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Follis

Old 08-10-16, 05:51 PM
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Follis

I picked up this Follis today. I'm not quite sure what I plan to do with it. It's not my size and so I'll probably end up selling it after getting it road worthy. The bike was repainted by the PO who did a pretty good job. He masked off the decals, the chrome, and head tube. The paint job looks good and the decals are great.

The bike may have decent tubing (reynolds 531?). It has forged simplex dropouts and the seatpost diameter is 26.8. The stem is weird; it measures 20.2 and has some funky British handlebars with very cool engravings. The bars had some pretty nice black cinelli plugs. The wheels are fairly nondescript high flange hubs (normandy? with "Bloc G" skewers), cyclo competition freewheel, and mavic tubular rims. The tubulars are old but they hold air. The stronglight 93 crank is pretty nice and the simplex criterium RD is fully functional. The brakes say "racer" but they don't say mafac.

I have a set of nice 27 inch alloy wheels lying around that I'll probably use to turn this bike into a townie with 1 x 6 gearing and upright bars. This is the bike as found in the wild.

I also wanted to give a shout out to @juvela and @francophile for helping me suss this bike out while I was trying to figure out whether to buy it or not.

Edit: the weird stem the bike came with is totally wrong for the bike. Not surprisingly a French Atax stem I had in my parts bin fit perfectly.

This is the bike as found in the wild:
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Last edited by bikemig; 08-11-16 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 08-10-16, 06:08 PM
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really beautiful bike! weird to see such an inappropriate seat...in it's day, that was a TdeF caliber bike...
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Old 08-10-16, 06:27 PM
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Cool to see it in better pictures. Glad you picked this one up, it's a really rare bird. When you mentioned it, I was like, "holy crap!!"

Any idea what the original color was? Was the person you bought it from the original owner?
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Old 08-10-16, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bassogap View Post
really beautiful bike! weird to see such an inappropriate seat...in it's day, that was a TdeF caliber bike...
Well this is how the bike was found in the wild.

Why do you think it was a TdF caliber bike? I'm thinking it may well have had nice tubing but the parts mix (other than the crank and the derailleurs) are pretty low end I think.
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Old 08-10-16, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
Cool to see it in better pictures. Glad you picked this one up, it's a really rare bird. When you mentioned it, I was like, "holy crap!!"

Any idea what the original color was? Was the person you bought it from the original owner?
The original color was green as well. You can see it through the decals that were masked off. I couldn't get a lot of detail from the seller; his buddy owned it and obviously liked bikes but they couldn't figure out how to get this bike road worthy again.
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Old 08-10-16, 06:42 PM
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Are not brakes marked just "Racer" made by Cherry? Are there symbols on the heads of the pivot bolts?
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Old 08-10-16, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
Are not brakes marked just "Racer" made by Cherry? Are there symbols on the heads of the pivot bolts?
CLB: VeloBase.com - Component: CLB Racer Course
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Old 08-10-16, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by bassogap View Post
really beautiful bike! weird to see such an inappropriate seat...in it's day, that was a TdeF caliber bike...
...I find relatively nice bikes with strange, fat, padded saddles on them pretty regularly on CL here. It's one of the indicators for "worth a look, probably didn't get ridden a lot", but it can also mean,"stolen by some guy who thinks that's an improvement".

Anyway, I give the saddles to the co-op. There are always people looking for them there. I always liked Follis. You don't see them a lot, even here in the Bay Area.
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Old 08-10-16, 07:29 PM
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The 26.8mm seatpost and forged dropouts are great indicators of quality.
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Old 08-10-16, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
. . . I always liked Follis. You don't see them a lot, even here in the Bay Area.
This is the first one I've ever seen. I've been reading about them on the web but there is very little info out there.
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Old 08-10-16, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
The 26.8mm seatpost and forged dropouts are great indicators of quality.
That's my guess as well. So this is likely to have a 531 main triangle? This may be a nicer bike than I first thought.
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Old 08-10-16, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
+1
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Old 08-10-16, 08:06 PM
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This could be a much nicer bike than I originally thought.

(1) The freewheel is a 5 speed cyclo competition, 14-22: Vintage Cyclo Competition Freewheel 14 22 5 Speed French Threaded France | eBay

(2) The bike might well be a Follis 172 with a 531 DB main triangle. This is a good site (in French) about Follis bikes: FOLLIS - Joseph FOLLIS - Marcel FOLLIS - ANCIENS VELOS LYONNAIS There is some really neat discussion of Follis back when it was hot stuff in pro races. Neat stuff. If you scroll down, you'll find catalog pages in English back in the 70s when Follis was trying to make inroads into the US market.

My bike has the chrome of the Follis 172 and the parts group--while not the same as in the catalog--looks roughly of the same quality. The higher end bikes are full 531, have a nicer parts group, and use nice stainless cable guides. The 172 has braze on cable guides in exactly the same position as on the bike I bought. So I think this is a Follis 172.

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Old 08-10-16, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
This is the first one I've ever seen. I've been reading about them on the web but there is very little info out there.
...IIRC, one of my local guys here, @djkashuba, has one that he pimped out as a keeper.
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Old 08-10-16, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...IIRC, one of my local guys here, @djkashuba, has one that he pimped out as a keeper.



Follis
by djk762, on Flickr
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Old 08-10-16, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by djkashuba View Post



Follis
by djk762, on Flickr
I saw the original thread on this bike; it's smoking hot.
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Old 08-11-16, 02:21 PM
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The Stronglight 93 won many TdeFs......
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Old 08-11-16, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bassogap View Post
The Stronglight 93 won many TdeFs......

The stronglight 93 9s around 300 grams lighter than a campy NR crank as per velobase and you can get a 37 tooth inner for the 93 (which puts you almost in compact crank land), 122 BCD Conventional Chainring, 37 Teeth

Stronglight made beautiful, light cranks and the 93 is visually my favorite.
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Old 08-11-16, 05:19 PM
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I never knew a 37T 122mm BCD chainring existed. Without the repo you referenced, they would be rarer than a 41T 144mm ring.
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Old 08-11-16, 06:53 PM
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@BigMike Quelle Follis!! pretty nice score on that one... I have the puller for that Stronglight.. when you need it.
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Old 08-11-16, 09:28 PM
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Damn, that's nice! You're quickly becoming the C&V master of Middle Earth!
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Old 08-11-16, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Damn, that's nice! You're quickly becoming the C&V master of Middle Earth!

Coming from the master of the box o' crap, that's a heck of a compliment,

It's a really neat old racing bike; just wish it were my size.
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