[CR]...now Ets Perrin and other stuff

From: "Norris Lockley" <norris@norrislockley.wanadoo.co.uk>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2006 21:55:46 -0000
Subject: [CR]...now Ets Perrin and other stuff

The mystery deepens, Mark.

The company name stamped on your crank is "Verot et Perrin" This company originally manufactured steel cranks, such as the 49A and then developed the well-known 49D, forged in aluminium alloy. At some later date the company split, in the sense of having one company for all the steel components for the run-of-the-mill bikes, and one for the competition components.

This led to Ets Verot Perrin making the Stronglight alloy components, and a new company, Ets Haubtmann making the "new" product line "SOLIDA" The new company was headed up by Gabriel Haubtmann, a son of one of the then owners of the company. Both companies not only shared the same address at 54 Boulevard de Fauriat, but also the same phone No and Telex. The last rumour I heard a couple of years ago was that ZEFAL had bought the company.

I visited the factory in 2003..it is situated remarkably near the centre of St Etienne, but not quite as near as the former Manufrance factory, a giant of an "art nouveau" building, which is only about 600 metres from the city centre.

Regarding CLB/ALP, these brakes were made by Ets Angennieux. I'm not at all sure when those wonderful, dare I say "sexy" brake levers were introduced, but I had a pair in 1952. Apart from their sculptured shape, obtained by being cast or forged instead of being pressed and folded, they were renowned for defying anyone to get anything but a dark grey shine on them, almost as though there was quite a lot of zinc in the alloy. The very thick cast calipers, with their dinky wing-nut type QRs, had been available in a larger version in the late 40s for 650-tyred bikes, particularly ladies' twin-laterals. The company, based at the time in St Chamond a very industrialised suburb lying to the north of St Etienne in the valley of the River Gier, linked up with Ateliers de la Rive, literally "the workshop of the river bank" makers of Vitus tubing, to form the BADOR company that was responsible for developing the revolutionary..for its time..Vitus Duralinox frame. The alloy tubing came from from Pechiney, just up the motorway in the suburbs of Annecy, while Angennieux/CLB, under the direction of an elderly lady who always wore a fur coat, even in the heat of the Paris. Cologne and Milan Shows, made all the cast components. Presumably Ateliers de la Rive/Vitus bonded the frames together. At the height of production, 166 staff were employed by Vitus, who produced over 10,000 frames in the first 18 months. What a great collaborative effort!

While attempting to define certain "who- made-what?" questions about French accessories, I don't think that there was any connection between the makers of handlebar stems such as AVA, ATAX, and Pivo. AVA were based well up in the north of France. Pivo were based in the eastern suburbs of Paris, and ATAX were based well down south in Oullins, a suburb of Lyon, quite close to the BOCAMA factory. There is still a couple of factories down in that small area who will cast, turn, mill, ream, and polish your aluminium components. This triumvirate, for want of a better term, because all three collaborated on projects together, were well known for producing the lugs, drop-outs, and bottom bracket shells for TVT, ALTEC, GUICHARD and Mach III frames. It would not surprise at all if Fonderie St Georges had not been respomnsible for casting ATAX's stems.

Norris Lockley..wishing"... it were ever thus.." Settle UK

Norris Lockley..Settle UK