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The World of Daniel Rebour

For nearly forty years, Daniel Rebour’s line drawings illustrated the development of cycling components.

Employed as the techinal editior in the trade magazine le Cycle, he also collaborated on numerous journals from 1945 and until the mid 1970’s including Vélocio Cycling, the Cycling cycling page of the Mirrior. As part of his job he visited many trade fairs and used these shows to illustrate the Audax Club Parisien journals.

He participated in the development of many bicycle and motorcycle brands catalogues with his exploded technical drawings bringing the most mundane products to life.

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As well as being an illustrator, Daniel Rebour was also a keen cyclist. He was a good freind of Marcel Berthet, the owner of  Idéale saddles – a French competitor to Brooks. He came up with the ideal of pre-softening the saddle prior to sale and Berthet introduced a number of products bearing the words – “rodée main selon Rebour” or ‘hand oiled according to Rebour’.

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Rebour was a keen member of the Audax Club Parisien and in 1948 for their honeymoon he and his wife Simone participated in the Paris Brest Paris audax setting a record for the mixed tandem of 61 hours and 56 minutes.

In 1986 he wrote about this experience and his 1951 ride in the ACP journal:

“Participation in mixed tandem in 1948, my wife and I are very well trained by a daily journey of 50 km, plus the long PCR tests Patents with 2-600, therefore, no particular emotion. Fitness and material are perfect. Without seeking the competition, we have 61 h 56, 4 pm this with stop at Pré-en-Pail (broken pedal axle). The piece will come by car, but I will realize fully repair. The gaps are very large because of the abominable weather conditions: approximately 400 km of very heavy rain. As for me, I suffered from the hands and arms because of the narrow tyres (700 xc 28-30). Road conditions were far worse than afterwards. Leather saddles, perfectly worn in, did not cause us trouble, the state of our backsides was as fresh on arrival and departure. The main work was the lighting: select the lights, spare bulbs and position of the dynamo, the wheel, turning almost on the hub, gives secure and powerful lighting. We have completed more than 10 hours ahead of the nearest other riders.

In 1951, alone, I adopted a mixed lighting, dynamo torch +, but it was little used, the additional rotational force is low. For the handlebars, not to adopt padding, but a simple braid, and for the seat, fully lined with a sticky chamois plenty talc (especially, no Vaseline or ointment). Note that we have little very eaten during the test; habit in many courses and which we find ourselves well. “

Simone was an accomplished cyclist herself, in 1949 setting the record for a 200 km brevet of 6:47.

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Daniel Rebour died in 1991 but his work lives on in the form of illustraions for brands such as Campagnolo, René Herse, Stronglight, Specialités T.A., Simplex, Mafac, Maxi C.A.R and VAR and his drawings influenced how several generations actually saw bikes and their components.