1901 Quadrant Light Roadster

1901 Quadrant Light Roadster Model No 22

with Quadrant Freewheel & Back-Pedalling Band Brake

25″ Frame

28″ Wheels

Frame No 39106

Innovations in cycle brake technology were one of the main talking points at the turn of the 20th century. The introduction of the freewheel two years earlier had revolutionized cycling but had created an urgent need for efficient rear brakes.

Bowden cable rim brakes were no doubt the most effective, but also the most expensive because seat stays were not standard, so different fittings were required for each manufacturer’s models.

A band brake was also a superb means of stopping a machine, and most of the top cycle manufacturers designed their own. Some (for example Triumph) were activated by lever and cable, and others – like this Quadrant – by a backpedal rod connected to the bottom bracket. A minor disadvantage of the band brake was that you could not roll the bicycle backwards.

Quadrant’s ‘Model 22’ Light Roadster could be ordered with an optional ‘freewheel and back-pedalling band brake’ for an extra  £1 15/-.

This ‘Model 22’ is a rare survivor. Recently it was completely stripped down, cleaned and serviced, and is ready to ride.

By the way, in 2017, with a rifle and military fittings added, this bicycle became a military model and featured in my book. I’ve now removed the rifle and clips but left the toolbag and rear carrier, and have fitted a better saddle (with new top by saddle-master Paul Watson).

























































When I wrote my book on the history of military bicycles, I ‘mobilised’ a roadster from each different cycle manufacturer, just as was done in 1914 when the War Office called on the cycle makers to supply the cycle corps. I found catalogues illustrating the relevant military models and added military fittings in the same way, re-fabricating the rifle clips and using appropriate vintage rear carriers, toolbags, etc. With rifle added, it became a military model and featured in the book.