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  1. #1
    Eater of Food WillJL's Avatar
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    1984 Follis Touring Tandem

    This bike sat in a warehouse for 25 years, untouched. It is a Guidon Follis-built (French Constructeur), 61cm/57cm, Reynolds 531 steel filet-brazed frame. It and others like it were ordered and imported under the model name of "Concorde" by Mel Pinto Imports in the early 80's. By some twist of fate, this one never found owners until now.

    My wife and I purchased it through Velo-Orange in the Spring of 2009, and I subsequently rebuilt it, replacing all of the components except for the headset, and the TA bottom bracket and crank sets. The centerpiece of the rebuild was a 700c XT/SON28/Velocity Dyad wheel set I laced up myself to replace the antique 27" Atom/Wolber Super Champion set.

    If you're interested in all of the build details, check out this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/willjl/3946609321/

    I'd be interested to know if anyone else has a Follis Tandem. Cycles Follis just went out of business, so its actually quite hard to find out much about these bikes unless you can read and browse the internet comfortably in French (which I can't).

    Cheers!

    Last edited by WillJL; 04-03-10 at 01:57 AM. Reason: html mistake

  2. #2
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Bought a brand new Follis tandem w-a-y back in 1975.
    It was then one of the few imported 10 speed tandems available in the USA.
    Mel Pinto did impor Frewncht tandems with his logo on them.
    We had issues, especially with the Atom rear drum brake that caused lots of broken spokes.
    Finally got rid of the drum and laced some new hubs/spokes that improved things a bit.
    That tandem taught us a lot about riding TWOgether and also what we did /did not like about tandems.
    Two years later designed our own tandem and had it custom built by Matt Assenmacher in Michigan . . . huge improvement! Put 64,000 miles on that Assenmacher . . .
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  3. #3
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Bike Forums Tandem Cycling subforum! Nice Follis, it is neat to have a bike with a story to tell.

    Here is a June 1975 Bicycling Magazine review of the Follis Tandem.






  4. #4
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Interesting that this bike is from 1984, and has a lateral tube. In the 1975 article the Follis doesn't, having instead "twin lateral central longerons span from the rear fork end to the head tube".

    In Tandems & Tandeming, the lateral tube is invented by Bill McCready after 1982, and is first introduced in 1983.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tandems & Tandeming
    Seeking to learn more about frame flex peculiar to tandems, in 1982 Santana built a tandem version of the famous “Tarantula” test jig built by Gary Klein for Bicycling Magazine. Using the world’s first tandem-specific frame testing jig, Santana was able to scientifically measure the relative “pedaling efficiency” of various tube arrangements. While it may seem obvious now, the eventual outcome of this innovative research project was an unanticipated discovery—the third set of stays common to all previous racing tandems was ineffective! Santana’s revolutionary new design rerouted a marathon’s lateral bracing tubes to the rear bottom bracket instead of the rear axle. This provided two flex fighting advantages. First, instead of one larger and looser bracing triangle, the redirected tubes reduced energy-robbing side-sway at the captain’s bottom bracket by creating two smaller and tighter bracing triangles. Second, the same redirected laterals reduced energy-robbing torsional-twist at the stoker’s bottom bracket by creating a previously absent stoker’s downtube. As compared to a full century of previous racing designs, Santana’s innovative “Direct Lateral” tandems were not only lighter and more comfortable; they were unquestionably faster. Although Santana immediately invited all other builders to copy our uniquely efficient direct lateral, for many years builders stubbornly refused to concede their outdated and less capable designs.

    ...By the mid-‘90s, the jig that helped us to invent the uniquely efficient Direct Lateral frame
    If your 1984 Follis had a lateral tube, when did Follis start making them, and was this before or after Santana?

  5. #5
    Eater of Food WillJL's Avatar
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    My understanding is that our "Concorde" tandem was basically Follis' response to the Santana tandems of that era. I remember reading somewhere that Santana paved the way with that design, and that the French builders had to up the ante.

    Thanks, by the way, for all the interesting feedback!

  6. #6
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    Absolutely beautiful tandem you have. Love it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Fred and Pauline DeLong were long time tandemistas!
    Our '75 Follis had the twin laterals as did our 1977 Assernmacher.
    Our '77 Assenmacher was a very short wheelbased (60 1/4"!) tandem, weighing in at a then incredible 34 lbs compared to a Santana weighing around 45 lbs.
    We recall our "Assy" with fondness!

  8. #8
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    Our '77 Assenmacher was .. incredible...
    We recall our "Assy" with fondness!
    Not alone are you in wistfully recalling 33 years ago how incredible was your Assy.

    (For example, here is a blog discussing Assenmacher's)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Shaneferd's Avatar
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    Very niiice. I have scoured the Web looking for a Follis 650b tandem myself. Just recently stepped into something lucky & now have a Jack Taylor 650b to build upon. I am looking to build that SON28 hub into my wheelset as well. How is that one working for you, do they come standard OLD at 100 mm?

  10. #10
    Eater of Food WillJL's Avatar
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    Yep, 100mm OLD. I'm really happy with the SON28 so far. No problems, no complaints.

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