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sd5782 07-09-20 07:46 AM

Blasphemous Frejus content
I've posted about my Frejus here before, and have been adapting the too large frame to fit. These sorts of bikes are seldom encountered where I live. I was set on keeping it as close to stock as I could.

I decided to pretend it was 1980 and that I inherited this as a hand me down from an older brother who bought it in 1964 and was taller than me but moved away and hasn't ridden it for years. As a young kid in 1980 I wouldn't have thought about being period correct or have had much money. So, stem and bars went first to get a decent French fit.
SR raddner bars and a stem I had on hand

That worked swell but my brother must have been lots stronger too, as that gearing wasn't something I could handle with the 47-50 crank rings.
Campy Gran Sport and 14-22 five speed

I then changed to a 14-28 freewheel like many 10 speeds had, but found that the Campy couldn't handle it. Well I went to the LBS, and they sold be a Suntour 7 that did just fine and shifted the freewheel just fine. Hooray, I could now ride the bike.
Suntour 7 from co-op
workable gearing and shifting

That was the pretend part. I first tried a sun tour compact 6 speed in 14-26 and the Gran Sport was crunchy on the 20-23 and 23-26 shifts. It just wasn't pleasant. After the changes, the bike was fun and a pleasant ride. To this now old guy, it felt way sportier than it looks.

Not period correct, but rideable now at least. The ride for some reason inspired me to be more aggressive and I am now pleased. Unlike 1980, I have all the old parts saved in a box to go with the bike.

Charles Wahl 07-09-20 08:08 AM

That's a beauty! What does your brother think about it? Are the mudguards original?
Put some more expensive tires on it and you'll really maximize its sportiness.

juvela 07-09-20 08:24 AM


Nice to see you have retained the Sportman hubs. They are relatively late ones since they came with Tipo skewers.

There is an Ambrosio I-beam stem of the extension you have on there in case you would care to keep an eye out for one. The clamp size is 26.0mm. It would be roughly period correct. 1964 was approximately the first year for the 3TTT Tourist stem and bar set which came with the machine.

Remember to keep all the takeoffs together in a safe place so it could be put back to OEM configuration if ever so wished in the future.

Chainset looks to be Way-Assauto.

Find it unlikely that the Lyotard model 36 pedals would have been OEM. Sheffields more probable.

Wonderful it is in such outstanding all original condition! :thumb:

Thank you for posting. ;)


sd5782 07-09-20 09:16 AM


Originally Posted by Charles Wahl (Post 21577749)
That's a beauty! What does your brother think about it? Are the mudguards original?
Put some more expensive tires on it and you'll really maximize its sportiness.

Actually the brother story was just a pretend story as my excuse to desecrate a vintage collectible. I actually bought this local on Craig’s a year ago. I wanted to experience some Italian riding.The mudguards are original. I have new pasela 28s on it as pictured and to me they feel very nice.

Earlier discussion

As recommended, I have saved all the parts. I guess to me it is better to have a vintage frame I can ride and experience than having a wall hanger. As discussed, this is mid level so not really so valuable anyhow. The wide ratio 5 speed and older rear derailleur and steel chainrigs give enough nostalgia. The driveline harkens back to the 70s rather than the 50s which is just fine as I want to ride it, not fight it.

Wildwood 07-09-20 09:32 AM

Glad to hear a Frejus success story. It looks beautiful.
I’ll have to read your earlier thread, musta missed it.

I have a much lower model -1960’s - that was (in a sense) gifted to me.
tall with short tt (60X55), just does NOT work with drop handlebars. Not even with 14 cm stem!
I decided not to make it into a tall city bike that I would not ride.

Charles Wahl 07-09-20 03:20 PM

Originally Posted by sd5782 (Post 21577885)
Actually the brother story was just a pretend story as my excuse to desecrate a vintage collectible.

Sorry to be abstruse; it was just a snarky invitation to find out (by means of your own fictional setting) whether you have conflicted feelings. Just a joke. Enjoy it, like I would!

sd5782 07-09-20 04:37 PM

Ah, I see

Originally Posted by Charles Wahl (Post 21578559)
Sorry to be abstruse; it was just a snarky invitation to find out (by means of your own fictional setting) whether you have conflicted feelings. Just a joke. Enjoy it, like I would!

Actually for the original post, I thought about my fictional brother perhaps moving away in the “Summer of love” in 1968, or perhaps being missing in Vietnam. Nah, keep it simple and non political.

tyler_fred 07-09-20 04:42 PM

You should disown your imaginary brother. Maybe look for another that is your size... brother, that is!!!

P.S. Nice Frejus!!

sd5782 07-09-20 05:25 PM

Too funny!!

Trakhak 07-09-20 05:28 PM

In honor of the photos provided by the OP, I suggest a new acronym for C&V people:


(Too beautiful; didn't read.)

63rickert 07-10-20 12:18 PM

Send me your unwanted Gran Sport derailleur.

In 1964 it would be very normal to see Italian bikes with that amount of seatpost showing. Not too big at all. The handlebars would be lower if racing that Frejus - and most who bought a Frejus would have at least some connection to the race world. The larger frame saves you from the dreaded stork stem. So it looks just right.

FrejusFlyer 07-17-20 10:28 PM

Beautiful bike! My 60's Frejus had belonged to someone who had raced in the 60's 70's and 80's and he had changed some of the parts as time went on. He stopped racing it in the 70's but partially stripped parts off it to outfit another bike so when I got it, it was missing the wheels and crank. I decided to put on a nice but very unoriginal 80's Campy SR drive train. Only problem is for some reason I feel I have to point out to anyone looking at the bike that the crank's aren't original. They don't care :)

sd5782 07-18-20 07:47 AM

I had to stick with this 47/50 steel crank for the looks and authenticity. It is geared fairly tall even for the flatlands, hence the new gearing in back. My understanding was that fancier Frejus bikes in the day had the 3 piece crank. It is a fun ride now, and the rear “upgrades” might have been appropriate for 1975-1980 or so. Nice riding frame.

sd5782 08-10-21 01:26 PM

Another update, and more blasphemy
Sorry purists, especially the younger stronger type, but this old Frejus just got some more Japanese content. I always found the half step 47/50 crank to be beautiful, but not too useful to me at 64 years of age. I tried a 14-32 freewheel and it worked pretty well. Along the same thought pattern, I recently changed out the beautiful Suntour Superbe 144bcd crank on my vintage Trek 700 for a compact double on that bike. The Superbe was supposed to be close enough to the Italian taper to work with a Shimano 109mm Italian bottom bracket I purchased here. It seems fine, and some careful adjustment of the front made it work.

Lots more heresy in back as not only did I use a Suntour long cage on a Shimano 14-32 five speed cluster, but I added a dork disk. The last time I went down on a bike was an over shift into the spokes at slow speed. I now don't want to ruin these nice Campy hubs or damage the spokes. The rear even has a bit of bling. This Frejus isn't the higher end Columbus tube bike, so I just have it my way, and I have all the old parts. 35 inch low gear now too and 42/46 half step front for the flatlands around here.
Campy big ring, and Campy copy crank

The chain line is very nice and the small ring has 4-5mm clearance from the chainstay.

So, water bottle holder added, and French fit on bike for me as it is really a bit too big for me. Here in the midwest, one seldom sees Italian bikes, and especially ones that don't say Bianchi. I did recently pick up a kinda neglected 1985 Torpado recently that will be a winter project. I hope my changes don't offend too many purists.

jdawginsc 08-10-21 03:35 PM

Hey...change it until it feels just right. Purists be darned, unless it is a showpiece or you are showing off at the club ride circuit, unless original fits your needs, change away!

ThermionicScott 08-10-21 04:10 PM

Blasfrejus! :lol:

bbbob 08-10-21 06:57 PM

The original steel crank can have down to a 36t chainring, if you can find one.

sd5782 08-11-21 05:03 PM

Originally Posted by bbbob (Post 22179390)
The original steel crank can have down to a 36t chainring, if you can find one.

That would be interesting. The three spoke crankarm would then also need milled for the second ring from what I have read. It seems that there is only the 116mm bcd mounting points on one side so as to accommodate the adapter piece it came with. I’m sure a more knowledgeable person with lots of parts could come up with something. As it is now, it could be put back to stock, although it is not at the high end of the lineup collector wise.

Prowler 08-12-21 04:28 AM

Originally Posted by sd5782 (Post 22178962)
..........and French fit on bike for me as it is really a bit too big for me.

I like your bike and don't find the fit a problem. I have 4 bikes that are "too big" for me and I enjoy each of them a lot, a long miles lot. And my Raleigh Pro was judged too big for me by "a very experienced professional fitter". I was really nice to him but ignored that barking dog.

I'll even submit that a too large frame has health benefits as you practice staying limber by having to throw your leg over that tall TT and saddle. As I approach the end of my 7th decade, that seems to be working for me. Enjoy that ride. It looks great.

SJX426 08-12-21 06:44 AM

@sd5782 - Beautiful bike! Such great condition!

Chang away. I did on a 1973 (ish) Bottecchia Giro d"Itlalia. As purchased. Bottecchia Giro D'italia 60cm on Flickr

With a little research, I found out the frame set is the same as the next model up, the Professional. Well I had the parts from a dead Motobecane Le Champion. So after cleaning and lubing, it became a professional Bottecchia Giro D'Italia (Professional conversion) on Flickr

For me the gearing is fine as I don't ride it for exercise, more for cruising. There are other bikes that I like to get aggressive with.

sd5782 08-12-21 01:35 PM

Thanks for the encouraging words. The fit is actually fine especially with the somewhat shorter reach stem. At 5’10”, I like 57-58cm best, but have 56 and this one at maybe 61 or so. I also know what the experts say about a rapid dismount, but it’s not like it’s way too big. An even bigger miyata I am trying to sell is rideable too me, as it has a short top tube. Often, one takes what one finds, especially where those fancier bikes aren’t so abundant.

I also saw that Bottecchia posted. Very pretty too and fits the user’s wants. I tell myself now that the frame is what speaks to us if we at least have some decent wheels and tires on there. I wasn’t riding this one as much with that 47/50 front which was kinda a shame as the frame rode so nice. I am no expert, but it feels lively in steering yet really neutral when going around the few curves in my area. I must also have quite by accident set it up so that it invites me to come up out of the saddle like I’m a younger guy.

Truth be told too, I love the looks and operation of the Suntour VX rear derailleurs and have them on several bikes. Shoot me now, but I also kinda dig the aluminum Suntour dork disks too. Hey, this one has fenders so a bit more aluminum bling is in order.

SurferRosa 08-12-21 01:46 PM

Originally Posted by Wildwood (Post 21577918)
I have a 1960 that was, in a sense, gifted to me... 60X55 just does NOT work with drop bars. Not even with 14cm stem! I decided not to make it a tall city bike that I would not ride.

Forty dollar yard art?

bikingshearer 08-12-21 02:22 PM

As one whose main rider is a 1965ish Cinelli with a Campy 10sp triple drivetrain, brifters, dual-pivot brakes and SPD pedals, I'm the last person to accuse you of blasphemy. The bike is being ridden and loved. Period correct? No. Giving new life to an old war horse? Yup. You have more than honored to spirit of the frame and gotten it back on the road. I think that trumps period correctness.

Of course, my opinion is worth exactly what you are paying for it.

BFisher 08-12-21 03:09 PM


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