French Patent # 382,602 - Prével d’Arlay

French Patent 382,602 - Prevel d Arlay main image

Cycle touring in the early 20th century was a lot like cross-country mountain biking today - the key issues were rough roads and steep, ungraded, climbs. Louis-Francisque Prével d’Arlay sought to deal with these problems in two ways that would be very familiar to modern mountain bikers - using front suspension (covered in this patent) and derailleur gears (covered in the addition to it).

Both of these patents feature his signature, strange, circular, spring arrangement - which is anything but familiar.