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  1. #1
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    Frejus racing bike worth it or not?

    I posted over in Road Bike forum and received some great help from them but I might as well post here for a different type of question regarding this bike. Would a bike of this age be a good choice for me?
    The seller described it as a racing bike. Track bike=racing bike? The seller was very knowledgable and I trust him. He says the bike is mostly Campy equipped with silk sew-ups. It's chrome. He said he has kept great care of it ?changing/repacking the bearings? and whatever other crap you bike geeks do to your bikes to keep them in top shape. Only rode the bike for shorter distances, he says. Definately not a commuter. No dents. He advised on changing to clinchers and adding low gears because I had said I do longer rides ..truth is, though, most of my rides are less than 35 miles with only a few upwards of 75-100. I ride atleast 3 days a week and more in nice weather.
    I do assume that with a lightweight road bike I may at times decide to do a 200 mile trip since I have done a 150+ on knobby tires just for the hell of it. If I can fly on the bike I would probably average 50 miles each trip or more.
    I don't believe I need small gears. I don't use them on the heavy as SHT mountain bike. Tubular tires are not scaring me anymore as it seems just as many people say they are no hassle as those that say the opposite.
    Q: Cheap tubulars. Do you replace the tubes inside or just throw them out if they flat? Repair them? $30 is nothing if they last a while but a huge crush to my wallet if I'll be needing a new one every 2 weeks. I have received 2-3 flats within the past couple years on my MTB w/ slicks. If I get near that kind of longevity with cheap tubular tires - Wonderful
    Q: Silk sew-on's. Something I should save for "flossin" around the city in? Are there any cheap silk tubulars? I don't care to waste expensive tires riding around town.

    The cost to lace clincher rims to the existing hubs is more than I care to spend at this time on my first road bike. I don't care to spread the dropouts because from what I've read Frejus bikes are quite classic. I don't like fuking with history.
    Someone told me that because of the advancement in technology I would be better off getting a more modern bike to take my virginity.
    That may be true
    OTOH my price range for a more modern bike only takes me up into the early 80's Miyata/Nishiki/etc bikes and such.
    I like classic things. If I were to buy this bike I would baby it. I baby damn near everything.
    As stated, I do not know age. I have seen one chrome w/ red decals Frejus and it was a 64, I believe. I'm sure that chrome finish was popular back then so who knows.

    I don't know model. Torino or TDF or whatever else -entry level- it could possibly be...no idea.

    Selling it for $150. 54cm. Sound like a good deal? He said the frame alone was worth $150. Said I could even sell the sew-on's and wheels if I desired to recoup some cost for clinchers. ? I figure I'll be buying new tape and seat for the bike atleast -just because something has to be ratty for him to be selling it for $150, right? I've seen one late 50's blue one on ebay go for $400 and one guy here from the forums sold one, I believe, for $600. There is a red frame on ebay currently going for $75 w/$30 shipping and 4 days left.


    Seems like a good deal to me without having actually seen the bike. Is it something I could easily trade here on Bike Forums -for a more modern roadie- if the bike doesn't suit me?
    Anything I should definately look for? Broken crank or freewheel or something? Stolen? LOL
    Anybody know the more entry level Frejus models? The guy could be a member here so I won't give out his name just yet. Ok, it's Vince. Heard of him? Dealt with the guy?

    What are your thoughts? -on the bike purchase... not my rambling

  2. #2
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    OK
    I'm looking for READERS. Only the people that know how to read and don't mind doing so!
    Thank you, gentlemen.

  3. #3
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    Frejus made a wide range of models, though the presence of silk tubulars implies one of the better models. Not necessarliy a track bicycle. Did you ask the simple question - does it have brakes and derailleurs - track bicycles don't. If it's either a track bicycle or one of the better road models, then it is an absolute STEAL. Campagnolo did make some cheap road components. To be safe, ask which model of Campgnolo components.

    On the subject on tubulars, silks are very expensive. If they are for the track models, they won't last very long on the road. Yes, there are realtively cheap tubulars available. Many people love them for the weight and ride qualities, while others hate them for their relative fragility, difficulty to repair and cost. Much of which way you will lean will depend on the local road conditions and your weight. Personally, I've always repaired mine. It's a learning experience, requiring some trial and error, but one that marks you as a hardcore, old school cyclist.

  4. #4
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Track bike would mean it is a fixed gear - single speed.

    Tubular tires - cheapish tubulars last me well over 1000 miles (2,000 - 2,500 is what I expect to get from them), but I don't have much road debris, and the roads don't have lots of pot-holes (not saying you do there, but just helping to establish the baseline). Don't waste silks on NYC streets though.

    If you're getting any model of Frejus (even their lower end models were very respectable) that's in decent shape for $150.00, it's a great deal.

    I understand your concerns about whether you'd be best off with a more modern bike. Like you, I don't have a lot of money to spend on a bike, and I also love classics. My rider is a 1973 Fuji, and while I realize I lose something when compared to a modern bike, I don't get the sense that it is a substantial handicap to me.

    Hope this helps...
    The search for inner peace continues...

  5. #5
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    Thanks, guy's.
    Very helpful

    ..just didn't know what a "racer" really meant. It's not a single.
    2000 +/- miles would be great. I do have potholes. I ride in western, NY (rochester)

    I will call the guy later today when he is in and set up a meet.
    I guess if I do purchase it I'll be having to buy a couple tubulars, glue and whatever else it may need before I get to do any riding.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Dear 'Sand,
    The bike sounds like a good deal. You say it has gearing, so it in't likely to be a track bike unless a big-time conversion was done in the past. Tubulars are quite nice to ride on, and silk tubulars are the best in terms of ride. Older tubulars, especially the best ones, tend to have latex innertubes that seep air, and need to be pumped before each ride. For your longer rides you might want to get some modern tubulars for those wheels. There are a lot of good books at Borders and Barnes and Noble that will give you excellent instructions for mounting and maintaining tubulars. I especially like Lennard Zinn.

    Track bikes, BTW, have a frame end with a long slot generally facing backwards, and the frame end did not have a provision for a derailleur to mount. If it has a tab, or a place where a tab was, or adjuster screws in a forward-facing slot, it's a road frame. Being a Frejus, it's gonna ride nicely.

    I ride both tubulars and clinchers, and like both. You are not a newbie, so just get the bike and try it as is. If you are not used to friction shift, so what? You'll figure it out. I think the beast will be great on long or short rides. It is worth at least the $150 as is, and if, for example you don't like the silks and they are not punctured, you could get a decent $$$ for them alone on Ebay.

    Enjoy it!

    Maybe I'll buy it from you if you don't like it.

    Ken Freeman

  7. #7
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    just for the record
    160-170 pounds lately.

  8. #8
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    If it's the Tour de France model it isn't top of the line (that would have
    been the Professional) but it sure isn't far from it. Torino is where Frejus
    were made, much like Masi is known to come from Milan/Vigorelli, (it's a
    regional thing).
    Personally, I think it's a fantastic deal, one of the prototypical italian marques,
    Frejus was around before the likes of Colnago, Masi, Gios, etc. and was
    probably the inspiration for some of these builders. Frejus has a long
    storied history (see www.classicrendezvous.com Italy ).
    You don't want to waste silk tubulars on just any road. I'd go for a nice
    midrange modern tubular (like conti sprinter or Vittoria), Cheap tubulars
    are not a good thing (for the most part), usually they are lumpy, not
    round and don't go on straight.
    I get far fewer flats on tubulars than I ever did riding clinchers,
    and even that wasn't a lot (touch wood).
    If you want clinchers I would suggest you buy a new wheelset,
    something age appropriate to the bike, I see them all the time on ebay
    and for very reasonable prices.
    For tubular info read the "totally tubular" thread (stuck to top of this forum).

    and finally, we need pictures.

    Marty
    Sono pių lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  9. #9
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    The bike sounds great to me. You can always do what I did in the 1970s -- keep two sets of wheels, saving the tubulars for special rides.

    Modest regearing should not be a problem, either. Most of the older derailleurs can handle a 14-26 or 13-26 freewheel, which will make hill climbing alot easier than the 14-22 which may come with the bike. My 1960 Capo came geared 52-48 / 14-16-18-20-22, which I am changing to 49-45 / 14-16-19-23-26.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  10. #10
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Back in the day (late 70's early 80's, certainly), people applied the word 'racer' to any bike with drop handlebars. Some still do. That would be the explanation. A newer bike might give you a fraction more speed and convenience, but unless you're racing, it's not enough to worry about, and the joy of riding something with a bit of classic charm can far outweigh it.

  11. #11
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    I know the area quite well - grew up in Rochester, and if the bike was originally sold in the area, it almost certainly was purchased from my late Uncle's shop. If the person you're buying it from says it is local, slowly ride down Pearl Street and when you get to the corner of Averill Ave., bow your head and point your bike to the large building on the corner (that's where she would have been assembled). That will surely give at least 30 more years of good luck.

    There are lots of different thoughts on tubular tires, and lots of different techniques that work. Our sticky thread here has a lot of good information.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  12. #12
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    I bought the Frejus late saturday evening. The man had stored the bike in a garage for past 2 years without riding it. This has been an "occasion" bike. He would ride it pretty much only on special days, for whatever reason. He said it was more his collectible bike.
    The bike was in good shape but very dusty and kind of had a slimy patina type of coating. I've been 0004 steel-woolin' it to death. Little spots of oxidation which come right off -the chrome seems in great shape and mirrors up quite well. No pits or dings or scratches or dents that I can really see. Screws and bolts are the toughest to get clean as they have rusted much more than any other part on the bike -not too bad at all, just not in absolutely immaculate condition.
    Campy parts are Gran Sport which was top of the line at the time the bike was manufactured. The bike is a 61, I believe. Perhaps a 1962. I believe the reason for why he could part with it is because he had only estimated the bike to be a late 70's. I don't really know.
    Don't know model of this bike. I don't believe it's a TDF as on the badge there is no TDF layout. It says Campione Del Mondo ..but every badge that I've found says (besides the TDF) Campione Del Mondo.
    I'm assuming this model is more common until proven otherwise.
    Universal mod 61 brakes. He couldnt afford to later put on campy brakes, he said. I've read that the Universal were still considered "professional" but definately not worth much nowadays.
    Nisi rims.
    No Decals which sucks. I'd like to have the main Frejus decal on downtube ..don't care about the others as they kinda look "fruity" I'd assume no decal may drop the value a bit ..found a place which sells 1 style, though
    Ambrosia Champion bars and stem.
    Chainwheels are 54/51t and 14-22t -definately a bike geared for racing, eh?
    Clement Super Condor tires. -Not sure if these are actually silks or cheaper tubulars. I assume cheaper tires as he was talking about Nashbar and that he was definately on a budget.
    Campy "high flange" hubs. They look pretty sweet.
    Brooks saddle with wear on back end of seat. Working on the saddle currently. Resembles the "Swallow" seat.
    The rings below the stem -?"headset"? is Campagnolo and not stamped Frejus which I have seen on couple other bikes.
    Pedals are campy and cranks as well. No cages.
    Serial Number is 100501
    58 on bottom of bottom bracket -whatever that corresponds to

    The bike is not a 53/4cm as he listed it. It's a 57cm. 22.5in c-c
    31.5 stand-over.
    I feel fine on it, eventhough I cannot lift the stem more than a couple inches. I guess it's more of a French fit but I still feel low since I hunch all the time. The top tube+stem seems longer than many other modern bikes I have seen.

    For $150 I am totally pleased. I'll keep this bike most likely forever, that's a good deal.
    I rode a mile on it today once I got the pista valve adapter to pump up the tires full.
    CRAZY! The bike seems like a toy under me. The bike weighs about 22 pounds.
    I think I'd actually like a higher gear than a lower one ...54/10, or something like that.? Im not expecting to -need- any lower gears for hills.
    The bike sounds beautiful!

    I'll post some photos of the bike in a couple days when I am happy with the cleaning and polishing.
    I'm going to purchase some new bar wrap -golden yellow/orange. I think this wrap may be original and it's quite dirty. How do you post photos in the forums, anyway?

    Thanks for all the help and advice, Bike Forum members.


    Oh, I will stop by that building. Thanks for the additional local history.
    Last edited by sunofsand; 05-21-06 at 01:47 AM.

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