This website is about Classic Factory Lightweights – specifically racing bikes that were made by manufacturers whose main business was the production of bicycles to their own standard specification, rather than bespoke bicycles to their customers’ specification.
Some of these manufacturers did, of course, have their own specialist departments where they made bespoke bicycles and/or bicycles for their sponsored racing teams, and this site features some of their products. The following come particularly to mind:
- Raleigh Specialist Bicycle Development Unit (SBDU)
- Atelier Prestige Peugeot (Peugeot Prestige Workshop)
- Bianchi Reparto Corse(Bianchi Racing Unit)
- Mercier Services Des Courses (Mercier Racing Service)
But whether their racing machines were built in a specially designated unit or not, many manufacturers built impressive racing bicycles, available “off the peg” to anyone with the money and inclination to buy them.
The bicycle factories had huge social, economic and sporting achievements. Volume production of bicycles brought cycling freedom within the reach of almost everyone, and it also brought commercial competition which bred sporting competition, sponsorship and technical development. All of which led to the factory racing bikes – the team bikes that carried great riders to magnificent victories and the replicas or similar racing bikes that were sold to the general public. These racing bicycles are the focus of this site.
Think where the Tour de France and other Grand Tours and the Classics would be without factory bikes. This site is here to celebrate the achievement and products of the factories. It is also a somewhat personal site in reflecting my own interests and containing my own classic factory lightweights as well as others’ to give a more complete picture. My aim is that it should develop into a useful resource for anybody interested in these machines.
In particular, we are pleased to bring details of some replicas or close relatives of some very successful racing bicycles: Frejus SuperCorsa (to be added); Helyett Speciale; Motobecane; Peugeot; Gitane; TI-Raleigh; Mercier.
Navigating Around The Site:
The navigation menu is at the top of every page with the major categories being Countries. Hover your pointer over one of those and you will see a drop-down menu of Manufacturers (mostly) and hovering your pointer over one of those will give you more options, if there are any. If you prefer, you can navigate from links in each country page to the next level and then to the next level – you are not restricted to using the menu. There are thoughts of changing the navigation, so do not hesitate to say what you do or don’t want.
All original material on this site is the copyright of the webmaster. That said, you are free to use it for non-commercial purposes if you give due acknowledgement of the source and, if you use it online, with a link to this website. You are not free to use any of the material for any commercial purpose without express permission.
Conversely, if I have inadvertently infringed anybody else’s copyright, please bring it to my attention so that I can remedy the situation, either by immediate removal of the offending material or by an acknowledgement of its source at the option of the copyright holder.