Re: [CR] Gitane Tour de France....Royal Asport??


Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 07:36:47 -0800
From: verktyg <verktyg@aol.com>
To: John D Proch <johnprochss@yahoo.com>, <Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
References: <2C3A116C-5694-4F1F-80BB-3FAA43977C81@gmail.com> <336621.17205.qm@web111002.mail.gq1.yahoo.com>
In-Reply-To: <336621.17205.qm@web111002.mail.gq1.yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [CR] Gitane Tour de France....Royal Asport??


John,

From what I've read, Royal Asport was a small French bike manufacturer that was taken over by Gitane sometime in the late 1960s just as they did with Heylett.

During 1961, Royal Asport was a co-sponsor of the Spanish KAS-Royal Asport professional cycling team. Here's some team history:

>http://www.cyclingarchives.com/ploegfiche.php?id=3975

In the early 1970s Mel Pinto Imports, the US Gitane importer/distributor started marketing some Gitanes with the distinctive Royal Asport foil decals. It was probably to widen the dealer base like Motobecane did with the Astra bikes.

Most Royal Asports were the lower end Gitane Gran Sport models with bolt on hubs, cheap brakes and derailleurs. They were called the Royal Asport Vagabond model.

>http://www.velo-pages.com/main.php?g2_itemId=1613

Some Gitane Gran Sport DeLuxe bikes with QR hubs and so on came with the Royal Asport marque too.

We saw a few Royal Asports pass through our shop in Albuquerque, NM in the early 70s but most Royal Asport bikes were probably sold back east where Mel Pinto was located.

Until the past year or so I was unaware that some of the higher end Gitane models were sold with Royal Asport decals. Yours is the 4th Royal Asport Super Corsa I've heard of.

So what you have coming is a standard Gitane Super Corsa with Royal Asport decals, pretty rare! The "built at night" story is poppycock! ;-)

(the Royal Asport Super Corsas and TdFs could have been Gitanes re-badged here in the US)

Gitane Tour de France bikes came with Stronglight P3 headsets with a 33mm stack height. The Super Corsa frames had an 8mm-12mm longer steering tube than the Tour de France frames to fit the 41mm stack height of the Campagnolo headsets.

Super Corsa frames also had Campy dropouts, at least on the rear. I've seen a number of them with Huret fork ends that were identical to Campy's.

Note, the Tour de France model was spec'd with Simplex dropouts with the proprietary Simplex derailleur mount. During the height of the Bike Boom some of them came with different style rear dropouts including even a few with Campy dropouts. Some European TdFs had the proprietary Huret dropouts for the Huret derailleurs that the French thought so highly of. Is it wrong, or just French!

Chas. Colerich - 12 Gitanes in Oakland, CA USA

John D Proch wrote:
> I lucked out and won a Royal Asport (the Gitane company but these, I was informed, were built at night in the Gitane factory) Professional Super Corsa for 59 dollars in the sape dark green that I had with my Royal Asport TDF in early 71. I am excited to get her built up. The difference is the Campagnolo long horizontal dropouts. All Campy NR now.
>
> Please correct me if any of you all know much about Royal Asport, Thank you!
>
> Regards,
> John Proch
> la Grange, Texas