Re: [CR] Bikes Used By The Pros

(Example: Racing)

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Date: Sun, 7 Mar 2010 09:20:58 -0800
From: "Jan Heine" <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Bikes Used By The Pros

>The bicycles being sold as Hinault's are completely different from
>the Gitane aero bike ("Profil") which Hinault used. I have no idea
>if they are or aren't Hinaults. They are badged with the same decals
>used in 1985 for the La Vie Claire team which Hinault rode for.

Just one additional reference point about potentially fake bikes ridden by Hinault: When we photographed bikes for our book "The Competition Bicycle," we included a bike supposedly ridden by Hinault in later years. However, when we later researched the authenticity of the bikes, we couldn't match the bike to any photos of Hinault. The decals were right for one year, but that year's bikes were lugless, and this one was lugged. We searched and searched, and finally concluded that the bike probably was a forgery.

Perhaps that shouldn't come as a surprise, as the owner had bought that bike together with one of Anquetil's machines, from a well-known collector in France. The Anquetil bike actually was a rather poor forgery. It had "J - A" engraved into the seatstay caps, as shown in the famous Rebour drawings of Anquetil's Tour-winning machine in 1963 (?, I am going by memory here, would have to dig out the old issue of Bicycle Quarterly where we featured the Rebour drawings). Close inspection showed that the bike had two sets of seatstay caps, one brazed on top of the other! In the process, the builder had cooked the seat lug so much that the seat and top tubes were bulging out of the lug. Many other details were wrong, too.

When I talked to a dealer in old motorcycles about this, he said: "Ah, if those bikes were real, the well-known collector wouldn't have sold them."

The photos of "Hinault's bike" still are gathering dust in some folder somewhere... and our book has no photos of either Hinault's or Anquetil's bikes.

Jan Heine
Bicycle Quarterly
2116 Western Ave.
Seattle WA 98121