1930s Velo Porteur ‘Goods’
26″ Rear Wheel
20″ Front Wheel
Front Hub Brake; Coaster Rear
Unlike in Great Britain, the dedicated carrier bicycle – i.e. the ‘low gravity’ models with a smaller front wheel – was not used much in France. The ‘velo porteur’ that became popular there was a normal civilian bicycle (either ladies or gents) with equal size wheels and a small accessory front carrier rack that fitted over the handlebars. The assumption is that customers could collect their own goods rather than depending on a shop to deliver; or a shop could use the same type of bike for deliveries. For transporting heavy goods, businesses used the commercial ‘triporteur’ three-wheeler.
Therefore, the type of delivery bicycle featured here would only have been needed by certain types of business – for goods heavier than a normal ‘porter’ but not requiring a commercial tricycle – and would most likely have been sold to a special order. There is no information available about ‘Cycles Goods.’
Though they are rare today, I have discovered five during the years I’ve been collecting bicycles: two previously bought and sold; one spotted in a French photo on the internet, during my research; one in my own collection (an earlier ‘Goods’); and this one.
This example is in very good unrestored original condition, with most of its pin-striping still showing. The attractive cross frame design, with duplex cross tubes from the headstock to the apex of the rear stays, is rare in France.
There is provision for fitting panniers to the rear carrier rack (above). The front box is bolted to the carrier framework. The remains of a sticker on the tip of the front mudguard (obscured by the box) shows a picture of a bicycle; it was most likely the sticker of the shop that supplied it. The near (left) side of the front carrier framework has a dent on the bottom rail, and the bike appears to have seen considerable service during its commercial life, though was obviously well-maintained.