Re: [CR]La Perle WAS: Charles Pelissier Randonneur bicycle

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Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 07:06:26 -0700
From: Jan Heine <>
Subject: Re: [CR]La Perle WAS: Charles Pelissier Randonneur bicycle

Hi Chuck,

Of course you are correct - by 1951, La Perle used Campy. In fact, Koblet's bike and parts were shown with Rebour drawings as a centerfold in VBQ Vol. 2, No. 2!

I should have set the cut-off date earlier - so I'll repeat my question:

Any photos of La Perle team bikes from 1945 through 1950?

And yes, according to Rebour (see VBQ reference above), Koblet's steel cranks were Durax. And he used the model 51-2 (second iteration of the earliest model) Campagnolo Gran Sport derailleur with bar-end shifters.

Also noteworthy are the (by today's standard and even compared to cyclotouring bikes of the day) very long chainstays. Rebour lists 47.5 cm, but one doesn't know whether he measured from the front or rear of the slot. The drawing shows the wheel at the very front of the long dropout slot, yet there is a lot of room between rear tire and seat tube. Together with a front-center of 62 cm, the wheelbase must have approached 108 cm...

Jan Heine, Seattle Editor/Publisher Vintage Bicycle Quarterly c/o Il Vecchio Bicycles 140 Lakeside Ave, Ste. C Seattle WA 98122

>Jan Heine wrote:
>> It seems that Pelissier liked the cyclotouring components - I still
>> am looking for confirmation that in the late 1940s, the La Perle
>> professional team used Maxi-Car hubs and Nivex derailleurs - perhaps
>> also Stronglight alloy cranks? They were managed by Charles
>> Pelissier... Does anybody have photos of La Perle team bikes from
>> 1945-1952 roughly that could help?
>Hi Jan,
>There are lots and lots of photos of Hugo Koblet winning the 1951 TdF on
>a La Perle. He was the most famous of the La Perle teram riders (I have
>seen photos of a very young Jacques Anquetil riding for La Perle too).
>Koblet's La Perle was equipped with Campagnolo QR hubs and Gran Sport
>derailleurs. During the '51 tour he rode both steel and also aluminum
>cranks. I believe the steel cranks were Durax Service Course and the
>alloy ones were Stronglight.
>No sign of Maxi-Car or Nivex on the La Perle team bikes. Here's a post
>from the archives with additional info:
> 68.eml
>Date: Sat, 07 Oct 2000 14:35:49 -0800
>From: Chuck Schmidt <>
>Subject: [Classicrendezvous] Re: Early 1950s Campy Gran Sport
>Takao Noda wrote:
>> I have noticed the GS front derailleur on Coppi's bike in TdF
>> 1951 had different guide plates from ones I see. The outer plate
>> was shorter than inner plate and had the wheel and wing logo ,
>> not the earth logo. ( D. Rebour's book " World of D. Rebour" p.
>> 117) And I know the sfift lever band then was 2 stripes type.
>> On the Campagnolo catalog No.12 ( Reprint of Velo Retro, p. 13)
>> I see complete GS front derailleur had the earth logo but the
>> guide plates (cage) drawn just below it had the wheel and wing
>> logo and the outer plate was longer. And the shift lever band was
>> the ordinary one.
>> I would like to know whether the GS derailleurs on the 1951 bike
>> came into the market or not. Were they supplied only to racers ?
>> Many thanks in advance.
>> Takao Noda
>> Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan
>I believe the original, first generation Campagnolo Gran Sport front
>derailleur, rear derailleur, and downtube shift lever (twin band) were
>only used for the first year (mid 1951 to mid 1952) and were only
>supplied to professional racers.
>In Les Woodland's excellent book _The Unknown Tour de France_ he writes
>about the first Gran Sport derailleur in the 1951 TdF, "Coppi had it and
>so did his two Bianchi team-mates in the national team; Bartali and two
>other Italians on Bartali bikes had it; and Switzerland's Hugo Koblet
>had one. The total -- seven." Nearly all the rest of the peloton rode
>Simplex derailleurs.
>A photo I have shows Fausto Coppi (Bianchi) and Hugo Koblet (La Perle)
>in the 1951 TdF, Stage 13 Tarbes-Luchon, climbing side by side, both
>using bar end shift levers (no rubber covers). Hugo Koblet went on to
>win the Tour that year.
>Interestingly, Campagnolo Gran Sport was introduced with bar-end shift
>levers and the down tube levers only came later in the year.
>The 1952 La Perle Série Course Spéciale bike (SCCR 10 Course type Koble t
>TdF 1951) I recently acquired has the second generation Gran Sport
>deraileurs with bar-end shifters stamped "Gran Sport" as shown in The
>1983 Data Book, page 160. I've never come across these early style
>bar-end shifters before (no lock nut and stamped "Gran Sport"), and
>don't know how long they were made this way.
>Does anyone else have any additional information on early Gran Sport?
>Chuck Schmidt
>South Pasadena, California
> (Campy Timeline and list of reprints)