Re: [CR]Re: The Cirque and exactly what is a track bike.

Example: Framebuilders:Brian Baylis

Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 13:15:34 -0800
From: Chuck Schmidt <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Re: The Cirque and exactly what is a track bike.
References: <>

Edward Albert wrote:
> (snip) Does a bike
> raced in the Tour de France in the early 30's and before (only fixed
> gear allowed) qualify as a track bike.

Derailleurs were not allowed before 1937 in the TdF but freewheels were always allowed and very early on the common set up was a double cog freewheel on each side of the hub (no derailleur) with a one tooth difference in each cog.

Excerpts from The Dancing Chain:

"For a long time racing cyclists used only single-speed bicycles. From 1910, when the great mountain stages were introduced in the Tour de France, a few racers tried various systems either on their own initiative or because they were paid to do so. The organizers of the Tour took no notice, and the sponsoring magazine, L'Auto, superbly ignored such innovations in its accounts of the race."

"Petit-Breton did win several stages of the Tour of Italy with a three-speed hub. He entered the 1911 Tour de France with a Sturmey-Archer hub. In the same race, Brocco had a two-speed Cornet hub."

"Henri Desgrange made the fixed wheel compulsory in a stage of the 1913 Tour, thus eliminating derailleurs that year. Then he banned gear shifting other than by reversing the rear wheel in the Professional section of the Tour."

Anyone have additional info?

Chuck Schmidt South Pasadena, Southern California (reprints, timelines & t-shirts on site)