Re: [CR] ID'ing a French Frame...Gitane and Royal Asport Pro SC Similarities and differences

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Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2009 06:32:24 -0700
From: "verktyg" <verktyg@aol.com>
To: John D Proch <johnprochss@yahoo.com>, <Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>, <verktyg@aol.com>
References: <FLEMJEMLPBIPFNIAHEMAEEIACEAA.westown1@att.net> <322681.53322.qm@web111007.mail.gq1.yahoo.com>
In-Reply-To: <322681.53322.qm@web111007.mail.gq1.yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [CR] ID'ing a French Frame...Gitane and Royal Asport Pro SC Similarities and differences


John,

There seems to be some confusion here...

Sean Flores asked for an ID on this frame:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/williamhsu/4006171679/in/photostream/

It is definitely not a Gitane but definitely French, maybe a Lejeune.

I responded to Cris Plunket who then posted a picture of an upgraded Gitane Tour de France:

http://www.gitaneusa.com/images/models/tourdefrance/1970GitaneTourdeFrance.jpg

The bike in the picture above is about a 1971 or 72 Tour de France with Campy NR derailleurs and bar end shifters plus a new Brooks Pro saddle.

Many TdF owners in our market switched to either a Brooks leather saddle (B17 or Pro) or a Cinelli Unicanitor. There weren't that many choices in those days and Brooks were sometimes easier to get than Ideale saddles. Also Brooks saddles didn't rub off black on your pants like Ideales.

The original Simplex Criterium derailleurs were frequently replaced with either SunTour V or Campy NR derailleurs depending on the owner's wallet. The rear derailleur required a slight modification to the Simplex dropout.

From what I can tell, the Super Corsa model was only sold in the North American market. They were only produced for a few years, maybe 1968-1973. In Europe the Super Corsa was called the Olympic model.

Gitane Super Corsa and TdF forks were made with a number of different fork crowns. It probably came down to availability, especially during the height of the bike boom. Most of the bikes from the late 60s through about 1972 had Nervex Professional fork crowns. About 1972 they switched to the Nervex DuBois fork crowns. Gitane occasionally used a number of different styles of Wagner crowns on these models.

I had 2 SCs in the early 70s. They both had Nervex crowns, the earlier bike had a Nervex Professional, the later one a DuBois. I have a spare TdF fork that has a flat top Wagner crown with a long point in the center. I currently have 2 SCs and 4 foil decal TdFs, all with one or the other style Nervex crowns.

There were 2 features that were changed on both models in the very early 70s. The late 60s bikes had brazed-on willow leaf shaped caps on the tops of the seat stays. BTW, in that era Gitane never used wrap around seat stays.

They also had a brazed-on brake cable stop bridge.

The seat stay caps were replaced with swaged over seat tubes probably about 1971 and the brake cable bridge was dropped shortly afterwards. These were most likely time and cost saving moves during the bike boom.

About 1972 TdFs switched from Prugnat Type S "Italian Style" lugs to medium point Bocama Professional lugs.

Super Corsas came with Campy 1010 long dropouts. TdFs used Simplex dropouts. I've seen bike boom era TdFs with several styles of Simplex dropouts including ones without a derailleur hanger.

There were even some TdFs that came with Campy dropouts. My guess is that either Gitane couldn't get Simplex dropouts or they grabbed Super Corsa frames and built them up as TdFs.

TdFs had 9mm to 10mm shorter steering tubes because they came with Stronglight P3 headsets vs. Campy headsets on the SCs.

Royal Asport bike were private label Gitanes imported by Mel Pinto the US Gitane importer/distributor during the bike boom period. They were the same as the Gitane models except different decals.

Gitane used Nervex lugs on some models up until about 1967. After that they switched to the long point Prugnat lugs on their top models.

There in some information on the GitaneUSA website that hasn't been updated in several years, e.g. "The early 1970's models featured Vagner Fork Crowns..."

Hope this clarifies the thread.

Chas. Colerich Oakland, CA USA

John D Proch wrote:
> Hi Chris,
>
> My Royal Asport has the same fork crown as yours pictured, Campagnolo long horizontal dropouts and all Campagnolo NR components. What is with the Stronglight crankset in this photo? Did a Professionnal Super Corsa ever have Nervex pro lugs, long horizontal Campy 1010 dropouts and all Campagnolo NR components? Anybody else have an opinion? It is a Gitane Professionnal Super Corsa, but with Nervex Pro lugs? Wrap around lugs on the Pro? I don't think so with my two Pros Super Corsas (Gitane and Royal Asport). Thanks for any help anyone could offer me.
>
> John Proch
> La Grange, Texas
>
> Chris Plunkett wrote:
   >
> Subject: Re: [CR] re; CR ID'ing a French Frame
>
> Thanx Chas, Whats your best guess?
> http://www.gitaneusa.com/images/models/tourdefrance/1970GitaneTourdeFrance.jpg
> Are those wrap around seat stays on that pro? I can't tell for sure
>
>>From the Gitane Site;
> The early 1970's models featured Vagner Fork Crowns....It was outfitted with Campagnolo
> Nuovo Record components, instead of the French assortment used on the TdF, and
> used Campagnolo dropouts, as opposed to Simplex.
>
> Chris Plunkett
> Chicago, IL
   >
   >
   > Chas. Colerich wrote:
   >
> Subject: Re: [CR] re; CR ID'ing a French Frame
>
> Chris,
>
> It's not a Gitane.
>
> They never used Prugnat type 62D lugs: http://tinyurl.com/yfmfoed
>
> The Super Corsa and earlier Tour de France models used Prugnat Type S
> "Italian Style" lugs: http://tinyurl.com/ce2h66
>
> Later TdFs used Bocama Professional lugs.
>
> Also Gitane never had wrap over seat stays nor did they use the diamond
> chainstay bridge reinforcements.
>
> Most early Gitane SCs and TdFs came with Nervex Professional fork crowns
> which were later changed to Nervex DuBois crowns probably around 1972.
> At the height of the Bike Boom they also used a variety of Wagner crowns
> (maybe in the late 60s too).
>
> Chas. Colerich with a dozen classic Gitanes
> Oakland, CA USA