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Mystery Follis- what have I got here?

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Mystery Follis- what have I got here?

Old 03-12-17, 05:52 PM
orcas island 
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Mystery Follis- what have I got here?

I picked up a nice Follis about 3 weeks ago, and it has me stumped! Looking at what I can find on the Internet, it doesn't seem to be a match for any of their catalog models. No decals or tubing stickers aside from the riveted Follis head badge. Some of the parts and pieces shout 1970's, but the double set of bottle holder braze ons seem like something from the 80's.

I'd love to get some photos posted, but it seems the new photo format requires a flicker account or something??
At any rate, the frame has what appears to be fancy Nervex lugs (not chromed), a Campy headset, seat post, side pull brakes, and top tube cable clips. Original Follis stem and handlebars. The rest of the running gear seems to have been cannibalized or swapped out; Shimano derailleurs and down tube shift levers, Phil Wood hubs and an Avocet crank are currently in place.

One confusing feature is the existence of a pair of flat tangs attached to the seat stays for mounting a rear rack. No eyelets on the rear dropouts, rather, tapped holes in the upper section of the dropout. Campy dropouts front and rear.

It seems like an odd combination of racing geometry and touring features. I can't find anything like it in their online catalogs. If I had to guess, it looks like one of their Model 572 frames that has had a few touring adaptations. Did Follis do custom frames? Any help appreciated.

It's a lovely understated blue color, and I noticed that the same blue color is in the Follis lettering of the stem, the Campy engraved letters of the headset, and also the Blackburn engraved letters on the bottle cage. A repaint perhaps? The seller didn't seem to think so.....

Last edited by orcas island; 03-12-17 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 03-12-17, 06:08 PM
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Your description of the machine's details makes it sound like it has been reworked. It could always be a boomer which has been modded. Absence of transfers could be due to refinishing. You could check for a respray by examining steerer and interior of bottom bracket shell.

You will receive more response and specific information when you are able to upload some visuals...

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Old 03-12-17, 09:50 PM
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I've only ever seen one Follis "catalog", which was a black and white affair from one year in the 1970's that described their models from 072 through 572. This would be a useful guide for definitive identification if your bike were made in the year of the catalog, and if nothing major had been changed. With no idea of what was offered in other years, we are at a big disadvantage. There's no reference at all as to how dynamic their offerings were from year to year.

That said, Follis was quite well known for making tandems, and I have confidence that if the company were to have made a custom frame for touring, they certainly would have the know-how to use dropouts with appropriate eyelets and to install proper brazed on fittings for mountings. What you describe certainly would be attributable to changes that some previous owner made to the frame.
In search of what to search for.
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Old 03-12-17, 09:56 PM
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I'm imagining that a previous owner did have a Model 572 frame modified a bit, then repainted. The bottle bosses that were added (one on the underside of the down tube as was more customary on 80's touring frames) makes me think that someone wanted the bike to work better for long distance riding. It still rides more like a quick handling lightweight though, rather than a stretched out touring bike.
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Old 03-12-17, 10:22 PM
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572's could be special ordered. But at the time the request would be tubing or specific angle(s) or key dimensions.
One guy had cantilever brake mounts for Mafac Criteriums.

From the description, the bike reads modified at respray.
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Old 03-13-17, 12:19 PM
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Sounds like it may be a 572, please post a photo if possible. Here is a photo of my 572 which does not have fender eyelets. It does have Follis stem and bars.
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Old 03-13-17, 12:34 PM
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The Follis 672 was the customized model.
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