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An inside look at a Tour de France racing bike from 1955 – VeloNews.com

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An inside have a look at a Tour de France racing bike from 1955 – VeloNews.com

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I have a look at the pictures of Antonin Rolland’s Louison Bobet bike from the 1955 Tour de France. Its type and performance are the identical as my racing bike. A body, saddle, handlebars, pedals, chain, derailleurs. You pedal, it goes. I look nearer – That fork rake! A 5-speed freewheel, no drop from the saddle to stem top, and 24 kilos!

How did they do it? They raced 250-kilometer levels and adjusted their very own punctures. They’d such restricted gearing whereas grinding up the Alps.

I squint my eyes on the photograph of the yellow bike. It’s once more the identical as my “trendy” bicycle. I am going to the storage and have a look at my bike. Electrical shifting, carbon body and elements, aero tubes, aggressive racing place. I squint my eyes, it’s the identical as Rolland’s classic Tour de France machine. I squint my eyes extra.

Within the mid-Nineteen Seventies, after I was 11 years previous, my mother and father gave me a Gitane Jr. racing bike. It was a inexperienced body with silver foil decals, 24-inch wheels, drop bars, Huret elements, toe clips, and down-tube shifters. I marveled at how the chain moved from cog to cog and the center-pull brakes squeezed the aluminum rims. I rode my inexperienced French bike each day and discovered find out how to work on it. It was magic, I used to be in love.

I open my eyes huge and have a look at my present bike. Final week I ended 3 times on a experience as a result of my energy meter saved disconnecting. Why was I so annoyed? I squint my eyes. I see Antonin Rolland’s yellow Bobet, I squint tougher and see an 11-year-old boy on a inexperienced Gitane. They’re all the identical. It’s magic, I’m nonetheless in love.

John Gatch is among the Johns on the Two Johns Podcast and guides biking journeys in France for VéloSport Holidays.

French biking nice Antonin Rolland–who wore the yellow jersey for 12 days in 1955– has saved his Tour de France bike from that 12 months in pristine situation…a veritable time machine. Photograph: James Startt
As was usually the custom, the crew chief had his personal bike model. Rolland raced for Louison Bobet, the undisputed chief of the French nationwide crew. And whereas the nationwide jersey could have been blue, white, and crimson, the crew bike was yellow, just like the chief’s jersey. Photograph: James Startt
Even the downtube had Bobet’s likeness on it. Photograph: James Startt
As was usually the case, Rolland’s Tour bike had an extra water bottle cage hooked up to the handlebars. Photograph: James Startt
Campagnolo shifters and the unique quantity plate–however after all. Photograph: James Startt
Disc brakes weren’t but the order of the day, however Mafac heart pull brakes certain have been. Photograph: James Startt
Rolland’s well-worn leather-based saddle. Photograph: James Startt
5 cogs on the rear hub…a real 10-speed. Photograph: James Startt
Skinny metal tubes…elegant traces. Photograph: James Startt
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