1902 Alldays Imperial Path Racer




1902 Alldays & Onions Imperial Path Racer

23″ Frame

3″ Sloping Top Tube

26″ Wheels

Brown Model 79 Racing Saddle

Rat-trap Pedals

Fixed Wheel

(Now sold)




Path and road racers were very popular at the turn of the century. Before the advent of motorised vehicles, cycle racing was one of the top sporting activities: think of it in the way football is popular now. Everyone knew the top racers of the day, as well as the bikes they rode.

Every large manufacturer had some sort of ‘path racer’ and ‘road racer’ in their catalogue, invariably a stripped down version of their standard roadster. Any company also made special bikes to a customer’s order if requested (they could easily buy in frame variants through the trade if required).

So racing enthusiasts could watch their heroes in action – obviously riding the most expensive specially-constructed lightweight unique racing machines – and then buy a similar looking bicycle from their local manufacturer. This 23″ frame Alldays Imperial is a specially made path racer, with a 3″ down-sloping top tube (from 32″ to 29″ standover height). It weighs less than roadsters of the day, but is not a lightweight machine. Nevertheless, it will get you where you want to go at considerable speed. I’ve added a very short video of me riding it (slowly 🙂 )
Racers would normally be stripped of every extra component, including pump and lamp bracket. I’ve left the lamp bracket in place simply because it’s original to the bike. It has recently been fitted with new tubes and tyres, and sports a large ‘Brown’ Model 79 racing saddle.























 The War Office gave Alldays their first large government contract in 1898 which was rapidly followed by four more contracts and in February 1901 by the largest contract to be awarded to the company so far, for 800 cycles. More than 40 of the company’s cycles were used by dispatch riders in the South African Boer War.













Crystal Palace, London

Alldays & Onions Ltd, Matchless Works, Birmingham, show a tandem-seated voiturette. This may be described as a modified quadricycle with wheel steering, the body being mounted on a substantial steel frame. A two and three-quarter horsepower air-cooled motor is set at the rear of the frame, and drives through a two-speed friction clutch gear on to a spur wheel round the differential gear in the usual way. It is provided with one foot lever brake on the axle, and one hand lever on the clutch gear. It is somewhat of a misnomer in our opinion to describe this vehicle as a voiturette; it is really little more than a motor quadricycle.