Hirondelle, retro directe - France c.1920

Manufacture D´Armes et Cycles – France

The company which name is exactly "Manufacture D´Armes et Cycles de Saint-Etienne" was established at Villeboeuf, Saint-Etienne, on 10 November 1885 by directors Minard and Blachom for the manufacture of sporting guns and bicycles under the "Hirondelle" or "Swallow" trade mark.

Hirondelle, circa 1920

The model with a unique "retro - direct" (reverse) transmission was first introduced in 1903.

The system was very commercially successful, in 1911 12,000 bicycles were produced.

The factory closed in 1940 due to the beginning of World War II.

Interesting fact - two different gears were achieved by the construction of two independent idle wheels, for a heavier gear it treads forward, for a lighter gear it is necessary to change the movement of the legs and start pedaling backwards!

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Frame size: middle axle - top saddle tube - 58 cm.