Handcrafted bicycles enjoy renaissance as works of art

The finished product in all its glory

Some of the bicycles in this month’s Tour de France are likely to have been hand-built by a frame-builder, a cadreur in French.

These skilled craftsmen are difficult to find. It is thought there are only 30, at the most, in the country after the industrialisation of cycle-making in the 1970s reduced the demand for hand-built bicycles.

There is no formal training course. The only way to learn is on the job, from another frame-builder.

This is how 27-year old Hugo Canivenc learned his trade.

He now makes exclusive and elegant handcrafted, made-to-measure bicycles for leisure riding in town or country for Maison Tamboite, in the heart of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, one of the last bastions of craftsmanship in Paris.

These bicycles are the Rolls- Royces of the cycling world.

Each one takes at least three months to make, is tailored to the purchaser’s physique ...

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