Alcyon was established around 1890 by Edmond Gentil. In the early 20th century, the company was located at 4 & 6 Boulevard Bourdon, Neuilly sur Seine. Alcyon moved to Courbevoie, Seine, in 1912, and ceased trading in 1957.
The early 1920s was a time of innovation for Alcyon. A few years after World War One, cyclemotors and small motorcycles started to become popular, particularly among cyclists and women. Alcyon encouraged them to upgrade from pedal bicycles to motorised bicycles. One of these machines was a bicycle with an engine over the front wheel – the ‘Motrix’ – while the ‘Alcyonette’ was essentially a strengthened bicycle frame with sprung forks and a 98cc two stroke centrally-mounted engine. The style later became known as an ‘autocycle’ and then as a ‘moped’. In France it was called a ‘B.M.A’ and Alcyon made a female frame version too, known as the ‘Dame et Ecclesiastique’ because it was also suitable for priests with cassocks.
Bicycles with unusual features – such as the Curved Tube frame featured here – were popular with the leading companies, as they could display them at trade shows and exhibitions to catch people’s attention. The patent for this style of frame was held in Britain by the Triumph Cycle Co: their curved frame machine, which came out in 1898, was called the ‘Resilient.’
1920s Alcyon Curved Frame Road Racer
Christy Hygienic Men’s Saddle
This is the first bicycle I’ve seen with this unique curved frame design apart from the Triumph. I’ve not yet found any Alcon catalogue illustrations of the relevant era. It’s an older restoration in good all-round condition, and is fitted with a retro metal wheelset with coaster brake. The Curved Frame Alcyon is in good mechanical condition and ready to ride.
BELLE EPOQUE CYCLE POSTERS
Many of the French Belle Epoque cycle company posters are now reproduced and sold by poster companies online. If you are lucky enough to have a French bicycle of this era that featured in a poster designed by one of France’s top artists, it’s an excellent piece of ate to frame or display alongside the bicycle.
ALCYON ‘BELLE EPOQUE’ POSTERS