Henri Desgrange’s Ban on Derailleurs in the Tour de France May 20, 2010


Photo via the Keystone/Eyedea/Everett Collection

Up until 1937, the fixed wheel was the only bicycle permitted to be ridden in the Tour de France. This was because of a rule enacted by Henri Desgrange, who was somewhat of a purist. Of course, after 1937 derailleurs were allowed and here we are today. This may be common knowledge, but this photo needed a bit of a backstory. Really awesome shot!

  • Nice one!

  • j

    oh how times changed. now they’re dealing with bottom bracket doping. love it.

  • Lovely photo!

  • would you by any chance know the last person or time someone rode the tour fixed?

  • Bobby Smith

    “Up until 1937, the fixed wheel was the only bicycle permitted to be ridden in the Tour de France.”

    Not true. They used single speed freewheels.

  • Guy

    Bobby is absolutely correct. The freewheel was introduced very early in the Tour’s history in 1907, just four years after the first edition.

    This should be common knowledge. Fixed gears were always regarded as track bikes. Desgrange was a purist, but also a realist.