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Follis Titanium bike-1970s

Old 12-11-09, 03:36 PM
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retyred
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Follis Titanium bike-1970s

OK, C&Vers, I need some quick info on a 1970s Follis Titan bike, made of titanium. What can you guys tell me about it? Was it a 'Flash in the pan' idea with a lot of problems? I'm concerned about the frame.
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Old 12-11-09, 03:40 PM
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This one?
https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/bik/1505696718.html

Don't know the first thing about it, but I posted it over in the eBay/CL thread with no comment.

Here is a Follis thread I found:

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ollis-bicycles

Which led me to these:

https://www.cyclesfollis.com/
https://www.classicrendezvous.com/France/Follis.htm


There are a few more Follis threads on BF, too.

Last edited by P4D; 12-11-09 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 12-11-09, 05:48 PM
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Interesting find John, a quick search reveals that they were probably made by Teledyne. You'll have better luck searching for Teledyne titan.
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Old 12-11-09, 06:26 PM
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retyred
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Originally Posted by mainducoyote View Post
Interesting find John, a quick search reveals that they were probably made by Teledyne. You'll have better luck searching for Teledyne titan.
Mathieu, how is my Canadian Legnano Exporter? : Thanks for the info. That's exactly what I did, discovering that their titanium frames were prone to breaking. I informed the seller who knew nothing about what he was selling. Hopefully he'll warn potential buyers.
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Old 12-11-09, 06:55 PM
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+1 on the breaking.

The only one I ever found that wasn't broken was made from a kit, a Teledyne, and he wouldn't sell it. He gave it to a bike shop to hang on the wall.
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Old 11-25-10, 10:17 PM
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My Teledyne Titan is still going strong after 34 years. Still using the TI fork too. Guess I've been lucky.
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Old 11-25-10, 10:28 PM
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I think it was 1977 that Teledyne Linar subbed out distribution to Follis in the USA. They sold a few. Then Teledyne shut the project down.

Alledgedy there was a running change where they added some internal reinforcement sleeves to help with the cracking issue. The fork problem showed up later. I think it is a situation where now I would drop the fork at least annually and remove the crown race and flow some crack check dye to see what may be starting.
I had one for 18 months or so way back, fun, but not a top ride. Worthy of a collection, as they were the really first mass produced ti frames, and introduced raw welds to top tier frames.
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Old 11-26-10, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
...they were the really first mass produced ti frames, and introduced raw welds to top tier frames.
I think that distinction would go to the Speedwell Titanium.
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Old 11-26-10, 08:31 AM
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there was a just a Teledyne frame/fork on ebay last week. I almost bid on it. it ended up with one bid around $450 I think
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Old 11-26-10, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I think that distinction would go to the Speedwell Titanium.
Speedwell was one of the first builders, but they dressed the welds quite a bit.
Teledyne in comparison actually had production level numbers, like 3 or 4,000 total. Those bikes were actually seen, the Speedwell was a magazine image for most. I saw one, and it was nicely finished, but some silly construction choices, no reinforcement at the seat lug binder ears, and they tore under the stress of holding a seat post. Speedwell also used a standard downtube O.D., which only insured a whippy frame.
Teledyne sponsored the North Hollywood Wheelmen for a time and had Ron Skarin riding a road and track bike. He won a lot of races on them too which did not hurt locally.
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Old 11-26-10, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Speedwell was one of the first builders, but they dressed the welds quite a bit.
Teledyne in comparison actually had production level numbers, like 3 or 4,000 total. Those bikes were actually seen, the Speedwell was a magazine image for most....Teledyne sponsored the North Hollywood Wheelmen for a time and had Ron Skarin riding a road and track bike. He won a lot of races on them too which did not hurt locally.
I guess it depended on where you lived. If you lived in Europe, particularly England, Speedwell was probably as visible as Teledyne was in California. After all, Ocana did use a Speedwell on some mountain stages during his TdF win. By all accounts, they couldn't build the frames fast enough and were concentrating on supplying the French and English markets. In Canada, Teledyne was virtually non-existent. On the other hand, while not everyday sightings, you'd see Speedwell fairly often. While I wouln't call either brand "mass produced" nor would I call Speedwell "magazine image for most". I suspect their production volume was comparable.
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Old 11-26-10, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I guess it depended on where you lived. If you lived in Europe, particularly England, Speedwell was probably as visible as Teledyne was in California. After all, Ocana did use a Speedwell on some mountain stages during his TdF win. By all accounts, they couldn't build the frames fast enough and were concentrating on supplying the French and English markets. In Canada, Teledyne was virtually non-existent. On the other hand, while not everyday sightings, you'd see Speedwell fairly often. While I wouln't call either brand "mass produced" nor would I call Speedwell "magazine image for most". I suspect their production volume was comparable.
I think their production volumes were significantly smaller even if over a longer period. The serial number scheme has the month first, then last two digits of the year, then a three digit build number. I have never seen a number with the hundreds place utilized, and nothing with the tens beyond even 1, so at most what 19 per month? Lets say 72 months (1972-77), still under 1,400 and that I think is generous given the hand work in finishing off the welds and the lack of castings for dropouts, fork ends or crown.
The Speedwell construction process allowed for changes in geometry and they did update the dimensions over time, too bad they did not exploit the material, nor use it more logically as later ti builders did.
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Old 11-27-10, 09:24 AM
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From what I've read, total Teledyne Titan production was not that much higher, something under 2000 frames. I know they were in production for a shorter time but still, in terms of manfacturing volume, it's not a big diiference. It's certainly not a big enough difference to call one mass production and exclude the other, though I wouldn't use that term for either.
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