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Frejus hierarchy?

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Old 05-16-18, 11:36 PM
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Frejus hierarchy?

I have an opportunity developing to acquire a Frejus from the original owner who says he got it in the "1960s or 1970s". Its a friend- of- a -friend situation, so information is scare right now.Just trying to do some research on Frejus models.(I understand there is a wide variance in workmanship between models) Sheldon Brown's site has some info, but I have not been able to get a sense of a hierarchy of models (with associated model names) . I don't want to waste the owner's time; if its not a higher end model, I wouldn't want to pursue it. Its out of state and a good distance. Photos, of course would solve this; but I haven't been able to get them yet. I would imagine that the components will tell me a lot.
Which model was the top of the line? Middle?
Information would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 05-17-18, 07:06 AM
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Still waiting on photos. I learned there is a Tour de France model and a Corsa(?) model also.
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Old 05-17-18, 03:31 PM
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Maybe we need a "show me your frejus" thread to stimulate some discussion.
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Old 05-17-18, 04:48 PM
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From the mid 60's...considered a quality bike in its day.




,,,Frejus didn't make any horrible bikes under the Frujus name back in the 60's AFAIK.
Teh good ones I've seen have bee TdF labeled. If it goes back to the 60's even the best ones often came with cottered cranks. (But very pretty cottered cranks.)

Here's one from the mid 60's and another from the 70's. By the 70's the Frejus quality was slipping noticeably, as they struggled to compete in the bike boom years.

Look at this page on Classic Rendezvous.
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Old 05-17-18, 04:53 PM
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From the 70's, toward the end for Frejus. You can see some compromises in the manufacturing.


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Old 05-17-18, 06:20 PM
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Frejus changed names and specs from the 50's/60's to 70's plus they had a habit of not putting model names on their frames. In the 60's the hierarchy was "Supercorsa" "Corsa" and the "Strada". I've found some literature that says the only difference between the Supercorsa and the Corsa was that the frame was chromed on the SC. Later literature says the SC is lighter than the Corsa. Eventually, the Supercorsa became the "Professional". I believe the "Tour de France" model was the new name of the Corsa and the Strada became the "Middleracer". It appears from early literature that Reynolds tubing was only used on the Supercorsa in the early 60's (and even then only frame tubes) and as time went by, it's use became more prevalent. A good indicator of the higher line models is the oval cut-out where the seat tube meets the top tube. They're all extremely cool bikes

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Old 05-17-18, 07:24 PM
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Not saying there aren't others who know their stuff about Frejus, but I know iab loves the marque and has done quite a bit of research. Citoyen du Monde likely knows quite a bit also. iab may be out of pocket until Monday if he went to Cirque.

I'll be watching this thread also, as I have an interest also - borne of seeing a lovely trio of them in my uncle's bike shop around 1973.
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Old 05-17-18, 08:27 PM
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Interesting to see that distinctive recessed design marking (sort of fluting mark) in seat-cluster also appears in the crown in the later model that @3alarmer posted.
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Old 05-17-18, 08:37 PM
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Sheldon Brown review reads: "Most Frejus bikes feature rather mediocre workmanship, but there are moments of precision."
I was a bit surprised by these word; All the images of Frejus I have pulled up on the Web look really gorgeous with seemingly high level of craftsmanship.
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Old 05-17-18, 08:39 PM
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A Frejus Tour de France c. 1964

I just posted about my recently-acquired one. It was touted as a Tour de France and my online research indicates that that was both a model name and probably denoted by the use of the seat tube decal that says "Tour de France 1950" (as shown above). I'd be interested to know more about what I have, as well. The serial # suggests 1963 for the frame, based on the previous owner's research. I haven't checked anything out about that yet, but the components are definitely of that era.

Reading the description of the Tour de France model more closely, it seems that having a Valentino rear derailleur might not have been unreasonable. The Simplex hubs and perhaps even the rims I have might simply be newer than the bike. Otherwise, my bike rather closely matches the model description. I assume mine was actually a 1964 or even slightly later model, given the Valentino mech, which I believe was introduced in '64. Mine is also the 23" frame size, and the measurement is made center-to-center.

-Gregory



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Old 05-18-18, 07:11 AM
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I believe that Sheldon's comment refer to the entry level, boom era models by which time Frejus was owned or at least being manufactured by Bozzi (Legnano). Like many of the boom era, full range manufacturers, the Frejus entry level models often had lapses in quality control. My recollection of the boom era hierarchy is Professional Super Corsa, Tour de France and Mezza Corsa. I do have a distributor (Thomas Avenia) price list from this era, which I'll dig out when/if the OP supplies photographs.
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Old 05-18-18, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I do have a distributor (Thomas Avenia) price list from this era, which I'll dig out when/if the OP supplies photographs.
It would be interesting to see whether that happens or not. I think this thread may become useful for later reference. Thanks in advance!

-Gregory
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Old 05-18-18, 10:05 AM
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The F4 designation on the above ad seems to show that the F4 Strada became the Middleracer, so it looks like the Corsa became the Tour de France.

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Old 05-18-18, 11:11 AM
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A few people who have been in the business for a long time will have known my late employer Gaylen "Lenny" Preheim, may he rest in peace. He had an affinity for Italian bikes. Once, someone asked him what was the most reliable Italian bikes. I saw him pause and think, and then he said Frejus. I've always liked their bikes though I've never had one. I like the workmanship and the style.
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Old 05-18-18, 05:31 PM
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I'm still working on my late-50s TdF (click the pic for a link to the album):

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Old 07-11-18, 11:13 PM
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Well, I finally got the photos of the potential new acquisition. The good; mid to late 1960s vintage; all original Campy (except the brakes), original fenders; original pump, second set of wheels. The bad; fork is NOT original; some heavy rust is visible in the photos.
Pretty disappointed. No word on asking price yet. My better judgement says to pass; the fork is not something easily replaced and it indicates possible crash history.
Please see photos. Photos quality not very good.
What are your thoughts?
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Old 07-12-18, 05:02 AM
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In the 60's catalog reprint I obtained from Chuck at Velo Retro the models were as stated, , Super Corsa (Professional), Tour de France (massed start racer) and F.4 (special sport racer).
It's a bit hard to find definitive specs on these bikes, as I found out when I obtained my '63 Super Corsa. With the oil port on the head tube the one in question, and the fenders, very rare, plus the Frejus branded Silca, it looks to be a mid sixties model. Likely a Super Corsa. Can't remember when they moved to the Nuovo Record derailleur. The early 60's SC came with Universal 61 side pull brakes and a Record 151 crank. At least mine did. The TDF came with the three arm chromed crank set. It would be interesting which stem and bars are on that bike. Really too bad about the missing fork.
For the right price though, that might be worth picking up.
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Old 07-12-18, 10:15 AM
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Ultimately, I guess it all comes down to price If the fork is not original, and the frame has rust issues.....it may be the original parts that are the prize.
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Old 07-12-18, 10:26 AM
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-----

Within the Bozzi period there were produced also condorino type machines and juveniles.

Do not know names for any of these models.

Had an opportunity to view in person a condorino which was white with blue panels and exhibited a Gian Robert 3V gear set. It had a mid-sixties look.

Am thinking that member @Condorino might be able to enlighten us mightily on the subject of model name for the marque.

https://condorino.com/

​​​​​​​-----
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Old 07-12-18, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
by which time Frejus was owned or at least being manufactured by Bozzi (Legnano).
...perhaps explaining the green paint in the photo in post #6.
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Old 07-12-18, 08:51 PM
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Frejus and Legnano

We sold Legnano and Frejus bikes between 1974 and 1977-78 when the became hard to get. We bought them from Thomas Avenia in NYC who wasn't always the most user friendly supplier.

We only carried the models with Reynolds 531 or Falck frames.The lower priced bikes with those frames had cottered steel cranks and Gnutti hubs with Campy derailleurs and headset. The top models where "all Campy" except for Universal 61 center pull brakes.

About 1976 we were surprised when we received one or two Frejus bikes that had Legnano frames??? Different seat clusters, fork crowns etc. We got a few Frejus bikes in the lime green color too.

Both brands offered a lot of bang for the buck with good frames, Unicanitor saddles, 3TTT bars and stem, Fiame sewup rims, good tires and so on.

Overall I thought that the Legnanos that we sold were a little better cosmetically than most of the Frejus bikes. Maybe it was the Frejus champagne gray color???

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Old 07-12-18, 10:36 PM
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Those fenders I would assume to be a prize. For the right price I would pick up and hope to find that fork someday.


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Old 07-13-18, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikerider007 View Post
Those fenders I would assume to be a prize. For the right price I would pick up and hope to find that fork someday.


​​​​
I agree about the fenders. According to the owner, whom bought the bike new, he removed the fenders after purchasing the bike in 1967 or 1968. The fenders were hung up in the garage since then.
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Old 07-14-18, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
...perhaps explaining the green paint in the photo in post #6.
I had originally thought that the green color on my Frejus (pic 6) was the same as the famous "Legnano Green" but after meeting up with a friend who had recently purchased a late 60's REAL "Legnano Green" Legnano, I saw that the colors were not the same.
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Old 07-15-18, 10:36 AM
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Hi @vintagerando. I'm replying to your request to check out your possible purchase. I have nothing to add to what others have said. It's a tough call. I wouldn't call you stupid for buying it or for passing on it.
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