1891 ‘Intermediate’ Singer Solid tyre Safety

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Singer was already 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 semi-diamond style was introduced by Singer in 1890 for the 1891 season and was a state-of-the-art design for its time. Singers were so well-built and popular that though it was novel in 1890 it was still being sold in 1893 (see the 1893 Slade catalogue illustration below), despite the fact that many new models had been introduced in the interim years and it would have been considered outdated by then.

1891 ‘Intermediate’ Singer Safety

Semi-diamond frame design

19″ Frame

28″ Wheels with Solid tyres

Frame No 81124 / 28

(Now sold)

A romance has developed around ‘solid tyre safeties’ in recent years, and a Singer with such an attribute is one of the most popular due to its favourable reputation over the past 130 years since it left the Singer & Co factory in Coventry.

An open frame strengthened by the triangulation of the rear portion is an attractive design. The cross frame was the first successful safety bicycle design, and this ‘semi-diamond’ style, retaining the cross tube but with extra strengthening from the top stay, was the last of them. It was an important stage in the evolution of the bicycle towards the conventional diamond frame that has dominated since.

This example comes from a collector in France. It has been in storage for many years. The lamp bracket could do with rubbing down to bare metal or repainting. Otherwise, as you can see, the machine is in excellent condition and ready to ride.