The pictures aren't the greatest...but it certainly does appear like a mid-70s bike. The green appears to be the same that Gitane used in the mid70's, but I cannot make out whether or not there is gold pinstriping around the lugs, which would be there if it was a Gitane (with the original paint job).
The fact that the seller does not take detailed pictures of the bike (including the decals) is not good....
Stephan Andranian Costa Mesa, CA USA http://www.GitaneUSA.com
"Scott L. Minneman" <email@example.com> wrote: Norris,
The components puzzle me, but the frame sure looks like a rebadged mid-70s Gitane...the geometry, the fork, the lugs, and the spiderweb dropouts are a direct hit (maybe even the color).
Scott Minneman San Francisco, CA, USA
-----Original Message----- From: Norris Lockley [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 7:46 AM To: email@example.com Subject: [CR]Helyett Randonneur on French Ebay - Item 320263783867
First of all, my apologies for outing this bike to the Lisst, after the a uction has finished, and the bike is now destined to go to Japan.
However I only noticed it shortly before the auction was due to close and, with the seller living quite near to where I have my house in France, I dec ided to have a bid or two. Again it was not straightforward..and it took se veral minutes before I decided to risk my money.
The principal reason for my uncertainty about the bike is that it looks as though it has existed in a time warp. The Helyett company, based at Sull y-sur-Loire, not far from Orleans where the seller lives, closed down in 19 62. However this Helyett frame has the skeletal rear drop-outs found on fra mes from the mid-70s, and Prugnat long-point windowed lugs that I don't rec all seeing on the wholesalers' lists in the early 60s. Same goes for the fo rk crown.
It's an odd-looking bike...the frame looks more like a racing frame that a randonneur..just look at that fork rake (for a 60s bike?). Some details of the frame's build quality can obtained by enlarging the photos..and it appe ars to be quite a decently constructed frame. So why would any serious comp any put steel 650 rims on such a bike and a TA chainset with rings for road racing..although the cranks are 165mm for touring.
After playing at Sherlock Holmes for ten minutes or so, I thought that I ha d the answer..so I slammed a couple of bids until it became evident that th e Japanese opposition was keener on the bike than my meer curiosity could m anage.
If anyone out there would like to interpret the origin of this frame..and w hy it is like it is...I would be pleased to hear from them..so that I can c heck my theory out.
Norris Lockley, Settle