This is a loose translation of an article by Jean-Jacques Gelin in “le journal de saone-et-loire” –

In 1920, Alfred-Jacques Fonlupt, after serving an apprenticeship, created the Fonlupt bicycle factory in La Clayette, one of the first companies to set up in the town.

In 1940 Guy Fonlupt and his brother Alfred, sons of Alfred-Jacques, joined the family factory, which at the time had thirty or so workers.

Until 1971, all production was done in the factory, brazing frames, sandblasting and enamelling and on to assembly of complete bicycles, with everything done by hand. In 1971, faced with rising labor costs, they subcontracted frame-building to Saint-Étienne. Frames were then delivered to La Clayette for painting and assembly.

Cycles Fonlupt was incorporated in 1960, with Alfred-Jacques Fonlupt and his two sons. Guy managed production and his brother, Alfred, managed sales.

In 1971, after the death of his father and his brother Alfred, Guy was in sole charge of the company. At this time, the cycle market was down in France and to offset the decline, they shipped 6,000 bicycles in the US market. In the domestic market, bicycles were sold by networks of agents throughout France.

The Fonlupt company produced 500 bicycles of excellent quality per month. In 1985, Guy Fonlupt sold the business to Jean-Marc Poulleau who becomes the new manager.


The article does not comment on the fact that frame production was outsourced to St Etienne the same year as Guy Fonlupt became the sole person in charge.  Was it his decision or was it a decision that was made jointly prior to the deaths of his father and brother?

We do not know whether his father and brother died in the same year of whether one died prior to 1971.

Fonlupt made quality racing bicycles but I cannot find any record that they sponsored a professional racing team.  Perhaps that is why they stayed in business longer than companies that did sponsor teams.  Many of those companies went out of business or were taken over in the 1950s and 1960s.

We have a slightly unusual Fonlupt racing bike HERE