The Cordwainers of France are the cyclotourists’ friends!

A few years ago I was cycling from Paris to Rouen when my Carradice saddle bag fell apart at the seams while crossing the Passerelle de l’Avre, but I was lucky enough to find a Versailles cordwainer to fix it, and it has been brilliant ever since.

This trip I’m wearing new cycling shoes made by William Lennon’s in Derbyshire. Since the very beginning the rubber sole on the bottom has been separating from the leather until today they were just flapping about on my feet.

So I’m in Chateaubriant for a rest day tomorrow and at 5pm went in search of a cordwainer. Found one who was due to close at 6pm and not re-open until Tuesday. But he managed all the same to get the soles stuck back on. 

Here he is, waining my cords:


So the story seems to go like this: you buy something from one of the traditional English cycle touring brands whose name reverberates down the decades. It falls apart within a few days of crossing the channel. A French cordwainer fixes it. 

Vivent les cordonniers de la France! 

Que leur renommé retentisse au fil des siècles!

4 thoughts on “The Cordwainers of France are the cyclotourists’ friends!

  1. I just bought a Carradice bag. My mates in Roy Pink cycles had a Super C Randonneur on show. I asked the price and they said they’d beat the online price. We did a quick google and came up with a lowest price of £55. “Yours for 50 quid” he said. What a super shop.

    1. Must come up there sometime and rummage round. That’s the smaller of the two, I think. I have one of those for my commute and it’s done well so far. It was the larger one that fell apart. Now I’m using the Camper Longflap, which has been excellent on the last three tours.

      1. Yes, the smaller one. Ideal for a few bits and pieces for a day run like the Eroica. Just about everything in the shop is Giant branded. There’s a very small bit that had the saddlebag and a couple of Brooks bits and that’s it. A bit random really.

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