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Peugeot Bicycle History

Models - Peugeot Catalogs

Identifying Your Peugeot

Peugeot has been a name in manufacturing since 1810 when Jean-Pierre and Jean-Frederic Peugeot converted the mill of Sous-Cratet (Doubs County) into a steel foundry and commenced manufacturing. The Peugeot Lion was born in 1850. The Peugeot manufacturing factory in Beaulieu, France had been in operation for years before Armand Peugeot turned his attention to bicycles. The Peugeot bicycle history spans over 100 years. It begins in 1882 with the Grand Bi model, a Penny-Farthing (the one with the huge front wheel and the tiny back wheel). Quality was important to Armand and Peugeot bicycles quickly earned a reputation as top of the line. The Peugeot reputation for quality has endured to this day. It is the most well known French bicycle brand and many competitions have been won on Peugeots bikes.

In 1886 the Peugeot bicycle got a chain.

In 1889 Armand introduced the Serpollet-Peugeot, a three wheeled car, at the Paris World’s Fair. The Serpollet’s steam engine was bulky and cumbersome to operate and it was abandoned in favor of the internal combustion engine just a year later. By 1892 Peugeot is producing almost 30 cars a year. The rest of the decade saw a wide expansion of the Peugeot range and manufacturing capabilities. In 1896 Armand left the family business (and bicycles) to set up his own company focused entirely on auto manufacturing. By 1900 the new company is producing 500 cars per year. Meanwhile, Armand’s cousin Eugene Peugeot is producing 20,000 bicycles.

In 1905 the family business begins producing cars again and the two companies are reunited just five years later.

Throughout WWI (1914-18) Peugeot produces close to 63,000 bicycles per year. They are also manufacturing 9,000 cars and trucks, 1,000 motorcycles, 10,000 plane engines, and 6 million bombs and shells.

1926 sees the split of car and bicycle manufacturing yet again. Cars are made at Automobiles Peugeot and bikes are made at Cycles Peugeot.

In 1930 bicycle production reaches 162,000 units per year at the Beaulieu factory.

In 1955 Beaulieu is churning out 220,000 bicycles and employs nearly 3,500 workers, while Automobiles Peugeot surpasses the 100,000 mark. In the post-war 1950’s Europe becomes infatuated with the automobile and the cycling industry virtually collapses. By 1956 Peugeot’s bicycle production is cut in half. By 1958 Cycles Peugeot is back in the auto manufacturing game once again. Cycles Peugeot becomes an equipment manufacturer to the auto industry to augment declining sales of their bicycles. Five years later their counterpart is producing more than 200,000 vehicles annually.

In 1970 Peugeot SA (formerly Automobiles Peugeot) is producing 500,000 vehicles per year.

Peugeot’s reputation for quality is alive and well. The 1970’s Peugeot PX-10 is highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. A surprising number of old Peugeot bicycles are still on the road and many have been given a new life as single speed conversions.
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