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Of Repaints and Decals 
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 3:08 pm Reply with quote
sandranian
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Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 2701
Location: Southern California
Recently, there have been a number of people, myself included, who repainted and used reproduced decals for Gitane bicycles. Generally, I do not have a problem with this, provided that the bicycles either (A) remain with the owner who repainted them or (B) if they are sold, the buyer is made completely aware of the reproduction, repaint, AND the true identity of the bicycle/frame.

I was very disappointed to learn that someone who posted to our site has a listing on ebay with information that is just downright FALSE. I sent him a private message, but received no response, so I am going public with my criticism, as is my right.

This is the main reason I don't like resprays and think that the bikes should be left, if possible, in their original condition. If they are redone, it needs to be stated, and the bike cannot be sold as something it is not. A number of us commented on how nice this bike was...but the description is over the top, and I believe that had we seen it, we wouldn't have agreed.

I am referring to this ebay listing:

Item number: 330235420350

Here are my problems with this posting:
*"The decals are the Gitane Service Course "Professional Tour de France" set and are exact replicas of the 70's Gitane pro bikes' decals." -- No, they are not. They are a good attempt at them, but are not "exact replicas."

*" The component mix is true to form for this vintage pro bike except that the Gitane team might have ridden Stronglight cranks instead of the Campagnolo Nuovo Record cranks on the bike now and there's a Vuelta Bassano saddle instead of the old Brooks leather racing saddle." -- I don't really even know what this means, but it doesn't sound right to me.

* "It comes pretty close to the exact frame/component mix that a bike Lucien Van Impe might have raced in the 70's Tours de France." -- No, it doesn't. It fact, it isn't even close.

This may all be much ado about nothing, as I don't think it will meet the reserve (whatever it is) or get a $900 buy it now...but I just don't think that the description is fair.

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Stephan Andranian
Costa Mesa, CA
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 4:19 pm Reply with quote
J Carter
Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 21
Location: Birmingham, AL
This was my bike until about a week ago. I sold it to the current eBay seller and explained to him that the decals were not original and not in the original foil style. Any embellishments are all his.

When he bought the bike, I expressed that it was too small for him as it was a little small for me, as he was well over 6'. He told me that he was buying it for a friend. Guess he just thought he could flip it for profit. At least he hasn't parted it out yet (except the pedals).

If anyone wants more details on the bike feel free to contact me. A few minor ad items are wrong, like the 6s DC freewheel. It's really a Suntour Ultra6. Some others are omitted.

FWIW - I'm not saying what I sold it for but his reserve will be probably be at least 2/3 of his asking price.
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 6:47 pm Reply with quote
sandranian
Site Admin
Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 2701
Location: Southern California
I thought it wasn't yours...by the description, but the pictures and the timing was so near to the ebay listing....

Ignore my PM!

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Agreement 
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 9:57 pm Reply with quote
verktyg
Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Posts: 2813
Location: SF Bay Area
I was thinking the same thing as you Stephan and I considered contacting J Carter about the eBay listing but decided to take the polite approach and say nothing. I'm glad J Carter stepped forward with the details, thanks.

Chas.
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 2:07 am Reply with quote
smilingroadrunner
Joined: 10 Aug 2007
Posts: 278
Location: Salina, Ks.
The current "60's" Gitane track bike, caught my attention the other day. I just had debated about posting my ??? because I really don't know anything about "60's" Gitane track frames. Wonderful refurbish & new paint, with recent additions of Greg's "70's" foil sticker (??use of SuperCorsa R fork decal on seat tube) and "Worlds" striped decals.
But how would one really know? Some photos of the original finish/Patina, before the refinish would be helpful. I don't know if "Caveat emptor doesn't become a buyer's priority to ask questions.

So, I too agree, in that in general I like the original Patina these bikes have developed.

Have said that. I have another project bike "71-72 TdeF, but it has sooooo many police registration decals on the frame that I'm thinking that it would be one in the stable that may be refinished---although for personal use not for resale.

"fighting a darn bronchitis---normally not up at 4 in the morning---looking for something to transfer my frustration Sad ---hope I didn't offend anyone---these are just my thoughts"

I like to breathe----w/o coughing Wink

C.A.
Salina, Ks.
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 2:35 am Reply with quote
Paul Wiseman
Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 584
Location: Brisbane, Australia
That's a shame that this joker is happy to be less than up front about the bike in question.

Stephan, perhaps we could have a "sticky" in the vintage forum where potential buyers can ask questions regarding ebay listings etc. People already do this anyway, but we could load the first few posts with some basic warnings for the buyer, and it would alwys be at the top of the page where it is most visible. Kind of a community service.

While it kind of annoys me that someone is happy to trash the gitane brand for their own gain, it just downright pisses me off when people are deliberately misleading and are taking advantage of another person's ignorance to get ahead. Animals do that in the wild. We are human beings, dammit! Anyway, I'll stop preaching.......

As a member who has repainted gitanes and badged with them repro decals from a different era, and also done up a "mock" gitane (my TT bike), I would like to state the following:

IF I ever sold one of the resprayed and rebadged gitanes, I would supply the potential buyer with photographs of the bike in original condition as well as a detailed description of ALL changes that had been made.

As for the "mock" gitane. It will never be sold with gitane decals on it. It would only ever be sold as what it truly is, a SorenSon (made at Gold Coast, Australia) made from Reynolds 731OS tubing, resprayed a nice shade of blue.

Having said all that, I don't think my bike will be for sale in my life-time.

This doesn't stop someone else "on-selling" the bike, but it's something. I guess I would just like to say that if you are considering doing an inaccurate repro, maybe think about not selling it - ever. If it never goes back on the market, there will be no problems. If you are trying to make money, try the stock market or property. Geez, even Amway has better returns than dodgey old gitanes.

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Brisbane, Australia
1974 Paris - Nice
1985 Defi
1985 Victoire
1985 Victoire (yes, another one!)
1985 Professionnel
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 8:48 am Reply with quote
verktyg
Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Posts: 2813
Location: SF Bay Area
BTW, the afore mentioned TdF appears to have been pulled from eBay by the seller. Shocked


smilingroadrunner wrote:
The current "60's" Gitane track bike, caught my attention the other day. I just had debated about posting my ??? because I really don't know anything about "60's" Gitane track frames. Wonderful refurbish & new paint, with recent additions of Greg's "70's" foil sticker (??use of SuperCorsa R fork decal on seat tube) and "Worlds" striped decals.


I see a lot of classic bikes and components on eBay listed as being from the 60s that are clearly from a later vintage. What's so magical about the "the 60s"? From some of the descriptions it's obvious that most of these sellers were wearin' Pampers if they were even around during the 60s. Rolling Eyes


CA, the track bike that you mentioned appears to be from the 1970s because it has 16mm (5/8") seatstays like those on Interclub, TdF and SC frames. The Gitane track bikes in the 60s used thinner 14mm (9/16") seat stays.

http://www.gitaneusa.com/images/catalog/us1960_pg2.jpg


I follow another internet bike group. It's devoted to Raleigh Team bikes from the 70s and 80s (you have to join to access the site).

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TI_RALEIGH_TEAM_PROS/


There's a group critique of just about every Raleigh Team bike or frame (or pretender) that shows up on the web. They have some spirited debates but the final say usually defers to the real experts, some of whom actually worked for Raleigh during those years.


The big difference between these forums is there were only a limited number of hand made Raleigh Team bikes and replicas built and some of the members can get a little "snooty". This web site is devoted to Gitane bikes in general and I hope it maintains it's flavor.

Chas.
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 9:21 am Reply with quote
sandranian
Site Admin
Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 2701
Location: Southern California
I sent the seller a letter concerning the listing, and he responded with the following note below. My response is posted after it. He then pulled the auction. I hope he doesn't start yelling at list member J Carter about it.

*****
I have no intention of misleading anyone. What do I have here? I bought the bike from the guy who did the restoration and understood this to be a replica of an early 70's Gitane professional level racing bike. I'm not interested in defrauding people. However, I would be interested in putting the correct information on the listing. Can you provide me with that information? It would be much appreciated.

*****
I have spoken to the original owner who did the respray. Saying it is pro-level is one thing, as it really doesn't mean anything. While we are on the subject, Van Impe won in 1976, and didn't ride on that bike at all - it was a blue Gitane, with different components, different frame, different decals, etc. That is a Gitane, model TOUR DE FRANCE from the early 1970's. You can get more information about it on GitaneUSA.com, in the catalogue section. The pro team models almost always used Campagnolo dropouts. That bike has simplex dropouts, and was the second from the top of the range (the top being the SUPER CORSA). It is made with Reynolds 531 tubing and simplex dropouts. The decals are home-made reproductions. The originals were foil, and you can see for yourself in the catalogue, that the they were quite different from what you have there. I would be happy to discuss it further...my email is sandranian@yahoo.com
Stephan
www.GitaneUSA.com

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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 7:00 pm Reply with quote
the70sbike
Joined: 10 Apr 2007
Posts: 46
Location: San Diego, CA
As an ebay seller and a more frequent buyer, the rule should always be to DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE. Let an informed buyer make the decision. If you don't know, say so. If someone contacts you with better information, verify it, then post it. Lots of detailed photos cut down on misunderstandings, too. You can host them on Photobucket and then use the HTML link to post them on your ebay listing, all for free.

I will admit that I have gambled and won on more items with shaky descriptions than I have lost with. I have gotten royally cheated once or twice, mainly due to my own ignorance. I have learned a lot since I started collecting bikes, and boards like these have been the foundation of this knowledge.
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eBay Auctions 
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 9:18 am Reply with quote
verktyg
Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Posts: 2813
Location: SF Bay Area
I have 2 pet peeves with listings of cycling stuff of eBay:

1. Auction pictures showing only the left side of the bike. Why do people do this? Is there something indecent about the most important side of a bicycle? Should we all be getting "modesty skirts" for the right sides of our bikes? Shocked

2. The tendency to list cycling things that are obviously from a later period as being "from the 60s". Rolling Eyes

Chas. Evil or Very Mad
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IT'S BACK! 
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 10:09 am Reply with quote
verktyg
Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Posts: 2813
Location: SF Bay Area
It's back on eBay and at an even higher BIN price! Rolling Eyes

I'm talking about the "1960's GITANE TRACK BIKE RARE VINTAGE MINT CLASSIC". Confused

From the pictures I'm fairly certain that the bike is a gussied up Gitane Track Standard model from the early 70s. These were made with the same low carbon steel tubing and lugs as the Gran Sport road bikes except that they had 16mm seat stays and round fork blades. They weighed about 22-23 Lbs with sewups which was pretty heavy for a track bike.

The Gitane Track Standard was one of the only inexpensive fixed gear bikes you could buy in the US at that time. We usually kept one at our shop just for yuks. When we got bored, we'd take one out for a spin and occasionally on a club ride.

BTW, The cottered cranks and hubs on this bike have been painted with gray splatter paint. Laughing

Chas.
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Of Repaints and Decals 
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