Recumbent History


The origin of the recumbent dates back to the 1800, from the velocipede of MacMillan to the recumbent of Chaland. In the years 1930 a series of events changed the history of the bicycle. A French man named Francois Gaure, professional track cyclist of the second category, beat all the world records for speed, as much as for miles and kilometers, with his velocar, a two wheeled recumbent designed and constructed by Charles Mochet. He provoked and intense controversy in the International Cyclist Union, the directing corps of bicycle racing. The center of the debate: determine if the design was actually a bicycle and if the record could be admissible.

In 1934 the Cyclist Union pronounced against Mochet-Gaure, interdict the use of recumbent an any design that makes then more aerodynamic. By this decision the Union blocked the development of human propulsion vehicle for the next 5 decades following. This is why the bicycle of today resemble very closely to the bicycle of Starley & Sutton, meaning the conventional vertical bicycle position of the year 1885. We ask our selves where would we be today if the International Cyclist Union would have leaned of the favor of the recumbent.


Due to the consumer complaints about the bicycle discomfort in general, there as for the danger represented by this type of regular bicycle in case of an accident, the inventor Gérard Labranche, spent a lot of time developing a new type of bike concept, which may remedy to these major problems. Using his knowledge in bio-mechanic he position the human body in a comfortable, performing and security way in case of accident and spills. All of this development brought him to a product, which is similar to other products on the market today. Questioning himself on the reason of unsuccessful of products bike (Ryan Van Guard & Linear) an other similar recumbent. After trying different type of recumbent he came to the conclusion they were three major problems: the price, balance difficulty, and the radius of turning to wide. After remedying all this difficulties he associated with Denis Brown to commercialize his product, therefore concluded the world commercialization of his new bike. Following this, Mr. Denis Brown associated with Mr. Denis Fournier and Mr. Daniel Pelletier and Quetzal Cycle Inc. was created. In 1996 they commercialize the first series of bikes under the trademark Quetzal in collaboration with the biggest manufacture in Canada, which is The Procycle Group at St-Georges de Beauce. During the next 5 years following more than 1,000 bikes were sold across Canada, positioning in the U.S., debut in Europe was started.

The 15 December 2000, a new boost was given, The Procycle Group Inc. acquire certain share of Quetzal Cycle Inc. Quetzal becomes a recumbent integrated into Procycle Group therefore creating Quetzal Cycle to augment their capacity and efficiency to develop, to produce and distribute their products continuous development. Mr. Brown directs this unit seconds by Mr. Christian Dutil.

In 2002, we are breaking new ground to present you a new line of bikes. In the hopes of popularizing the reclining bike concept, we developed a new range of both recreational and family bikes. We now have a line of bikes for kids. We innovate to upgrade our clientele’s satisfaction. We renamed our line of bikes according to the historical context around the bird (Quetzal) and its mythology.