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French PROMO bicycle

Old 09-25-16, 05:20 AM
  #1  
keidal
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French PROMO bicycle

Does anyone know anything about a French bicycle with a PROMO head badge please ?
The badge also states Vichy and that is probably the town in France.
I suspect that these bicycles or at least the frames were made before / after WW2 by a manufacturer possibly from the St. Etienne area ?
The bicycle that I have bought but not yet received is in the Randonneuse / sports / tourer style with a 3 speed rear derailleur.
I am presuming that a bicycle shop in Vichy either "bought bicycles in" with the PROMO badge attached, or possibly just the frame and then assembled them.
Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 09-25-16, 05:28 AM
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Pics?
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Old 09-25-16, 05:30 AM
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Vichy's claim to faim was during WWII, and not because of heroism. Maybe that has something to do with it?
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Old 09-25-16, 06:33 AM
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Appearantly not. This is what I found on the web:
je viens de retrouver une trace de cette marque : " PROMO-VICHY " :
en fait il s'agit d'une marque distribuée par le " Comptoir Cycliste Vichyssois "
Ets. PROPHETE , Fils , à St. Bonnet de Rochefort , dans l' Allier .
Je possède le catalogue de 1950 , qui reprend celui de 1933 et qui comporte 3
pages sur la marque " PROMO-VICHY "
Malheureusement le format de ce catalogue m'empeche de le scanner et les essais
de photo avec mon appareil sont désastreux ...j'attends donc de pouvoir user
d'un meilleur matériel pour mettre ce catalogue sur le forum ...
Pardon my French but I think it's says that the brand was distributed by a cycling trade organization from Vichy, a entreprise from certain monsieur Prophete and son in St. Bonnet de Rocheford, in the Allier departement.

This guy has a catalogue from 1950 that goes back to 1939 and has three pages on this brand but it's in a size he can't scan it.

Here I found a few pictures, and especially this one might tell you someting about the manufacterer of the hub if it's the same:



Appearantly they made drum brakes in France in those days. I can't read the first part, "PREIN (?) a Tambour J.C. Vanqueur des Montagnes Léger et Puissante (Conquerer of mountains, light and strong).
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Old 09-26-16, 12:46 AM
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French Promo bicycle

Thank you for all the information, which ties up with my suspicions. I've found that the ywere made in St. Etienne and the frames at least were re-badged Hirondelle, Mimosa etc. depending on the model.
The word "Prein" would be "Frein" and that means "brake".
Prewar French bicycles from my experience were extremely well designed and engineered. For example, removable bearing cups in the wheel hubs, shrouded bottom bracket to stop water and grot entering, a part hollow BB axle, with a screw in each end and with a hole in it in line with the bearing, to form an "oil bath" including a felt ring to distribute the oil, loose bearing cups in the headset, a small screwed-in pin in the head tube to allow the front forks to be secured when parking the bicycle against a wall etc. and their use of the Bowden cable caliper brakes from the late 1890's.
In my opinion, the quality of their engineering was second to none during this period and in my time spanning more than sixty years doing it I've probably restored / rebuilt over one hundred bicycles from the UK, USA, France and Italy. That's the way I've found it !
Thanks once again.
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Old 09-26-16, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by keidal View Post
Thank you for all the information, which ties up with my suspicions. I've found that the ywere made in St. Etienne and the frames at least were re-badged Hirondelle, Mimosa etc. depending on the model.
The word "Prein" would be "Frein" and that means "brake".
I should have thought of that... If you speak French you might get some more useful information on bikes and parts of that era here. That's were I got the part about the distributor.


Prewar French bicycles from my experience were extremely well designed and engineered. For example, removable bearing cups in the wheel hubs, shrouded bottom bracket to stop water and grot entering, a part hollow BB axle, with a screw in each end and with a hole in it in line with the bearing, to form an "oil bath" including a felt ring to distribute the oil, loose bearing cups in the headset, a small screwed-in pin in the head tube to allow the front forks to be secured when parking the bicycle against a wall etc. and their use of the Bowden cable caliper brakes from the late 1890's.
In my opinion, the quality of their engineering was second to none during this period and in my time spanning more than sixty years doing it I've probably restored / rebuilt over one hundred bicycles from the UK, USA, France and Italy. That's the way I've found it !
Thanks once again.
In general the French have a reputation for innovative, creative design and engineering, with elegant but not too reliable results. Sometimes they are also credited for fully developping all relevant possibilities of the bicycle before WWII. But when it comes down to the core, the metallurgy, the alloys, the precision machining of moving parts, they should have a reputation for excellent durable quality.
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Old 09-26-16, 03:37 AM
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Frein a tambour J.C. (J.G.?)
vainqueur des montagnes
léger & puissant

Drum brake J.C. (or J. G.?)
winner of the mountains
lightweight and powerful
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