"We're trying to make it happen again to see a frame that's entirely 'Made in France,' " he said.

This being the land of "terroir," provenance is a point of pride, and not only for those with euros to burn. Many fixed-gear fans here have taken to building up bikes with old artisanal French frames, scavenged from basements or flea markets, said Thomas Courvalin, 34, the fresh-faced and unassuming lawyer who founded pignonfixe.com.

The restoration trend is perhaps unsurprising, given the present fixation - in Europe as in the United States - on all things "vintage." But the fixed-gear fad here also involves a distinctive nostalgia, Mr. Courvalin said, a yearning for an era of French "insouciance."

France has a deep cycling heritage, he said, and fixies are proving a "gateway" to a rediscovering of that history.

There are, of course, the famed stage races, including the Tour de France - in its early years raced on fixed-gear bikes - and a long tradition of fixed-gear track-racing, as well. But there is also an abiding romance here about the bicycle in general, which the French affectionately call "the Little Queen."

In that vein, and inspired by a London event called the Tweed Run, Mr. Courvalin organizes the Béret Baguette, an annual group ride in which fixie enthusiasts are encouraged to don the garb of the France of the 1920s and '30s.

In May, more than 500 turned out for the third edition, some of them pierced and tattooed, some not, but a great number in period clothing: the women in summer dresses and leather ankle boots, the men in marinières or pressed white shirts, with suspenders and wool caps. For the picnic later, some taped baguettes to the top-tubes of their fixies, with bottles of rosé and Burgundy lashed into tote baskets.

"People are discovering the world of bikes through fixies," Mr. Courvalin said. And for that, he noted, there is no need to look across the Atlantic.