Gitane Expresso de Ville

Gitane Expresso de Ville

Thierry Vincent is one of France’s most talented photographers, and while he’s usually more comfortable shooting exotic cars and motorcycles, he recently took it upon himself to document his rebuilt Gitane Tour de l’Avenir.

The emphasis for this custom build was budget, the total cost coming in under €110. The donor bike is a 1975 Gitane Tour de l’Avenir, a relatively standard French-made road bike which Thierry stripped, cleaned and had painted. The rear derailleur was retained, along with the Mafac brake, and the other necessary components were sourced according to functional and aesthetic requirements. Thierry aimed for a certain look that was in-between a vintage track bicycle and a cafe racer motorcycle, and a suitable pair of handlebars were found which achieved the desired stance. Other bargain bin parts were found, in keeping with the aged or classic theme, including a Brooks B-17 saddle, and a ‘Arabesque’ Shimano 600 rear mech.

Interestingly, the last two images were taken on a camera almost as old as the original bike, a Nikon EM with an old Nikon E series lens (50mm f/1.8) on 400 ASA Ilford HP5 film. Have a look at Thierry’s portfolio and blog for more beautiful photography.

Gitane Expresso de Ville
Gitane Expresso de Ville
Gitane Expresso de Ville
Gitane Expresso de Ville
Gitane Expresso de Ville
Gitane Expresso de Ville
Gitane Expresso de Ville
Gitane Expresso de Ville
Gitane Expresso de Ville
Gitane Expresso de Ville
Gitane Expresso de Ville
Gitane Expresso de Ville

  • That’s absolutely exquisite. Strange how you can see the ‘film look’ in those shots, I thought the old film v digital divide was long gone.

  • Hey! Hi Chris! Thanks for the compliments, I really appreciate! About the film/digital debate, I like and use both systems. Off course digital is more handy in almost every situation but I still find this ‘film look’ very attractive. Besides, being back to it just now, what a pleasure it is to unroll a film in the dark and smell the developper… Indeed it is a bit like riding my vintage Gitane or a Royal Enfield.

    • Indeed. Great to see film still being used. And do let me know when you next shoot some motorcycles—whether film or digital—for Bike EXIF!

  • Ty

    Class, I know thierry but did not know he was into bicycles as well.

  • mack-a-gogo

    well that is a superbe shooting session, I am impressed. but why these brake levers??