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For a limited time, Gitane's "City Link" single speed cross/commuter frameset will be available in select stores in the USA! This will be the first time in years any Gitane has been made available to customers in the USA. For only $399, you can own a French Legend!

Contact GitaneUSA for more details. Download the spec sheet here (pdf)


Tour de France

Gitane’s most popular racing model of the early 1970’s was the affordable “Tour de France”.

Made of Reynolds 531 tubing, Prugnat lugs, Vagner Fork Crowns, and Simplex dropouts, the workmanship was often sloppy. Although not too pretty to look at, it was not necessarily poorly made, just poorly finished. Lugs were often off-center, welding on the dropouts often appeared to have been done by a three-year old. And the paint jobs were not the best. The paint itself was not clear coated, and the gold detail around the lugs was hand-applied by less than steady hands (one too many glasses of wine?). The logos and other artwork were merely stuck on with stickers, instead of using decals with clear coat over them. It is for this reason that it is difficult to find older Gitane’s in pristine condition. Often, bottle cages and other clamp-ons were placed over the stickers and would mar them, forcing the owners to remove them entirely if they wanted the bicycle to look somewhat presentable.

Click on Thumbnail to enlarge picture

A young Hinault.
Like so many
others, he got his start on the
1970 Gitane
Tour de France
1976 Gitane
Tour de France
1978 Gitane
Tour de France
The Tour de France - All French! 1984 Gitane
Tour de France
Classic Tour de France, circa 1970  

But perhaps it is these imperfections that make the Tour de France a desirable bicycle. Selling for around $200 in 1970, these bikes were many people’s first “high performance” machines. They were outfitted with Simplex derailleurs, which worked reasonably well when new, beautiful Stronglight crank sets, Normandy hubs, Pivo stems, and Mafac Competition brakes, and Ideale leather saddles. Of course, these used the French threading that we are all so fond of!

The model went through several transitions over the years and lasted as a upper-range Gitane through the late 1980's. Later versions were built first with Vitus tubing and then actually appeared as Gitane’s first aluminum bicycle, which was actually a re-badged Vitus.