Oscar Egg

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Oscar Egg
Oscar Egg.jpg
Personal information
Full nameOscar Egg
Born(1890-03-02)2 March 1890
Schlatt, Switzerland
Died9 February 1961(1961-02-09) (aged 70)
Nice, France
Team information
DisciplineRoad and track
Professional team(s)
Major wins
set the hour record 3 times
2 stages Tour de France (1914)
1 stage Giro d'Italia (1919)
Paris Tours (1914)
Milano–Torino (1917)

Oscar Egg (2 March 1890 – 9 February 1961) was a Swiss track and road bicycle racer. He captured the world hour record three times before the First World War and won major road races and stages of the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia. He was also a noted developer of racing bicycles and bicycle components including lugs and derailleurs.[1][2]

The hour record[edit]

Between 1907 and 1914 Oscar Egg and Marcel Berthet improved the hour record six times between them.[3] Egg's 1914 mark of 44.247 km then stood until 1933. Egg set all three of his records at the Vélodrome Buffalo in Paris. The track was a 333m outdoor track surfaced with concrete. The sequence was as follows:

  • 20 Jun 1907, Marcel Berthet, Paris, 41.520 km
  • 22 Aug 1912, Oscar Egg, Paris, 42.122 km
  • 7 Aug 1913, Marcel Berthet, Paris, 42.741 km
  • 21 Aug 1913, Oscar Egg, Paris, 43.525 km
  • 20 Sep 1913, Marcel Berthet, Paris, 43.775 km
  • 18 Aug 1914, Oscar Egg, Paris, 44.247 km

Only Chris Boardman has equaled Egg and Berthet's feat of taking the record three times. The last record, set by Egg in 1914, would stand for nearly 20 years until it was broken in 1933 by Francis Faure on a Mochet velocar. This caused such a reaction that Faure's achievement was disqualified by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) in 1934.



Tour de France:
Winner stages 8, 10 and 11 (independents category)
  Switzerland national road race championship[4]
Tour de France:
Winner stages 4 and 5
Giro d'Italia:
Winner stage 3
Circuit des Champs de Bataille
dropped out in stage 2[5]


Major track victories include:

Six days of Chicago
Six days of Chicago (with Francesco Verri)
Six days of New York (with Marcel Dupuy)
  Switzerland national track championship
He defeated Alfred Goullet on July 4, 1921 at the Newark Velodrome in Newark, New Jersey[6] Six day race in New York with Piet van Kempen.
Six days of Paris (with Georges Sérès père)
Six Days of Ghent (with Marcel Buysse)
Six days of Paris (with Piet Van Kempen)
Six days of Chicago (with Maurice Brocco)
Six days of Chicago (with Alfred Grenda)
Bol d'Or
  Switzerland national track sprint championship
Preceded by
Marcel Berthet
UCI hour record (42.122 km)
22 August 1912-7 August 1913
Succeeded by
Marcel Berthet
Preceded by
Marcel Berthet
UCI hour record (43.525 km)
21 August 1913-20 September 1913
Succeeded by
Marcel Berthet
Preceded by
Marcel Berthet
UCI hour record (44.247 km)
18 August 1914-25 August 1933
Succeeded by
Jan van Hout

Cycling components[edit]

Egg on his so-called rocket-bike
Super Champion derailleur

Oscar Egg owned a bicycle shop and workshop in Paris,[7] and began manufacturing racing bicycles and components after he retired from racing.[2]

Aerodynamic fairings[edit]

Egg tested an aerodynamic fairing in the form of a tail cone on a bicycle labeled the rocket-bike (vélo-fusée in French) in 1913.[8][9] In response to the success of the Vélo-Vélocar in the 1930s, Egg created a streamlined recumbent in an effort to be the first to travel more than 50 kilometers in a single hour, but he was beaten to it by Francis Faure in an actual Vélo-Vélocar.[10]


Egg introduced his first derailleur, called Champion, in 1932.[11] It supported as many as 3 different gear ratios and consisted of two parts: a fork mounted near the rear sprocket for moving the chain and a separate tension arm mounted near the front chainring for taking up slack.[11] Shifting gears required back-pedaling.[11] He followed up in 1933 with the Super Champion.[11] It was the official derailleur of the French, Belgian, Spanish, and German Tour de France teams in 1937, the first year that derailleurs were permitted in the race.[11] The device became so popular that more than 1 million were manufactured by 1939.[11]

Egg Super Champion derailleurs were marketed in Britain by the Constrictor Tyre and Accessories Company under the name Osgear.[12]

By the 1950s, fork-type derailleurs, such as the Egg Super Champion, were superseded by double pulley designs, and production ceased before 1960.[13]


Egg developed and marketed lugs for the assembly of steel bicycle frames by brazing.[14] Frames exist with decals advertising the fact that they use "Oscar Egg Super Champion Lugs".[14]


Other components bearing Egg's name include brakes, cranks, fork crowns, frames, and hubs.[15][1]


  1. ^ a b "1959 Velo de Course 'Oscar Egg'". The Online Bicycle Museum. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b Michael Butler. "Oscar Egg". Classic Rendezvous. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  3. ^ Clemitson, Suze (19 September 2014). "Why Jens Voigt and a new group of cyclists want to break the Hour record". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  4. ^ "National Championship, Road, Elite, Switzerland (Men)". Cycling Archives. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  5. ^ Isitt, Tom (9 July 2014). "Circuit des Champs de Bataille". Rouleur. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Defeats Goullet in Australian Pursuit Race at Newark Velodrome". New York Times. 4 July 1921. Retrieved 3 October 2010. Oscar Egg, the gritty Swiss bicycle star, defeated Alfred Goullet, all-around champion America, in a hard fought Australian pursuit race at the Velodrome here today. Egg and Goullet fought for three...
  7. ^ Mike Sweatman. "Super Champion". Disraeli Gears. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  8. ^ Pryor Dodge (3 July 2001). The Bicycle. Flammarion. p. 207. ISBN 9782080135513.
  9. ^ Tony Hadland and Hans-Erhard Lessing (2014). Bicycle Design. MIT Press. p. 405.
  10. ^ Tony Hadland and Hans-Erhard Lessing (2014). Bicycle Design. MIT Press. p. 485.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Frank J. Berto (2009). The Dancing Chain. Van der Plas Publications. pp. 117–121.
  12. ^ Frank J. Berto (2009). The Dancing Chain. Van der Plas Publications. p. 136.
  13. ^ Frank J. Berto (2009). The Dancing Chain. Van der Plas Publications. p. 163.
  14. ^ a b "Oscar Egg Lugs". Classic Lightweights UK. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  15. ^ "Oscar Egg Professional - France 1932 - road bike". Speedbicycles GmbH. Retrieved 13 October 2017.

External links[edit]