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I could use some shared expertise on this late 50's Follis

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I could use some shared expertise on this late 50's Follis

Old 06-23-20, 03:46 PM
  #1  
3alarmer
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I could use some shared expertise on this late 50's Follis

...as you will see from the pictures, it came to me with a lot of replacement parts, because it got ridden over the years. The front derailleur, which I'm pretty sure is original, was made from '56-'59 according to Velobase.

What I'm trying to figure out (from looking at all the 50's Simplex rear derailleurs on Velobase.com, is which original rear deraillllllleur from the years in question (late 50's) will work with the sort of dropout this frame sports, which is off the more modern, integral dropped and threaded hanger type. All information is solicited. It certainly won't accept one of those stay mounted units. Am I missing something in the mounting options for the ones with the hanger tab ? Because it doesn't look to me like I can just pull off the hanger tab and pop it onto my existing rear dropout. I have done this with more modern rear derailleurs, but from this era, the atachment of the unit to the tab ooks more complex, with some kind of loaded spring thingie.

Anyhow, here are the photos.






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Old 06-23-20, 04:17 PM
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Here is a photo of the drivetrain on my 1953


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Old 06-23-20, 04:45 PM
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Charles Wahl
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It appears to me that you've got Simplex 934/935 "Competition" dropouts, from the 50s.
VeloBase.com - View Single Frame Part
I'm not sure, but I believe that these were provided with an unthreaded 9 mm hole, which was the standard for quite a few Simplex derailleurs until the 80s, so the 70s or 80s slant-parallelogram derailleur shown on the full bike photo must have required that the original dropout was threaded -- though I have no idea how it would work correctly without the stop that you see at 7 o'clock on the outside edge of more modern (Campagnolo-style) dropouts. More info necessary, I think; though I'm admittedly out of my depth here. The "Competition" and "Tour de France" frame dropouts were probably the first Simplex dropouts that had a derailleur hanger (though they were available without one too) -- how well the "drop" (distance from the axle) would work with more modern derailleurs, I don't know. If you're looking to install a period-correct derailleur, then I suggest that you peruse Velobase.com, where the various models are sorted by manufacturer and product number or marketing name (so not by years of production) but the putative years of production are listed.
VeloBase.com - Component Listing
You may also want to look at the Disraeli Gears website (no relation, just a shared appreciation of the intersection of the histories of rock and cycling)*
Simplex derailleurs
I haven't seen any Simplex "Competition" derailleurs in either reference, more's the pity; but that doesn't mean there wasn't one.

Both rear dropouts appear to be bent open, the left (non-drive-side) more obviously so.

The front derailleur is what is known as a "suicide shifter"
Dave Moulton's Blog - Dave Moulton's Bike Blog - Suicide Shifters

I'm sure that more knowledgeable folk will be along soon.
BTW, the '53 bike pictured immediately above has a very different type of derailleur than you're looking for -- I think (though am not certain) that was an earlier type. It mounts to a steel tab brazed to the chain stay ahead of the dropout, having two holes for that purpose.

Good luck with your quest!

*The basic story behind the album title is here
https://www.disraeligears.co.uk/Site/Home.html

Last edited by Charles Wahl; 06-23-20 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 06-23-20, 05:43 PM
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...I found this picture on the classic lightweights history of Juy/Simplex.
It's slide #11 , and appears to be like the original setup for my bike as well.

I would copy it here, but it's part of a Power Point pdf, so I don't know how to grab it.


Anyway, thanks. Looks like I'm looking for something like a 543 or a Record 60. Maybe even a Juy 51.
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Old 06-23-20, 05:54 PM
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...I found a Record 60 that only costs 2100 euro. Ebay is not for the faint of heart.
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Old 06-23-20, 06:53 PM
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Simplex TdF is a low-cost period-correct option. I hate spring-plunger derailleurs, but others don't.
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Old 07-02-20, 07:42 PM
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-----

congratulations on this most excellent find

thank you for sharing it with the forum

very good sleuthing on your part to answer your own gear hanger and rear mech questions

---

things noticed of which you may be already aware...

frame -

proprietary Follis head lugs are based on the BOCAMA 18/I pattern

seat lug is BOCAMA model P

fork crown is NERVEX Nr. 7

pump pegs are NERVEX Nr. 847 or 848

wheels -

the mismatched wheels are likely both replacements, probably 27"

the originals were likely tubulars, one possible original hub is Prior

if one looks at the Bebo calipers both on the front and rear the pads are set at/near the upper limit of the adjustment

if one subtracts the four mm for a 700 size wheel they would both come out right near the centre of the adjustment slot, what the manufacturer designed for

fittings -

stem is Philippe model nr. 36, so bar is likely something such as a Philippe model Franco-Belge

DURAX chainset wears Simplex Y-adaptors and chainwheels

Lyotard 460D pedals

Beborex sidepull brakes, are they the roller-cam type?
if you ever have a Bebo question forum member bulgie is a fount of knowledge on this maker

---

you will have lots of wonderful enjoyment working with this arrival

please keep us posted as matters progress...

-----
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Old 07-03-20, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
If you ever have a Bebo question forum member bulgie is a fount of knowledge on this maker
HA, I wish. I do have a nice late-'50s Follis (later than the one 3alarmer just showed us), but I'm no expert.

Mine came with Beborex brakes, and since getting my Follis I've looked around and seen a couple other types (vintages) of Beborex, but I don't really know which type came first. There was a also a Bebolux brake, a sort of roller-cam centerpull, but those were for demi-ballon tires like on city bikes, not for racers. I think Follis owned the patents and may have been the manufacturer too, though my gut feeling is they contracted out the making of the brakes to a specialist. Or at least the light-alloy parts, that wouldn't have been up Follis's alley.

That's about all I know but feel free to ask any other questions and I'll give 'em a shot...
Also look here for a ton of Follis history. If you don't read French, open it in Chrome for a fairly decent machine translation.

Mark B in Seattle
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