Wednesday, May 27, 2009


...Back In Style

China is the land of bicycles but also more and more of the Electric bikes. Well it seems like France is trying to revive a quirky old French Bike, Le Solex.

The Solex was a funny little motorized cycle that enjoyed immense popularity as cheap transport. Its quirkiest feature was the little petrol engine perched above the front wheel. When it was engaged, a disk on the motor rubbed against the bike wheel, giving it power. They made a noisy buzz while proceeding at a few miles per hour. The Solex was a symbol of the post-war era like the 2CV Citroen or the bulbous Orangina bottle. To use the usual cliché, it was a true Gallic icon. It was ridden by rural shop-keepers and Paris students and it featured in films with Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve and Jacques Tati. Steve McQueen rode one when he was in France making Le Mans in 1971. Between 1946 and 1988 Solex sold more than eight million of the "bicycle that goes by itself," as its 1960s adverts called it."

The new version and the classic old version