Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

26 October 2016

Delizy & Poiret: Keeping Riders En Suspens

It seems that the moment the first bicycle--however you define it--was created, someone was looking for a way to insulate the bike, and rider, from shock.  When you look the Draisienne's wooden seat and the iron wheels of subsequent machines, you can understand why someone wanted to make them more comfortable to ride.  And if you know anything about the conditions of roads at that time, it's not hard (pun intended) to see the need for a shock absorber to make bicycles (and bicycle-like contraptions) more stable.

If we define "suspension" as anything that insulates ("suspends") the bike or rider from shock, one could argue that pneumatic tires, invented by John Boyd Dunlop in 1888, were the first form of suspension for two-wheelers.  In fact, one could even say that when, a decade earlier, John Boultbee Brooks stretched a piece of leather between two rails, he was the first to achieve the goals of every suspension system created since.

So, really, it's not such a surprise to see a suspension bicycle gracing an advertising poster early in the first worldwide Bike Boom:

I could find very little information about Delizy and Poiret.   All of it was in French--which, fortunately, I can read.

 Apparently, D et P started making bikes around 1890 and weren't in production for very long:  I saw an announcement for the dissolution of the company dated 17 July 1892.  Their bikes were made and sold at 22,rue Duret in Paris.  This factory and showroom stood  just off the Avenue de la Grande Armee, which streams into Place Charles de Gaulle Etoile (the location of the Arc de Triomphe) and was, until 15 or so years ago, lined with the boutiques of the major French (and a few foreign) bike makers.

All right.  You know that I find stuff like this interesting.  So do you:  Otherwise, why would you have read this post?  But you also know that writing this post was just an excuse to put another cool vintage bike ad on this blog!

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