‘Apollo’ was one of the names Singer used for one of their ‘ordinary’ (penny farthing) models, and they subsequently used the name for their first safety bicycles. You can see the 1887 ‘Apollo No 2’ cross frame safety above – with an interesting description in which the company points out its faults! This is because it’s the previous year’s model and, such were the advances in 1886, the first year that safety bicycles were introduced, that it was already outdated by the following year. For the 1887 season, the company triangulated the rear end of the crossframe for added strength (what we now describe as a ‘semi-diamond’) and introduced a chain adjuster at the bottom bracket.
In 1887, Singer also introduced a radical new model that stood out from everything else advertised that year. The ‘Apollo Safety’ was an open diamond frame that followed the idea of the diamond Rover. But it has unique features to make it instantly recognisable as a Singer – curved tubing and a seat post that fits at a 45 degree angle.
1891 Singer Apollo Safety
Curved open frame
Plain socket steering with spring
30″ Wheels with solid tyres
By 1891, Singer had added a curved truss tube between the top tube and down tube, providing some triangulation to strengthen the frame. The angled seat post accentuates its open frame design. It has a socket steering head with a spring below.
The company also advertised a new ‘Special Apollo’, explaining: “This pattern is almost the same as the ‘Apollo’ but is fitted with ball steering and steering lock…”
This example is in excellent riding condition.
1891 SINGER CATALOGUE EXRACTS