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Eurasian Nexus Path Racer - Project Gypsy Bleu

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Eurasian Nexus Path Racer - Project Gypsy Bleu

Old 02-06-16, 07:35 PM
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Eurasian Nexus Path Racer - Project Gypsy Bleu

Greetings from hellfrozeover Minnesota.

I'm a noob here, and I wasn't sure which forum to post this in. Classic and Vintage looked like a good fit, but it seems most folks over there are into road bikes; campy this, colnago that, or are obsessed with originality; so this project probably won't fit over there. You folks seem more innovative and adventurous - like you might appreciate my latest winter project, so here goes...

The concept: A French take on the classic British path racer, but with gears, because I live on a very large hill. Since I am on a (wife-)restricted budget, I have to use some Asian components, such as the Nexus 8 instead of say, a Rohloff hub. Fair enough. I've spent some time in the Far East, so I know that the Eurasian combination can produce some seriously exotic beauties. That is what I'm trying to do with Gypsy Bleu.

The bike I bought off CL for fifty bucks is a mid-seventies Gitane Gypsy Sport: hi-ten steel, rather heavy, but with some very nice lugs!

I've ditched all the low-end steel components, and I'm starting from scratch with bargains where I can find them, and quality pieces that I have to save up for (like the Soma Lauterwasser `bar).

The drivetrain starts with a Nexus-8 hub laced into a nice alloy 700c rim by Taylor Wheels in Germany. This was bought off Amazon - That One-Click button is dangerous!

Well, instead of boring you with a bunch of words, here are a couple of photos:

Standing on her own two wheels for the very first time.

[IMG][/IMG]

What's a dame like you doing in a dump like this?

That was love at first sight, so I immediately bought her some bling for her hand... lebar stem:

[IMG][/IMG]

Has anyone here used an indexed thumb-shift lever with a Shimano IGH? This makes for a much cleaner installation than the grip-shift that came with the wheel.

The research I've done suggests that there is no reason it shouldn't work, but I haven't seen anything definitive yet.

Anyway, that's where we're at as of this afternoon. Now I have to wait for my budget to recharge (payday), so I can continue the build. I welcome any suggestions, opinions, even criticism and abuse to ease the boredom during that time.

Ride well,
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Old 02-13-16, 10:51 AM
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Gee, I'm sorry... It's been a whole week now without a new post in here. Have I broken the Alt.Bikes forum with my new project?

I promise I didn't do that on purpose.
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Old 03-12-16, 10:32 PM
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Nice bike there. Alt Bikes is one of the smaller forums, so it can be kind of quiet sometimes.

I've never heard of path racing. What is it?

Your bike reminds me of a Wright St. Clair one of the bikes produced by the Wright Brothers.

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Old 03-13-16, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
Nice bike there. Alt Bikes is one of the smaller forums, so it can be kind of quiet sometimes.

I've never heard of path racing. What is it?

Your bike reminds me of a Wright St. Clair one of the bikes produced by the Wright Brothers.

That is exactly what a path racer is. How cool that they managed to preserve one of the Wright Brother's versions. Essentially, path racers were kind of like the early equivalent of our current race-bred road bikes, especially what they now call cyclocross, or "gravel grinders", because most of the roads back then were not paved. They were simply stripped-down and built for speed.

In this case, I was building my interpretation of a French path racer. A little fancier than the pure English and American bikes, this one has a few stylistic flourishes that I thought pleasing to the eye. Of course, the bike ended up weighing 31 pounds, but I wasn't planning on racing it.

Here she is, completed, and I think she turned out pretty nice:

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]



[IMG]
[/IMG]




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Old 03-13-16, 09:33 AM
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Good looking bike. There are a few threads on path racers in the C&V forum. It's not all campy or all colnago or all about originality by a long shot. There is a lot of love in that forum for old hi tensile steel bikes like this; you should post a build thread on C&V.
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Old 03-13-16, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Good looking bike. There are a few threads on path racers in the C&V forum. It's not all campy or all colnago or all about originality by a long shot. There is a lot of love in that forum for old hi tensile steel bikes like this; you should post a build thread on C&V.
Thank you. I have been posting over there a bit, after the build was done. You're right, they're a great group of folks and a treasure trove of bike-wisdom.

On my next build, I think I'll concentrate more on documenting the challenges I run into, regarding thread types, sizes, and component compatibility. I was thinking of taking one of the 1990's Raleigh Technium roadbikes, which can be had pretty economically, and building a modern Lenton-style tourer with a Sturmey-Archer AW, or if I can find one, FW hub.

After adding a 24t rear cog to my 1971 Raleigh DL-1, I am finding that three speeds really are all you need (as long as you don't care about going fast!). My roadster weighs close to 50 pounds! Think how nice a modern, lightweight frame would be with alloy roadster-style components...

This is an awesome hobby!
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Old 03-13-16, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by DQRider View Post
Gee, I'm sorry... It's been a whole week now without a new post in here. Have I broken the Alt.Bikes forum with my new project?

I promise I didn't do that on purpose.
this belongs in the vintage section. BTW I love the bike!
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Old 03-26-16, 03:35 PM
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Here's my take on the subject. 3-speed with deep v rims (an eBay folly and deal) 1972 Atala frame. VOO hammered style fenders and rack. 32 mm tires Panaracers.
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Old 03-26-16, 06:01 PM
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^^^ That looks like a sweet ride. The frame is beautiful! Nice job.
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Old 04-04-16, 04:19 PM
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Hello DQ,

I found your thread here on Alt Bike Culture after doing a Google search for Gypsy Bleu. This, after seeing and commenting on your picture in the "did you ride today" thread on 50+. I agree that it is hard to label your creation as C&V, or Alt, or whatever, but I LIKE it! I have an old Columbia Sports 3 that I have equipped with alloy wheels, newer SRF-3 hub, cartridge bottom bracket, etc. More in the spirit of a theft resistant utility bike that rides well, then as a theme like a French path racer. Incidentally, on my Columbia, I recently went from a 20 to a 23 tooth cog, with a 44 tooth chainring. Plenty of range for a commuter around Indianapolis. The 20 was just a little too high for my tired old legs with some of the rolling hills and headwinds. With the 23, I regularly spin out descending, but that is about as fast as I want to go on the old bomb, anyway.

Thanks for the post of your magnificent creation. I love it when a bike comes together!
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Old 04-04-16, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by dunelt_1954 View Post
Hello DQ,

I found your thread here on Alt Bike Culture after doing a Google search for Gypsy Bleu. This, after seeing and commenting on your picture in the "did you ride today" thread on 50+. I agree that it is hard to label your creation as C&V, or Alt, or whatever, but I LIKE it! I have an old Columbia Sports 3 that I have equipped with alloy wheels, newer SRF-3 hub, cartridge bottom bracket, etc. More in the spirit of a theft resistant utility bike that rides well, then as a theme like a French path racer. Incidentally, on my Columbia, I recently went from a 20 to a 23 tooth cog, with a 44 tooth chainring. Plenty of range for a commuter around Indianapolis. The 20 was just a little too high for my tired old legs with some of the rolling hills and headwinds. With the 23, I regularly spin out descending, but that is about as fast as I want to go on the old bomb, anyway.

Thanks for the post of your magnificent creation. I love it when a bike comes together!
And thank you for the kind words. It's very gratifying that the bike I ended up with after the build was exactly what I had in mind before I started. And as far as gearing goes, my guiding principal is to gear for the climbs, and let the top-end go. Gravity always pulls me faster downhill than my legs can go anyway.
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