French alloy mudguards – Mavic INAL and Robineau RBN

Lefol is a familiar name in the manufacture of mudguards or fenders, particularly for their Martelé (hammered type) and Le Paon (Zeppelin type) versions. But here are two lesser known makes of mudguard fitted to quality French touring bicycles… RBN and Mavic. RBN is the brand name of Robineau, based in Paris at least from the 1930’s until the 1950’s. They made mudguards under the model names of Durex, Alrex and Mangalium, and also chain guards. Pictured here are three different versions of the Durex type – the earlier ones fitted to a 1938 Barra have a rather nice scalloped decoration and a very simple script ‘RBN’, whilst the later version fitted to a Pitard, date from the late 40’s or early 50’s and have the more familiar RBN decorative trademark stamping in the shape of a tree. Both types are for 650b wheel sizes, and have flattish profiled sides, whilst the last one pictured is half round for 700c, and were fitted as original equipment to a 1953 René Herse. Obviously Durex mudguards offer superior protection! Mavic, of course the maker of very fine wheel rims, also made mudguards with the INAL model name. Here they are pictured as original fittings on a 1948 Alex Singer. Again, they are for 650b and have flattish sides.