In 1947, the twin brothers Roger and Marcel Lejeune, former amateur racing cyclists, set out to manufacture bicycles. In the 1950s, Lejeune Cycles purchased a small manufacturer J. Beck, of Rue Réaumur in Paris, whose brand was called Sauvage. The bicycles were marketed under the name Sauvage-Lejeune. The head badge of their bicycles depicted a caricature of a “savage” that would now be considered offensive by some and may be the reason that from the late 1960s the bicycles were branded only as Lejeune. In 1974, Lejeune Cycles bought and moved into the empty buildings of the Suze-Pernod Company at 39 avenue du Général Leclerc in Maisons-Alfort on the south-eastern outskirts of Paris.
Lejeune sponsored or co-sponsored professional cycling teams from 1961 through to 1980:
- 1961: Sauvage-Lejeune – Pelforth 43
- 1962 – 1968: Pelforth – Sauvage-Lejeune
- 1969 – 1971: Sonolor – Lejeune
- 1973: De Kova – Lejeune
- 1974: Jobo – Lejeune
- 1976 – 1978: Lejeune – BP
- 1979: DAF Trucks Aida (Lejeune bikes)
- 1980 DAF Trucks – Lejeune
- 1985 CSM Persan – Bic (Lejeune bikes)
The bicycles of Marcel LeJeune were very prominent in the pro peleton in the 1960s & 70s. Last address : 11-25 Ave General LeClerc, 94700 Maison-Alfort, France.
1970s era catalog illustrations & ad
Specs on Jerry’s Bike:
- Year: 1973
- Frame: Reynolds 531 DB
- Hubs: Normandy Competition (French thread) w/ Atom QR (original)
- Rims: Super Champion Arc-en-Ciel tubular (same model as original)
- Headset: Stronglight Competition (original)
- Crank set: Stronglight mod 93 (original) with slightly later mod 105 bis drilled rings.
- BB: Stronglight (original)
- Pedals: Lyotard Berthet (original was 45CD)
- Christophe clips; original LeJEUNE
- Derailleurs: Simplex Super LJ front and rear (original dealer upgrade)
- Shift levers: Simplex retrofriction (originals were
- Simplex Criterium).
- Brakes: Mafac 2000, gold anodized with full hoods & wheel guides (original was Racer)
- Bars & Stem: Engraved Belleri bars (25.0) with chromed steel French stem.(period)
- Seatpost: Simplex badged steel 26.6 (original)
- Saddle: Ideale 90 (don’t remember OE – upgraded to Brooks pro at original purchase)
- Freewheel: Cyclo mod 72 14-26T French (from Sheldon). Original probably Atom 14-28T