Terrot Modèle E De Luxe with Lavigne Chain c.1901

The French Company Terrot made top quality bicycles in their factory in Dijon. At the turn of the 20th Century this particular model was the top of the range and just about the most expensive French bicycle at that time. It is fitted with the patented Lavigne chain used extensively by Terrot on their top models. The chain is toothed and the chainwheel and sprockets have rollers which engage with the teeth of the chain. The chain works very well and is smooth and quiet. This probably explains why this chain was not just a novelty but was used for a number of years from around 1896 until the early hundreds. This bicycle is also fitted with a ‘The Hub’ 2-speed gear, a great rarity, and one of the first multiple gears, manufactured by the Two Speed Gear Co., and later known as the Manchester gear (thanks to John Ward/Tony Hadland for this information.) Interestingly it is fixed in the low gear and freewheels in the high gear. Athough the chainwheel is huge, the gearing is 66 in the low gear and 85 in high. The wheelbase of the bike is a bit on the long side!

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