Category Archives: Articles

Sports Relief Charity Photoshoot

RIDE VINTAGE online magazine 1

 

victoria pendleton 1899 triumph resilient

 

In March 2014, I was asked to provide some bicycles for a charity photoshoot with Victoria Pendleton and Evgeny Lebedev for the Sport Relief charity. I took a variety of machines to Mr. Lebedev’s Hampton Court home, and they selected the 1899 Triumph Resilient and 1902 Centaur Featherweight. On the front page of the London Evening Standard, Victoria rode the 1899 Triumph Resilient, with the Centaur and trailer appearing on page 3.

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The photoshoot experience was very enjoyable. Everyone there was very professional and friendly. The location was superb, and it was a joy watching Victoria ride the vintage bikes in the garden before the photos.

Of course she’s very comfortable on bicycles, and was not at all phased by the odd selection I brought.

 

Victoria Pendleton 1902 Centaur Featherweight

 

The ground was wet and very soft and it was hard to pedal the centaur pulling the trailer behind it. Additional issues included the tricky gear change – ‘The Hub Two-Speed’ involves fixed wheel in first and freewheel in second, but it doesn’t always want to start off in first. And the original grips are quite fragile, so I warned Victoria not to press down on them.

Neither of us could pedal further than halfway across the lawn.

After costume changes, off to the photoshoot…

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It was when Victoria and Mr Lebedev changed places that the trouble started.

 

suffragette bicycle passenger trailer

 

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I felt a bit cruel snapping away while Victoria was trying to get onto the Centaur in costume. But it was an interesting study of the problems facing female cyclists at the turn of the century. A cross frame and resilient are more accessible than most early roadsters, but they are still large-framed gents’ machines. It was mostly the aristocracy and army officers who were tall enough to ride bicycles at the time, helping maintain their exclusivity and high prices.

Luckily Victoria was wearing riding shorts under her dress …and now we know why bloomers were invented.

 

RIDE VINTAGE online magazine 1

 

Victoria Pendleton 1899 Triumph Resilient

 

Only one minor hiccup; I was too busy taking pics to notice the Triumph was not propped up very well. It suffered no damage – it’s not called ‘The Resilient’ for nothing.

Victoria Pendleton 1899 Triumph copy

 

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PAGE THREE

OLYMPIC golden girl Victoria Pendleton joined Evening Standard proprietor Evgeny Lebedev to celebrate the fun of Sport Relief by re-enacting a scene from Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid.

Pendelton assumed the role of Etta Place, made famous by Katharine Ross in the 1969 film, while Lebedev paid tribute to Paul Newman’s Butch Cassidy.

In the western, Newman and Ross share a bike ride, Ross perched on the handlebars as Newman performs tricks to Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head.

“Today’s been great fun,” said Olympic cycling champion Pendleton. 

“I loved being out in the spring sunshine with Evgeny and these amazing vintage bikes.”

Of the work being done by Sport Relief and the Standard’s Dispossessed Fund, she said: “It’s great to see money raised by Evening Standard readers going straight back into charities in London.”

Mr Lebedev added: “The money from Sport Relief could not be funding a better cause and I am grateful to all our readers who help make Sport Relief such a great success.”

David Cohen, page 3, Evening Standard, 21st March 2014

 

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To read more about SPORT RELIEF and the Evening Standard ‘Dispossessed Fund

Please visit the Evening Standard here:

http://dispossessedfund.communityfoundations.org.uk

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EVENING STANDARD HISTORY

1827 Standard Newspaper

The paper was launched in 1827 by businessman Charles Baldwin and printed in Blackfriars. George IV was seven years into his reign and the Standard made it its mission to take a stick to the prime minister of the day, George Canning.

…it competed with the Times, which labelled the upstart “a stupid and priggish print”. Circulation of both organs rose.

It was not until 3.15pm on 11 June 1859 that an evening edition of the paper hit the streets of London for the first time, price one penny. It became the Evening Standard in the following year.

The paper had a marble bust of its first editor, Dr Stanley Lees Giffard, in its premises and when Lees Giffard left after 30 years circulation plunged and the paper was sold to James Johnstone. He reintroduced the morning edition and cut the price back to one penny – where it stayed until 1951.*

 

Evening Standard one penny

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cycling costumes 1890s copy

TO READ MORE ABOUT FEMALE CYCLING COSTUMES

PLEASE CLICK HERE

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* Evening Standard history thanks to – http://www.theguardian.com/media/2009/jan/14/history-london-evening-standard

Thanks to Evgeny Lebedev and Victoria Pendleton and their offices for permission to use their images and information.

Online Bicycle Museums

RIDE VINTAGE online magazine 1

 I started work on this free public bicycle database in 2006, launching the world’s first Online Bicycle Museums in 2007. It soon developed into the primary resource for vintage bicycles, and I’m still constantly updating the main Online Museum – www.oldbike.eu/museum – as well as creating new museum websites.

The first issue of Ride Vintage Online Magazine was published in May 2007. It was geared toward cyclemotors. I’ve preserved it here – http://ridevintage.wordpress.com

From the main Museum Website, you can visit over 30 separate websites for specialised areas of interest. Some are devoted to individual manufacturers, such as Raleigh, BSA, Premier, Triumph, Rudge-Whitworth, Humber, Peugeot, Sun, Hercules, Warrick, Columbia, Iver Johnson, Hendee Indian, Rambler, Mercury. Others refer to particular styles, such as Military Bicycles, Truss Bridge Frames, Cross Frames, Chainless Gears, Tradesmen’s Bikes, Character Bikes, Bicycle Cameras, Cyclemotors, Tricycles, Cycle-Sidecars, etc.

 

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THE MAIN MUSEUM WEBSITE:

(The Latest Extension of the Online Bicycle Museum, focussing on Earlier Bicycles)

Introducing Safety Bicycles

www.oldbike.eu

PLEASE CLICK HERE


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The World’s First Online Bicycle Museum, founded in 2007

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.oldbike.wordpress.com


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Vintage Cars, Motorcycles, Scooters, Cyclemotors, Bicycles For Sale

There is no advertising anywhere on the 30+ Online Bicycle Museum websites.

But I support this free public internet database by restoring and selling vintage vehicles:

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://buyvintage.co.uk

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BSA & Military Bike Museum

The World’s First and Only Internet Database dedicated to Military & BSA Bicycles

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://BSABikes.co.uk

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EMANCIPATION: Bicycling for Ladies

Another World’s First Internet Database: this time illustrating how the freedom of cycling helped Female Emancipation:

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www/oldbike.eu/emancipation


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The Cyclemaster Museum

Another first: Cyclemaster and Cyclemotor history, founded in 2007

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://cyclemaster.co.uk

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THE SUNBEAM CYCLE MUSEUM

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://sunbeammuseum.wordpress.com/

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Museum for

IVER JOHNSON & Truss-Frame Bicycles

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.oldbike.eu/iverjohnson

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CENTURY COLUMBIA

& 1892 CHICAGO EXPO WORLDS FAIR

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.oldbike.eu/centurycolumbia


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Museum for The Helical Premier

& Cross-Frame Bicycles

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.oldbike.eu/premier

Premier-Poster

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Museum for Rudge-Whitworth Cycles

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.RudgeWhitworth.com

rudge whitworth bicycle museum

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Museum for Humber Bicycles

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.oldbike.eu/humber

 

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Historic Peugeot Bicycles

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.oldbike.eu/peugeot

 

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HISTORIC TERROT BICYCLES

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.oldbike.eu/terrot

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Hendee Mfg Co & Indian Motorcycle Co

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.oldbike.eu/indian


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Museum for Chainless Bicycles

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.oldbike.eu/chainless

 

 

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A Celebration of Bicycle Sidecars

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.oldbike.eu/sidecars

 

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Sun Cycle & Fittings Co + Brown Brothers

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.oldbike.eu/suncyclefittings


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Tradesman’s Delivery Bike Museum

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.lowgravity.co.uk

 

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Museum for Hercules Cycle & Motor Co

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://HerculesMuseum.wordpress.com

 

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Museum for Mercury Cycles

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.wingyourheel.com


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RAMBLER Owners Club

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://ramblercycles.wordpress.com

 

bsa_fittings_bicycle2-1Manufrance Hirondelle Museum

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://manufrance.wordpress.com

Manufrance_Cycles


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DIAL-YOUR-RIDE

The Museum of Character Bikes

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://dialyourride.wordpress.com/

 

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Vintage 3-Wheeler (Triporteur) Museum

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.triporteurs.co.uk

 

 

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Museum for 1890s Cameras & Cycling

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.oldbike.eu/cyclecamera/

 

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Museum for John Warrick & the 1914 Warrick Motor Carrier

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://1914warrick.wordpress.com/


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A Review of the earliest days of Motorcycling

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.motorwheeling.wordpress.com


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Another passion is Splitscreens

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.splitscreens.wordpress.com


 

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Pigs on Mopeds…

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.pigs-on-mopeds.com

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1895 Rudge-Whitworth No 3 Road Racer

 

 

 

RIDE VINTAGE online magazine 1

 

 

 

 

1896 was an exciting year in bicycle design: the diamond frame was introduced and, of course, this style prevails today. 1886 had seen the introduction of the crossframe and, each year through that decade, the crossframe developed more (and bigger) strengthening stays until it took on the appearance of a conventional bicycle. The crossframe was superseded by the upsloper, whose design prevailed until 1895, when advances in tube design allowed for the manufacture of more lightweight frames.

Probably to help differentiate these from the earlier styles, but also to create frame manufacture standardization within the industry, the new bicycles had level top tubes. Almost overnight the old upslopers were obsolete, destined to be sold in parts of the world where the latest fashions of London, Paris and New York were not yet known. 6000 solid-tyred Rudge-Whitworth upslopers were sold off at half price by H. O. Duncan when he was in charge of the Paris Depot. Rural France was a typical marketplace for obsolete bicycle models.

Although pneumatic tyres were introduced by 1890, in the first few years they were an expensive option, so they were available more in principle than practise. Most bikes had solid tyres. The freewheel was not introduced until 1898, so 1896 bicycles were still fixed wheel. But 1896 Rudge-Whitworths had detachable chainwheels (patented by Raleigh in 1889) allowing for inter-changeability.

The 1896 Rudge-Whitworth catalogue also introduced ‘a new principle in bottom bracket design, being adjustable, dust-proof and oil-containing’ and a ‘ball head adjustment of novel design.’ Seat tubes were wider (the same as modern bicycles) and pedals no longer had slotted cranks. Eleven decades after the event, it’s not the new 1896 style of bicycle we value most, but the previous ‘dinosaur’ style of cycle: these represent the first decade of the safety bicycle.

However, the Rudge-Whitworth No 3 Road racer you see here is a very interesting model. Although it’s an upsloper of the old style, it already has a few features that herald the new designs of the following year: the pedals are conventional screw-fit rather than slotted cranks, and the seat post is of a wider diameter, the same as post-1900 machines. It would appear that Rudge-Whitworth, with agencies in the major capitals, good sales results and innovative design personnel, was in a good position to capitalize on the new inventions and introduce them immediately to their bicycles, even before the end of the 1895 sales year.

 

1895 Rudge-Whitworth No 3 Road Racer

Upsloper Style Frame 28″ Wheels

This 1895 Rudge-Whitworth is a remarkably well-preserved example. Transfers (decals) are made of gilt and very delicate so it’s very rare for a bicycle of this era to retain them intact. Although they are faded, the headstock transfer (top of the page) and the top tube transfer with its model name ‘The Rudge’ are still readable. The shop transfer, below, is harder to transcribe, but it can be seen that it is from a French cycle agency.

 

 

The bicycle has been sympathetically restored in our workshops, retaining its cosmetic originality. Road Racers were the lightest of the sales range, achieved by removing all extra parts and accessories; this included mudguards, front brake and, in this case, headlamp bracket. This lighter weight not only made them faster, but also easier to push up hills.

 

 

However, I came to cycling from motorcycling and I’m used to having a front brake for my hand to hover over. I like a brake even on a fixed-wheel machine.

So I replaced the front brake. This was, of course, optional at the time too.

 

This No 3 Road racer is fully functional and ready to ride: you can see me riding it around the seafront in Hove.

FROM THE 1895 RUDGE WHITWORTH CATALOGUE

Thanks to our Rudge Whitworth marque specialist (Mike) for these two illustrations. He explains that Whitworth had already merged with Rudge by 1895, so both marques were illustrated in that year’s catalogue. The machines on offer were actually Whitworths, as the Rudges were heavy and not such good quality.

               

 

   

WHITWORTH CYCLE Co

Whitworth Works, Rea St, Birmingham 9

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Charles H. Pugh Ltd was the company behind Atco, the leading manufacturer of lawnmowers. The name Atco came from the Atlas Chain Co. Pugh’s companies also manufactured ironmonger’s supplies, and developed from that into making bicycle components. By 1891, the Whitworth Cycle Co was formed to manufacture the company’s own bicycles. The famous Rudge-Whitworth insignia – an open hand with a cycle wheel behind – was actually Whitworth’s logo. A company that made their own components was at a considerable advantage, as quality control was easier to guarantee. In 1893, with increasing demand for their bicycles, Whitworth became a limited company and had to look for larger premises. The takeover of Rudge the following year was a logical progression, with the Pugh family providing the necessary management structure to see the combined company of Rudge-Whitworth develop into one of Great Britain’s leading manufacturers of bicycles and motorcycles.

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HISTORY of DANIEL RUDGE

and RUDGE CYCLE Co Ltd COVENTRY

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Daniel Rudge was born in January 1841. After serving with the 38th Regiment of Foot he returned to Wolverhampton and opened a public house called the Tiger Inn in Church Street near to St John’s Church. At the same time an army colleague Henry Clarke started a wheel building business called the Temple Street Wheel Works. Rudge was a skilled engineer who became interested in bicycles through his friend Walter Phillips who rode bicycles and Henry Clarke who in 1868 began the Cogent Cycle Company. In 1869 Walter Phillips and George Price became interested in the new cycle industry. Price was primarily interested in the business end of cycle manufacture, whereas Phillips was interested in the actual making of cycles. The two realised that to successfully manufacture cycles they would need a skilled engineer to design and sort out any mechanical problems. Daniel Rudge was approached about manufacturing a velocipede designed by Phillips. A deal was struck and Rudge was soon producing cycles in a small workshop located at the rear of the Tiger Inn, with Henry Clarke supplying the wheels. By the end of 1874 Daniel Rudge had manufactured a small number of high bicycles. His first machines were nothing out of the ordinary as they ran on regular plain bearings. Around this time a Frenchman who had met Henry Clarke during his army service called on him riding a French velocipede. Both Daniel Rudge and Henry Clarke were taken on how the French velocipede ran with ease. They determined to find out the mechanical advantage of the French machine. It is said that that they got the Frenchman drunk. Then dismantled his machine to find that it ran on ball bearings instead of the more traditional plain bearings common on the cycles of the day. By 1878 Rudge was established as a manufacturer of High quality bicycles. Never satisfied with other makers’ designs and construction Rudge invented numerous innovations. In 1878 Rudge took out British Patent No 526 for his adjustable ball bearings. Daniel Rudge visited the famous French cyclist Terront in his London hotel while on a visit to England. Rudge proceeded to demonstrate to Terront a set of his patent adjustable ball bearings. Terront was impressed enough to purchase a racing machine built by Rudge. Daniel Rudge also travelled to Paris and Lyons to observe the French cycling scene and to take part in some of the races. By 1878, the company was based in Bishop Street with 100 employees. Unfortunately, increased company responsibility plus various other cycle activities had a detrimental effect on Rudge’s health. In the early summer of 1880 Daniel Rudge fell ill for the last time and died on 26th June 1880 of cancer at the age of 39. Rudge cycle sales remained excellent for several months after his death, but there was nobody to run the company. So Walter Phillips helped Rudge’s widow Mary to sell the company to George Woodcock of Coventry. Woodcock thus acquired the famous adjustable ball bearing patent 526 and the services of some of Rudge’s former employees. He merged the company with The Tangent & Coventry Tricycle Company and in 1885 formed D. Rudge & Co Ltd based in Coventry. It became the Rudge Cycle Co Ltd, Coventry, on 21 October, 1887, a public company with capital of £200,000.  Walter Philips was the renowned works manager and Lawson, H. J., the sales manager.  Stoddard & Lovering of Boston, Mass. were the US agents. In May 1891 George Woodcock died.  This coincided with a reduction in trade. The company was rescued by the Whitworth Cycle Co. in 1894 to form Rudge Whitworth Ltd.

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[text with thanks to Derek Beddows and Ray Miller:http://www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk/Museum/Transport/bicycles/Rudge.htm]

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1890 Woodhead, Angois & Ellis ‘Raleigh’ Road Racer

1890 Woodhead, Angois & Ellis ‘Raleigh’ Road Racer Frame no 1972

The Earliest Known Raleigh Safety Bicycle

RIDE VINTAGE online magazine 1

  The original company name was Woodhead, Angois & Ellis, changing to Raleigh Cycle Co around 1890. I’m not sure when Frank Bowden bought into the company. The Raleigh website says 1887, and the Cycle Encyclopaedia says 1891. This Raleigh is in rideable condition, though I must be very careful with the saddle, which is also an extremely rare survivor. The 1887 advert illustrates a Raleigh with the same chainwheel as this bicycle, but none of the 1890 catalogue illustrations shows exactly the same model as this 1890 Road Racer. The difference is that the chainwheel on this Road racer is Raleigh’s pre-1890 pattern, while the 1890 models are fitted with Raleigh’s detachable chainwheel, introduced in that year.

The Raleigh marque enthusiast has provided photocopies of the 1890 Raleigh catalogue, and a few extra scans of 1887 and 1890 Raleigh adverts (all reproduced here).

1887 & 1890 RALEIGH ADVERTS

(The above illustrations are from 1887; note that the second bicycle pictured, just below the write-up on the Raleigh Road Racer, is not a Raleigh but a Trigwell Regent).

1890 RALEIGH CATALOGUE 

The complete 1890 catalogue is reproduced on the next page

OTHER 1890/1891 RALEIGHS 

My ‘Raleigh story’ story started with a visit to Brooklands Museum in 2011. Their display of the ‘Raleigh Collection’ (which was previously owned by the company) is superb, and I would recommend it to all Raleigh enthusiasts. After the visit, one of my friends asked me which bike I would most like to own, and I replied that it was the 1891 Model F – ‘the earliest known Raleigh bicycle’ according to the card attached to the bike.

 I had bought three bicycles from a chap in 2008, and I vaguely recollected him mentioning that he also owned what he believed to be the ‘oldest known Raleigh.’ I assiduously record all my transactions, but I had not noticed this one in my purchase books. Eventually, in June 2012, I decided to look through every single entry and, at last, I found it; I must have left the book open on the window sill for some time, because the writing had completely faded in the sun. It took an hour trying to work out the phone number from the parts I could read and dialling different permutations, but eventually I got through and we discussed the bike you see displayed on this page. I viewed an email picture of it. He said that since our last conversation four years ago, the marque enthusiast had visited him and confirmed that it was indeed an 1890 example, and the earliest known Raleigh safety bike. It looked like a beautiful bicycle anyway, but being the oldest known example made it much more special. So, after a few weeks negotiating the price, we agreed on a figure and said we’d meet up at the Benson Run to exchange cash for bike. I sold some other treasures to fund the purchase. It was hard to sleep the night before. This was to be the most I’d ever paid for a bicycle, and would be the centrepiece of my collection. I arrived at Benson early, made contact, did the deal, and walked back with the bike to my van a few yards away. I now owned an 1890 Raleigh which was the earliest known Raleigh safety bike! As I was putting it into the van a few minutes later, my friend John walked past and commented ‘That’s a nice Raleigh Colin. It’s just like mine.’ My heart dropped. Were they that common? John came over for a closer inspection. I showed him the photocopied brochure and he pointed to a picture and said ‘That’s my model. It’s 1889.’ It’s hard to know what passed through my mind in the following few seconds, but the irony of the situation is what struck me immediately, and a big smile was the only response I could manage. When I had first been offered this 1890 Raleigh six years earlier, I did not know much about vintage bicycles and it was way out of my price range. Since then I had spent every spare moment learning about vintage bicycles, established myself as a vintage bicycle dealer, and created the museum websites. This Raleigh represented something important to me. At last, I owned an important piece of history, the world’s earliest known Raleigh …but only for five minutes? John brought his Raleigh down to Brighton the following weekend and we compared the two of them. It’s an interesting comparison, as his is similar to the 1891 model at Brooklands and mine has much narrower tubing, being a lightweight Road racer. His frame number can not be seen as his bike was very rusty before being painted. He only considered it to be 1889 because that’s what the seller had told him when he’d purchased it. Looking at them side by side, it’s impossible to know for sure which is older, but the marque enthusiast believes my Road Racer is the older model.

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The blatant differences between the two bicycles are that mine has a seat tube and racing handlebars, while John’s has an open frame and standard handlebars with a brake. John’s also has a detachable chainwheel. Below, a few photos of John’s open frame model.

DETACHABLE CHAINWHEEL (Below): The detachable chainwheel fitted to 1890 Raleighs seems to be the first instance of this innovation.

 OPEN BOTTOM BRACKET (Below): The bottom bracket on John’s bike is more open than on mine.

 Now, to compare the two…

1897 Victoria Triumph for Ladies

RIDE VINTAGE online magazine 1

THE TRIUMPH OF VENUS

 

 

1897 Victoria Triumph No 15 for Ladies

23″ Frame

26″ Wheels

Frame No 12873

Brown Brothers Saddle

 

 

  Any vintage bicycle retaining its original transfers is wonderful. But a bicycle that proudly declares its name in gilt 115 years after manufacture is a real treasure. This is the earliest Triumph I’ve seen and, as you can imagine, when I found it I did not hesitate. It was for sale at Beaulieu autojumble, but still in the seller’s van and I was the first to spot it. Obviously my vintage bicycle radar was working well. I immediately reached into my pocket and paid a deposit to secure it. The seller told me that he bought this Triumph at a French autojumble fifteen years ago.

   

   

1899 TRIUMPH CATALOGUE

   

       

1897 VICTORIA TRIUMPH v 1914 ROYAL TRIUMPH 

BROWN BROTHERS No 99 LADY’S SADDLE

 

1899 TRIUMPH CATALOGUE

                         

 

   

‘TRIUMPH …are a splendid type of American Cycles!’

(says a confused 1897 New Zealand newspaper)

1899 Triumph Catalogue with thanks to Andrew Heaps

LOCATION: Under Brighton Peir