This Follis looks as though it dates from the early 50s or even earlier, possibly the 40s.
Although dressed up as a road racing frame, it was built as a randonneur of some type, possibly a "light tourist" as the horizontal two-holed lug&n bsp;incorporated in the drive-side rear drop-out was meant to be used with one of those early Simplex, Huret or possibly Super Champion tour ing mechs - Simplex being the most likely.
The head lugs look large and a bit ponderous, but in that early period F OLLIS useda set of headlugs, not dissimilar from these ( pity the detail is n't clear on the photos), which had the word "FOLLIS" stamped out of the up per lug and "LYON" from the bottom one. This set of lugs was used throuhgou t much of the range of bikes on offer, including the Pro models. Jean Fores tier who road as a regional pro, on a FOLLIS bike, won the 1953(?) Paris-Ro ubaix on a frame with these lugs.
I have seen quite a lot of Follis frames but have never seen one with a cyclist's face on the seat tube transfer. Does anyone recognise the rider? Might possibly even be Jean Forestier as he was quite a star rider at the t ime.
FOLLIS used to be quite a large company producing a full range of bike, some mopeds and some motorbikes. It is one of the very few companies from t hose days that is still surviving..think of Terrot, Alcyon, Dilecta, Tendil ..all gone and many more besides.
However news on the block in France..in fact from Rocvale, one of the be tter- known French Ebay traders, is that soon FOLLIS will be no more. Down to only two men including M Chollet the owner who is still building frames, the company is to cease trading soon, as Chollet has reached retirement ag e and there is no one to succeed him. Rocvale was in Lyon just a few weeks ago and paid a visit to the Follis factory...or should that be a workshop. On the day, M Chollet was dirtying his hands bronze-welding up a tandem fra me, a product for which the company is renowned throughout France.
Hope that helps a bit, Rick.
Norris Lockley, back in Settle UK where the sun has actually shone for t hree whole days.
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