1936-1939 La Greves Step Through

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Bozman

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 6, 2009
763
Alexandria, Virginia United States
1936-1939 French manufactured La Greves Step Through Bicycle. Up for restoration is this stunning survivor from late 1930s France. Le Greves is a family bicycle shop still in existence at 70 Bis Avenue Jean Jaurès, 92150 Suresnes, France. Started by two brothers in the 1920s. Rene Le Greves was a silver medalist in the 1932 Olympics and won several stages if the Tour de France from 1933-1939. This bike will be a breathtaking restoration with all the polished aluminum parts.

Any help on maintenance of the Simplex derailleur would be greatly appreciated.
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3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
465
Lansing, MI, United States
That is a beautiful machine. Love the hammered fenders. Is the headbadge not a badge but a decal or such? I just picked up a '39 with the same feature. Cool that the bike shop is still in business. Best on the rehab of her.
 
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Bozman

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 6, 2009
763
Alexandria, Virginia United States
That is a beautiful machine. Love the hammered fenders. Is the headbadge not a badge but a decal or such? I just picked up a '39 with the same feature. Cool that the bike shop is still in business. Best on the rehab of her.
Head badge is a sticker not a metal badge. I'm amazed how much aluminum is on this bike after all my years restoring Pre War US steel bikes.

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juvela

I live for the CABE
Aug 2, 2014
1,263
Playa del Rey, United States
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Thanks very much for sharing this excellent find! ;)

Shall look forward to following along as you work forward with it.

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From your researches you probably know that Rene's racing career covered the years 1932-1939.

His Silver Medal at the Los Angeles Olympics of 1932 was for team pursuit.

Following one of his racing victories he reported that the machine he rode was constructed by his brother Louis.

The brothers opened their store in November of 1937.

He passed in 1946 at the age of thirty-five.

Some French collector & history experts report that the production cycles which bear his name were done by Mercier. Others do not agree. There is one report that his widow entered into a joint agreement with Mercier to produce cycles with the Le Greves name.

Le Greves badged machines were manufactured until the late 1960's.



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Your example -

The stem is Philippe model Nr. 35.

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Pedals appear they may be Brampton (of France). Here is an advert from 1926.

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Have you found any markings on the inner faces of the crankarms?

Markings on bottom bracket fittings?

Chainwheel appears to show a painted coating; you may wish to consider removal to see what lies beneath. Does it have any markings on its backside?

Machine's chainguard appears to have gone walkabout. See images posted below to view an original.

You asked for information on the cycle's Juy Champion du Monde rear mech. There is some here:




What make are the bicycle's brake calipers; CLB perhaps?

Is gear block a Moyne?

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Here is a Le Greves berceau which appears it may be close in time to your machine -

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Porteur of 1950 -

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Fifties era juvenile -

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Late production road model showing Mercier origin -

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Ringer -

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non-fixie

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jun 5, 2011
60
Yurp
@juvela : just out of curiosity: what's with these brake levers? They look like an amalgam of two Weinmann designs, the tourist lever body with the road bar lever. I don't recall having ever seen that combination before:

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juvela

I live for the CABE
Aug 2, 2014
1,263
Playa del Rey, United States
-----

Fratelli Brivio (FB) advert of 4 August 1936 lists Rene as riding to victory on FB mozzi -

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jimbo53

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jul 17, 2015
825
Charlotte NC
1936-1939 French manufactured La Greves Step Through Bicycle. Up for restoration is this stunning survivor from late 1930s France. Le Greves is a family bicycle shop still in existence at 70 Bis Avenue Jean Jaurès, 92150 Suresnes, France. Started by two brothers in the 1920s. Rene Le Greves was a silver medalist in the 1932 Olympics and won several stages if the Tour de France from 1933-1939. This bike will be a breathtaking restoration with all the polished aluminum parts.

Any help on maintenance of the Simplex derailleur would be greatly appreciated.
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Thank you for taking so many excellent closeup pictures. French bicycles of this period are so unique in their flair and artistry of design.
 
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juvela

I live for the CABE
Aug 2, 2014
1,263
Playa del Rey, United States
-----

Catalogue citation is for a document of 1960.

Cycle appears late 1960's. Perhaps this lever shape a sub-model which was added after 1960.

Shall poke about a bit and see what can be found...

Ye, o' course have a bit of the advantage as being a sprechener o' la lingua tedescanese... ;)

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bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 21, 2013
3,821
Bulverde, TX
Of course French city bike technology exploded during the Occupation. There was no gasoline, and people spent their transportation budgets entirely on custom bicycles from Paris shops like Herse and Singer. There were also French Jews hiding in the shop basements and building those frames.
Every day was a bike race to get produce from outlying farms into Paris markets.
There was even a Nazi propaganda film on how healthy Parisians had become with their new bicycle lifestyle.
In the 1964 movie The Train, there's a beauty that belongs to yard master and engineer Burt Lancaster, which he carries on the engine and lets his partner borrow to execute a little sabotage.
I've slow-scrolled the scenes several times, and other than drooling over the marvelous outfitting on the bike, haven't been able to find a marque on the frame.
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