1970 Frejus junior-sized track bike
The pictures suggest that this Frejus track bike is just a nice old racing bike for rolling around the local Velodrome. Nothing weird or unusual to see.
At first glance you’re just looking at a hand-built rig made in Torino Italy from Columbus steel tubing. The bike is outfitted with Campagnolo Nuovo Record track components, Mavic rims shod with silk casing tubular tires (hence the protective tire covers), a Frejus custom crankset (the old cotter-pin fastened style), track pedals with steel toe-clips and Alfredo Binda leather toe straps, a 3T steel stem, custom-sized aluminum handlebars and a special saddle.
Because the proportions of this classic Italian pista are so perfect you may not realize that the sew-up tires and Mavic Super Champion tubular rims are only 24 inches in diameter. That’s right. This classic Frejus track bike was built for a 9 year old child.
From the Georgetown Cycling Club tire covers and the National Capitol Velo Club memorabilia packed with the bike we can assume that dad (or mom) raced on the track in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore areas and that junior came along to the races as well. The kid must have been fast (or dad owned the Georgetown Cycle Sport bike shop) because this rig would have been difficult to source and probably pretty expensive to buy in the early 1970’s.
Some of you classic Frejus owners out there might be wondering how we managed to assign 1970 as the birth year for this bike. Frejus, like a lot of bike builders, have serial numbers that are virtually meaningless in determining the age of a bike. Well, our reasoning goes like this: When we got the bike it was still packed in a box. The frame tubing was wrapped in The Washington Post newspaper dated September 1979. Let’s assume that dad (or junior) packed the bike away when said child left for college and dad was trying to free up some space in the garage. An 18 or 19 year old in 1979 would have been just big enough to get this bike as a birthday present or for their first trip to the velodrome in 1970.
A big thanks to David Brumsickle of Silverdale Cyclery for preserving our little Frejus for the past few decades.