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1950's Frejus project thread - heavy patina content

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1950's Frejus project thread - heavy patina content

Old 02-22-21, 10:53 AM
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canyoneagle 
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1950's Frejus project thread - heavy patina content

In my quest to have an older (50's-60's) bicycle for fairweather pleasure rides and the odd L'Eroica or other retro event, I have purchased a well-patina'd Frejus with era-appropriate partial Campy GS (Matchbox FD, RD, Crankset, cables/housing).

As tends to be the case with many of us bike enthusiasts, my knowledge/expertise on bicycles extends back to when I first became enamored with bicycles. For me, this was in the late 1970's - my teen years. At the time, I learned to wrench on bikes and had my own little neighborhood business refurbishing bikes. As such, I mostly worked on bikes from the late 60's and later.

So, I'm now taking the dive into bikes that were made before I was born. I have an increasing appreciation for these machines, specifically early 1950's through mid 60's, with the earlier bikes holding my interest more. To me, they perfectly span the gap between the 30's and 40's machines and the more recognizable bikes that evolved once cotterless cranks and tighter geometry frames became the norm.
With this said, I look forward to learning about and experiencing this era of cycling (and the bikes themselves) from the folks here on BF who know them well. I'd love to hear stories - personal or of the past heroes-; I'd like to gain insight to technical aspects of the era and things I need to be aware of as I aspire to build a period correct bicycle; I'm an open book, and look forward to the process.

I am now awaiting the arrival of the Frejus from Turin, so will get this thread started with the eBay photos, and open the space for conversation and advice.
I really like the patina and the fact that this seems to offer a great kick start for the eventual build, with many possibly hard to obtain small bits (cable guides, seatpost clamp, etc).

The seller claims this to be a "Campione Del Mondo" model from the mid-50's.
I'm looking forward to the journey of getting this bike back on the road, and I hope I can learn from our BF cognoscenti in the process.





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Old 02-22-21, 11:59 AM
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Iím looking forward to the activities on this thread. Thatís a very pretty frame and some of the most expensive and most difficult to find pieces are still attached to it. A great starting point! Iím doing a similar project with a 50s/60s Frejus and Iíll enjoy seeing what you do with this.
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Old 02-22-21, 12:27 PM
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-----

Congratulations on this wonderful new project! ; ^ )

As you may have likely learned from your researches the name refers to a village of 2,200 souls in the extreme SE corner of France. It is best known for a rail tunnel.

Frejus cycles were produced during the interwar years and Emilio acquired the rights to the marque in 1946.

---

there will be a lubrication fitting on the NDS of the shell

pedals would have been either Way-Assauto or Sheffield

arrestors would have been either Giovanni Galli, S.p.A (Balilla) or Fratelli Pietra (Universal)

you may discover bb spindle to be hollow

the smallest inner c/w which can be fitted to these six-bolt Y-adaptor chainsets is 43T

count yourself fortunate that the Y-adaptors are of steel; they were also produced in alloy which were failure prone

smelling salts may be required when you find just what Frejus marked Gaslos cost... : ^ 0

tubeset is likely to be Falck

shall look forward to following along : ^ ]

-----

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Old 02-22-21, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Pcampeau View Post
Iím looking forward to the activities on this thread. Thatís a very pretty frame and some of the most expensive and most difficult to find pieces are still attached to it. A great starting point! Iím doing a similar project with a 50s/60s Frejus and Iíll enjoy seeing what you do with this.
Likewise, I'd love to hear some of your experiences / learnings / advice from what you've encountered with yours.

More pics for the thread:







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Old 02-22-21, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

Congratulations on this wonderful new project! ; ^ )

As you may have likely learned from your researches the name refers to a village of 2,200 souls in the extreme SE corner of France. It is best known for a rail tunnel.

Frejus cycles were produced during the interwar years and Emilio acquired the rights to the marque in 1946.

---

there will be a lubrication fitting on the NDS of the shell

pedals would have been either Way-Assauto or Sheffield

arrestors would have been either Giovanni Galli, S.p.A (Balilla) or Fratelli Pietra (Universal)

you may discover bb spindle to be hollow

the smallest inner c/w which can be fitted to these six-bolt Y-adaptor chainsets is 43T

count yourself fortunate that the Y-adaptors are of steel; they were also produced in alloy which were failure prone

smelling salts may be required when you find just what Frejus marked Gaslos cost... : ^ 0

shall look forward to following along : ^ ]

-----
Great info! I'm beginning the search for parts, as well as trying to research the Serial Number, to get a sense of year.
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Old 02-22-21, 01:27 PM
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Beautiful bike. I'm looking forward to reading this thread as you make progress. This bike looks like my 1960 Olmo Gran Sport which is also made of Falk tubing and it kitted out with similar gear:

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...ran-sport.html

You may find old bikes addictive, . I recently picked up a 1968 Schwinn Paramount and a 1958 Claud Butler to rebuild and ride.
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Old 02-22-21, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
Great info! I'm beginning the search for parts, as well as trying to research the Serial Number, to get a sense of year.
-----

from the latest images it appears she came with a complete drive train

what further fittings may be required for the assembly into a complete machine?

---

forgot to include above -

likely stem & bar set would have been Ambrosio Champion
for this era stem could be either steel or alloy


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Old 02-22-21, 02:07 PM
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I'm curious to hear more about the oiler ports on the BB and head tube. Does this mean the associated bearings are more of an oiled system than packed grease?

I will be breaking everything down when I get it, so will be able to peek inside the bearing races/bearings to see what kind of shape they are in. I'd normally clean then pack with Phil waterproof grease, but the oil fittings seem to imply another approach.
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Old 02-22-21, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
I'm curious to hear more about the oiler ports on the BB and head tube. Does this mean the associated bearings are more of an oiled system than packed grease?

I will be breaking everything down when I get it, so will be able to peek inside the bearing races/bearings to see what kind of shape they are in. I'd normally clean then pack with Phil waterproof grease, but the oil fittings seem to imply another approach.
-----

Bozzi continued to manufacture cycles with these fittings until surprisingly late; long after most others in the industry had discontinued their use

six or seven year back we had a Frejus come through with them which was able to date to the mid-1960's, forget now the specific year, a poster was surprised at this date post due to their presence, as the owner explored the cycle more fully it turned out to be on the money.

it is possible that someone at the co. had a strong belief in their use. me speculation has always been that they may have gotten a great deal on shells incorporating the threaded boss for a zerk fitting long before and continued to use them until supplies were exhausted.

consensus holding seems to be that they are a carryover from the track machines of the interwar years where hubs and brackets were oiled rather than greased with the idea that this would make them freer running.

just ignore them and do your usual Phil Wood.

you might consdier sending a PM to member Condorino who is our maven on all matters Emilio Bozzi

although he seems to stroll by only occasioinally

you might get a more rapid response by using the message system at his web site:

https://www.condorino.com/

-----

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Old 02-22-21, 04:12 PM
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I always like an older Frejus thread.
And especially when BB, HS, drivetrain, etc are original, and branded.
That the frame is of a high order is the icing on the cake.

Congrats on acquisition.
Welcome to the World of Very Classic and Vintage.
Hope it is a grand rider for you as well.
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Old 02-22-21, 06:32 PM
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I would make a cheater for Eroica, and graft on a three bolt small ring. remove the current inner ring.
They were Hard Men back then, I have grey hair, one has to know their limitations.
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Old 02-22-21, 06:49 PM
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Nice buy! I was tempted by that many times, but held off because I have a 60's Frejus in the basement and I am leaning towards older bikes now. (Be careful, the slope is slippery.)

Apparently, all of my pictures I have of bikes to post are "as- received" when I unpacked them. I've got to get them out for better photos this summer. Maybe I need to get something polished up for the Spring Ride hosted every year by IAB.
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Old 02-22-21, 07:03 PM
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Mine is a lesser model but authentic......and one of their standard (classic?) colorways.


Short top tube keeps it a progressive project. Upfront cost allows for experimentation without guilt.
Model = Mod Tour de France, 1960s. Never pursued exact year.



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Old 02-22-21, 07:52 PM
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I forgot to mention that the OP frame is not what I would consider ďheavy patinaĒ. That frame looks great as-is. Please donít ever repaint it.
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Old 02-22-21, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by beech333 View Post
I forgot to mention that the OP frame is not what I would consider “heavy patina”. That frame looks great as-is. Please don’t ever repaint it.
Oh, never!!!!! Be assured of that.
If I was going to go minty, I would have gone down that rabbit hole with the restored '54 Bianchi frameset that has since sold (related thread in the C&V valuation thread and this C&V thread). I went back and forth, and determined that I really wanted to go with a well-broken in original rather than a perfect NOS-ish build.

Thanks for the great input, everyone, and repechage yes, smaller ring options would go a long way to avoiding unnecessary torture. I'm no longer the same kid who would grind up 20% grades on a 42x21.

Great stuff - really enjoying the Frejus content here - keep it coming!
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Old 02-22-21, 08:55 PM
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In looking around the interwebs, Iím finding some good info.

https://lancashirecyclelink.wordpres...11/frejus/amp/

https://condorino.com/2017/07/16/fre...zzi-brand/amp/

According to this, it seems the models (such as this one) with the Campione Del Mondo headbadge are the ďSuper CorsaĒ models, and the Campy dropouts designate a ďCampimissimoĒ model.
Cool.

Based on the headbadge on mine, the last year shown is 1953, which points to a Ď54 model (since it seems that subsequent years were included on the headbadge as time passed).

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Old 02-23-21, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I would make a cheater for Eroica, and graft on a three bolt small ring. remove the current inner ring.
They were Hard Men back then, I have grey hair, one has to know their limitations.
Would such a modification also require modifying/replacing the FD? I'm not sure if the post-style FD would allow for much of a difference in chanring size.
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Old 02-23-21, 10:39 AM
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-----

dates on headplate -

these refer to victories achieved on Frejus branded cycles

the year markings are not all inclusive, nor do they go on forever

your head emblem can be a useful tool in date bracketing the cycle

as you examine the examples available online and here at the forum you can check to see what the next later date is that appears on a Frejus headplate to bracket the date of manufacture of your example

---

chainset and mech capacity -

if you go to three-bolt chainwheels the chainset's 116mm BCD has a lower limit of 36T

you will need the check the back side of the spider arms to see if they are machined to accept a chainwheel directly up against them...and then there is the matter of spacing between the chainwheels...

if you elect to change you can also go to a smaller outer which will make things both easier on you and on the cycle's Campag GS front mech

it is perfectly adequate to handle the ten tooth difference of a 36-46 chainwheel set for example


its later cousin, the mechanically identical Campag Valentino front mech, was routinely fitted to cycles which came with a 40-52 chainset

​​​​​​​
-----

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Old 02-23-21, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

dates on headplate -

these refer to victories achieved on Frejus branded cycles

the year markings are not all inclusive, nor do they go on forever

your head emblem can be a useful tool in date bracketing the cycle

as you examine the examples available online and here at the forum you can check to see what the next later date is that appears on a Frejus headplate to bracket the date of manufacture of your example

---

chainset and mech capacity -

if you go to three-bolt chainwheels the chainset's 116mm BCD has a lower limit of 36T

you will need the check the back side of the spider arms to see if they are machined to accept a chainwheel directly up against them...and then there is the matter of spacing between the chainwheels...

if you elect to change you can also go to a smaller outer which will make things both easier on you and on the cycle's Campag GS front mech

it is perfectly adequate to handle the ten tooth difference of a 36-46 chainwheel set for example


its later cousin, the mechanically identical Campag Valentino front mech, was routinely fitted to cycles which came with a 40-52 chainset


-----
Great info.

I derived '54 by the same methodology you mention. Specifically, the last date on mine is 1953, and I had found this image of a later model, clearly including '54.
I assume that the prior year's victory would only begin appearing on the subsequent year model. Therefore, since both '53 and '54 are found on the later headbadge, I believe mine to be a '54 since the last date shown is 1953.

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Old 02-23-21, 03:31 PM
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I have a full Universal Mod.51 brakeset on its way now.

Next up, hubs and rims...... Looking at Nisi, Ambrosio and Fiamme for rims, and Gran Sport (of course) for hubs. I'd LOVE some input here, as I don't want to end up with something sketchy. I intend to ride this bike. Tubulars, of course

Now, I'm 99.9% sure I'll need to replace those brake pads. Open to suggestions.....

Side note: at least the seller could've flipped the reversed brake pad before the photo shoot

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Old 02-23-21, 04:09 PM
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Alrighty, another aspect of this build....
I happen to have a Rivendell / Nitto lugged stem on hand in an appropriate length (I think) for this bike. Would it be sacrilege to use it for this application? I realize it is not "period correct", per se, but I find solace in the knowledge it will not break while riding.

Perhaps my other option would be period correct steel rather than alloy.

Thoughts..
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Old 02-23-21, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
Would such a modification also require modifying/replacing the FD? I'm not sure if the post-style FD would allow for much of a difference in chanring size.
don't tell that to the bikes of the late 50's into the 60's and early 70's that used that with a 44 then 42 inside ring..
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Old 02-23-21, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
Alrighty, another aspect of this build....
I happen to have a Rivendell / Nitto lugged stem on hand in an appropriate length (I think) for this bike. Would it be sacrilege to use it for this application? I realize it is not "period correct", per se, but I find solace in the knowledge it will not break while riding.

Perhaps my other option would be period correct steel rather than alloy.

Thoughts..
I would not. The correct length stem unless you need considerable rise should not be that hard to locate.
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Old 02-23-21, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I would not. The correct length stem unless you need considerable rise should not be that hard to locate.
Makes sense. Just trying to make use of a $225 part that happens to look very old
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Old 02-23-21, 07:32 PM
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-----

hope you measured frame's brake centres prior to sending off for those Pietra 51's...

their centres are 50.5mm and 64mm

either an Ambrosio Champion steel or alloy stem would be plausible, as mentined previously

bar should be an Ambrosio Champion alloy

checked for you and there is not a set of Frejus marked Gaslo caps on ebay.it this week

here is a Bianchi set as an example

BIANCHI GASLO Capsula BREV Tappi manubrio Bar Tappi finali 50S vintage ottime condizioni


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