Adolphe Clément-Bayard had an extraordinary history.
Born in 1855, he began an early obsession with all things wheeled. He was a passenger in Albert Lemaître’s Peugeot Type 7 as it powered to victory in the first ever motor car race (the legendary Paris – Rouen). Top speed? A staggering 12mph.
Let us not hold this fact against him, however. From an early age, he had been a keen cyclist and competed in his first race aged 18, finishing sixth. He loved the sport and seized an opportunity to open a cycle repair shop, which he later developed into a manufacturer by investing in the Gladiator Cycle Company and then jointly buying the business in 1896.
Much of the money used to bankroll the business was from Clément’s purchase of the French manufacturing rights for the Dunlop pneumatic tyre. The story goes that prior to the purchase of the rights, Clément was manufacturing tyres for cycles, but the massive shift brought about by the invention of John Boyd Dunlop was such that he would never had made headway in the market without embracing the new technology.
Clément Pneumatics was properly established in Italy in the early 1900s and went from strength to strength under the legs of some of the great cyclists of the twentieth century. Purchased by Pirelli in 1980, the brand withered when they pulled out of cycle tyre manufacturing in 1995. The license to use the name, however, was prised from their hands by Don Kellogg in 2010, and finally having sprung into life across the pond, has arrived back in the UK, birthplace of the invention that made a millionaire of Clément.
So what do we have here? Nothing less than the winter trainer version of the Clément Strada LLG 120TPI; the principal difference being fewer threads per inch (60 as opposed to 120 tpi).
The dual compound rubber remains, as does a puncture protection belt and chevroned shoulders for grip in corners.
The price of this piece of cycling history, with appropriate old school graphics? To you, sir – £27.
The weight of the ‘basic’ trainer version in our hands is 255 grams; not bad for a tyre 25mm wide. There are 23mm and 28mm versions too, and you can expect a weight saving with the 120TPI big brother.
We are putting the rather lovely looking rubber bands onto the Test Rig to rack up some more winter milage. Check back soon.