handle bars, seat posts, cranks, rims and so on. They weighed in at over 50 Lbs.

They rode and handled OK, nothing to write home about. Gitane made a limited number of lugged Reynolds 531 tandems, now that was a bike! Wink

I'd check the rear brakes to make sure that they properly line up on the 650b rims.

Chas.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:37 am Reply with quote
anmol77
Joined: 20 Apr 2016
Posts: 1
Is this going to feel like riding a noodle or can we actually forget about the frame and have fun on an older tandem??????

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Zombie Message 
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:42 pm Reply with quote
verktyg
Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Posts: 2813
Location: SF Bay Area
anmol77 wrote:
Is this going to feel like riding a noodle or can we actually forget about the frame and have fun on an older tandem??????


Noor,

This is a Zombie message that dates from 2009.



By now that bike may have been transformed into a brand new KIA.... Wink

Ride like a noodle? Not necessarily. Depends on rider weights, strengths and pedaling style.

The tubes are low strength seamed carbon steel vs. high strength seamless alloy steel tubing used on better quality bikes.

To compensate for the low strength, the tubing walls are thicker - 1.5mm to 2mm+ thick. Alloy tubes are a third to half as thick.

The weight difference on a tandem frame between the 2 types of tubing could be 5 to 10 lbs.

The thick tubes will give a dead feel; lighter frames a more springy feel.

Another problem, those bikes used low quality 1 1/8" headsets that were ALWAYS hard to find.

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Chas.
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
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Is this Craigslist 1970/71 Gitane Tandem worth $1,000? 
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