Allegro history, 1940 – 1950’s

Published on August 09, 2011

After WW II and along with the rest of Europe, Allegro picked up where they had left off before it’s outbreak. The sport of cycling had also resumed and Allegro reformed the professional team which had seen such major success prior to the war in Switzerland and was now poised to compete throughout Europe. The Grandjean family had also expanded. Ulysses had two sons who were involved in the family trade: Antione, who raced and was the cummunal advisor to Couvet and a younger son Francis, who introduced Peugot ‘two wheels’ to Switzerland and who would later become the director of Cycles Allegro through to the late 1970’s.

The Golden Era (1950’s):

The 1950’s marked a rather special time for Swiss and German bike design when framesbuilders used Nervex lugs almost exclusively that were embellished by chrome and frames were characterized by pinstripping, striking graphics, smoke paint jobs, light airbrushing around the lugs and multi fade paint finishes throughout. Along with Cilo, Condor, Tigra, SchlegelRad and Wolf, Allegro and Mondia did their fair share of this filigree through to the 1980’s on their touring and trekking bikes. 

Tube Sample Dealer Kit 1940's

For those who have always wondered, the answer to the great Swiss chicken and egg paint scenario is: Allegro. They were the first Swiss manufacture to incorporate the faded paint scheme, some five years before Mondia.

By the mid-50’s Allegro was selling it’s products throughout Europe and was making arrangments for distribution out of the continent. The the Allegro racing team was also back to it’s pre-war antics, winning numorous Tour De Suisse stages and yet another Swiss Championship in 1957. The future looked bright as Allegro was poised to test the global economy. Now celebrating his company’s 40th year , Arnold Grandjean had unleashed the tenacity which made him a cycling champion onto his business and he was again victorious. 

1954 Allegro Special, all original


 Here is a lovely condition Allegro Special that was purchased from the original owner. Durax Super Course Crank set, early Campagnolo front and rear Gran Sport deraileurs and bar shifters. Campagnolo first generation 3 piece hubs laced to Weinmann rims. Brooks B 17 saddle. Chrome fork, Lug lining and pin stripping. You can see the early transformation to the classic late 1950’s and early 1960’s paint treatment beginning with the fine cycle.

Rear triangle area with Weinmann sidepulls