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

Example: Framebuilders:Dario Pegoretti
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2010 17:14:27 -0700
From: "Peter Adler" <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Bike/frame ID: Follis Lyon

At 6:12 AM -0700 6/30/10, Norris Lockley wrote:
>One of the details of your frame that fascinates me the
>treatment of the wrap-over top-eyes, that appears to be tubular ones
>finishing in points. Those are quite unusual on any fraame ,but I have seen
>them, once, on a URAGO, and another time on another frame that I own, but
>whose make I am uncertain of.

I don't think I photographed those very well, but if I understand you, I think you're correct. The seatstays almost touch - there's about a 4mm gap at the front of the lug between the points. They do appear to be formed out of the tube, and the tops are beveled along the oval face (one bevel facing the top tube, the other facing the rear wheel). I'll try to take some better photos.
>I think you have a very good frame there, one worthy of being properly
>renovated. Unfortunately FOLLIs' seat transfers of that period were big and
>complicated and probably very expensive to recreate.
>Do you haave the forks to the frame? If I have time..and can actually find
>my top FOLLIS I will check out the forks..and the crown.

Sadly, I don't have the fork. There is an idea at the bike kitchen that the frame/components were donated by my regular LBS, with whom I have a close relationship; when I start the scrounge process, I'll take the frame into the LBS and root around in the discard pile to see what I can find. My assumption is that if it came from a shop, there's some big reason the fork is the only major element that didn't come along, like an unsalvageable bend.

At 8:18 AM -0700 6/30/10, Mark Bulgier wrote:
>One disadvantage of those later racing forks I mentioned is, even though
>they are taller (more fender clearance) than modern racing bike forks,
>they still don't have as much fender clearance as my Follis. If your
>frame is made for a fork as tall at the crown as mine, then a (for
>example) 1972 PX-10 fork will lower the front end of the frame a bit,
>and a '72 Gitane TdF fork is a bit shorter still. Not enough to be a
>big problem, or even noticeable most likely, but sub-optimal especially
>if you're thinking of fitting large tires and/or fenders.

I don't think that will be much of an issue for this bike; the clearance seems pretty tight anyway. I have a tubular mounted in it now (126mm high-flange Nuovo Tipo hub/Super Champion Competition Arc-en-Ciel rim/D'Alessandro Speciale tire - it's what I have around), and there's not an enormous amount of room (and no hole in the chainstay bridge for a fender mount, anyway). My plan is to run tires in the 25/28 range - tubulars if possible, most likely on purpose-built wheels. Perhaps something like high-flange Campy Nuovo Tipos are suitably Maxi-Car/Gran Sportish at a more digestible price.

What has struck me as unusual about this frame (and also about an early '70s Bertin I'm building up) is that it's sized for 700c wheels, not 27 inch. Almost all the lugged French frames I see in Northern California are 27, which I understand was done only for US exports. Either Follis and Bertin were operating on different principles, or the frames were brought into the US by individual owners, rather than by importers/bike retailers.

Or I'm just wrong; it's happened before...
>Another option would be _any_ old French fork with skinny-oval Reynolds
>blades, and preferably Simplex dropouts. Yours doesn't have to have a
>Nervex crown just because mine and Wyndham's do. A less-frilly crown
>like a Wagner would look more consistent with the aesthetic of the
>Follis lugs anyway.

You mean, something like this?<blah>

I'm not too worried yet; the Bay Area is where French frames go to die. There's a Gitane TdF/531 frameset on SF Craigslist right now for cheap, but I want to invest a little more time and energy in tracking down a separate fork, before tearing apart a complete frameset.

For those who examined the photos I linked to earlier at Does the blue/green paint inside the BB shell/downtube look likely to be the original color?

In an effort to track down more Follis information, I bought a 1955 promotional brochure off eBay France. The models listed are mostly randonneur/tourist/city bikes, and the images are line drawings; but there is one road build that shares the internal brake cable with my frame. I include the original French and my free interpretation of the Google translation:

------------------ #309 CHAMPION DE FRANCE

Cadre course <<PROFESSIONNEL>> monté avec la série complète <<REYNOLDS>> Raccords NERVEX légers ajourés FOLLIS, passage du cáble de frein AR, sous tube horizontal, émail luxe sur antirouille, jeux de pédalier et direction STRONGLIGHT dural, manivelles et couple STRONGLIGHT dural, jantes MAVIC piste ou professionnel. Moyeux RMM <<Spécial Course>> Dural, rayons Etoile ROBERGEL, écrous laiton, guidon AVA course <<Superdura>>, freins BEBOREX dural, dérailleurs AV. et AR. SIMPLEX Compétition, roue libre MOYNE 5 dentures, pédales LYOTARD dural, cale-pieds et courroies, selle H. GAUTHIER cuir traité, monture dural, pompe 48 x 24, boyaux DUNLOP Course. Sur demande: Blocages de roues rapides. Cadre chromé à l'Italienne.

Framework road <<PROFESSIONAL>> mounted with the complete series <<REYNOLDS>> Light Fittings NERVEX detailed by FOLLIS, passage of rear brake cable under horizontal tube, rust-proof luxury enamel, bottom bracket and headset Stronglight alloy, Stronglight alloy cranks, Mavic track or road rims. Hubs RMM <<Special Course>> alloy, spokes Etoile ROBERGEL, brass nipples, handlebar AVA road <<Superdura>>, brakes BEBOREX alloy, derailleurs AV. and AR. SIMPLEX Competition, freewheel MOYNE 5 cogs, Lyotard alloy pedals, toe clips and straps, saddle H. GAUTHIER treated leather, alloy mount, 48 x 24 pump, tires DUNLOP Course. On request: Quick release skewers. Chromed frame in the Italian style. -- Peter Adler oh lord, not another French project in Berkeley, California/USA