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The Technical Trials are best known for the incredibly light bicycles that constructeurs built in the 1940s. (The 1946 Alex Singer above weighs a little over 17 pounds fully equipped.) More importantly, the Trials advanced bicycle technology by serving as a test bed for new bikes and components.

Low-trail geometries, braze-ons for all components, front derailleurs, low-rider racks, aluminum fenders, wide and supple 650B tires, aluminum cranks, cantilever brakes, sealed-bearing hub and bottom brackets, even aluminum frames: Almost everything we like in bicycles today proved its worth during the Technical Trials of the 1930s and 1940s.* These innovations did not come from racing, but were used first on cyclotouring bikes.

The laboratory for French cyclotouring bikes were the Technical Trials. What were the Trials? Simply put, they were competitions for the best bicycle, rather than the best rider. The Trials were started by a group of riders from Paris, who were loosely organized in the Groupe Montagnard Parisien.

These riders were dissatisfied with the bicycles available in the early 1930s. The heavy mass-produced machines of the time had many features, but were lacking in performance and handling. The riders from the Groupe Montagnard Parisien (GMP) envisioned lightweight bicycles with precise handling, excellent performance and utmost reliability…

 
Read more HERE:  The Technical Trials

Thank you Mr. Scott