Help identifying French frame


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gutholmj

On Training Wheels
Jul 7, 2019
8
3
52
United States
#1
Hi, Found this forum while scouring the internet for clues about a french frame that I recently bought. Any thoughts on the identification would be greatly appreciated.

The headset and bottom bracket threading are both french. The whole bike has been repainted and there is chrome on both the stays and fork blades. I can't find any identifying marks on it other than the Campagnolo dropouts and fork ends. The only decals are the 531 decals but give that they are over the spray paint, I don't think they provide much help. Almost everything about it is a really good match for it being an early 70's Gitane Olympic/Super Corsa except one thing. The treatment at the attachment between the stays and dropouts is wedge shaped and every Gitane photo I can find always has a curved cut. Any help is greatly appreciated. No matter the origin, it's going to be built up and ridden but it would be nicety know.

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juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
974
1,449
Playa del Rey, United States
#2
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Lugset NERVEX Professional

Shell Gargatte

Is steerer NERVOR?
Most french production frames which are nominally all Reynolds "cheat" and employ a NERVOR steerer for economy. Gitane no exception in this regard.

Certainly presents as "production" rather than "artisan"

Regarding possible Gitane i.d. - there is a forum specifically for the marque and in English:

Forum - Gitane USAwww.gitaneusa.com/forum/

Head moderator there is "verktyg"; he will be able to give you solid detailed information regarding the frameset

Appears quite close to 1970

Hope you plan to give it a proper respray... ;)

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Last edited:

gutholmj

On Training Wheels
Jul 7, 2019
8
3
52
United States
#3
-----

Lugset NERVEX Professional

Shell Gargatte

Is steerer NERVOR?
Most french production frames which are nominally all Reynolds "cheat" and employ a NERVOR steerer for economy. Gitane no exception in this regard.

Certainly presents as "production" rather than "artisan"

Regarding possible Gitane i.d. - there is a forum specifically for the marque and in English:

Forum - Gitane USAwww.gitaneusa.com/forum/

Head moderator there is "verktyg"; he will be able to give you solid detailed information regarding the frameset

Appears quite close to 1970

Hope you plan to give it a proper respray... ;)

-----
Thanks. It will be getting a proper paint job. It's being realigned and coldest by a local frame builder. When he looked at it, he thought that the steerer might be 531. It has no markings.

The GitaneUSA forums seem pretty dead but I've been through all the catalogs and photos. The finishing where the stays join the dropouts and fork ends just don't match.
 

juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
974
1,449
Playa del Rey, United States
#4
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Have you been able to find any traces of original colour, perhaps in spots such as shell interior, head tube interior or steerer?
Appears in imagery that frame resprayed orange and subsequently touched up with brush.

Is head tube seamed? The typical pattern on these is seamed head tube and NERVOR steerer. Sould it exhibit a seamless head and Reynolds steerer that would be a surprise and a plus.

The presence of the pentagonal no-slide pibb on the downtube would tend to suggest against a possible Belgian origin, leaving only Gaul for a homeland.

Have alerted our master frame detective, member @MauriceMoss. He shall most certainly be able to enlighten...


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Likes: dnc1

gutholmj

On Training Wheels
Jul 7, 2019
8
3
52
United States
#5
-----

Have you been able to find any traces of original colour, perhaps in spots such as shell interior, head tube interior or steerer?

Is head tube seamed? The typical pattern on these is seamed head tube and NERVOR steerer.

Have alerted our master frame detective, member @MauriceMoss. He shall most certainly be able to enlighten...


-----
Good idea about looking for some traces of the original color. I'll get a change to look at it again early next week. I think that the head tube is seamed but I'll take a better look and try to grab some photos of the steerer.
 

juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
974
1,449
Playa del Rey, United States
#6
------

with regard to head tube -

have you checked interior for any sign of headplate fastener holes being filled?

Gitane pretty much used transfers only on the head

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be aware that frame could be a MICMO product and not be a Gitane, at least nominally

company gained rights to Helyett badge in 1966

also owns Roger Riviere marque, there are probably some others as well...

---

is rear spacing still the 120mm original?

-----
 

HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,671
1,809
Floral Park, NY, United States
#7
I'm wondering why a blind monkey was given a can of orange paint and a brush...
 

juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
974
1,449
Playa del Rey, United States
#8
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...and i am wondering why the same monkey was subsequently given a can of white paint...


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gutholmj

On Training Wheels
Jul 7, 2019
8
3
52
United States
#10
It's hard to tell but it seems like the bike probably was originally orange. The head tube is seamed but there are no markings on the steerer to determine if it is NERVOR. There are no head plate mounting holes.

Everything about it seems Gitane. The one thing I couldn't reconcile was the treatment at the attachment between the stays and dropouts is wedge shaped and every Gitane photo I could find always has a curved cut. That has changed, someone on the Gitane Facebook group provided photos of a Gitane super corsa with Campagnolo dropouts with exactly the same treatment.

Thanks for your help unraveling the mystery.

------

with regard to head tube -

have you checked interior for any sign of headplate fastener holes being filled?

Gitane pretty much used transfers only on the head

---

be aware that frame could be a MICMO product and not be a Gitane, at least nominally

company gained rights to Helyett badge in 1966

also owns Roger Riviere marque, there are probably some others as well...

---

is rear spacing still the 120mm original?

-----
 
Likes: dnc1

juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
974
1,449
Playa del Rey, United States
#11
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Good to read you were able to get it sorted.

Have been in agreement right along.

As you probably learned from your researches the Super Corsa model was something created for the North American market and was current ~1968-73.

The parallel domestic model was termed the Olympic. There was also something called the Super Olympic.

One idea I had was to check the francophone fora.

Unfortunately each example found had the "notched" treatment of the taper tube ends rather than the "chisel" exhibited by your frameset.

---

Owned a bespoke built Urago whose constructeur was a builder by the name of "Brookie" (Brouquis? - have only heard his name and not seen it written). It was quite something. In about 1970 Nantes was able to lure him away from Nice with better compensation where he worked to construct the true MICMO team cycles.

He was likely building Roma machines right about the time yours was done.

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Keep in mind that while you are satisfied your frameset is a MICMO product it may have been otherwise badged because of the other marques the company owns.

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Likes: gutholmj

gutholmj

On Training Wheels
Jul 7, 2019
8
3
52
United States
#14
Thanks. I think I can rule out Follis due to the lack of any headbadge holes in the frame. Also the workmanship on all the Follis cycles I've seen in photos seems much nicer than my frame.

Here's my Follis if this helps any...
 
Likes: HARPO

corbettclassics

I live for the CABE
Feb 11, 2012
1,329
2,272
Burbank, United States
#15
I think Follis used a sticker at one time. Maybe earlier. I’ll have to search for my photos but may be a while.
 

juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
974
1,449
Playa del Rey, United States
#16
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Hope you are able to post additional fotos post-respray.

It is a bit of a decision as to whether or not to supply the period correct transfers as they were the awful foil ones.

Perhaps plain would be nicer.

For historicity sake, hope you do not have any braze-ons added - my deux centimes. ;)

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gutholmj

On Training Wheels
Jul 7, 2019
8
3
52
United States
#17
I will definitely post an update with photos when it's complete. Orange, with the foil decals. Looking all the old photos, the foil decals have kinda grown on me.

I am have braze-ons added though - désolé. It's going to be fairly modernized with components coming off my ~75 Champion du Monde that has a cracked head tube. Long story short, I got the Champion du Monde 38 years ago after it sat around in a shop for years and used for parts. It's been through many lives/personalities and tens of thousands of miles.

1.png


----

Hope you are able to post additional fotos post-respray.

It is a bit of a decision as to whether or not to supply the period correct transfers as they were the awful foil ones.

Perhaps plain would be nicer.

For historicity sake, hope you do not have any braze-ons added - my deux centimes. ;)

-----
 
Likes: bikerbluz

Mr.RED

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 17, 2017
142
181
36
Massachusetts
#18
Crescent used the exact same orange. I wonder if it could the model below Pepita ?

47608620721_4a1f2a1470_z.jpg
 

gutholmj

On Training Wheels
Jul 7, 2019
8
3
52
United States
#19
Interesting. I didn't think to look at Swedish bikes with possible french threads. I'll have to try and find more photos of different models/years.

Crescent used the exact same orange. I wonder if it could the model below Pepita ?

[QOTE]
 

harpon

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jan 8, 2012
155
135
Jacksonville FL
#20
My first guess was also a Gitane Super Corsa- my first full Campy road bike in 1971. But looking at it further than tube angles don't seem the same- the seat tube is much more angled back than the steer tube. It almost looks like a criterium frame with a short rear triangle and possibly a higher bottom bracket, but that was more of a mid-70's frame building thing. The Gitane Super Corsa frame was heavily chromed, in the fork and stay ends, and not likely to disappear without HEAVY removal.

Some Gitanes did come in orange. Mine was purple and turquoise blue was popular.

gitane.jpg

'73-74-ish Gitane


The Swedish Crescent above may be more of a match there, but not sue they used French threading.

How about Mercier? Not familiar with them all that much, but also a prominent French frame in that day.
 
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