Gaidou 1970’s Mixte 650B Randonneuse

One of a pair of bicycles hand built during the 1970’s to a high standard by a little known South of France constructeur – Gaidou. The other machine is a very similar specification Gent’s model in the same colour, still owned by the person I bought this one from. I particularly like the understated look of this machine. First thing to note is the use of Super Vitus tubing, one of the lightest and best quality tube-sets around at that time. The frame uses proprietary cut-out spearpoint lugs, nicely filed, and the finishing is very high standard in all respects. Particularly pleasing is the precision scalloping of the ends of the three tubes as they join the rear dropout (see below), a classy piece of work. All the fittings are top quality too, with Huret Jubilee front and rear derailleurs, Maxicar hubs and Super Champion 650B rims, Stronglight chainset, Mafac brakes with CLB levers, Phillipe bars and Atax stem. The bicycle is light and Tomoko reports that it is a pleasure to ride in all conditions on its Grand Bois 36 mm tyres.

I would be very grateful for any information on this fine artisan maker.

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Barra Urago Mixte Randonneuse c.1950

This is Tomoko’s wonderful aluminium Barra dating from around 1950. It is badged ‘Urago’ who were the retailers in Nice, but was built by the great Nicola Barra. The tubes are the trademark Barra vertical oval at the head, to round in the middle, to horizontal oval at the bottom bracket and seat tube. See my randonneuse of similar construction here. In my opinion Barra was THE master of aluminium construction and this is a fantastic example of his extraordinary skills. The bicycle is fitted with all the best kit of the period….. Stronglight chainset, Cyclo gear, Maxicar hubs, Mavic rims, Trois Etioles spokes, Lefol ‘Le Paon’ mudguards. Brakes are Barra’s own design cantilevers with adjustable toe-in, and it is fitted with his typical fillet brazed steel stem and combined seat post clamp/brake pulley. The saddle is a rare ‘Elaedy’ made by Ideale. Condition is completely original and unspoilt. The machine is very light indeed, around 21lbs, and Tomoko reports that it rides beautifully!

Click on pictures for large scale detailed images