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1964 Gitane DeLuxe 
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:02 pm Reply with quote
DeLuxe Oldie
Joined: 16 Jan 2010
Posts: 1
Location: New England USA
History: I purchased the bike new in the fall of 1964 from Ray Taksar’s Bike Shop in Hartford, CT. I was in college and the bike received a lot of hard use including more than several wrecks. The bike followed me through several moves, and ended up hanging in the rafters of my garage long enough to rust everything that would rust.
Restoration: I tried to keep the restoration true to the original specifications as much as possible. I intend to RIDE the bike, not hang it in the rafters again. Hence, I made several changes that would not appreciably alter the vintage look such as modern Mavic rims, lined brake cables and cushioned handlebar tape. The Campy Gran Sport derailleurs, Campy shifters and Mafac brakes are all original. The original cracked and curly Ideale 51 saddle was replaced with an Ideale 80 (it will still be just as uncomfortable). The Lyotard pedals are replacements as the originals had become parallelograms with worn-off corners.
I debated long and hard on the frame repaint. All the Gitane purists will shudder, but I confess that I powder coated the frame after re-chroming. As I am going to RIDE the bike, I wanted the durability. The original color was more candy apple with a subtle metal flake, but I like the bright red just as well.
The biggest obstacle I encountered was the decals. The bike was originally all water transfer decals and I wanted to stick with that. I could not find correct repros. The downtube decal I made from photos of the original, the fork decal I found on Ebay (scanned it and made new ones), The Reynolds decal is probably not correct, but I couldn’t accurately identify the original. I bought what I thought was the closest that Cyclomondo had and made a water transfer from it. The decal on the seat tube had long disappeared with the chrome plating and remains to be done. If anyone has a GOOD QUALITY PICTURES OF THE CORRECT SEAT TUBE DECAL, I would greatly appreciate some. I will gladly share all my decal artwork; all are available in .JPG format. The foil head badge is the original.
I am still in search of a correct Zefal pump. It was all silver with the fabric covered tube that stored in one end. The pump pegs on the frame are about 19-1/2” apart.
I have the original fenders that I may put back on the bike long enough for a few photos. However, I am not sure a few photos would be worth the cost of restoring the fenders. I never kept them on the bike too long, so they are in good shape except for paint and pinstriping.
I owe some special thanks to several people. I can’t count the number of times I was a “Guest” on or how much I learned. Thanks to Harris Cyclery for maintaining the Sheldon Brown pages on their website and for letting me poke through their dwindling inventory of Sheldon’s French bike parts. Thanks to Wayne Bingham at Velo Classique for searching his inventory for some NOS crank to chainring bolts. I was really stuck without those. Thanks to Steve Cole at Renaissance Cyclery, my local Plainville, CT bike shop. I had no idea how to get my BB apart and he had the right tool. He also built my wheels and rebuilt the headset and BB. Thanks to Ray at Ray Taksar’s Bikes. He still had some old Gitane parts. I bought the bike from his father. Thanks to Dave Theriault at Central Wheel, Farmington, CT for coming up with the correct crank cotters. All 9mm cotters are not created equally. Lastly, thanks to my wife, Bonnie, who I can guarantee thinks I spent too much time and way too much money on this project. But I know no guy reading this has ever had that problem.

Never too old to start pedaling - again.


Oh yes, this is the picture section of the forum.
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Simply Amazing !!! 
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:12 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Aug 2007
Posts: 278
Location: Salina, Ks.
Jeff, Welcome to the forum !!!

More importantly thanks for sharing the images. What a great restoration of a vintage Gitane. I can only guess at the hours of attention to bring it back to this point. Congratulations on the rewards of your hard work, and may it bring you many years of riding joy.

I Like Steel !!!!
C.A. Salina, Ks.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:29 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin
Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 2701
Location: Southern California
Really a fantastic job. What a rare bicycle as well. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Stephan Andranian
Costa Mesa, CA
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:36 am Reply with quote
Joined: 09 Apr 2008
Posts: 678
Location: South-Central VIRGINIA
Beautiful restoration!!!!! I can see you did your homework and it shows. A+

My Brother, who lives in Avon, has gotten back into bikes also. If you would like his contact info send me a Private Message. He's becoming more interested in vintage and has used some of the same Shops you have scouted out.

Glad you joined the small crowd here and hope you no longer remain a "guest".


Dance like nobody is watching.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:09 am Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 631
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Oh man! That is beautiful. I am really impressed by what some of you folk are doing with these restorations. Great job Jeff!

Kind Regards,

Delta Dreamin'
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:26 am Reply with quote
Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Bulgaria
REAL BEAUTY! I'm so impressed mister,the bike look fantastic! You realy do that job professionaly.
I'd like to own the same frame is there any for sale.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:55 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 7
Location: n central nc
What a beautiful job and enjoyable story. It's always great to see an old bike come back from near death and at the same time sad to think how many are rusting in landfills having been discarded by owners who didn't know what they had or didn't care and some bike nut/scrounger didn't come by at the right time to save them.

The decals are nice. Maybe the process is well known but I'd like to know more about how you made them. Not so much the production of the graphics but printing them on water transfer stock. Stock, printer, etc??

Terrific job and a beautiful bicycle.


73 IC
73 GSD
75 TDF
73 PX10
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:07 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Jun 2010
Posts: 142
Location: Northern Virginia

I just saw this. What a wonderful restoration. It is truly a Fabulous bike. I had no idea that Gitane had used the Nervex lugs.

Great story. I hope now that summer is upon us that you're getting out and putting a few miles on it.

Thanks, again, for sharing this.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:38 am Reply with quote
Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 28
Location: Montagna lunga Colorado USA
just lovely!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:22 am Reply with quote
Joined: 14 Oct 2012
Posts: 13
Location: albany oregon
WOW JUST WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shocked
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 9:48 am Reply with quote
Joined: 14 May 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Oklahoma
Love this!

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