Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Gypsy -- Bianchi Gitane Fixie

Some months ago I blogged that I had received the wheels for a new fixie, custom built by Ron Ruff at White Mountain Wheels.  Sometime after that I blogged that I had destroyed the head-tube on my old aluminum Cervelo when installing the headset.  Since then the fixie has been in a holding pattern while I located an appropriate frameset.

Sometime over the summer I stumbled across Bianchi's extraordinary line-up of steel frames, which include the San Jose and Gitane framesets.  Both of those framesets sport track "drop-outs", road bike geometry, cantilever brake bosses, flattened top-tubes for easy shouldering, and 130 mm rear-hub spacing.  As best as I can tell, the only difference is the paint job.  Both are available for $399 -- frame and fork -- but I could only locate the Gitane in the real world.  I ordered one in black from Bike Attack in Santa Monica, California.

Bianchi?  Is it an Oltre? An Infinito CV?
OMG, it looks . . . metal?

Aha.  Le Gitane.  The gypsy.
 Gitane is a french brand that produced some race cycles between 30 and 50 years ago.  According to Wikipedia, some top riders pedaled Gitane bikes.  Wikipedia also claims imports into the US beginning in the '50s.  Could not have been in much volume -- I've literally never seen the brand painted on a frame until I bought this frameset! 

Of course, mine is not a racing bike, but a Gitane-branded San Jose frameset.  It nonetheless promises to be a beautiful bike.  It is time to build this bike up. 

The tentative plan:
  1. Velo-Orange post and stem.
  2. White Mountain Wheels custom-built wheelset.
  3. Sundry parts from the bin.
Watch this space for Part II!


sam said...

It is a beautiful frame. I'm excited to see this build.

Unknown said...

Very nice. Need a 2012 Dura-Ace Di2 groupset for it?