Bayliss-Wiley: Once Persistent Presence

Bayliss-Wiley is not exactly a household name. Not even in households full of vintage cyclists. When first researching it on the mighty Internet, most paths lead to folks named Bayliss marrying others named Wiley.

Legnano: The Warrior’s Wheels

Cinelli has it familiar crest, Colnago its ace of clubs, Fuji its stylized mountain, Raleigh its phoenix and Schwinn its four-point star — but Legnano may be the only bicycle company whose headbadge depicts a sword-lofting warrior. The reason why is nothing short of amazing, predictable as it may be in the end.

Caminade: The Circle of Cycle

Hearing it might shock the average rider of your swoopy, parrot-painted Italiano-alluminio wonderbike, but many such bikes are actually way, way old skool. In fact they’re so old skool they still spell it “olde school.” Aluminum frames? Octagonal tubes? Coupled bikes that disassemble with a few twists of a wrench for easy traveling? How about…

Goëland: Soaring To Lofty Heights

A Frenchman named Louis Moire was working as a bicycle salesman not long before World War Two. An astute observer of commerce, Moire surveyed the commercial landscape of his chosen profession and decided what its customers needed were affordable cyclotouring bicycles – something capable of competing with the great constructeurs like Maury and Pitard, just less…

Gitane: The Dark-Eyed Wanderer

“Gitane” is an unutterably lovely word if you speak French, both in sound and meaning. It is pronounced “zhee-TAHNN” and represents the more romantic of the French words for “gypsy.” There could not be a more evocative or euphonious name for a bicycle in all the history of pedal powered transport.

Alvin Drysdale: Mid-Century Mystery

Some people pass through life leaving little trace of themselves, though their work may be significant. In Judaism, there is the legend of the lamed vov, the thirty-six good souls whose mere existence is enough to justify to God the continuation of the world. These are simple persons who are compassionate in the Buddhist sense,…

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…

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 nearly 70 years ago in Paris, France — which still occupies the…

Stronglight: Eyes on the Future

When first contacting Stronglight for information about the company, I received a charming but curious response. My requests had included, naturally, a timeline, a list of events the company sees as particularly important in its history, the position the company sees itself occupying in the present and future of cycling, a bit about its marketing practices,…

Rivendell: Against the Wind

In the Beginning Rivendell Bicycle Works has existed barely ten years — and beginning even before its founding — has managed to engender almost continuous controversy, as well as outpourings of both unadulterated love and scorn. In 2006 it comprises merely ten people, plus a contract framebuilder and a painter for custom bikes, and a…