Earlier: Jons, Lyon
Later: Rue du Soleil, St Etienne

Updated 8.15.2014

“Andre was/is a very engaging person and most of his customers would forgive him a lot of his faults i.e., broken promises and undertakings, when they finally received one of his aluminium gems of a frame. Having said that, I am still awaiting delivery of the two Sabliere 2nd generation carbon-fibre-tubed/aluminium lugged frames that I ordered at the 1983 Paris Show for a couple of riders who were in the UK Womens Team for the 1984 Olympics.”

“From mid – 1970s until about 1983/84 Andre was going through the process of discovering himself – a journey that he was to restart several times in his cycle-frame building career, the penultimate time being in the early 90s when, completely out of the blue he phoned me to ask if I would place an advance order for some of the new generation of Jacques Anquetil frames that he was planning on producing… with more than a little financial help from Sophie, Anquetil Jacques’ daughter. I enquired, before committing myself, if the lead time would be longer or shorter than that for the delivery of the Carbon/aluminium Sablieres. I did actually place an order but…,they never arrived… Not having paid anything up-front I knew that my money committed to the purchase would remain unspent.”

“In the mid 70s Andre was still producing both lugless and lugged steel frames and starting to experiment with welded aluminium ones. By the time that these were ready for showing off to the Press and the public at large, they were beautifully crafted and presented; he was one of the darlings of the French trade magazine ‘L’Officiel du Cycle’ who regularly devoted many metres of column centimetres to accounts of his latest development. Often this was the same frame as the previous article, but dressed in different equipment, much of it quite unashamedly branded ‘SABLIERE’.”

“The better known Sabliere frames, from about 1982 onwards are finely-finished sculptured objects of considerable beauty… and a substantial amount of skill. By that time all cables were passing through the tubes or chainstay… or seat stay and he had discarded the welded alloy fork for one whose blades were bonded to a forged aluminium crown, the drop-outs also being bonded into place. The rear drop-outs were not welded into place but were a riveted and bonded combination. The other major change in the frame’s construction was that Sabliere had got rid of the welded on seat bolt boss in favour of a seat-pillar with an integral expander bolt.”

“Sabliere’s frames do not have a reputation for breaking… but they may appear slightly ‘soft’ compared to modern-day aluminum alloy ones… although he argon-arced the frames…not just gas-welded them. I cannot at the moment recall the type/series of aluminium alloy that he used but believe that it came from Pechiney-Cedegur..but it wasn’t one of the newer and sophisticated 6000 series or even 7000. I will endeavour to find out from a friend in Lyon who knows Andre well. Rumour has it that Sabliere is back in business, but I find that hard to believe as he must be in his mid-to-late-60s..but, maybe just as Andre carried on the tradition of frame-building started by his father Chas, then, possibly Andre’s son, might have also taken to the torch and TIG-welder….he will be in his early-to-mid 30s now.”

Norris Lockley

6/21/2011 on CR Group

Ray Dobbin's very early Sabliere bike, circa late 1970s

Click image to go to Ray’s approx 70 image gallery

Beautiful Sabliere bike as offered on eBay by seller 'papy-bikes-brok'

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Beautiful Sabliere bike as offered on eBay by seller 'papy-bikes-brok'

Click image to go to large image gallery