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Old 07-25-14, 07:35 PM   #1
RDJeff
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Follis 472 rising fro a 30 year shed nap

A bit of history. This bike was given to me by my father as a high school graduation gift in 1974. I proceeded to race it for a while, then used it for commuting for several years, then it got put away in the shed. I recently retired and moved, and got to looking at it, and thought, this bike could be fun to re-activate. I lubed it up, glued new tires on it, and went for a nostalgic ride. I'll be tackling the actual restoration very soon, and would appreciate advice and encouragement, and I'm sure I'll have many questions as I go.




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Old 07-25-14, 07:40 PM   #2
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Nice looking bike. Don't change anything.

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Old 07-25-14, 07:55 PM   #3
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What a great story! I agree...Don't change anything.....A bike like this was at one time a TdeF winner, so I'm sure it'll still bring you a lot of enjoyment.

My main recollection of this brand is that Wayne Stetina was sponsored by them.....But I never say anyone outside of the Stetina family in a Follis jersey....
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Old 07-25-14, 07:58 PM   #4
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Forget the bike for now!....WE WANNA SEE THE "STRANGE DOG" IN THE HOUSE!...
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Old 07-25-14, 09:35 PM   #5
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Oh man. I have sworn off French bikes forever. Really. I swear I have. (Famous last words, of course.)

But I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Follis. What a great story, and what a great looking bike. Please share more as you clean her up and make things roadworthy again.
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Old 07-25-14, 10:51 PM   #6
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Always admired them after reading about this model 672 in the September 1973 issue of Bicycling! magazine. One of the lightest steel bikes of its time and Follis made very nice looking, well made bikes. Your dad had good taste even if the shop helped him out. Any information on where it was purchased and the reason?
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Old 07-26-14, 01:02 AM   #7
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Always admired them after reading about this model 672 in the September 1973 issue of Bicycling! magazine. One of the lightest steel bikes of its time and Follis made very nice looking, well made bikes. Your dad had good taste even if the shop helped him out. Any information on where it was purchased and the reason?
Hey, thanks for the article, it was a good read! My dad bought the bike as my high school graduation gift from B&L Bike Shop, Fairbanks, Alaska.
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Old 07-26-14, 04:37 AM   #8
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Follis would build with the lightweight Reynolds 531 "3/10" tubing by special order. Light and flexible. Jan Heine calls it "planing". Yeah, sure. They could be light though.

Nice bike. My only comment is that I doubt you have the same flexibility you had departing high school. Your position needs may be different now and you might be shorter. I am younger than you and have lost 24mm in height over the past 4 decades, gravity strikes back on the soft tissue of the back. The result for me was 10 mm sorter stem from a bike I owned in my youth. (I ride close to the same drop between the saddle and bars, but a bit less there too.
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Old 07-26-14, 10:32 AM   #9
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What is the 3/10 tubing? This is definitely a Reynolds 531 frame, I just don't know anything beyond that.

Funny you should mention rider age. I'm not quite as flexible as I was when the bike was new, but surprisingly, I'm an inch taller! Don't know how that happened. I think I know how the extra 12 pounds got there though...
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Old 07-26-14, 10:47 AM   #10
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"Shed Nap." I like that!
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Old 07-26-14, 12:27 PM   #11
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... This is definitely a Reynolds 531 frame, I just don't know anything beyond that. ...
The seat post diameter will help us narrow it down.
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Old 07-26-14, 01:05 PM   #12
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What is the 3/10 tubing? This is definitely a Reynolds 531 frame, I just don't know anything beyond that.

Funny you should mention rider age. I'm not quite as flexible as I was when the bike was new, but surprisingly, I'm an inch taller! Don't know how that happened. I think I know how the extra 12 pounds got there though...
I also want to know: what is Reynolds 531 "3/10" tubing?
I thought I knew a thing or two about Reynolds (even sort of know the "A" and "B" Quality tube sets) but I have never heard of that one.
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Old 07-26-14, 02:21 PM   #13
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Really nice old bike. You don't see too many Follis around. Even here. Please post more pictures. Close ups of the frame details, etc. Thx.
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Old 07-26-14, 02:24 PM   #14
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The seat post diameter will help us narrow it down.
My caliper measured the seat post at 27mm.
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Old 07-26-14, 02:59 PM   #15
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My caliper measured the seat post at 27mm.
I think you need a digital caliper or at least a dial model that can give fractional readings.
27mm would be strange in a French frame, I'd guess it's either 26.4 or 26.6 if the seat tube is metric 531 DB, and perhaps smaller than 26.4 (say 26.2 ) if it were plain gauge with a 0.9 wall diameter. It would be very odd if a Follis of this vintage was NOT made from metric tubing.
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Old 07-26-14, 07:44 PM   #16
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I think you need a digital caliper or at least a dial model that can give fractional readings.
27mm would be strange in a French frame, I'd guess it's either 26.4 or 26.6 if the seat tube is metric 531 DB, and perhaps smaller than 26.4 (say 26.2 ) if it were plain gauge with a 0.9 wall diameter. It would be very odd if a Follis of this vintage was NOT made from metric tubing.
Okay, I measured a bit sloppily the first time. On the digital caliper, I get 26.5mm. With my precision dial caliper, I read 1.05", which equals 26.67mm. Does this help?
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Old 07-27-14, 12:36 AM   #17
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I think that confirms it's probably a full (3-main-tubes at least) 531 DB tubing frame...which is good to know since most literature on the internets is about the 672 and not much out there about the 472, except they marketed it as a "touring" model and built with "Reynolds tubing".
Nice Bike!

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Old 07-27-14, 06:44 AM   #18
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Nice looking bike. Don't change anything.

+1, except I'd rout that front brake cable behind the bar.
I'd also second RB in asking for more pics.
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Old 07-27-14, 04:45 PM   #19
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I also want to know: what is Reynolds 531 "3/10" tubing?
I thought I knew a thing or two about Reynolds (even sort of know the "A" and "B" Quality tube sets) but I have never heard of that one.
Metric OD gauge lightweight tubes, .03 mm in the unbutted sections.
A way to build a very light steel bike back in the mid 70's.
Probably too thin for the material between the butts, one could distort the tubes with your hands.
Never clamp one in a Park work stand. I have seen it done, it was not pretty.
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Old 07-27-14, 07:01 PM   #20
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I figured out how to post a group of pictures, so enjoy!



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Old 07-27-14, 07:14 PM   #21
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Very nice and interesting bike.
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Old 07-27-14, 09:23 PM   #22
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Great story and a lovely bike. Go easy on the frame resto; it has such nice details.
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Old 07-28-14, 12:53 AM   #23
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Metric OD gauge lightweight tubes, .03 mm in the unbutted sections.
A way to build a very light steel bike back in the mid 70's.
Probably too thin for the material between the butts, one could distort the tubes with your hands.
Never clamp one in a Park work stand. I have seen it done, it was not pretty.
Thanks for the follow-up...I live and learn. That's crazy-thin in the unbutted centers!
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Old 07-28-14, 09:42 AM   #24
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I agree. I'm thinking of just carefully removing the rust where the paint is missing, then touching up those spots with dabs of paint.
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Old 07-28-14, 09:52 AM   #25
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Looks like those bigger patches of lifting paint on the top tube near the seat tube will be your biggest challenge. Rust is underneath the paint there and that areas that large, once you get it cleaned up, can be tricky to touch up and make it look good. Tricky enough to decide how much of that loose paint to remove.

Thanks for the pics, by the way.
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