With the introduction of spring fork machines by their competitors, Coventry Machinists’ Co responded with their own spring fork for the 1888 season. As an option for their ‘Marlboro’ and ‘Swift’ models, it cost an extra 10/- 6d and was current for two years until their spring fork bicycle came out in 1890.
I’m not sure if the demand for this option premeditated the development of their springframe model or if this fork with suspension was just a stopgap solution while they were designing the model that was entirely sprung, but, either way, it’s an interesting factory addition to this elegant Rover frame Swift.
1888 Coventry Machinists ‘Swift’ Spring fork Safety
MODEL ‘No 1 ‘ with open frame & open steering head
and optional sprung fork
30″ Equal Wheels
Frame No 89014
This rare spring fork Swift is a superb original example. The open Rover frame model is my favourite safety, and this one is the best I’ve seen. With the leather saddle top replaced by Tony Colegrave, it’s ready for riding.
1888 COVENTRY MACHINISTS’ CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
1889 COVENTRY MACHINISTS’ CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
The history of the Coventry Machinists Co is also the history of the cycle industry itself.
SWIFT No 1 MILITARY MODEL