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late 60's Frejus commuter/city bike dilemma

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late 60's Frejus commuter/city bike dilemma

Old 08-05-12, 11:16 AM
  #1  
birdly
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late 60's Frejus commuter/city bike dilemma

Hi everyone, I'm new here and not particularly knowledgeable, but through luck and my good taste I got this really cool bike, and through the wonders of the interweb, I've learned that it might be special, and now I don't know what to do. I know you hate value questions, and the market is the market on any given day, so I'm not asking about value, but I'd love your opinions on if this bike is indeed special. If it is too special to park on the street in Philly, or too special to part out.
The thing is, it doesn't fit me, and the longer I ride the more I notice, but it is so sweet. I never was into vintage lightweights, but the appeal is starting to take hold.
I found it in a pile (literally) is a local sidewalk shop and was drawn to those cool handlebars that seemed unique. When I pulled it out, I saw a bunch of Campagnolo parts, including tubular rims with high-flange hubs, and a faded Reynolds 531 butted decal, so I took a chance and figured that at least at one time, it was a quality bike. I put some cheap wheels on it just to be able to ride and started looking around. I don't go to the bike shop looking for investments, so I wouldn't care if it is special, beyond the fact that I like it a lot, except for the fact that it is too small.

Here's what I've found (feel free to correct me-I don't actually know what I'm talking about. most of this is just the result of observation and internet research.) It is a Frejus from the late 60's. Serial #109885. The seat tube is 55cm. The seatpost binder is on the backside, not in the triangle. It has oiler ports in the headtube and bottom bracket. Headset and bottom bracket are Campagnolo. Front and rear derailers are Camp Record. Cable routing at the bottom bracket is Camp clamp-on, so is the front der. Friction shifters are wrong, and in the wrong location. I've been told the front chainrings are stronglight. Cranks are cottered and have a FB mark with some sort of stamped logo. Rear cassette is drilled and came mounted on Record high-flange (which I have, but have switched out). The rims that came with the bike on those Record high flange hubs are gold Campagnolo Victory Strada tubular rims, which just by the graphics seem like they might be newer. Front and rear dropouts are Camapgnolo and chromed. Front lugs are chromed, as are the fork caps. Frame tubes are Reynolds 531 butted tubing, I don't know anything about the forks or stays. Brakes are Mafac Universal model 61 center-pull, front and rear. Handlebars are brazed to the stem and so are the brake levers which say "Atala" on the inside of the casting. The bolt on the top of the stem has a "A" on it's end in a blue field. Seatpost is Camp. but I've been told it may be newer. Seat is a women's Brooks with copper rivets that reads "pre-softened". I can't read the brand on the side. Badge is not a decal. Frame has no dents, and seems straight. Paint, chrome and decals are rough, but all there. All the lugs have clean brazes with no rust or cracking I can see. There is surface rust, but nothing I'd call major or remotely structural. Oh, And I have the top clamp-on Camp. frame pump holder, but not the pump.

And that's about what I know. If anyone can help me figure out how original it is, and if that matters, and if I'd do better to keep it all together than scavenge my favorite parts, I'd be grateful. I have lots of pictures, but I'll just post a couple right now to save space.

Thanks,
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Old 08-05-12, 11:23 AM
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Nice bike. But we're going to need more pics to start with. From your description, it seems like it might be one of the higher end Frejus bikes, possibly the Tour de France model. Rims are definitely later. Brakes are Universal, not MAFAC. More pics, please.

Look here:http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Italy/Frejus.htm

and here:http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/frejus.html
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Old 08-05-12, 11:27 AM
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Oh, and ...yes ....too valuable to park on the street in Philly.
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Old 08-05-12, 11:29 AM
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Trying to learn to resize images for uploading.
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frejus overview.jpg (23.4 KB, 80 views)
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handlebars.jpg (38.3 KB, 125 views)
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head tube.jpg (39.7 KB, 59 views)
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crank.jpg (63.1 KB, 71 views)
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Old 08-05-12, 11:37 AM
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Oh yes, definitely worth doing something with! The bars puzzle me, but you've got a nice bike.
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Old 08-05-12, 11:52 AM
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Thanks, Rootboy. I've looked around Classicrendezvous but they thought I was fishing for offers and locked me out, so I came here.
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seat tube.jpg (56.9 KB, 31 views)
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bb.jpg (51.6 KB, 26 views)
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decals.jpg (39.0 KB, 23 views)
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Old 08-05-12, 12:01 PM
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Oh the cranks, the cranks, oh those cranks!
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Old 08-05-12, 12:03 PM
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There's a cleaner Frejus with similar bars on the classic site, but it has fenders and a generator lamp. Owner calls it a city-bike. I'm hoping they're original, sort of. That would be cool, but then I wouldn't feel right saving them out to put on a bike that fits me better. Also on the functionality, it rides smoothly, but the front d. won't keep the chain on the larger ring. It seems to go there, but not stay well. I think the d. works fine, but the friction in the shifter is not right. The rear d. works fine and shifts through the entire cassette, but the tension spring is either set wrong or worn out. I took it apart and noticed the tension was adjustable, but I'm not sure I got it right. Chain is probably stretched as well and there's definitely some wear on the front chainrings (aluminum?), but it works remarkably well considering how it looked when I found it and how little I've done.
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Old 08-05-12, 12:15 PM
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hard to get a picture of a shiny reflective thing in an awkward location, but heres the best pic I could get of the logo on the inside of the crank. Pedals are nothing special. Suntour.
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Old 08-05-12, 12:18 PM
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I've seen a set of those bars on an older Bianchi city bike before...kinda like motorcycle cafe bars....they are way cool. Do the bars themselves have any markings ? I find the photo reference useful on the eBay Italy site, so you might want to have a look around at some of the items there. It kills me to see what is available over there ( that I can't get ) and makes me drool ! especially in the older, vintage, city bike type stuff.


Nice bike. Don't you dare leave it outside !

Cheers,

Joe
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Old 08-05-12, 12:31 PM
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Thanks, Joe. There's no mark I can see on the bars except for the ATALA cast into the interior of the brazed on brake levers. They are way cool though. I have a crush on them. That's how I started on this all.
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Old 08-05-12, 12:42 PM
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I've parked some awfully high end bikes in Philly and, IMO, so long as it's properly locked (both wheels, good u-bolt), I think in most areas it's probably ok, provided you aren't leaving it over night or in areas with drunks late at night.

Make sure you have photos in case of an incident and, if you're worried, maybe an index card with your name, address and date in the bars.
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Old 08-05-12, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
I've parked some awfully high end bikes in Philly and, IMO, so long as it's properly locked (both wheels, good u-bolt), I think in most areas it's probably ok, provided you aren't leaving it over night or in areas with drunks late at night.

Make sure you have photos in case of an incident and, if you're worried, maybe an index card with your name, address and date in the bars.
Not dissing Philly at all, mostly just wondering if it is something I should be more careful with, or, honestly, if it is too valuable for how I want to use it. Thanks
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Old 08-05-12, 01:23 PM
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I didn't take it as an insult at all...valid question. I think...so long as you;re careful...you'll be OK (I have been). A lot of it depends on where it's locked and for how long. Day time is safer than night.

My Merckx was locked up/abandoned on Temple's campus for months without being stolen. My feeling is that I'm in more danger from smash and grabs, and they do happen. I narrowly escaped one a while back. Mind your surroundings and watch for groups of kids.
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Old 08-05-12, 02:20 PM
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SOmeone converted a Frejus Professional (one step up from the TdF) to a citybike. Those bars are obviously not original to the bike, they came off of an Atala. Ambrosio bar and stem would be appropriate. The FB (Fratelli Brivio) cranks are sweet. Judging by the serial number and components, mid-60s is likely for a date.

Looks goods. Worth some money and likely a target for theft.
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Old 08-05-12, 03:05 PM
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Oh, and if the size of the bike just really doesn't work out.......it should fit me just fine ! Wink wink....

Joe
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Old 08-05-12, 03:18 PM
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Lovely! The nicest parts bin special I've seen in a long while.
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Old 08-05-12, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by AZORCH View Post

Oh yes, definitely worth doing something with! The bars puzzle me, but you've got a nice bike.
The bars are Italian "city bike" bars:



Probably not original to the bike, but it's common in Italy to repurpose old race bikes into city bikes once you hang up your cleats.
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Old 08-05-12, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by birdly View Post
hard to get a picture of a shiny reflective thing in an awkward location, but heres the best pic I could get of the logo on the inside of the crank. Pedals are nothing special. Suntour.
Looks like the "Fratelli Brivio" logo to me.
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Old 08-05-12, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
SOmeone converted a Frejus Professional (one step up from the TdF) to a citybike. Those bars are obviously not original to the bike, they came off of an Atala. Ambrosio bar and stem would be appropriate. The FB (Fratelli Brivio) cranks are sweet. Judging by the serial number and components, mid-60s is likely for a date.

Looks goods. Worth some money and likely a target for theft.
Thanks iab. Of course... Atala is another brand. Got it.
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Old 08-05-12, 04:38 PM
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Here's mine, seems similar; somewhere around 63-65. 151 crank and Record rear (later front; had the stop but I used it on another bike that needed it more)
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Old 08-05-12, 04:46 PM
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Wow! That's right similar indeed. Different cranks/chainrings. Thanks for the pics. Do you know if that's a Professional model as suggested above?
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Old 08-05-12, 04:59 PM
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Wow! That's right similar indeed. Different cranks/chainrings. Thanks for the pics. Do you know if that's a Professional model as suggested above?
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Old 08-05-12, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by birdly View Post
Wow! That's right similar indeed. Different cranks/chainrings. Thanks for the pics. Do you know if that's a Professional model as suggested above?
I don't believe it has any model designation on it. Could have been a professional I guess.
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Old 08-07-12, 10:04 AM
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Thanks everyone for your quick replies and knowledge. You've confirmed for
me that this bike is about as cool as I thought and should probably be kept together. Alas, it still doesn't fit. (It measures 55cm from center of bb to top of seat tube and about the same for top tube center to center. I'm 6'1") And in light of that, I've decided to try to sell it. I haven't the time or resources for another project, especially one that won't work for me in the end.
I'll be listing it later when I'm at my computer, unless someone here would like to save me the trouble

I hope it won't breach forum etiquette to use some of the information gathered here to list it as accurately as I can.
Thanks
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