Re: [CR]French Gitane

(Example: Events)

Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 05:05:47 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
Subject: Re: [CR]French Gitane
To: cmontgomery <>
In-Reply-To: <01d001c54493$a91f76e0$d18fe744@D687QV01>

My Windsor gets along fine with everyone, but then:

A) It has seniority as the second lightweight I ever bought. (The first, a UO-8, was sold over 30 years ago.)

B) After 32 years in the US, it long ago obtained citizenship.


Jerry Moos Houston, TX

cmontgomery <> wrote: If you are really going to turn "to the dark side" and collect French bikes ........

Not on your life......under no circumstances. You shoulda heard the commotion when I brought that Gitane into the storage room. My Bates got all bent out of shape, the Holdsworths turned up their headsets, my custom Viking Path flip-flopped and now only shows her rear triangle, and the HR Morris coldly stares with a jaundiced eyelet. The only one unperturbed was the American made Rivendell. Good thing I didn't buy a Windsor though. The Rivvy probably would have gone down and joined the Minutemen.

Craig "nobody likes the new kid on the block" Montgomery in Tucson

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jerome & Elizabeth Moos"
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 4:50 AM
Subject: Re: [CR]French Gitane

Craig, the correct French stuff is still around, you just have to look harder and in some different places. Until a few years ago, Sheldon had a lot of NOS French-threaded stuff, but his stock of many items has been exhausted, mostly by myself and other Francophile CR members, I would think. But he still has quite a few correct items, plus he has some Japanese-made French-threaded substitutes. Often one must use a properly threaded but nonoriginal part until the correct one shows up. The difference with French parts is that, unlike Campy, you won't often find them NOS on a website, the stuff still on Sheldon's site being the exception. More often used at swap meets or on the list when some CR member decides he simply isn't going to get around to that French project. And as Jack suggests, buying that really beat bike in the wrong size for $100 can sometimes be worth it for the parts you can salvage.

If you are really going to turn "to the dark side" and collect French bikes as a regular thing, a little creative hoarding can be useful. The right piece doesn't always show up when you have a project that needs it, so sometimes you have to buy stuff and keep it in anticipation of a future project. Many times I've dug that final piece to complete a project out of the parts bin where it was languishing for 10 years.

On the bright side, French-threaded Campy stuff, though rarer than Italian or English, often sells cheaper, because a lot of collectors just don't collect French stuff. That won't help you correctly restore a Peugeot, but it will provide functional bits, and even correct ones for French marques like Gitane and LeJeune, who did make models equiped with French-threaded Campy components.

Good Luck.

Regards, Jerry "Francophiles, like misery, love company" Moos Houston, TX wrote: Congrats Craig on your Tour de France frame...nice bike. As I have been recently restoring a few vintage french, my advice is to find another vintage french bike for transplant parts. If you go out and buy what you need from commercial/retail the cost will be prohibitive. Have some patience and a good transplant donor will come along. I run across decent french bikes every couple of months or so in the 25-$100 price range. In the meantime, you can decide what type of components you want or whether or not you want to restore back to original.

Jack Romans
Sacramento, Calif