Thursday, April 10, 2014

Awesome customer's bike: 1961ish Frejus

     I really enjoy seeing what our customer's bring in and this one is no different. Actually, it is a bit different because it is a bike I have always wanted for my collection. The bike is a Frejus road model and the owner dates it to about 1961. Frejus bikes were very popular in the USA from about 1945-1965. This one was imported to New York by a neighborhood shop in Stony Point, NY which was owned by the late Thomas Avenia. His shop became well known for importing Frejus and Legnano bikes. The top end models had a grease port on the back of the head tube and many classic Italian features. Some of which are the seat lug that utilizes a seat collar to tighten around the seat post and the simple and elegant head lugs as well as the semi sloping fork crown with slim cut out windows. This bike has all those features with the exception of the seat collar.
      The patina on this bike is perfect in my opinion and shows it is a reliable and well ridden machine. A nice touch is the Frejus stamped alloy fenders, very sturdy and sharp looking. The bike also has a full Campagnolo Nuovo Record group with the exception of the Suntour Bar con shifters, which i like better anyway and the Balilla center pull brakes and levers. It also has the second generation Campagnolo Rally rear derailleur with the reinforcing tab which made it more substantial. Earlier versions were somewhat prone to breaking. The Rally was Campagnolo's attempt at a touring derailleur, but also suffered the poor shifting of the Nuovo Record because it did not have the benefit of a slant parallelogram. Still, it is a classic of the era. Also of note is the Campagnolo triple crank set with half step gearing, somewhat unusual. The owner says it is among his favorite city bikes and enjoys riding it on a daily basis. Perhaps some day I will find one in my size.

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