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Legnano Military Bicycle of 1932

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juvela

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
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Have no connection to this machine. Came across it in the course of a search for something else. Thought perhaps some readers might like to see it.

Interesting that it appears to be fitted with hard rubber (non-pneumatic) tyres.

IIRC whole books have been written on military bicycles.

1932-Legnano-Folding-Military-Bicycle-02.jpg


http://www.oldbike.eu/museum/1930s/1932-2/1932-legnano-military-folding-bicycle/

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bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
clearly a paratrooper bike - there is a Military Bikes page on this forum

the article has a great photoset, but the headbadge is the coolest

1932-Legnano-Folding-Military-Bicycle-12.jpg
 
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juvela

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
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note the distinctive cotterless chainset -

1932-Legnano-Folding-Military-Bicycle-09, cotterless chainset .jpg


cannot recall seeing another exactly like it.

found it curious that the person who welded the arm to the chainwheel did not bother with the registration/"clocking."

any ideas as to manufacturer? Giostra? Way-Assauto? Agrati?

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bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
as far as the clocking, a military bike is all about reliability and never style, factor in production - all they care is it stays put through what would be abuse on a civilian bike - thrown off the back of a truck, dropped on a parachute.

all of the style elements in that crank are incorporated in several generations of Magistroni cranks
but nothing exactly like it pops us
cranks1_5pin.jpg

(Way-Assauto seems to have knocked off their version of this chainset in the late 60s)

S.A. Officine Meccaniche di Vedano Al Lambro produced and registered both Magistroni and Giostra trademarks
http://www.veloaficionado.com/blog/special-magistroni-crankset
bike......................................................................................moped
Magistroni-Giostra1.jpg

img_4466.jpg


and yeah, give me a Legnano condorino any day
img_4464.jpg


adding about military bikes in general - most of the progress in bikes in the late 19th century came from military development (most of the bicycle publications of the era were military related). Similar to the idea that much of what we like in modern lightweights came out of no-gasoline Paris in the occupation - when you pump money into a technology, it blooms.
 
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fat tire trader

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
I'm confused about these comments. I assume that when you say 19th century, you mean the 1800s. I have a lot of magazines, catalogs and other bicycle publications from the 1880s and the 1890s. Aside from an article or two, none of them are military related. Also, France has always played a big part in the evolution of bicycles. I disagree that what "we like in modern lightweights came out of no-gasoline Paris in the occupation".
 

Duchess

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I'm not a bicycle historian (I'm a car one), but I would think most of what we have in modern lightweights came from racing and post war shortages in Europe helped greater development of touring bikes as people used them as primary transportation until cars became more viable again. During the war, there wouldn't have been many bikes made for the civilian market, so I would expect that most people would be riding old bikes that escaped scrap drives and commandeering. I don't know how it was with bikes (which are mainly just some steel), but many of the extensively aluminum French exotic prewar cars were only spared being recycled into aircraft because they were hidden in hay bales, sewers, walled up, etc.
 

bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
https://janheine.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/cycling-under-the-german-occupation/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ch-capital-citizens-thriving-German-rule.html
German occupiers wanted them on bicycles, and certainly production of aircraft grade tubing was a priority, as well as any light metals industry that could also produce aircraft parts and not get bombed.
It worked the same way in England when they were surreptitiously arming before the war, beginning with Armaments Directives in 1935.
E.g. JWYoung & Sons of Redditch were building fly reels with aircraft control system ball bearings to mask the parallel production of aircraft control systems - a crown in my reel collection - a product of MI5 and English bench craftsmanship.
EswhygV.jpg
sQyJAZQ.jpg



Imagine Paris with no cars.
If you do the math, France was not at war - they had everything except gasoline - and they provided un-bomb-able industry for their occupiers, as did the Dutch and Belgians.
For 4 years, no one in Paris had gasoline (except the occupying army). People still worked, went to restaurants, went shopping for food, clothes - and bikes.
Parisians spent their transportation budgets on really nice bicycles.
Rene Herse and Alex Singer both had French Jews hidden in their shop basements building expensive bicycle frames.
Every day was a bicycle race from Paris to the outlying farms to get produce to markets back in Paris.
And of course, every cab was pulled by a bicycle.
tandem_taxis_waiting_zucca.jpg

herse_early_tandemlr.jpg

original Herse - 1941 - built in occupied Paris
ffc8a6ecd57bf94aa8e8f55135cee5ee---camping.jpg

restored Singer
170901_watanabe.jpg


v. Bartali's 1938 TdF bike
800px-Museo_del_Ciclismo_Madonna_del_Ghisallo_17.jpg


Within an industry, the technology blooms when you pump money into it.
Whether it's military development, consumer demand from need, or the baby boom and following bike boom.
Who ultimately standardized the chain? Handlebar, stem, seatpost, axles... Military requirement for interchangeable parts (the Brits call it duplication) a concept that otherwise didn't exist in 19th century industry.

Is there anything that has come out of racer's edge since the bike boom that you honestly require on your bike today? Gruppo? Carbon? Electronic shifting? - all about marketing.
Aluminum frames? - that's only about cheaping-out on production costs.
Good clinchers? - nope, that's consumer driven, racers are still on Dugast.
The next major step is on its way - e-bikes - driven by transportation need (though a couple of racers have borrowed the technology to cheat)
 
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fat tire trader

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
I get your point, but I still disagree with your two statements that I mentioned. I don't need the history lesson, hopefully others will benefit from it.
 

bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
quite possibly, it wasn't for your benefit, but for those interested in the history
The subtle realities of history often ignored or buried for political correctness are usually the most interesting facts.
The Germans wanted to promote economy in France, Belgium and Holland, holding it up as the carrot for joining them. Probably even to the gestapo, Jews building bicycle frames in Herse and Singer's basements was just as good as them building armaments in Poland or Peenemünde.
The best firearms in the world today are made in Brno, Czech Republic - not by accident.
 
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