Old 07-23-11, 11:23 AM
Senior Member
iab's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: NW Burbs, Chicago
Posts: 9,636
Mentioned: 97 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1324 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 42 Times in 28 Posts
I also considered this. After 4 years of searching for a prewar Frejus, I was going to allow 3 more years of searching before I made a replica frame. I had collected all of the period correct parts, why not make a frame. I even have rear lugs specifically for a Vittoria Margherita derailleur.

First I spoke with a local framebuilder about building and lugs. He wasn't opposed to building a replica, although he would have preferred to have his own touch in it. He was correct in pointing out the workmanship of a hand produced bike would be superior to a mass-built bike, even one from back in the day. So it could never be an exact replica unless you have purposeful flaws. I don't know too many builders that would want to do that.

I bought a Columbus SL tubing set (I still have it). That set was likely from the 1980s but it is period correct for the 1930s. I doubt the spec changed much. I also bought steel tubing to make custom lugs. I would need to turn them down to get the proper wall thickness but i have access to a machine shop. Cutting things to the proper size and welding them together would not have been an issue.

The hard part was determining the geometry and the lug shape from the 30s. I have slowly collected images of Frejus bikes from any era and Italian bikes from the 30s. From there, I was fairly confident in the geometry. What I could not get were any good photos of Frejus lugs from the 30s. I found a couple but they weren't anything great. A large picture, 8x10, of Giovanni Valetti and his Frejus was on ebay. I was willing to go to $75 for a picture (yes, I was a bit crazed) but I was still out bid. I actually tracked down the buyer and sent a very polite message explaining why i wanted the picture and could I have a good scan of the lugs only. I'm still waiting for a reply.
iab is offline