1905 – Terrot, Levocyclette, 10-speed gearbox – France
The 1905 Terrot Levocyclette is fitted with an ingenious and brilliant lever system with a 10-speed gearbox, an invention that undoubtedly changed and improved the performance of the classic “Touring bicycle”.
Thanks to this lever transmission two eccentrics on the rear hub moved and transmitted the motion to the wheel.
Moreover, the 10-speed gearbox, easily operated by the grip, allowed the rider to travel uphill and downhill for long distances.
By turning the grip to the right the pedaling increased 50 cm, while turning to the left you decreased the ratio.
With this original system, pedaling was easy and comfortable, probably more suitable for mountain roads rather than straights.
Can we then define it as a mountain bike ante litteram?
Well, the Terrot Levocyclette during those years was surely a valid “climber”!
The bicycle shown at Museo Nicolis, still retains all its parts intact, including the Levocyclette braking system, consisting of a front brake operated by a lever and the cable-operated rear brake.
Thank you to Biciclette d’epoca for the images and the historical information.