1893 ‘Golden’ Sunbeam Bicycle


Early Bicycles 1791-1907

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John Marston of Wolverhampton introduced the famous ‘Golden’ Sunbeam bicycle during that brief period in the history of cycling ‘ when the initial cost of a bicycle did not adversely affect the design and standard of finish. The ‘Golden’ Sunbeam represents the highest quality of finish and durability ever introduced into the manufacture of a bicycle. Owing to subsequent economic factors it is most unlikely that bicycles will again be built to this exceptionally high standard of elegance and craftsmanship (this was written in 1966). An unusual and technically advanced feature of this bicycle is the method of transmission. The gear assembly, driving chain and sprockets are completely enclosed in a steel sheet case which not only protects these parts from road dirt and rain but is so designed as to permit the chain to dip into an on bath, whereby the lubricating oil is continuously transmitted to the sprockets. A two-speed epicyclic gear-change mechanism is incorporated in the centre of the pedal bracket, the change being made by a lever mounted on the top frame tube. Rubber pedals with needle-roller bearings are fitted. The 26-inch (66 cm) diameter wheels have beaded-edge pneumatic tyres. The superb brakes are of the stirrup-type rim design and are operated through rods and bell-cranks, by roller-type handlebar levers. A Brooks saddle and a rear carrier are fitted. In 1907 the standard ‘Golden’ Sunbeam cost about £20, but some specially equipped models were priced up to 20 guineas (£21.50)

Additional information

Weight 0.013 kg
Dimensions 38.1 × 25.3 cm