SOLEX alive and well in Paris
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  1. #1
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    Sep 2004
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    Default SOLEX alive and well in Paris

    I have seen quite a lot of traditional Solexes ( a small petrol motor with a drive-roller dropped onto the front wheel ) in regional France but hardly a sighting in Paris.

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    However the Solex brand is alive and well.

    One of the bigger department stores, BHV ...(Bazaar Hotel de Ville, in the absolute centre of Paris) ....has now opened a shopfront exclusively selling Foldable and Electric powered (pedal) Solexes.

    These are ideally suited to the city/apartment lifestyle.

    Not particularly cheap at around 2000+ Euros for the electric version.

    I wonder how they will sell ?...given the plethora of the low-cost/"free" VELIB bike-hire available all over the city and immediate suburbs.
    Velib has no maintenance/storage issues for the user (especially if you live on the 6th floor in the Mansard roof of a "Haussmann" building with no lift/elevator.)

    Although the Solex brand exists, I would still suggest that this is not a "real" Solex.

    But then I would say the same thing about Peugeot ....since it moved to Front-wheel drive.
    ..and I could make similar disparaging comments about new Citroens compared to my DS23 and 2cv.

    However companies such as Solex, need to have an economic business plan and move with the times to address safety and pollution issues. ( my rib-cage is the driver air bag in the 2cv! )

    As an aside...re: changing standards.
    Interesting too, that very soon, it is proposed that cars built before 1997 will no longer be allowed in Paris ie. inside the Peripherique.
    and according to an article in a French 2cv magazine, the authorities are not particularly receptive to approaches about exceptions for classic vehicles either.
    (Paris is not the first city to implement this restriction)

    SOLEX alive and well in Paris-img_4283.jpg
    Cheers
    Bob

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
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    Lauderdale, Tasmania
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    Default

    There have been several changes in ownership of the Solex brand in recent years including messy litigation. They are still being made in China and an electric version has been on the market now in France for nearly ten years. They sell reasonably well but are expensive compared with other electric bikes of similar performance. The 4800 is assembled in France from Chinese parts by the Mopex company see
    Le Site Web du Solex - Mopex
    Paris is encouraging the use of two and three wheeled transport but seems determined to phase out private cars within the next decade.
    Think Global - Ride on Spheres

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