I have a little theory abour Clément serial numbers:


The magnificent book ‘L’ere de Grand Bi’ (Claude Reynaud) gives us the following Clément production numbers:

34 in 1878

135 in 1879

1589 in 1884

4710 in 1889

12814 in 1894


In a graphic, the annual production by Clement in the periode 1878-1889:




The bikes that I know:

--: penny farthing,  no number (or: not visible on pictures), estimated 1879.

--: penny farthing Stockdale collection, no number mentioned, estimated 1880-1882.

499 ?: penny farthing

2457: penny farthing no. 1 (external link), they list it as 1887.

2483: penny farthing no. 2, (1885-1887?)

3472:  three wheeler, estimate 1884-1885 by Claude Reynaud  (external link), they list it as 1888...

7896: cross frame no 2, c 1888

13304: cross frame no. 1, pivot steering. Period 1887-1892.

16042: Cripper three wheeler, ca, 1888-1889 (external link)

20814: crossframe no.2, 1889-1890

22737, diamond frame, estimated quite exactly 1891

31469, diamond frame, estimated 1893-1894 (external link)

38486, diamond frame, estimated 1893-1895

42303: diamond frame, Batavus museum, 1894-95.


If they started no. 1 in 1878, no known Clement bicycle would fit the production statistics.


AND: the Encyclopaedia of Bicycle Manufacturers (VCC, Ray Miller) tells us that serial number 1350 is attributed to 1886. This means, they may have started counting in 1885!  Or: started counting again from 0.

This way, statistics look a lot better, bikes like the penny farthings 2457 and 2483 now fit in the system.


I assumed a production of 5000 in 1890, rising each year with 300 bikes.

New graphic: