Brian, can't be sure, but that certainly looks like it could be a Gitane. Looks too good to repaint, maybe a framebuilder/painter on the list can supply decals. I'd stay with the French thread. Remember, Italian thread is now obsolete also.
> My name is Bryan Walton. I am a new list subscriber living in
> Madison, WI (USA). I don't have a large bicycle collection, and save one,
> the others are probably not worth mentioning. But I will anyway. I have
> a run-down Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike that I have converted into
> a single speed with studded tires. This beast is my winter commuter here
> in Wisconsin once the snow and ice hit.
> I also own an old Viner road frame that I have converted to a fixed
> wheel. This is my commuting bicycle the remainder of the year. Up here
> in Wisconsin, that usually means I get about 9 months on the Viner and the
> other three on the Rockhopper. I purchased the Viner from a friend/mechanic
> about three years ago. It has had its better days and is suffering from
> a large amount of surface rust which came with the frame when I purchased
> This brings me to my most recent purchase. Recently (about three
> weeks ago) I picked up what I believe to be a late 60s or early 70s
> Gitane track frame at a local bike swap here in Madison, WI. There
> are no decals on it. The guy selling it said it was a Gitane. There
> are some pictures of it at the following address:
> I'm not the best photographer, especially on those closeups, sorry.
> My questions about this frame:
> 1) Is there a way to determine whether it really is a Gitane?
> I have its serial number, which is on the frame's left rear dropout.
> I first posted this question to the Old Skool Track mailing list.
> Several folks said that it indeed looked like a Gitane. Is there any
> way to get confirmation? Also, any guesses on whether it was made in
> the 1960s or 70s?
> 2) I haven't verified this yet, but I assume that the frame has French
> measurements. I have verified that the bottom bracket width is 68mm.
> So, unless I get lucky, I will assume it is French threaded. Any
> recommendations for how to build up the bottom bracket, chain wheel,
> and crank? Harris Cyclery has some T.A. bb spindles and axles with
> track dimensions. Is that a good way to go, or should I try to
> rethread to make it Italian? This is my biggest hurdle, as I think I
> can make the stem, handlebar, and saddle work without too much effort.
> 3) Finally, there are a few nicks on it, but there isn't any rust. Any
> ideas regarding whether the frame is valuable enough to mess with
> repainting it, or should I simply go with something like Le Tour Clear
> coat ( http://www.branfordbike.com/bikecare/bcare1.html )?
> Any other pointers that people can give me and I will be most
> Bryan Walton
> Madison, WI