J. Lefol: Inventeur – Constructeur

As with other French component makers from cycling’s golden era that remain popular today – Ideale, JOS, Maxi-Car and Stronglight, to name a few – surprisingly little is known about the Lefol marque given the timeless familiarity of the company’s fenders. Maybe aluminum just rusts slower than steel, with oxidation resistance preserving Lefol’s legacy more…

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.

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…

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.

Hobbs of Barbican: The Strength is in the Spine

The job of a bicycle designer parallels that of a surgeon in many senses: triage what’s wrong, decide what no longer functions, find a way to solve the problem and repair or replace whatever needs fixing. And like any good surgeon knows, if the spine fails, so too does the rest of the body.