Idéale Saddles: Behind the Leather Curtain

Idéale saddles are among the least understood bicycle components given their standout prominence and frequently exorbitant value. The dizzying array of models they produced continues vexing even the most ardent collectors, who seem to enjoy the punishment received when combining obscurity of fact with broad product offerings and potential stratospheric price appreciation.

Cycles Alex Singer: Ageless Grace

“Alex Singer” sounds like a name you might more associate with the fumbling lead character in a classic Woody Allen movie than with what many consider the most revered bicycle builder and outfitter ever. Yet this tiny shop, first opened by its namesake founder some 80 years ago in Paris, France — which still occupies the…

Jo Routens: Randonneur de l’Excellence

Jo Routens was one of the greatest makers of randonneur and cyclotouring bicycles in all cycling history. The only other name regularly considered alongside his more aged contemporaries, Rene Herse and Alex Singer, Routens was distinct from these seminal influences in his unwavering commitment to the everyday cyclist. Initially through his partnership with fellow Grenoble, France…

Brooks England: The Eternal One

“Whilst not giving an extra guarantee beyond the legal terms, we emphasise the fact that Brooks Products are made throughout of the best material to be obtained, which, combined with experience and careful workmanship, and constant testing, is the best and safest guarantee that can be given.” The Brooks Book for Cyclists, 1907

Carlton Cycles: Foundation for Greatness

Carlton Cycles is one of the most deserving bicycle companies to be better known than it is. While revered by its cliquish followers and well-known among enthusiasts of fine road bikes, a mention of Carlton to any member of the general public — even the lad or lassie tooling along the bike path on an aluminum…

Brooks England: Saddle Database & Model Guide

Model Number 1st Catalog Size (L x W x H) Weight New Price (1-5) Top Colors Notes B. 9 1901 10.5” x 8.5” 1lb. 10.5oz. $/$$ Black, Brown, Light Road racing model, eight loop springs in rails, four rail chassis, clamp for straight post B. 9/1 1904 10.5” x 8.5” x 2” 1lb. 13oz. >>…

The Mystique of Masi: From Vigorelli to Volumetrica

Since the dawn of competitive bicycle racing, Italian frame builders have produced some of the world’s most painstakingly crafted and sought after machines. Of all the Italian brands desired by bicycle aficionados, vintage Masis turn up high or even highest on the list.

Cycles Automoto: Setting the Standard

Cycles Automoto History Cycles Automoto was a pioneering French manufacturer of bicycles and motorcycles founded at the turn of the 20th century. Well regarded for thoughtful design and meticulous construction, Automoto grew in popularity until merging with the Peugeot group in the early 1960s. Nicer Automoto bicycles — of which there certainly are some — are…

Bridgestone: Beyond the Dream

The first Bridgestone I encountered was in 1994, the last year the company sold bicycles in the USA, when I bought an RB-T after a long search for a good touring bike that could be used for commuting — and which I could afford at the time. Since then I have ridden exclusively Bridgestone bicycles…

Terrot: Forging the Way

From its 1887 beginnings as a modest textile workshop built by Charles Terrot in rural Dijon, France, the Terrot enterprise grew to become a resoundingly popular manufacturer of bicycles and motorcycles over the next three-quarters century. Terrot successfully combined ground breaking product, aggressive marketing and regularity on the podium to rise above a crowded field…