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I Finally Have a Frejus! (43 years later)

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I Finally Have a Frejus! (43 years later)

Old 08-28-16, 07:33 PM
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I Finally Have a Frejus! (43 years later)

[reposted from "Introductions" https://www.bikeforums.net/introducti...ars-later.html ]
Back around 1974, when I was not yet 21 and riding a Zeus around Wichita, a riding friend and I were discussing the merits of Reynolds 531 vs Columbus, which I'd only recently learned of. He said Columbus was stiffer and more rigid, which appealed to some, while Reynolds was a little softer & more flexible, which appealed to others. Then he mentioned Frejus, a brand I'd never heard of, saying they had the best of both, with 531 in certain places and Columbus in others.
Thus began a longing which has beguiled me these last 43 years - to one day own own of these odd bikes. To this day I've never actually seen one in person and any I did see for sale online were crazy expensive, making it seem like I'd probably never get the chance.
Until this caught my attention a couple of days ago:
Vintage Early 1970's Frejus Road Bike 58cm Campagnolo Record Reynolds 531 | eBay
... now it's mine!
This example doesn't seem to have the blended 531/Columbus frame my friend spoke of. Over the years I've found very few examples. But at this point I've become so obsessed with the brand that it hardly matters.

I'll be picking your brains to find out all I can about this bike, like what model is it? From what I can tell, it does look like a very early 70's model. If I'd been able to buy one back in '74, it would probably have been something quite like this. It has the metal badge (rather than a decal) up front, which supposedly indicates it was produced before Legnano had completely taken over production.
I can already see it needs some work. New tires at least, but I'm told they're sew-ups which I'm actually very pleased with. The Zeus had sew-ups. So, if this Frejus originally came with sew-ups, I should think that would indicate a higher end "professional" model. But if it was something the owner switched to later, that's fine too, since it would they understood performance options. It also has side pull brakes, just like my Zeus.

It'll probably be weeks yet before I can actually take it on the road, but I'm already excited!

David
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Old 08-28-16, 07:37 PM
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Found some more pictures of the bike. It came by way of an estate sale in Greenwich CT which ended August 10th.
https://aarbids.com/servlet/Search.do...9&itemId=21351
Found it by way of Pinterest, of all places:
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/345158758924862774
Give then name "Richard D..." on the bike shop "tune up" tag, and a list of Greenwich CT obituaries for the last 6 months, I think the owner may have been someone name name Richard D. McDonough.
Richard McDonough Obituary - Greenwich, CT | GreenwichTime
Born in 1931, he'd have been about 85 this year. Anybody heard of him?
In any case, the bike looks like it hasn't been ridden in a very long time!
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Old 08-28-16, 08:20 PM
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Sounds very cool. A Frejus road bike of that vintage would have sewups no matter whether it was a high end or low end bike. Being Reynolds 531 (especially if it's DB throughout( indicates that it is a higher end bike. Of course, until you post pictures it never happened.
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Old 08-28-16, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
Sounds very cool. A Frejus road bike of that vintage would have sewups no matter whether it was a high end or low end bike. Being Reynolds 531 (especially if it's DB throughout( indicates that it is a higher end bike. Of course, until you post pictures it never happened.
He was referred over here from his thread in the introduction forum. There are photos of the bicycle there via the winning Ebay auction:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/262592405992

Last edited by Kilroy1988; 08-29-16 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 08-28-16, 09:21 PM
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Wow. That's gonna clean up nicely. Congratulations!
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Old 08-29-16, 04:45 AM
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Still getting the knack of posting here. The Ebay seller obtained the bike by way of an estate sale in Greenwich Connecticut.
Here (should be) a link to some pics from that sale (found on Pinterest):
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Old 08-29-16, 08:38 AM
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I like that a lot. Thanks for posting!
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Old 08-29-16, 08:47 AM
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A real beauty , below all that dust it looks great. And black ones are few and far between. Congrats on finding your dream bike.
I can't read the serial number on the seat tube, up near the seat cluster. But look here and see where it falls in the date scheme.
Frejus serial number chart

I agree. With the Record brakes and other gear on it, it looks to be their high end model. Professional or Super Corsa, I would guess. Of course, parts could have been switched out, but those look quite original to me.

What is the date on the top of the rear derailleur? Also, the date on the lock nuts on the hubs will give you an approximate. As will the date codes on the back of the crank arms.

Nice! Black is so cool!

Last edited by rootboy; 08-29-16 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 08-29-16, 01:39 PM
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That thing's in great condition, it appears. New grease, tires probably brake pads and maybe cables and you're done. Really nice find

Now find one for me in the 62cm size, please.
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Old 08-29-16, 04:27 PM
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I worked in a bike shop that sold a lot of high end bikes and sponsored a successful racing team. The owner was an aficionado of Italian bikes. My cow-orker asked him which Italian brand he had most respect for. It was Frejus, because he'd seen fewer failures of that brand than of the others. The Frejus and the Cinelli that share top place in my mind among Italian bikes. Styling wasn't garish, and workmanship was top notch.
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Old 08-29-16, 04:37 PM
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Congrats! Looks like it will be a sweet ride, regardless of the tubing mix.
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Old 08-29-16, 04:46 PM
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Wow!

Bill
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Old 08-29-16, 11:10 PM
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Beautiful. Congrats, and nicely equipped. Agreed that's some attractive paint.

Save
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Old 09-15-16, 09:27 PM
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Got some more information on the Frejus' history. At auction, a card on the bike indicated it had been taken in for service at some point to Greenwich Bicycles - Greenwich Bikes Full Service Bike Shop in CT 203-869-4141 - by a "Richard Day". I sent them an email asking if they possibly remember this bike and when that might have been. "Richard Day" was "Richard de Judicibus" of Greenwich, who passed away in 2009:
Richard de Judicibus Obituary - Greenwich, CT | GreenwichTime
His wife Clara then had it until she passed away last year:
Clara de Judicibus Obituary - Greenwich, CT | GreenwichTime
Which is how it came up at auction:
https://www.aarbids.com/servlet/Sear...9&itemId=21351
Richard was born in Brooklyn in 1924, but lived in Italy from 1930 to sometime after 1945.
He founded Unitours - https://www.unitours.com - specializing in "Catholic pilgrimage tours" to the Middle East and Europe.
https://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-N...s-founder-dies
Does anybody remember riding with a Richard Day or Richard de Judicibus of Greenwich? Or maybe his son, also named Richard?
One thing I noticed right away is the unusual (I think) pair of chain wheels up front in that they are only 3 teeth apart! (52 outer, 49 inner). Whoever rode this bike - and the tires show quite a bit of wear, several hundreds of miles I'd guess - must have known precisely what they wanted and had this customized for use on fairly level roads. It weighs in at about 22 lbs. I couldn't resist taking it out last weekend, and even with the old tires, I must say it really wants to GO. My riding companions lately have been pretty slow, and this bike just *would not* be content to coast alongside!
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Old 09-15-16, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by dstaudacher View Post
snip . . .
One thing I noticed right away is the unusual (I think) pair of chain wheels up front in that they are only 3 teeth apart! (52 outer, 49 inner). Whoever rode this bike - and the tires show quite a bit of wear, several hundreds of miles I'd guess - must have known precisely what they wanted and had this customized for use on fairly level roads. It weighs in at about 22 lbs. I couldn't resist taking it out last weekend, and even with the old tires, I must say it really wants to GO. My riding companions lately have been pretty slow, and this bike just *would not* be content to coast alongside!
A 3 tooth differential was not uncommon back in the day; it gave you decent half step gearing and worked well with what derailleurs back then could handle. I have a 1960 olmo gran sport that came stock with 49/46, 14-26 gearing.
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Old 09-15-16, 09:52 PM
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Terrific overall look.
Be sure to do a complete service to keep the bearings happy.
I would seek out a 42t inner ring. Reglue the tires... Maybe get a Merckx bend handlebar.
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Old 09-16-16, 06:02 AM
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My frejus...a 61'...has a tight ratio front on a 151 bed triple!





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Old 09-16-16, 07:12 AM
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That is a beautiful bike! Can't wait for the cleaned up photos.
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Old 09-16-16, 07:23 AM
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I was wondering if the OP's bike had a 151 crank on it, looking at how close the chainrings were to one another. Despite the fact that for that year/era, it should have been a 144 BCD. I can't tell from that pic.
Maybe the owner just liked it like that.

My Frejus also came with a tight double. 54/51 as I remember. But on a 151 crank. The smaller rings are hard to find for those buggers.
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Old 09-16-16, 09:15 AM
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Very attractive bike. Congrats!
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Old 09-16-16, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by bikerider007 View Post
very attractive bike. Congrats!
+1
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Old 09-18-16, 11:45 AM
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Very nice, along with the Legnano thread!


May I show of my Father's Frejus? I've not seen a "show us your Frejus" thread...





One of these days I'll do it up.
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Old 09-18-16, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
I was wondering if the OP's bike had a 151 crank on it, looking at how close the chainrings were to one another. Despite the fact that for that year/era, it should have been a 144 BCD. I can't tell from that pic.
Maybe the owner just liked it like that.

My Frejus also came with a tight double. 54/51 as I remember. But on a 151 crank. The smaller rings are hard to find for those buggers.
It looks like a 144 but it should be a 151, n'est ce pas?
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Old 09-18-16, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
It looks like a 144 but it should be a 151, n'est ce pas?
I don't think so. Not if it's an early 70's model.
Can't remember the exact year they supplanted the 151 with the 144.
1967???
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Old 09-19-16, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
I was wondering if the OP's bike had a 151 crank on it...
My estimate, using a ruler and eyeballing it, gives a bolt circle diameter very close to 144mm.
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