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Marquis Marque: 1962 Follis Tour de France

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Follis Tour de France/55cm/1962 (531? Durifort? Accles & Pollock Kro-Mo?)

VO Grand Cru Course prototype, 25.4 clamp/Philippe Mil Remo

1970s Follis 472-Reynolds 531+Nervex Pro/Stronglight V4 Competition

Campagnolo Record HF/Pacenti PL23/Compass Chinook Pass

Campagnolo Record HF/Pacenti PL23/Compass Chinook Pass

TA Professionel ref.1690/2175 48/52 // TA 344 bottom bracket

Ideale #90 Rebour treatment/early spring-loaded Gipiemme

Campagnolo Record 1037 (steel), Paturaud clips, Binda Extra straps/KMC

Le Simplex/Simplex Competition (suicide lever) front, Simplex Juy 59 rear

Universal 61 centerpulls/levers, Scott/Mathauser shoes

48/52 TA ref.104/106 chainrings, ref.175 adapter/Caimi (pre-Everest) 5-speed freewheel 14-26, Reg frame bottle cage, Ale handlebar cage, TA ref.200 bottles, chromed steel pump from Poland

Suspension? HAH! Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries

I was really trying to get this up on Bastille Day, but life got in the way.

EDIT 2015.01.11: I'm redesgnating this as a Tour de France rather than the earlier Champion de France because there's no evidence this frameset was ever chromed. Chrome socks/lugs were an option on Follis framesets in the 50s and 60s (cadre chromé à l'Italienne/"chromed in the Italian style", as a 1957 promotional brochure says), but it seems to have been common on top-end and team frames.

I have the right fork for this - the same early '70s 531+Nervex Pro fork as in the posted build, but with a longer steerer and Simplex dropouts instead of Campagnolo. The posted fork has returned to the early '70s 472 from whence I snitched it. The replacement fork needs to go to a framebuilder - the flat for the headset lockwasher doesn't go far enough down on the steerer to snug up the headset.

People who friended this bike Smiley, campystamp, cannonhugodale, Splined, williamblakeetc, Nicolai87, Cyclingforlife, moik, per.k


I love the old Follis bikes. I sold them in the 70's. I still have my first 472 that has thousands of miles on it. If you ever want to sell it...........

Sell it? I haven't even *finished* it yet!

I finally found an acceptable fork a few months back (another '70s Follis 472 outcast, 531+Nervex+forged dropouts, from an eBay guy in San Diego), but the steerer's too long for the headtube. And because it's French-threaded, with a flat for the lockwasher instead of a slot, the flat doesn't come down far enough down the steerer to get the top race screwed down. I have to haul the thing up to Ed Litton, a high-zoot framebuilder/restorer in Richmond CA, to see if he can extend the flat and chase the threading. I have the old-school bike nerds on Classic Rendezvous daring me to whip out a file and do it by hand myself, but I'm chicken about doing surgery I can't reverse.

The paint and chrome on the fork (chrome crown and socks) are super-clean, so that's made my paint decision for me. I'm going to clone the fork color (the gray-blue-green Follis team color from the '50s, used on a lot of the '70s framesets). I'll do a contrasting French blue head tube matched as best I can to the traces of the original paint in the BB shell. Then I'll do the headlugs in the dark Prussian blue of my 472 and lugline in gold, using gold or white to infill the lettering cutouts in the headlugs.

My intended medium is OneShot sign painter's enamel, which can be brushed on. Given thin coats and a nice long curing time, a guy I've been talking to on Classic Rendezvous says that should hold up, and it'll be oldie-looking.

I've collected a lot of literature on Follis over the last few years. If you've still got any lit from your dealer days, let me know...especially clean photos of decals. Velocals is now doing a couple of Follis sets, but the older 50s/60s stuff with elaborate seat tube designs are hard to come by in cloneable condition.

those lugs!

i love those headtube lugs, never have i seen a set like that, pretty awesome. i'd fill em in with some black or gold paint to make them show off a bit more, still, super awesome build.

I'm still doing research on the paint issue, but

...I did go down to the neighborhood art supply store to nab several bottles of Testor's for temporary cosmetic alteration. The team color in the '40s/'50s is the gray-green of the fork blades; on team bikes, the headlugs and crown were chrome-plated. Starting in the mid-'50s, the team bikes got a contrasting mid-blue head tube, similar to the French blue you see on a lot of Peugeots and Gitanes.

The white finish is somebody's rattlecan job, although it's fairly smooth. I've found traces of a greenish-blue inside the BB shell and seatstays, so that's my current plan for a match. The '70s Follis frame that temporarily donated the fork has marine/Prussian blue headlugs and crown, so I thought I'd go ahead and temporarily paint the headlugs that way, then either leave the "FOLLIS LYON" cutouts white, or infill them with gold. I'm also planning on painting the seatstays with a French tricolor, like on the team bikes. They've got a really cool bevel in the wrapover section, and it's hard to get that to show up in a photo when they're all white.

I do have replacement headbadges, of course.

Fascinating Bicycle

Looks like a fun project.

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