1891 Curved seat tube Safety with Humber pattern frame
Lightweight lugless frame in road racing style
Charles Terront’s success in the first Paris-Brest road race in 1891 created a lot of interest in the Humber No 6 bicycle that he rode. The machine featured here is not exactly the same as the Humber No 6 illustrated below. It might be a frame sold by Humber’s Paris depot, with different components used. Or it could be a copy, capitalising on the publicity around Terront’s win.
Diamond frame safeties with curved seat tubes were very popular in 1891 – it was the fashion of of that year. Clement, Rochet and other French manufacturers made similar bicycles, and I’ve counted over 40 different designs for curved seat tube safeties in British advertisements and catalogues.
This machine has a Terrot badge on the steering head, though I’ve not been able to find a catalogue before 1893 for Terrot. It is not the same as their 1893 / 1894 bicycles, but it could have been built before they subsequently standardised their designs for bulk production.
For now, conclusive proof of its maker is elusive. But it is a lightweight bicycle – I weighed it at 28lbs (14kg) – presumably used for fast road racing, with many interesting features. The lugless frame is particularly intriguing. Whoever built this bicycle, it’s an attractive design and it rides very well 🙂
This machine has rear dropout chain adjusters. But, as you can see in the photo above, it retains the hollow chainstays that were used in the earlier style of chain adjustment.
Another unique feature of this machine is the seat bolt (below). Most safety bicycles at this time had a bolt behind the seat tube, between the top of the seat stays.
1896 GARFORD SADDLE SOLD BY BROWN BROTHERS, PARIS
The distinctiv design of the rear drop out is the same as on a Metropolitan Machinists’ Co ‘Juno’ safety I sold some years ago (Please see the bottom of this page). Such fittings were available at that time for frame builders to use on their bicycles. In 1891, the overwhelming majority of bicycles advertised for sale in France were British.