This cross frame was built by one of the leading French factories of the time, who had also produced a lot of beautiful penny farthings. Clement was a firm from Paris and their bicycles were very popular in France and Belgium.
Nowadays a Clement is always easy to recognise, since the name CLEMENT is written proudly on the middle of the handlebars. This nice cross frame also has the frame number (13304) inscripted on the handlebars.
Early Clements have a chain tensioning system by moving the bracket – as usual in the early days of safeties. I am not sure if this bike has an alloy bracket, the newer diamond framed Clement I owned had a steel bracket.
This model cross frame was built between 1886 and 1892.
The 1889 catalogue lists this model as the 'Bicyclette no. 1', or 'Demi-course'. It was also built for the Ministry of War.
Both saddle and (Lucas
Silver King) lamp of the bike in the pictures are about 10-15 years younger than the rest of the
bicycle. It misses both mudguards. And its a shame the left-side crank is fixed inside out ...
Look at the way the brake lever is attached UNDER the handlebars. This is already a more modern system than for instance the Clement 7896, which we think was built in 1888. This bicycle also has a different system of bracket adjustment fixation.