Hand-painted and made in France, 'little cyclists' have been a sought-after gift for big cyclists since the 1950s

A few years ago we ran an article in Cycling Weekly magazine on how to ride in a group, and to illustrate the article we used a miniature peloton of die-cast cycling figures. The response to the article was amazing – not because of our sound expert advice, but because readers wanted to know where they could buy the mini metal cyclists.

Cycling Souvenirs, the online retailer of all things cycling and souveniry, has now made it easy for people to buy the collectable figures, offering a selection of zinc riders in all sorts of kit. You can even buy ones with polka dot, green and yellow jerseys to recreate the Tour de France peloton.

These aren’t cheap knock-offs, they originate from the French family-run business that has been casting and hand-painting them in small quantities since the Fifties (hence – gasp – cap and no helmet).

Accordingly, there’s a price to match – each five centimetre high figure costs £12, which means even creating a single Tour team (nine riders) would set you back £108. The paint finish looks, well, hand painted, with imperfect lines and constantly varying designs that leads to every single figure being unique.

Each model comes in a small box emblazoned with the words ‘Little cyclist. Handmade in France’, the perfect size to slip into a Christmas stocking.

Further information: Cycling Souvenirs website