...I'm not saying that things should be any different, only that there's a gap between the perception of France's cycling heritage by the non-French (which is probably an invention of the internet age, and focuses on the things that, while very idiomatically French - the 650B campeur Alex Singer for example - may never have had quite the mass popularity one might assume) and cycling as practised in France, by the French - Decathlon, carbon, century rides and sag wagons.
For example, here is a contribution that is widely attributed to the French concerning cycling and I can look up a source if need be but that which says that putting shellac on the handlebars is a French innovation http://briansbicyclebanter.blogspot.com ... -tape.html
say like discussed on this webpage.
I think it is a good thing overall about the Rivendell thing, biking like Rivendell, that seems to be how some of this has originated. Enter Grant Peterson (ref: http://www.adventurecorps.com/way/petersenprofile.html
& the company http://www.rivbike.com/
) who is their head of operations. He use to work for Bridgestone and designed some of their more sought after models. Anyway, Bridgestone and Peterson eventually set on different ways and Rivendell became a bit of the company that was Peterson's sector at Bridgestone. (Peterson made their XO model or whatever it is called which also calls to mind to bring out the Nitto handlebars, etc. etc.)(Rivendell may be a good company in making bicycles but I think if one puts their noggin to good use, you may be able to come up with comparitively fine bikes using vintage frames).
You know, I think they keep some traditions alive and that is good. I can not make too informed of statements on those said traditions but it is certainly interesting.
I just pulled the above Shellac link off of google, a real good one I use to read from a few years ago, I can't quite find readily. It seems generally perusing the google results seems to say Shellac seems to have some history their in France. I have indeed shellacked my handlebars. If it is so good at "preserving" or whatever purpose it has, the handlebar tape, I'd think such practises could be useful in the UK but I see little reference for it.
I think Velo Orange is doing a bit of the same thing like Rivendell has been doing for years. I'm glad the bike industry seems to be on an imaginative note right now. It seems a few years ago, it was mainly about getting a fast bike, a Trek or a Cannondale, etc.