- For cycle, motor-cycle, motor-car, aeroplane and airship companies associated with French industrialist Adolphe Clément-Bayard - see Clement (disambiguation).
Clément Cycles or La Société des Vélocipédes Clément was a French bicycle manufacturer that was founded by the industrial entrepreneur Adolphe Clément known from 1909 as Clément-Bayard). From its beginnings as a bicycle repair shop in Bordeau, through its establishment as a bicycle shop and workshop in Paris to its mass manufacture of a wide range of bicycles from the purpose built, state of the art factory at Levallois-Perret, Paris, the brand always combined advertising and marketing flair with quality products.
In 1876, after 2 years of cycle racing, working and saving, Clément-Bayard had enough money to start in business, so he opened a bicycle repair works in Bordeaux, aged 21. The next stage of his business plan was to move to Marseille where he learned how to manufacture steel tubes for bicycles. The following year he moved to Lyon and began manufacturing whole bicycles under the name 'Clément SA cycles'.
The following year, circa 1878, he moved to Paris and opened a cycle business, A. Clément & Cie, at 20 Rue Brunel near the Place de l'Etoile. Here he also ran a cycling school and was competing in cycle races. In Paris his business backers were monsieur de Graffenried and monsieur de Montgeron.
At the end of 1878 Adolphe partnered the cycling champion Charles Terront at the 'Six-Days' cycling event at the Agricultural Hall in London. He also opened a sales showroom at 31 rue 'du 4-September', in Paris and started a poster advertising campaign, a new concept.
In September 1879, Clément built an iron smelter in Tulle, in the Limousin where there was a good supply of water power, but he did not have sufficient finance to make it viable and Tulle was too remote from Paris, so he had to sell the plant.
By 1880 the "Clément" cycle manufacturing business at Rue Brunel, had circa 150 employees building bicycles. The machines were regarded as high quality and by 1890 Clément was the leading cycle brand in France.
In 1896 Adolphe Clément who held the extremely profitable manufacturing rights for Dunlop tyres in France joined with a syndicate led by Dunlop's founder Harvey Du Cros to buy out the Gladiator Cycle Company and they merged it into a major bicycle manufacturing conglomerate of Clement, Gladiator & Humber & Co Limited. The range of cycles was expanded with tricycles, quadricycles, and in 1902 a motorised bicycle, then cars and motorcycles.
- Hartmann, Gérard. "Hydro Retro, Clément-Bayard, sans peur et sans reproche" (PDF) (in French).
- "Yesterday`s The place where you buy all your antique and classic bikes".
- Stéphane Gautreau. "Vieux vélos de France, vélos anciens :: Les premiers vélocipèdes".
- "Pierre Giffard".
- Georgano, N. (2000). Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile. London: HMSO. ISBN 1-57958-293-1.
Media related to Clément vehicles at Wikimedia Commons