Fonlupt: Mystery Machine.


Retro Guru
Does anyone know anything of Cycles Fonlupt? A mate passed on this Fonlupt Equipe to me, he didn’t know any history but we’re guessing it may have arrived with a student, then suffered considerable abuse in a short time.


I’m not an expert on Campagnolo but it’s got an 8sp. Mirage groupset with Ergo-power shifters, & is built of Columbus Thron with lugs. The Zonda wheels were probably original fitment, sadly the rear rim was beyond saving, as was the Mirage rear mech (help me out Bristol jumblers!). It arrived with a manky WTB seat on a Kalloy post, I’m sure these weren’t original equipment. Grease would have been used on the original post, but this one was seized which delayed things until Coke worked it’s magic. I can’t find any frame number, I guess that points to fairly limited production.
TBH I don’t have that much time to put in to internet research, but Fonlupt have no website. The chainwheel tattoo project guy shows a couple of nice Fonlupt chain rings from the 30’s, so the company must have some history! Not being able to speak French is a distinct disadvantage here; I found a couple of sale ads for models of a similar vintage, (& one ad. for a whole pile of low spec bikes which might have been hired out from a resort) and a couple of vintage pictures on French forums. & no mention on other sites except this French ‘Qype’ site. The site has an English version, but the article disappears so I had to use some other website to translate it. The address is Thonon-les-Bains, which is the French side of Lake Geneva, handy for the Alps which explains the Triple chainset. The Qype contributors are merely admiring the traditional style of the shop, and the character of M.Fonlupt, who resisted the advances of property speculators, then was sadly taken ill & the shop closed.
A recent post there says the old chap died, so the shop remains closed and apparently now at the mercy of developers.
They don’t appear to have been in & had a chat with him, but I need to know stuff like: did M.Fonlupt build his own frames, or someone else local? Did he race, or did anyone else race on a Fonlupt bike? The history of the Marque, not just the bike.


Old School Grand Master
Let me first say that I've never come across Fonlupt before.

A web search also finds a Cycles Fonlupt in Paray-le-Monial in Saone et Loire. There's only one Fonlupt bike on eBay at the moment, and that's for sale in Digoin, very close to Paray-le-Monial: ... 5012013733

The proximity may be a coincidence, but I'm tempted to think that your bike may be from Paray-le-Monial.


Old School Grand Master
This page has pictures of an interesting 1950s Fonlupt:

One contributor mentions that Fonlupt were based in La Clayette. That's also in Saône et Loire, about 20km from Paray-le-Monial. Another site says:

"1920: Création des Etablissements Fonlupt à La Clayette" ... 030-6.html

A M. Fonlupt was mayor of La Clayette during WW2, and there's a rue Alfred Jacques Fonlupt in La Clayette, beside the lake.

Aude Fonlupt on facebook says:

"Les cycles Fonlupt viennent de la Clayette, en Saône et Loire, (fondés par mon arrière grand père)."

"Cycles Fonlupt (founded by my great grandfather) come from La Clayette in Saône et Loire"

The Pages Blanches still list a Guy Fonlupt living in La Clayette.


Retro Guru
Hi Jim,

thanks for doing that research while I slept! The eBay bike has a similar look, so I guess the Paray-le-Monial shop is a good bet. I've got the post out, & have some shonky spare wheels so hoping to ride it before the week's out.


Old School Grand Master
Happy to help - and always happy to learn.

A Google search also led me to - the French equivalent of craigslist - and there are currently thirteen listings for Fonlupt, several in Saône et Loire: ... &q=fonlupt

They seem to have a strong local presence.

On another site last night (perhaps mélivélo - I forget) I read that the Bernard Hinault branded bikes were built in the Fonlupt factory.

Finally, although the unusual name has a Germanic ring to it, it seems to originate in Auvergne, with a particularly strong presence in Puy de Dôme: ... &periode=3


Retro Guru
Thanks for the extra info. Jim- the sporting models on leboncoin all have a similar look, so it seems mine's from Paray-le-Monial. Pleased to hear they made Hinault branded frames as well- would like to see one of those!
I put some mis-matched wheels & an inappropriate Shimano mech for a test ride on my short commute, rides nice! (a little small for me & too big for my lad)


Retro Newbie
Great research cats!

Great research cats!
I was looking for some info on this manufacturer - appreciate you help!


Retro Newbie
Hi Guys, we've just found a Fonlupt, restored her and have been dashing around trying to get some info.

We've got so much access over here in France to such bikes, but to date, Fonlupt is a mystery to us, I've found an old bike shop near us, now closed, called Fonlupt, but reckon it was an early Branded Shop.

Anyway, here's some piccys.

Here's our beauty:


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Retro Newbie

I am here by accident.
Fonlupt was a quality maker in Laclayette.
I bought a bike from them around 1980 ( lived near Paray le Monial but don't remember a shop)
It was a deal set up by my works social committee as the factory was not allowed to sell retail.
I went to the factory to make sure the bike was the right size.

A wonderful bike which I brought back to England in around 1987. As I did not use it - and being a bit doolalli as a result of a divorce - I put it out side my house with a 'Free to take away' sign on it. I heard a lady saying it was too good to be true so called out the window to confirm. She went off as pleased as punch unaware of its pedigree.
Once I was over the divorce I wondered how I could have been so stupid - 25 years on I still regret it.
Sad to read the factory burned down.