Le Cycliste Magazine 1956

Le Cycliste 1956

I recently acquired 3 1956 volumes of the monthly French cycling magazine Le Cycliste.  I don’t know much about this publication, only that it was originally founded by Paul de Vivie, aka Velocio, in the late 1800’s.  Velocio himself, an avid cyclist and competitor, was a champion of derailleur gears as well as small wheeled bicycles.  Unfortunately, he died in 1930, but his cycling buddies carried on publishing the magazine for quite some time thereafter.  Much of my awareness of Velocio was originally gleaned from my avid reading of Bicycle Quarterly, Jan Heine’s publication which has on occasion re-published some of Velocio’s articles from those early days of cycling’s history.

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This particular volume is packed with articles, photos, and some wonderful advertisements.  Here are some highlights:

Velocio

“Easter in Provence” celebrated apparently with cycling events. The photo in the upper right corner features a tandem pulling a trailer!

Velocio

Photos from a 1956 cycling event in Maconnaise. The clothing worn by the cyclists looks comfortable and not too “bikey”.

Velocio

Cyclist Maurice Maitre on the Col de Saint-Louis.

Velocio

A Daniel Rebour drawing of a new Campagnolo seatpost (a design which continued unchanged for decades), a new sleek “Comet” headlamp, and an article about something called “Dissoplast” – haven’t figured that out yet.

Velocio

Ads for Rene Herse and Mavic, as well as leather saddles and mudflaps.

Velocio

Ads for Cycles Goeland, J. Routens, Hutchinson, and the mystery item “Dissoplast” which I now think is glue for flat repairs.

Velocio

Amazing Rebour drawings of rear derailleurs. Note the quick releases on the “wrong” side of the drop outs, and the two cable system on the Simplex Juy.

Velocio

This ad is amazing – it is very eye catching. The bike featured is a moped with the engine mounted on the front fork. Apparently, these little mopeds were sold all over the world, and the company continues to this day (although under different ownership.)

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No cycling magazine would be complete without technical specs.  This drawing and the related table show various frame dimensions at two different seat tube angles.  I am going to study this awhile and see if I glean any new insight into bicycle frame geometry – a topic which seems to lend itself to both mysticism as well as science.  Since it’s a rainy, windy day here in Portland, it’s a perfect time to curl up and read.

2 thoughts on “Le Cycliste Magazine 1956

  1. I’m happy to see others adding vintage bicycle printed material to their blog. Worthwhile pieces aren’t easy to find.

    For me, the René Herse ad seals the deal. That alone is worth owning the entire publication.
    The ad for the Campagnolo seatpost also conjures up agonizing memories. This same seatpost, by SR Royal (copied from Campy?) came stock on the 1976 Centurion Semi Professional I restored awhile back (http://simplicityvintagecycles.com/2013/04/08/1976-centurion-semi-pro-rejuvenation/). This was the most frustrating seatpost I have ever dealt with. If one had three hands it wouldn’t be so bad but balancing the saddle with the two, separate top clamps and keeping the precarious side clamps from falling off was nearly impossible. Also, although placing the nuts on top of the clamps has a clean look, getting any wrench between the saddle and nuts was probably the worst part of the experience. Even my ratcheting wrenches were nearly useless in such a tight area. Needless to say, I am extremely thankful this design style did not catch on more.

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