Re: [CR] Bike/frame ID: Follis Lyon

(Example: Framebuilders:Doug Fattic)

From: "Ken Wehrenberg" <>
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2010 18:42:28 -0500
Subject: Re: [CR] Bike/frame ID: Follis Lyon

Mark, Peter and list:

The Follis discussion is quite interesting. My first Follis was a #172 from the boom era. It was sort of ready-to-randonneur before anyone knew what that was all about stateside. It sported Stronglight 99, CLB centerpulls, Simplex Criterium derailleurs, and Ambrosio clincher rims among other quite Frenchy quirks. The next model up, the #472 was Nervex-lugged and had quite a bit more time spent on it's fabrication and finish. By my bike's year of production, they still tried to have the contrast color headtube to match the seat tube panel, but in the interest of time the entire head tube was now a candy apple red foil decal!!! Anybody remember those? They also did tandems with this scheme. The bike road quite well but was a bit oversized so I let it go to a friend after I repainted it with decals I procured from Lyon. They had no interest in giving me anything but the current production, which were quite a bit less flamboyant by the '80s.

Follis kept a perpetual ad in the back of LeCycle right up to their end a couple of years ago. They were more a custom shop and less a mass marketer at the end.

In the early '90s, I nostalgically looked back at my Follis years and decided to try to procure one in my correct size. In Portland, OR, I found one that had been brush-painted black. It was one with the Follis and Lyon lugs at the headtube. Serial #10018, which puts it in the '50s, exactly when I do not know. I found that Cyclart had Follis original decals for it so let them do the restoration in the color scheme they had done many times for Follises of this era: mainly candy apple with white panel and headtube. With those big lugs, Follis used a smaller badge and there was an outfit that could replicate a badge that is just right, a dead-on copy. My downtube decal is the ocean liner one. There are sketches in the Data Book of bikes of this era.

I am still in search of a few parts to have it be period "close", but it is one of my most unusual and valuable-to-me items in my collection.

Ken Wehrenberg, Hermann, MO --where I am in the heartland for the 4th... parade, outdoor band concert in the amphitheater, fireworks over the river... Happy Birthday America!