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Barn find Gitane 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:02 pm Reply with quote
trials guy
Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 75
Location: Woodacre Calif
I picked this up yesterday and spent a good part of the day cleaning it up and working on the surface rust. The photos in the ad were a bit unclear, and I went to see it not knowing exactly what I was going to see. It looks like a Super Corsa (not exactly sure of the year); just my size, and in the same color as the Interclub I owned as a teenager. Oddly, the paint is in pretty good shape but the chrome on the fork legs and rear triangle has suffered a bit over the years. Full Campy (including brakes) with the exception of a Shimano rear derailleur. I'm guessing that the original rear wore out, or was replaced to deal with the 28 tooth rear cog... Anyways, a few badly lit photos taken last night to get started...






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1972 Gitane Super Corsa 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:20 pm Reply with quote
verktyg
Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Posts: 2813
Location: SF Bay Area
Nice find... Wink

Looks like a 1972 model. It has the brazed on rear brake bridge with was dropped in 1973 plus a Nervex Dubois fork crown which they started using in 1972.

The Shimano Crane rear derailleur shifts far better than the original Campagnolo Nuovo Record.

The 26T maximum size freewheel for Campy NR derailleurs is a myth... Rolling Eyes

I have 13-31T freewheels on 2 bikes with Campy Nuovo Record rear derailleurs.

My 1970 Super Corsa before cleanup.



This weekend I saw bike with a 34T freewheel running a Campy Nuovo Record rear derailleur. YMMV



The Campy front brake has the wrong lock nut.

There's another myth that Bike Boom era Gitane Super Corsas came with optional Campy brakes.

Back then Campagnolo brakes were very scarce. Yes a few Gitane SCs probably came from France with Campy brakes but most were installed here in the US either by Mel Pinto Imports the primary distributor or by bike shops.

_________________
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
1984 Team Pro
1985 Professional
1990s Team Replica
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1972 Super Corsa 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:37 pm Reply with quote
trials guy
Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 75
Location: Woodacre Calif
Chas - You have a good eye! I also noticed that the front brake nut was incorrect; will have to start hunting for one.... Lots of deep pits on the chrome fork legs and triangle; I went at it with brass wool and tin foil for a bit, it got rid of quite a bit of the surface tarnish but left a lot of ugly stuff that I'm not sure how to handle. I could just call it "patina", but I'd like it to look a bit better than it does. Any suggestions?
Campy dropouts front and rear was a pleasant surprise to find once i got home. Didn't spend too much time looking at it in the sellers driveway before leaving, but knew I'd found a keeper! Do you know if the inner 42 tooth chainring is the smallest that works with the Campy crank? Thanks, John
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Steel Wool vs. Bronze Wool 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:27 pm Reply with quote
verktyg
Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Posts: 2813
Location: SF Bay Area
Copper & bronze wool are for woodworking because tiny fibers stuck in the wood wont rust or stain like steel wool.

Chrome plating is a very thin layer on top of a nickel layer and in some cases a base layer of copper.

The chrome is 72 Rc in hardness. I've had good success starting with 1X steel wool and finishing with 3xxx or 4xxx grades.

The chrome on my 1970 SC was pretty bad but cleaned up enough to pass the 10 foot test.

See inside of right fork after steel wool vs. the left fork before cleanup.



Patina on a 40+ year old bike is fine! Wink


There were some very rare 41T Campy inner chainrings, Also TA made some 41T 144BCD chainrings to fit Campy cranks.

The difference between a 41-28 and a 42-28 is only 1"... 39.5" vs 40.5" It's hardly worth the effort and expense to find a 41T chainring.

I forgot to mention, the stem is WAYYY to high. It should be inserted into the steerer at least 2 3/4" to 3" (75mm -80mm).

_________________
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
1984 Team Pro
1985 Professional
1990s Team Replica
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1972 Super Corsa 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:40 pm Reply with quote
trials guy
Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 75
Location: Woodacre Calif
Chas - yes, the stem is up too far for my liking and will come down as soon as I can find the correct allen wrench. It's a 3TTT stem and takes a wrench size that I don't have in my tools at present. All of the other Gitanes I've owned have come with Pivo stems.
The story I got from the seller was that this bike had been owned by a former neighbor who lived at the coast in Southern Cal - hence the good paint/bad chrome. I owned a Centurion Semi Pro that suffered similarly. I can live with the pitting if I have to. This bike also passes the 10 ft test you mentioned Smile Not sure if the leather wrap on the bars will stay - it may be an acquired taste!
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3TTT Stem 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:48 pm Reply with quote
verktyg
Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Posts: 2813
Location: SF Bay Area
The 3TTT Record Strada stem used a 7mm hex wrench. Early Cinelli 1A stems used 7mm hex wrenches on their recessed bolts too. They're pretty rare.

You can take a 9/32" hex wrench and grind it down to 7mm.

Back in the day 3TTT and Cinelli stems were the first somewhat available forged alloy stems with recessed hex expander bolts. They came in 22.2mm English and Italian size, also 22.0mm for French frames which were always hard to find.






Here's what can happen when the stem is too high. When the bottom of the quill is tightened in the threaded area a crack can develop which can eventually break off: been there - done that! Shocked


_________________
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
1984 Team Pro
1985 Professional
1990s Team Replica
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Nice Find 
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:10 am Reply with quote
smilingroadrunner
Joined: 10 Aug 2007
Posts: 278
Location: Salina, Ks.
Nice Find----I like the gold paint scheme also---I don't know how frequently that finish was utilized. Black seems to be very rare, but I have only come across 1 Grand Sport that was the Candy Gold finish, in my experience over the years.

I Like Steel !!!
_______________
C.A.
Salina, Ks.

'70 TdeF
'71 Interclub
'72 Interclub X 2
'72 TdeF
'73 TdeF
'72-73 S.C. in the works
'86 Performance
'87 Victoire
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Re: Nice Find 
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:45 pm Reply with quote
verktyg
Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Posts: 2813
Location: SF Bay Area
smilingroadrunner wrote:
Nice Find----I like the gold paint scheme also---I don't know how frequently that finish was utilized. Black seems to be very rare, but I have only come across 1 Grand Sport that was the Candy Gold finish, in my experience over the years.


I've only ever seen one black Gitane "in the flesh" and that was in 1973. It was a Gran Sport, probably a European model because it had 700c wheels.

I've seen a few pictures of black classic era Gitanes (1960-1970) over the past few years but that color was pretty rare.


I bought a new 1971 Super Corsa for $150 at the end of 1973. It was a year end closeout. It had a 60cm frame which turned out to big for me.

In early 1974 I was able to trade the white 60cm frame for a new 1973 57cm gold Super Corsa frame plus $100. It was beautiful! I can kick, kick, kick myself for getting rid of it because I started riding 54-55cm frames. Crying or Very sad

I've seen pictures a half a dozen gold Gitanes over the past 3-4 years and a few years back I bought a gold ~1972 SC frame.



The paint was peeling in several places. I had a local painter try to touch it up but he discovered that the frame had originally been turquoise flamboyant and was over painted gold at the factory. I had it repainted orange.


_________________
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
1984 Team Pro
1985 Professional
1990s Team Replica
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'72 Super Corsa 
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:40 am Reply with quote
trials guy
Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 75
Location: Woodacre Calif
Here's another photo of the bike after a bit more clean up. Replaced the rotted out toe straps, removed the crusty leather bar wrap and replaced with something a bit cleaner looking, found a 7 mm allen key (thanks Chas!) and lowered the stem to a more comfortable and safer height, and then scrubbed a bunch more surface rust off of the pedals, toe clips, and other assorted parts. It is starting to come along nicely. Installed a set of 1980's clincher wheels for this morning's ride; not quite sure what to do with the original wheels mounted with 40 year old sew-ups (that still hold air)...
Does anyone have a sense of what I could use to touch up small scratches in the gold paint? My mind returns to a Testors "Candy Apple Gold" paint color from my model making days as a kid; might this be a suitable match?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:13 am Reply with quote
gman309905
Joined: 23 Dec 2012
Posts: 63
Location: Pittsburgh PA.
I would suggest finding an auto paint seller that can match your color and sell you a small bottle of touch up paint, the model makers enamel gold color tends to turn a darker shade over time.
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Less is better 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:31 am Reply with quote
verktyg
Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Posts: 2813
Location: SF Bay Area
Think camouflage not concours d'elegance repaint. Too little is far better than too much touch up paint.

It just needs to pass the 5' test. All the bling from the shiny components will distract most non OCD viewer's eyes! Cool

Black is the easiest color to touch up followed by white (you still need to match the white tint). Matching other solid colors and metallics gets more difficult.

"Flamboyant" or candy apple colors like used on Gitanes from the early 60s up through the late 70s are the toughest because they were created using tinted clear lacquer over a white. silver or gold base.

You can sometimes cheat a little if you can find a metallic color like some of Testors model paints and don't mix the metallic particles in very well. I've also used some solid colors mixed in to try to get a good match.

One other thing, when paint dries it will usually turn lighter or darker than it was when wet.

Suggestion, fill the chip or scratch with a very light layer of white paint first and let it dry for at least 2-3 days before applying the color touch up on candy apple colors.

_________________
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
1984 Team Pro
1985 Professional
1990s Team Replica
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1972 Super Corsa 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:30 pm Reply with quote
trials guy
Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 75
Location: Woodacre Calif
Thank you for the advice on touching up the paint. I agree that a good "5 ft. look" is the desired result, not a full concours restoration... Had a great 15 mile ride on Sunday morning; lively handling and the bike tracked and cornered very well. Very Happy
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French Bike Ride 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:31 am Reply with quote
verktyg
Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Posts: 2813
Location: SF Bay Area
Remember,

French bikes were made to ride, not look at! Laughing Laughing Laughing Wink Wink

_________________
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
1984 Team Pro
1985 Professional
1990s Team Replica
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Super Corsa 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:09 am Reply with quote
trials guy
Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 75
Location: Woodacre Calif
Chas - I agree! These are great riders, but I also think they are fantastic to look at. They bring me back to the day when handmade things actually looked handmade. I actually don't mind the slightly funky paint and sometimes crooked decals... Had hoped that my teenage son would want to ride this one, but apparently he still prefers his mountain bike. Kids!!
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Super Corsa 
PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:28 pm Reply with quote
trials guy
Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 75
Location: Woodacre Calif
New bar tape, new 14-28 tooth freewheel and chain; finally a photo on a sunny day! Very Happy




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Barn find Gitane 
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