Ovomaltine Musette Bag – c1950s


This musette shows signs of typical wear and remains a great display item. We are guessing a bit on the precise year of this musette and it may be older than the 1950s as the size is a bit smaller and the stitching more refined than musettes of the 1960s onward. Ovomaltine was an active sponsor in cycling for many years. Musettes from this era are far and few between.

The Musette: A Simple Cloth Bag and Icon of Cycling

We see riders wrapped in spare tubes with goggles firmly in place, carrying the unmistakable fabric food bag from bicycle racing’s earliest photographs. This simple but vital musette bag takes its name from the nose-bag often seen hanging around horses’ necks.

Getting food and water to riders has always been a tricky but crucial part of racing.  In the early days, to supplement what a rider could carry in a musette, bars and cafes were often raided by riders leaving bills for race organizers to settle later. Formal feed zones were introduced to racing in 1919, but riders still had to stop to take on provisions from large tables. By the 1950s, the random cafes and tables of food began to be replaced by team staff on the side of the road handing off the musettes to riders who did not need to stop and risk losing valuable time. As cycling technology advances, with innovations like radios and wireless shifting, the proven and straightforward musette bag remains a vital method to get food and drinks to riders in the peloton.

In the early days, musettes were not available for fans to purchase.  They were highly prized and collected, especially when a favorite brand or race was featured.

Size: 11 x 7.5 inches ( 28 x 19 cm)

Please Note: Bag does have some stains and discoloration.

This item is one of a kind; please look carefully at the photos to determine the condition.

Out of stock

SKU: XT-1071 Category:


This item is one of a kind; please look carefully at the photos to determine the condition.