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…

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,…

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…

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…

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.

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,…

Système D: How We Do Repairs of Steel Rims

“Système D” is a delightful “how-to” publication dating from the early 20th century in France. What started out as a weekly newsprint guide for metropolitan Parisians has since grown into a glossy monthly magazine now enjoyed by practical, resourceful do-it-yourself types from all corners of the globe. The term “le Système D” originated as a shorthand response to challenges that require the ability…

Tech Specs: 1937 Caminade Caminargent Bordeaux-Paris

Caminade Caminargent Frame Octagonal Aluminum-Magnesium Tubes Matching Lugs With Custom Bolts Caliper Brake Bridge Fender/Rack Mounts Cable Guides Caminade Caminargent Fork Aluminum-Magnesium Tubing Matching Lugs With Custom Bolts Elegant Crown Caliper Hole Fender/Rack Mounts Stronglight Headset (French, 25mm Diameter) Stronglight Chainring (48T) French Freewheel (Single Speed) Caminade Brake Levers (Open Back) LAM Brakes (Sidepull Calipers, Brass Hardware) Caminade Handlebar (Aluminum) Caminade Stem (Aluminum) Stronglight 49D Crank (Aluminum)…