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Old 10-28-06, 07:27 AM   #1
East Hill
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Follis bicycles?

Can anyone tell me anything about this mixte?

http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/226716133.html


"This is in about 80-85% condition and still a pretty bicycle with its white checkered hand grips and white brake levers. It is a very dainty and pretty French bicycle for women and has ten speeds. It needs new tires and the rear tire is flat. Asking price is $85 dollars, call me at: XXXXXXXXXX until midnight if you're interested, thank you."

I have done a bit of research and I know that the company is still in business. Can anyone tell me what kind of steel was used, and what type of threading this mystery bicycle has (I'm guessing French...)?

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Old 10-28-06, 09:11 AM   #2
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Wow. Can't tell much from the picture or the description. Follis made a range of bicycles. Even the lower end stuff was decent, but yes, all French threading. You'd want to look at this one in person. They would have used Reynolds tubing on their better models, so you' should see a sticker, or where a sticker was if its one of them. Keep an eye out for the rims. The lower end models (at least through the mid 70's) had steel rims. The crankset would be another clue. If it's a no-name maze of thin steel that's bolted together - it's definitely their low-end model.

I'm not familiar with Seattle prices, but if this is one of the entry-level models, their asking price sounds a little bit high. If it's one of the Reynold's tubed models though - I'd grab it.
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Old 10-29-06, 12:45 AM   #3
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I ride an early 70's Follis and I love it. Got it for about $80.

Old alloy mavic rims, mafac racer brakes, nevar star cranks. Good stuff all around. The french threading was a pain, especially when it came to the stem and pedals. Someone along the way replaced the hubs with shimano and the rest of the drivetrain with suntour, so no problem there. All in all, it's a great bike. Nice weight, solid, etc. Just make sure it's in good condition as you can repack the hubs, bb and headset, rather than replacing the lot. Check for pitting and rust.
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Old 10-30-06, 10:57 AM   #4
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The LBS I worked in sold Follis before they switched to Gitane. The gaspipe models had extremely weak tubing, as we had several sets of very bent forks that wouldn't have bent on other makes. Other than that they seemed like fairly nice bikes for their time.
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Old 10-30-06, 11:18 AM   #5
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Well, I missed my chance to expand my bike horizons! I e-mailed the seller some questions--do you know what kind of steel, size of the normal rider of the bike, make of brakes/derailleur, steel rims on wheels, what neighbourhood are you in--he e-mailed back that he 'wasn't very fast at typing and could I call him on his phone'.

I left a message. He never got back to me whilst I was awake (I work graveyard, which is why I like to try to have questions answered by e-mail). In the meantime he apparently sold the bike, as he has removed the listing. Too bad, it could have been an interesting addition to my ever growing stable.

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Old 10-31-06, 08:00 PM   #6
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Too bad! That would have been a nice addition. Here are some links:

Follis

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Old 10-31-06, 10:38 PM   #7
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Owned a new 1975 Follis tandem. As of this date, Follis is still building tandems but not exporting to the US
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Old 11-01-06, 12:36 AM   #8
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I think that if I ever see another one listed I will make a more determined effort to go take a look! I agree, I think I missed out on a real opportunity here.

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Old 11-01-06, 09:30 AM   #9
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When I worked at a used bike shop in the early 1970s, we had a sharp-looking old Follis, with nested dual right-side Simplex shift levers and FOLLIS cut into the head lugs.
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