1893 Premier Safety Model A3
Road Racer style
Front wheel 30″
Rear wheel 28″
Frame No 352
The ‘Model A’ was a very advanced machine when it was announced in 1890 (see below). Even though this 1893 ‘Model A3’ pre-dates the company’s introduction of helical tubing, its narrow tubing was much lighter than previous Premier models, which made it ideal for road racing.
This example was restored a few decades ago. You can see that the handlebar was previously dented and has been straightened, and that the top tube has been brazed up at the front by the lug. Such repairs were not uncommon to keep a glorious old machine on the road. It has not been hidden under a repaint, and you can see a close up photo further down the page. The Premier is structurally sound, and rides well. It was originally a cushion tyre model, now fitted with solid rubber tyres. This makes it a bit heavier than when it was new, but it’s still a very light-weight machine compared to others of its era, being light and responsive when riding.
The nickelled lugs on the weldless frame are fabulous, and are my favourite feature. it’s a ‘left hand drive’ – Premier fitted their chainwheels to the left up to 1899. Its upward sloping top tube and 30″ front wheel make it a tall bicycle at the front, while the rake of the frame and the 28 inch rear wheel provides a low-slung seat position, making it a 20″ frame size, suitable for someone with a 28″ or 29″ inseam. The saddle I’ve fitted, without frame springs, means that a rider with even shorter legs could ride it.
The frame number 352 is stamped into the front of the steering head and the centre of the handlebar, where it is also stamped ‘Premier, Coventry.’
In the photo below you can see the braze on the top tube in more detail
The bolt that secures the seat post in place was gnarled so I replaced it (below)