1912 Imperial Triumph Tall 29″ Frame with Band Brake

In this age of cheap labour it should not be lost sight of that TRIUMPHS are produced solely by male mechanics and skilled ones at that. It stands to reason that when skilled men are supplanted by cheap labour, the quality of the finished article must suffer accordingly.

– Extract from 1914 Triumph sales brochure

The mass enlistment of the cycle industry labour force in 1914 necessitated the recruitment of unskilled workers, many of whom were women. But apparently this was already an issue before the outbreak of war, with many companies recruiting cheaper labour to reduce costs. Triumph’s workshop manager refused to employ female staff, and the 1914 Triumph catalogue reflected his opinion on that issue.

Triumph bicycles featured unique components throughout. They were among the most expensive bicycles in the world. So every part was made in the Triumph factory to prevent the manufacture of counterfeit machines. The quality of a Triumph was unequalled – the top-of-the-range Triumph Imperial was on a par with a Golden Sunbeam, but it was a lighter machine.

Triumph’s band brake was a market leader. Other companies who had introduced them at the turn of the century (eg Sunbeam, Humber, Quadrant) discontinued them a few years later. But Triumph was still offering their band brake as an option in the late 1920s.

1912 Imperial Triumph No 17 Light Roadster

Tall 29″ Frame

with band Brake

Brooks ‘Model B302’ Saddle

28″ Wheels (40 spoke rear; 36 spoke front)

Frame No 225588

(Now sold)

Some vintage bicycles are sleek and racy, like a thoroughbred horse raring to go. Others have unique personalities as varied as their riders. With its inverted levers, band brake and other distinctive Triumph features, the lines of this Imperial Triumph evokes its motorcycle brother. It oozes character and is as suitable for daily use now as it was when it was built 105 years ago – but only if your legs are long enough for a giant 29 inch frame.





































































1911 triumph ad