The Tour de France introduced National teams and anonymous frames (identical bikes?) in 1930. They soon relaxed the rules a little, for example Speicher won the 1933 Tour after designing an improved braking system.

The lugless TdF frame, that still sat in the 132 Lower Richmond Rd, Putney shop in 1938, had the name “Roth” on the top-tube. The only TdF rider 1930-46 named Roth was the German Bruno Roth. His first tour was 4th to 28th July 1935, wearing No. 79 (riders numbered alphabetically by surname) he came in 23rd.

His final tour was in 1936, he wore No. 71. The Tour ran 7 July to 2 Aug 1936. In the 5th stage, the start of the Alps, Bruno came in 66th (out of 78) he did not complete Stage 6. So the bike in 132 Putney could have been either his 1935 or 1936 bike.

The 1935 and 1936 Tours were won by Belgians Romain Maes and Sylvère Maes respectively. One source says they both rode Alcyon bikes. If true it may mean the whole Tour rode Alcyons (including Bruno). This seems unlikely though, because Desgrange introduced the same bike rule partly to ‘have a go’ at large manufacturers (like Alcyon) and I think the Tour supplied the bikes.

1935 and 1936 bikes only had two sprockets, one each side of the hub (like the Putney Roth bike), although Vervaecke was caught using a derailleur climbing the Aubisque in 1936 and penalised 10 min. Derailleurs (3 speed) were first allowed in the TdF in 1937.

Winners frame 1927-1930, 1932, 1935 and 1936 given as ‘Alcyon’
1931, 1934 ‘France Sport’ (ridden by Magne both years)
1933 unknown make (ridden by Speicher).

There can be no doubt, the bike at 132 Putney was Bruno Roth’s 1935 or 1936 Tour bike, but whether it was an Alcyon is unknown. I think it will prove to be his 1936 bike and the ‘inspiration’ for La Quelda. It had clearly been used and Owen Bryars sold it to Dick Clements (shop staff) c1938. Dick always sat at the window above the shop doing his packing job. He bought Roths bike for £3, promptly stripped it and sold the bits separately for about £15, this displeased Owen. (Bill Hurlow)