VeloSoleX Orbea Tipo 2800 from 1968, one cylinder, 49 cc, 0.7 HP, max. speed 36 km/h.

Orbea is a cooperative company that manufactures bicycles, light motorcycles and equipment. It is located in the Biscayan town of Mallavia in the Basque Country (Spain). Founded in 1840.

Originally a rifle and gun producer, Orbea exited the gun business and began designing and producing bicycles as Orbea Bicycles in 1930. Orbea began participating in the Tour de France as early as 1934, with famous Spaniard Mariano Cañardo as the face of the Orbea road cycling team.

In 1969, under dire financial circumstances, employees formed a co-operative and purchased Orbea from the Orbea family. The newly formed Orbea cooperative left Eibar the same year to nearby Mallabia, where their first dedicated bicycle factory was built. For the next several decades, the company would focus on producing leisure bikes for consumers in Spain and around Europe.

Orbea would return to competitive road cycling in the 1980s as Gin MG-Orbea and later SEAT-Orbea, led by Spaniard cyclists Pedro Delgado, Jokin Mújika, and Pello Ruiz Cabestany. Participating in both Tour de France and Vuelta a España.

Orbea began manufacturing mountain bikes in 1989.

Originally VéloSoleX is a moped, or motorised bicycle, usually just referred to as ‘Solex’, which was originally produced by the French manufacturer Solex, based in Courbevoie near Paris, France. The company manufactured centrifugal radiators, carburetors, and micrometers, before branching into assist motors and bicycles. The moped originally created during World War II and mass-produced between 1946 and 1988 came in various iterations, whilst keeping the same concept of a motor with roller resting on the front wheel of a bicycle.

Read more: Transport and equipment ...