• Since Herne Hill was rained off yesterday after about 10 laps, I thought I would put my time to 'good use' and tackle one of the projects I have have in the house.

    Today we have a tiny 48cm 1997 Gitane Mach 700 Sport 2x7spd. Here are some more specs:

    • Seat tube is 48cm, top tube is 50cm;
    • Shimano RS100 double crankset (FC-A550) 170mm with 46T outer and 42T inner;
    • Shimano RSX 7 speed rear mech;
    • Shimano RX100 front mech;
    • Shimano RSX STI levers;
    • Shimano STX headset;
    • Saccon brakeset (not seen one before but very nice stuff);
    • Aero seatpost;
    • ITM 40cm bars & 90mm stem
      Out of the showroom, the bike was looking like this:


    Yesterday morning, the bike was looking like this:

    The frame is in good nick, the stickers on it aren't that good but I thought I would keep them on for the time being.

    Since I've been gathering parts to do it up for a while, it was easy enough to sort it all out in one day.
    All the cables were shot, the 2x7 speed RSX STI levers suffered from the 'no return spring' syndrom (you can shifter down but not up) and since these are quite expensive to replace, I opted for returning it to downtube shifters.

    Colour wise, Laurent Fignon used to ride a Gitane in the Tour de France in the late 80's so I thought I would go for a blue/yellow colour scheme.

    I started by stripping, cleaning, polishing then rebuilding :

    • New downtube shifters Shimano Z408 friction levers with fresh cables - the RSX STI levers are now only used for braking;
    • New inner/ yellow outer cables - stretched and adjusted;
    • Upgraded the wheelset to a more modern Sachs hubs on yellow Rigida rims 700c 10sp one (I used a 7 speed cassette 14-25 with a spacer so it is lined up perfectly);
    • Fitted brand new colour coded Vittoria Zaffiro tyres (700x23);
    • Degreased chainset, chain and cassette;
    • replaced the computer battery and refitted along the new cabling;
    • re-taped in yellow;
    • changed the saddle to a Fizik Pave;
    • fitted a bell;
    • Fitted Look Arc auto pedals.
      Took it out this morning for a spin in sunny Brixton to make sure everything was tight and working properly and took some pictures while I was at it.




    Voila, job done!

  • Very nice job, although I think those downtubeshifters don't look so good on this one. RSX shifters aren't that expensive second hand are they? Here in the Netherlands it's easy to get a pair for about 40 euros.

  • There are plenty on eBay, the hardest part is to find RSX shifters that actually work. They are quite fragile and if they have been used for the last 15 years, chances are that they'll be in the same state as mine. Also, they weren't top of the range so not as durable as lets say Shimano 600 or Dura-Ace.

    I could change the RSX shifters for standard aero brake levers and it would look be bit better - I'll do that if I find a cheap set.

  • Some aero levers will suit well. But you could also buy some other shifters, some old 105's orso. Would look better I guess.

  • Hang on, why do you not have the STI's wired up?

  • Please read.

  • I got a full set of rsx on a recent bike, looking dirty but worked perfect, I guess the bike had never really been used.

    Seen them sell on ebay UK NEW for under £30 ;) used ones £15-40 generally.
    I like the shape of them, so don't really see the problem just leaving them there?

    value, frame looks quite tidy, guess in LDN you'll probably see £100-175 for a tidy basic bike, especially smaller sizes which will appeal to girls etc. ebay probably about the same - fees - paypal - dealing with aholes etc.

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1997 Gitane Match 700 Sport 7spd - Tiny 48cm Columbus tubes

Posted by Avatar for Vince @Vince

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