Vintage Bicycle

by richardelliott   September 17, 2012  

Here are some pictures of a bike found, forgotten for generations in a garage.
Does anyone know anything about this remarkable drive system?
It seems that cords connected the cranks to an asymetrical gear or perhaps more accurately pulley on the rear hub.
The point that the cords connected to the cranks could be adjusted, thus changing the effective gear.
Sadly the front wheel is missing and the general condition is rusty to say the least.
The front brake works by simply depressing a pad onto th outside of the front tyre.
Grateful for any ideas about what may be an interesting piece of cycling history.

11 user comments

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There's no pictures showing up? Cords connected to the back wheel sounds like a rowbike, see this video at 5:00
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdlpJqHxLxk

posted by bazzargh [144 posts]
17th September 2012 - 15:13

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I couldn't get the photos to upload but here they are on flikr.com
http://flic.kr/s/aHsjC9A5uC

Retriever

posted by richardelliott [20 posts]
17th September 2012 - 15:50

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Thanks very much for the video, some great ideas in there for sure.
I suppose the row bicycle may have been something like the system on a moderm rowing machine where the chain is pulled repeatedly across a gear and is recovered before the next pull by a sprung free wheel.
I think this may have been different, it seems more complicated than that.

Retriever

posted by richardelliott [20 posts]
17th September 2012 - 16:01

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By the way I've tried to post a link to some flikr photos but the moderator of the forum has to approve this posting first due to their spam prevention proceedure. So, I hope you'll be able to see the pictures on flikr.com soon. Richard

Retriever

posted by richardelliott [20 posts]
17th September 2012 - 16:03

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I've seen many very old bikes in my time, but nothing like that. So I had no idea what you have there.

I suggest you contact the UK bicycle museum and see if they can tell you more about it.

Note down any parts or frame numbers that may be on it and send them along with your photo's to them here cycle.museum@care4free.net

http://www.cyclemuseum.org.uk/

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posted by Gkam84 [8639 posts]
17th September 2012 - 17:36

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Ok that looks more like a treadle bike - a bit of digging and what you've got there is very similar to the Northfleet Ladies Roadster from 1897. There's an example in a museum in Coventry:

http://musicbicycles.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/chainless-bicycles.html

The drive looks identical, and one of the illustrations looks the same, but the model they have in coventry has an extra tube that's missing from your bike.

posted by bazzargh [144 posts]
17th September 2012 - 17:42

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As Bazzargh says. I found the same posting. The ladies seems to be Model A, I'm wondering if yours could be Model B?

It seems exactly the same tubing as this diagram. So maybe the male version? Anyway, its a rare bike as there is nothing about it anywhere online.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wWOK-QZ0rck/UED9svOC05I/AAAAAAAADFo/Rzljp2os-d...

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posted by Gkam84 [8639 posts]
17th September 2012 - 19:13

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Sweet Is it do-up-able?

posted by davenice [5 posts]
17th September 2012 - 20:28

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wonder if thats where Mr Obree got his inspiration for his new bike?Smile

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posted by TheHatter [810 posts]
17th September 2012 - 20:29

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Brilliant! That is definately the one although mine has a cross bar and therefore likely to be the men's roadster. Sadly I think it's not do uppable. As I expect you'd agree if you can see the photos from the link above which I'm assuming the moderator has now approved. Thanks all for the excellent sleuthing. Richard

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posted by richardelliott [20 posts]
17th September 2012 - 21:49

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(we can see the first flickr link you posted now richard).

You say its not do-uppable, but that looks to me like theres enough left to do it up as a museum piece, if not to ride. Its got to be pretty rare. You should get in touch with a few transport museums and see if they want it? Also, while the bike company is long gone, that saddle is quite likely to be the original Brooks - they might be interested too?

posted by bazzargh [144 posts]
17th September 2012 - 21:56

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