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71 Super Corsa - Fresh Restoration 
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:04 am Reply with quote
Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 6
Hey, Check out my 71 Super Corsa. I'm the original owner and have ridden this bike for years. When stickers from Cyclomondo became available I coulgn't resist restoring it back to it's original glory. The photo shows bike in current riding configuration with modern wheels and saddle. The original Ideale saddle and Mavic/Campy tubular wheel set are in the closet.

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Looks Great!! Original Paint?? 
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:21 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Aug 2007
Posts: 278
Location: Salina, Ks.
Good Job, Is this a repaint??? This is a first for me---I've never seen the black paint finish on a Gitane, I know that it is shown as one of the available colors in the early 70's catalog, but I've never seen that scheme.

Looks Great---If you visit with Greg at Cyclomondo, he also reproduced the period correct Reynolds frame-fork-stay decal set for the early 70's Gitanes.

I Like Steel !!!
Salina, Ks.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:50 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 6
Yes, it is a repaint. The original color was gold, but frankly it was poorly done, stickers were crooked, etc. and was quite ugly. Sorry, it's not a pure restoration but as expected, the black turned out quite sharp.

I'm planning to add the correct Reynolds sticker, but I can't remember whether it had French or English text.
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2nd helping 
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:33 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Aug 2007
Posts: 278
Location: Salina, Ks.
Sorry, got interrupted by Scouting earlier this evening. This really does look great. Chas will probably lament the color scheme change as he really has a Candy Apple Gold or orange TdeF or Super Corsa on his wish list. So the black finish is striking---I really like it !!! As mentioned earlier, an original factory BLACK finish must be a really rare item.

Tell us about the ??? frame water bottle holder mounts.

How difficult was the seatpost decal to mount, did you clear coat over the decals and foil sticker reproductions??

One last question: When I sent Greg the scanned images of the original Gitane decal, foil sticker sets back in February; he created the Seatpost sticker from digital photo images that I had taken from different angles of the mounted seatpost foil sticker and a sizing template of my '72 Interclub. I was just curious how well did it fit? Was it too small, creating an inadequate length & open space (I hope not), was it pretty close, with minimal overlap of the ends, or was there quite a bit of overlap of the ends at the back of the seatpost tube --- I still am amazed at Greg's talent and his ability to take the distorted image of a mounted seatpost foil sticker (wrapped around the tube) and somehow "stitch" my images to create the flat foil sticker reproduction.

Needless to say the paint job and the mounting of the new repros look great!!! Hope you can favor us with a few more images. Personally I haven't started the refurbishing of my '72 TdeF, but it will involve using some of Greg's decals---so I'm excited, they look wonderful on your image. (sure would like to possibly see an image from the back side of the seatpost---sans rear wheel to see the seatpost decal overlap)

Thanks for sharing with and welcome to the forum---lots of great folks who enjoy these French creations. ---so the Reynold stickers have to be French----right Chas Very Happy

I Like Steel !!!
C.A., Salina Ks.
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No Picture... 
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:28 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Posts: 2813
Location: SF Bay Area

For some reason the picture of your bike isn't showing, just the link.

What size is your bike? I only ever recall seeing 1 black Gitane in the early 70s. It was a Gran Sport Deluxe not one of the racing models

The Reynolds 531 decals HAVE to be in French! Wink

Greg at Cyclomondo has some new 531 decals for older French bikes. He changed the color of the green for the 531 characters.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:16 am Reply with quote
Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 6
Thanks for all the interest.

Just a little background before I answer some of the the questions. This bike is a testament to how a good bike can last when properly maintained and ridden carefully. I started working as a bike mechanic at age 11 and bought this bike when I was 18. I rode it a lot for the 1st ten years, then only occasionally until 4 yrs ago when my wife finally became interested. (I'm the most blessed guy on the planet). It has always been well maintained and this is the second repaint. Everthing is original including chainrings. As your know, the Campy stuff is amazing. With a little lube now and then, it will last forever.

Water bottle bosses. I couldn't stand the thought of putting a clamp on water bottle cage over my brand new decals. I made them and work and silver soldered them on. (the French guys would have put them on years ago if but it interfered with their smoke break)

The frame size is 23.5"

Thanks for the Reynolds info. You will notice that I did not put the large decal on the top tube like some I have seen. My brother had a TDF from the same year. His had that large decal, but my Super Corsa did not, so I left it off.

I have tried a couple times to post a few more pictures and I too can't pull them up from the web site. Anybody have some pointers? Maybe there is another photo posting site that is a little more freindly.

Seat post decal. I really worried about this one too. With these foil decals, it is really important to have a smooth surface to apply it on. The paint is an epoxy black, I wet sanded with 1500-2000 grit paper between coats to get it as smooth as possible. I remember that the stickers on the original bike were crooked with air bubbles, etc. I wanted these to be straight so I marked where the top and bottom points of the stiker should line up on the frame with a small piece of masking tape. I used the wet technique for applying the stickers by spraying soapy water on the tube. Then I stuck the top point where it needed to be then lined up the bottom. I ran my finger from top to bottom along the front of the tube to straighten it up and work out any air bubbles. Then I worked from the front to the back being sure not to trap any air. I had a wet cloth in hand to help squeegy any water or air bubbles from underneath. I got lucky, the back edge of the decal came out perfect with just about 1 mm overlap. I waited 10 days to dry and then I sprayed over the decals with clear enamel. After several coats, and drying for a week, I wet sanded, then used polishing compond to bring out the luster.

Be real careful about over spraying decals ! I made a test piece first using the same paint I had on the frame and the cyclomondo decal that came with the set. The first paint I tried puckerd the decal like pimples on teenager.

Practice on the smaller decals first to help you get a feel for it.

I'll try to get some more photos posted soon, I'm anxious to show it off.

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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 6:50 am Reply with quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2007
Posts: 51

Stunning job! What kind of "modern wheels" are you using?
Also, is this the same bike you said had 30K miles on it in another post?

Ron Banks
Fort Worth, Texas
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 3:18 am Reply with quote
Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 6
The wheels are nothing special, just some used ones I picked up cheep. shimano 105 hubs. Sure beats sitting on the side of the road with needle and thread.

Yes this bike is thouroghly broken in.
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 5:09 am Reply with quote
J Carter
Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 21
Location: Birmingham, AL
I'm pretty sure that I have posted some .jpg s of the proper seat tube, down tube and head tube decals on here before but if anyone needs them. maybe even help your maker out, here is a sample
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Looking for J Carter's decals 
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:59 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 242
Location: Florida
I'm working on an early 70's Super Corsa that was in pretty bad shape, and like you don't want to put a lot into decals. Also I'm thinking all I'll put on it will be a head tube decal and a tubing sticker if I can find or duplicate one. I've looked for your other decals, but I couldn't find them. If you could either point me to where they are, or post the head tube sticker it would be appreciated.

Did you duplicate your Reynolds sticker? Is it also a water transfer? I'm thinking about trying to make a copy of a 531 reemaillage (French respray) sticker from a brochure I downloaded from somewhere. I know the originals aren't water transfers, but I may do one anyway.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:10 am Reply with quote
Joined: 09 Apr 2008
Posts: 678
Location: South-Central VIRGINIA
Can you try to post the photo again? I can't get the link to open. Would like to see the Black scheme.

Dance like nobody is watching.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:50 am Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Aug 2007
Posts: 64
Location: Antelope Valley, CA
Your Super Corsa is beautiful in black. I have tried to re-create your image link so let's see...

Hmm, well I used exactly the same text as you did for a url simply by cut and paste with a thumbnail image, and it worked!

The overfed long haired leaping gnome
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