Maxi-Car Hubs History & Image Gallery

Célestin Auguste Ripet patented the use of special annular bearings in bicycle bottom brackets and hubs in 1933. Rousson & Chamoux were already producing a wide range of hubs, pedals, chainrings and crank arms under the trademark name RFG by then. (RFG stood for “Roulement Francais Garanti”). These two manufacturers would eventually merge three decades…

Hetchins Bicycles: Meticulously Lugged

Bicycle companies faced a historical deletion around the time World War II hit as the prevalence of automobiles and weight of war became overwhelming. Manufacturers, racers and race organizers found their livelihoods interrupted – and in some unfortunate cases, even ended. It was around this time that several European bicycle companies found themselves struggling through…

Jo Routens: Randonneur de l’Excellence

Joseph “Jo” Routens was one of the greatest makers of randonneur, cyclotouring and cyclosportif bicycles in all of 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…

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…

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