Monday, June 30, 2008

Gitane FrankenBike


Perhaps inspired by my friend Taxi777s new Fixed gear/SS he posted about on bikeForums.net, I dragged my oldie out of the garage and cleaned it up.

It was my almost-first real roadie. I got it used in 1976 and, like a kid, thought I could turn it into the bike I wish I had by changing parts one at a time as the years passed.

Here's the spec:
  • Mid-70s Gitane Tour de FranceHad it painted and had braze on shifter and water bottle bosses added
  • Fork had problems, so I added a new one, but Columbus instead of Reynolds steel, and a Shimano 600 headset
  • New brakes (Old Weinmans were awful)
  • New seatpost and seat
  • New bars and stem ( I really don't know why)
  • Campy high flange hub new wheels (36 spokes, dude!)
  • Replaced bar end shifters with real carbon downtube shifters
  • I just ordered new brake levers. What's on there now is an old Diacomp tandem lever that pulls both brakes (Don't ask why). I never liked it.
See a Flickr slideshow of all the exciting parts.

It really is a FrankenBike. It has no historic value. But It's kinda cool and I had a ton of miles on it in the olden days. Plus, I think I can't sell it for much, so I should have some fun, right?

But what to do? Whatever it is, it has to be cheap.
Commuter? But the downtube friction shifters are so....
  • Tour bike? But then I'd want a lot of expensive changes....
  • Single speed? I think all I need is a single speed BMX style freewheel.
  • Fixie? But then don't I need a new rear wheel, or at least hub?

What should I do that's cheap and fun?

1 comment:

  1. It may be Frankenbike, but at least it didn't inherit Frankenstein's looks! The paint job still looks fantastic (whereas the paint on my Schwinn is pretty bad). I obviously don't know how well it rides, but it can't be any worse than my tank on two wheels! If anything, it's got character.

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