Allegro (bicycle brand)

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Allegro model from the 1970s
Allegro motorcycle from 1926
Arnold Grandjean (left), the company's founder, with his brother Ali

Allegro was a brand name under which bicycles and motorcycles were produced in Switzerland from 1914 to the 1980s by the company Etablissements des Cycles Allegro Arnold Grandjean SA Neuchâtel .


The company was founded in 1914 by the cyclist Arnold Grandjean , who was Swiss champion four times in various disciplines, together with his brothers Ali, Ulysse and Tell and another partner. The company is considered the first manufacturer of racing bikes in Switzerland. Grandjean chose the name Allegro because his fans cheered him on with the words Allez, Gros . Initially, the wheels were built in a workshop in Fleurier , but in 1923 the company moved to a production facility in Neuchâtel . Motorcycles were also manufactured up to the Second World War .

In 1939 Allegro was the largest manufacturer of bicycles and motorcycles in Switzerland. The company had 200 employees who produced around 20,000 wheels per year. There were 500 commercial agents in Switzerland; one of them was Daniel Grandjean, the son of Jules, who later opened a shop in Couvet selling only Allegro products. After an economic slump during the war, business picked up again and more members of the Grandjean family were brought into the company. In 1957 another building was built for the company in Marin .

The brother Tell Grandjean competed in races on Allegro motorcycles himself, also in a team with his wife.

The company existed independently until the 1980s, when it was sold to the bicycle manufacturer Mondia . In 2014, the Allegro brand was bought by the wholesaler COLAG AG, which continues to sell bicycles under this name. In addition to traditional bikes , e-bikes were also included in the range for the first time from the 2016 season .

Allegro in cycling

From 1933 to 1973 there were racing teams run almost entirely by Allegro. Racing drivers who rode Allegro bikes achieved numerous successes: Edgar Buchwalder became the amateur road champion in 1936 , Henri Garnier won the Tour de Suisse in the same year and Fritz Pfenninger the Tour of Switzerland in 1938 . The last major success achieved with an Allegro bike was Robert Dill-Bundi's Olympic victory in the singles pursuit at the 1980 Games in Moscow .

Web links

Commons : Allegro vehicles  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Arnold Grandjean's family tree. Retrieved January 30, 2014 .
  2. a b Allegro History pre-1940., June 8, 2011, accessed January 29, 2014 .
  3. a b Allegro history, 1940–1950's., August 9, 2011, accessed January 30, 2014 .
  4. ^ Allegro History 1960's., July 9, 2011, accessed January 30, 2014 .
  5. Klausen Race 1922–1934. Special exhibition April 14 to October 20, 2013. Pantheon Basel - forum for classic cars. P. 70 f , accessed on January 30, 2014 .
  6. Martin Platter: The (Swiss) steel donkey has had its day. Neue Zürcher Zeitung, May 18, 2001, accessed January 30, 2014 .
  7. ALLEGRO is experiencing its rebirth on the occasion of the Zurich Film Festival 2014 Tagblatt der Stadt Zürich, November 16, 2016.
  8. Allegro 1970s - 1990s., September 9, 2011, accessed January 30, 2014 .