In the years 1880-1890 most factories also made ordinaries for boys: smaller size, simpler design and finish. Not many were sold: they were too expensive (and maybe too dangerous) for children. The bikes we see now and then are hard to identify, so the Batavus museum in Heerenveen (Netherlands) is very happy this ClÃ©ment still has its brass makers plate.
The French book â€˜Lâ€™Ãˆre du Grand-Biâ€™
by Jean Reynaud tells us that ClÃ©ment had this model without changes
in the catalogue from 1883 until 1889. They did not develop their childrens ordinary, so it still has the 1870's rooftop rims. The very oldfashioned front wheel bearing remind me most of the old boneshaker.
This bicycle was restored and renickled over rust-pitted parts. That's a shame, but it is still a pleasure to see this little gem.
The typical construction with the spring pointing straight forward is typical French: I have also seen it with the full-sized Clements and 1870's bikes made by Renard and Meyer.
I made a page about the ClÃ©ment serial numbers. Click here.