Singer was one of the world’s leading cycle manufacturers by the time the Safety Bicycle was introduced in 1886. The ‘Singer Safety’ went through many incarnations in its first few years, with updated versions being introduced as soon as the company was able to add further innovations. The company invested so much of their profit into developing their bicycles that sometimes as many as four editions of their catalogue were produced in the same year to enable them to introduce new innovations.
This model of the ‘Royal Singer’ was introduced in 1890 for the 1891 season and was a state-of-the-art machine for its time. It was also such a well-built and popular model that it was still being sold in 1893 (see the 1893 Slade catalogue illustration above) despite the fact that many new models had been introduced in the interim years and it would have been considered outdated by then.
Rather than the 30″ wheels fitted to most safety bicycles of the era, the Royal Singer used 28″ wheels, and this combined with its superb build quality made it one of the most popular bicycles of the time.
1890 Royal Singer Safety
28″ Equal Wheels with solid tyres
Frame No 80222/28
Brooks Release saddle
This top-of-the-range Singer has the remains of its transfer (decal) on the steering head and its paintwork is unrestored original.
As you can see further down the page, while my colleague Ben was road testing it the old saddle leather snapped. So that has now been removed and replaced with a Brooks Release saddle with a new leather top.
The Royal Singer in excellent condition all round and ready to ride.
SINGER STEERING LOCK
ROAD-TESTING THE SINGER + SADDLE REPLACEMENT
Ben road-tested the 1890 Singer yesterday. The 132-year-old bicycle rode superbly but the old saddle leather snapped. So that saddle has now been removed and it will go off to Paul Watson in Australia for repair. I’ve replaced it with the Brooks Release saddle you can see here.
1891 SINGER CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
1890 PHOTOGRAPH of A POLICEMAN with his SINGER SAFETY