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Follis ~ bicyclette française masochiste

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Follis ~ bicyclette française masochiste

Old 02-09-20, 05:00 PM
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Follis ~ bicyclette française masochiste

Here we go again and with painful pleasure...

Few venture into this French madness but jeezo, don't blame me all you plastic and carbon riders, I'm just doing my part and keeping another from the metal recycler.

(Note to self; little devil on my shoulder whispering- "its a sin to toss away any junk French bike"...
But Mister Devil, this thing is going to destroy my passion for all vintage bikey's. I may yet have to save myself and toss it.)

Allow me to first explain before one whithers and cries out in laughter.

I swear it was innocent behavior and all I did was buy a single tubular tire from an eBay seller. Tallied up the total with the shipping cost which was nearly the price of the item. Anyways, I click on whatever else the seller is offering and I see the bastid Follis, (frameset and some included parts) with open for bid or best offer, 'x' days remaining and cheap shipping.

What the heck I shoot an offer under his opening bid and within short reply, done. Deduct the tubular tire shipping cost and toss it in with the Follis shipping. Arrives two days later and Sunday delivery. Flawless packaging and shipping. Perhaps there's hope and a good sign?!

Reviewing with fellow forum member Bikemig, he pointed to me its a type 172, possibly from 1972. I'm guessing that coincides with the Follis comeback then and the year. Reynolds 531 three main tubes, Simplex dropouts.

The deal included frameset, headset, bars, stem, MAFAC Comp brakes, Nervar crank and bottom bracket. All cute and dirty threaded French.

After unpacking the frame, I checked my stash of trash and sample fitted a seatpost / 26.6. To ramp up the mess, I have this 700c wheelset consisting of Normandy hub front, Maillard Helicomatic rear and Weinmann concave rims.

Best part is the Maillard dork disc as I'm surely will need it. Inbound is a complete shift group of Huret Duopar Eco.

Sizzling!!

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Old 02-09-20, 05:07 PM
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This is a cool bike. The neat thing about the nervar crank is that, unlike the other French cranks, it does not require a special puller. It does use an obsolete bcd (128) but in a pinch you can make a 130 bcd chainring work. By and large French BBs and HSs are well made. They also had long production runs so parts are still available (plus there are modern BBs and HSs out there as well). I don't think straddle cables are available for the mafac comp brakes though so you might want to consider using a different brake.

Looking forward to seeing the completed build.

This is a great website with a ton of info on Follis bikes. If you scroll down, you will find a spec sheet with the different models. This bike looks like the 172 both in terms of the braze ons for the brake cable and paint job:

https://anciensveloslyonnais.weebly....el-follis.html

The other upper end Follis models lacked these braze ons.
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Old 02-09-20, 05:11 PM
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Old 02-09-20, 05:14 PM
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Are you thinking of having the bike painted? This looks like the perfect bike for TOMRV, just sayin. It is a challenge to get an old bike to work out for a ride with lots of hills . . .
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Old 02-09-20, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I don't think straddle cables are available for the mafac comp brakes though
Very good reproductions here, $20 shipped for a pair. He uses shiny stainless cable, so they won't look as dull as originals, but if you can live with that, the rest is very authentic. I've known the seller (via email) for years, he's reliable and a good guy, not a fly-by-night operator.

Mark B in Seattle
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Old 02-09-20, 05:20 PM
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Old 02-09-20, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
Very good reproductions here, $20 shipped for a pair. He uses shiny stainless cable, so they won't look as dull as originals, but if you can live with that, the rest is very authentic. I've known the seller (via email) for years, he's reliable and a good guy, not a fly-by-night operator.

Mark B in Seattle
Very nice. I've been wondering where the heck to get these.

One more think for crank_addict to spend money on,

Last edited by bikemig; 02-09-20 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 02-09-20, 05:24 PM
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isn't there an old saying ... "buy a French bike and your life will never be boring"??
well, there should be!
Now you can spend your spare time looking for parts with weird threads and dimensions!

Looking forward to seeing where this project goes.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 02-09-20, 05:34 PM
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Old 02-09-20, 05:40 PM
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Kudos to you for the effort. I do not have the patience, resources, know how or desire/urge to put the effort into a project of that magnitude. However, I sure do look forward to seeing progress updates, of course, including pictures.
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Old 02-09-20, 05:47 PM
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Self explanatory, this will be affixed to the stem
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Old 02-09-20, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Are you thinking of having the bike painted? This looks like the perfect bike for TOMRV, just sayin. It is a challenge to get an old bike to work out for a ride with lots of hills . . .
With other's in the paint priorities, for now will give it a deep de-rust and clean.

If TOMRV is a go, I have another bike in mind.... a project that shouldn't take a whole lot of time. I've gathered up all parts but for a Campy bottom bracket. Pretty and interesting, appropriate geared for that event.
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Old 02-09-20, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
Very good reproductions here, $20 shipped for a pair. He uses shiny stainless cable, so they won't look as dull as originals, but if you can live with that, the rest is very authentic. I've known the seller (via email) for years, he's reliable and a good guy, not a fly-by-night operator.

Mark B in Seattle
That's the answer! Thank you.

Add Kool Stop salmon pads and my brake parts will be near the cost of the entire bike!
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Old 02-09-20, 06:12 PM
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Here's the mouse trap planned for it and reason for retaining the Maillard dork disc.

Have yet to configure a mounting pivot and tab stop with the Simplex dropout but may involve a little machine work.




Last edited by crank_addict; 02-09-20 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 02-09-20, 06:28 PM
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Ha! I had this one tagged in my watch list with plans to post in the CL/eBay thread. Went back to post and noticed it was gone.

Should be a fine one. Good choice. I see a lot of polishing needed here, but this one will shine up really nice. Good pick!
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Old 02-09-20, 07:16 PM
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Looks like the cranks and the brakes are original equipment, very cool.
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Old 02-09-20, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
With other's in the paint priorities, for now will give it a deep de-rust and clean.

If TOMRV is a go, I have another bike in mind.... a project that shouldn't take a whole lot of time. I've gathered up all parts but for a Campy bottom bracket. Pretty and interesting, appropriate geared for that event.

I had good luck cleaning up a frame starting with rubbing compound, then going to clear coat safe rubbing compound to finish. And I believe mine was in worse shape. Of course try it in an inconspicuous area first.
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Old 02-09-20, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by CV-6 View Post
I had good luck cleaning up a frame starting with rubbing compound, then going to clear coat safe rubbing compound to finish. And I believe mine was in worse shape. Of course try it in an inconspicuous area first.
Sage advice. On something like this, an aggressive compound like No 7. with light pressure will go a long way, this will sound masochistic to some, but I like working with my bare hands so I can better control where it's going and gauge how even my contact with the surface is, and after things are rubbed out to my liking, I'll wipe away the excess with one terrycloth towel, then buff it out with another. Follow-through with a polish, then wax. I recommend to get acclimated to it on the underside of the downtube or seat tube. It's relatively inexpensive on Amazon and prime eligible, I think it's under $5 for a vat.

No7® Rubbing Compound « Cyclo Industries
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Old 02-09-20, 09:31 PM
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Great suggestions CV6 and Jason. Will give it a go but before I try Bar Keepers Friend 'liquid'. Its fairly mild and no oily residue should one desire touch up painting.

I used it on a recent Miyata and then a follow-up with Turtle Wax liquid 'cleaner wax' formula. It may not work for this Follis project though was quick and with nice results on the Miyata.

Case by case situation as we all know the many varieties of paints and quality level on old bikes. Trek with durable DuPont Imron product to the many Italian bikes that if you brag too much how pretty, it rewards one with paint falling off. Some of the French makes such as Motobecane are fairly robust and durable.
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Old 02-09-20, 09:42 PM
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crank_addict-

The repro Competition transverse cables show only 1 pair left. If you miss out, I have a single OEM Competition cable and it is yours for the asking, just PM me and I'll mail it out to you. Definitely go Kool Stop pad inserts. I used them on my Competitions and the result is fantastic. https://bertinclassiccycles.wordpres...and-kool-stop/ I am really looking forward to your Follis build.
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Old 02-09-20, 10:04 PM
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Excited for this build crank_addict . I too would vote no repaint. With some spit and polish it will be the perfect level of "shabby chic". I bet you got it for a pittance too. The ratty frames on eBay.fr beat the local pickings by a mile in terms of quality and character.

Those Competition calipers would have been the new and cool MAFAC gear in '72. Racer Deluxe. If for some reason you ever need replacement backing plates for those brakes, give me a shout. I have some NOS plates I'll never use.


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Old 02-09-20, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by bertinjim View Post
crank_addict-

The repro Competition transverse cables show only 1 pair left. If you miss out, I have a single OEM Competition cable and it is yours for the asking, just PM me and I'll mail it out to you. Definitely go Kool Stop pad inserts. I used them on my Competitions and the result is fantastic. https://bertinclassiccycles.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/a-bertin-c-37-mafac-2000s-and-kool-stopnk / I am really looking forward to your Follis build.
Thank you kindly, though did get the last straddle pair. Kool Stop salmon pads as well.

I'm staying the course and will use the controversial concave Weinmann rims, yet feel guilty. This bike deserves proper tubulars however this clincher choice oddly seems part wanting to enjoy the madness of it all. If that makes any sense.... or not. Ha
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Old 02-10-20, 08:55 PM
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Hey I think that is a great project--the chrome looks to be in great shape. And the brakes and crankset are real pluses to me. I'm optimistic that with cleaning, de-rusting, and a little touch-up, the white paint will come out looking good. I've had good success touching up a white PX10--pretty extensively--with just a small four dollar bottle of rust-oleum appliance white touch up paint from Home Depot (followed by some wet sand, polishing compounds, and wax or polish).

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Ole...7705/100140693

Personally I would try to find a long cage simplex derailleur rather than modify the simplex dropout, I think there are many of those out there from older, lower priced, Peugots from the 70s and early 80s.....
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Old 02-13-20, 09:04 PM
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Old 02-14-20, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post

I bet that rust will come right off. I'd try the Evaporust waterbed method. It's worked really well for me the times I've tried it. French bikes rule.
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