In a quiet Paris courtyard, Frédéric Jastrzebski and his team of expert craftsmen build bicycles as finely fabricated as those his great-grandfather made for customers such as Marlene Dietrich and Maurice Chevalier.
Maison Tamboite, a family business shuttered in the 1980s by an uncle frustrated by a market flooded by mass-produced bicycles, has been revived by a new generation that believes in old-fashioned craftsmanship. Jastrzebski, who felt a calling to resurrect the luxury brand his great-grandfather Léon Leynoud made famous in the early decades of the 20th century, offers a 21st-century collection of three bicycles he describes as “works of art.” Prices start at €11,000 (electric models are €15,500):
Photography courtesy of Maison Tamboite.
Above: The Dalou, like the other Maison Tamboite models, has a high-tech steel frame developed for competitive racing.
The bicycle is made to measure; in the first stage of the manufacturing process, Jastrzebski, a former international equities broker, will travel anywhere in the world to meet a customer (and take a minimum of 15 physical measurements). “We perform an anatomical and biomechanical analysis that will guarantee that your bicycle fits your body perfectly,” he says.
Above: Maison Tamboite’s studio at 20, rue Nicolas is across town from the family’s first workshop but Jastrzebski has his great-grandfather’s original tools and a workbench on which Leynoud built bikes.
Above: A detail of the bike basket that comes standard on the Dalou; it is made of wood, steel, and leather.
Above: Bike seats (as well as handlebars and pedals) are covered in burnished vegetable-tanned leather.
Above: Each bike takes three months to make.
Above: The collection includes (from L to R) the Marcel, the Dalou, and the Henri.
Above: “Even more than a suit or a pair of shoes, a bicycle is an extension of its owner’s body,” notes the Maison Tamboite catalog.
For more bicycles and accessories, see Handsome Bike Baskets for Taking Meals on the Go.