It is an exceptionally strong and sound bicycle at a very moderate price. Its special feature is a diamond shaped framework of novel construction, formed of trough-shaped or semi-circular steel, fitted together in a way which gives it the appearance of a tubular frame, divided vertically, except for a few inches at the front part, and opened out about two inches at the centre. This formation gives great lateral stability – and important characteristic not possessed by many diamond framed safeties. Nearly 15,000 of this model have now been sold, and with the most satisfactory results, so that we are able to offer it with increased confidence to our clients.
– The Premier Cycle Company Ltd, Coventry
In the early years, Hillman Herbert & Cooper – later, Premier – was one of the most innovative companies. After manufacturing and selling the first successful ‘safety bicycle’ – what we now call a cross-frame, seen in the illustration above – they looked ahead to the next evolutionary progression in frame design. Their answer was the unique style of frame-strengthening incorporated on their ‘Model F’ introduced in 1889.
Despite what the company described as ‘lateral stability’ to add strength, the weight of the tubing means that it is a heavy machine. Tube weight decreased year by year between 1886 and 1900, but at this time tube engineering had not yet evolved sufficiently, and Premier’s new helical tubing was still a few years away.
The weight of the machine does, therefore, provide extra strain on the external steering head, and it is important to unsure that the top steering head nut is tight when riding it.
The Model F was sold by the company until 1893. Presumably it was discontinued then because of the new, much lighter helical tubed models introduced in 1892.
1891 The Premier Model F
The Premier Model F was a very popular model, its unique duplex frame design providing an extremely sturdy machine. I’m not sure if this example is from 1890 or 1891, as it has been very nicely painted in maroon and I don’t want to rub off the paint in order to find the frame number. It was restored many years ago, and has been in dry storage since. It is complete except for the leather saddle top.
As you can see below, the chainwheel is on the opposite side.
1905 PREMIER ‘MODEL F’ AUTOMOBILE
This car had nothing to do with the British Premier company. It was made by an American company founded in 1903, ‘Premier Motor Manufacturing Company.’