Determining the frame size
Gazelle Champion Mondials are measured center-to-top or c-t as it is commonly abbreviated. Center-to-top means that the frame is measured from the center of the bottom bracket, along the seat tube, to the very end of the seat tube. It stands to reason that the measurements are taken in centimeters, not inches, as cycling is a metric sport.
To avoid any confusion, later Champion Mondials have the frame size stamped on the rear brake bridge
Late seventies, early eighties 'butterfly' frames carry the frame size at the rear of the brake bridge, left of the brake while the rear axle spacing is shown at the right side of the brake. Here a size 58 with a rear axle spacing of 120 mm (5 vit.). Later Champion Mondial road frames had a Cinelli-type rear brake bridge. The frame size is generally stamped on the underside of the bridge, only visible from below. Here a size 59.
What about geometry?
Gazelle's are not built 'square' (i.e. seat tube and top tube having the same c/c dimensions). Instead, up to four sizes use the same top tube length. Note that the top tube length as such says not all about the frame length. It is the combination of seat angle and horizontal top tube length that determines the reach of a frame. Below the numbers for the racing frames (AB, AA, etc.).
|Size c-t (F)||Top tube (C)||Seat angle (B)||Head angle (A)|
|49 cm||525 mm||74°50'||74°|
|50 cm||525 mm||74°30'||73°|
|51-52 cm||535 mm||74°30'||73°|
|53-56 cm||545 mm||74°30'||73°30'|
|57-59 cm||560 mm||73°30'||73°30'|
|60-62 cm||575 mm||73°15'||74°10'|
|63-66 cm||585 mm||73°15'||74°10'|
The 1991 brochure has more information on frame dimensions. As far as I know sizing changed little over the entire period that the Champion Mondials were produced.
Finding the frame number
The frame number of a Gazelle Champion Mondial is on the underside the bottom bracket shell as seen on this frame dating from 1979.
The frame in the first picture is exceptionally clearly marked. More often than not are one or more digits barely visible. Frames from the mid seventies are notorious for a next to invisible second digit '1'. The 1975er frames in these two pictures demonstrate this fault.
My decals and paintjob do not match the frame number!
If your Champion Mondial has an earlier frame number than the decals and paintjob suggest then it was probably repainted at some time. It was very common practice back in the 1980s, early '90s to have your frame repainted at the Gazelle factory. Sometimes the opportunity was seized to add some braze-ons that were not available at the time of original purchase such as cable stops or a front derailleur boss.
I want to repaint my Gazelle, where can I find the colour code?
Know that the Gazelle colour numbers have no meaning outside the Gazelle factory. Your paint shop will have to try and match the original colour. Moreover, unless your frame is in a terribly bad state, a repaint will always decrease the value of your frame! It is only original once...
Unimpressed with the correctness of Champion Mondial decals offered online, I breathed new life into a very old project; a web page that allows the Champion Mondial decals to be assembled and downloaded for printing.
This is a PNG output sample for the ca. 1981-1985 decals:
The source is entirely SVG, so the PNG resolution can be increased quasi unrestrained. Although the tool is not yet available online, I already implemented five variants of the decals: early 1970's, mid 70's, late 70's, first half of the 80s and early nineties 'square' font. The latter is difficult because it is partly sprayed over with transparent paint. There will therefore probably be two versions, one ready for painting including the necessary paint masks and one where the paint is mimicked by a color in the decal. Please share your comments and tips. Especially on how to get the colours right for printing.
N.B. Please note that an original frame is always more valuable than a repainted one and I rarely recommend repainting. In some cases, however, the condition is so bad that it is the only option.