1898 Singer Ladies’ Tricycle (with underslung down tube)

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The dominant feature of this ladies’ tricycle is the frame style. Whereas the ‘Singer Grand Model de Luxe’ illustrated in the 1898-1904 Singer catalogues shows a conventional curved (loopframe) design, this example has two straight tubes, the down cube being attached to the bottom bracket in underslung fashion. I assume this design was superseded soon after it was introduced, perhaps in 1897, though I don’t have a catalogue from that year to check.

1898 Singer Ladies’ Tricycle

with underslung down tube

28″ Front wheel

26″ Rear wheels

Freewheel, inch pitch chainwheel

Middlemores saddle

This Singer tricycle is a very rare model, introduced at a time when innovation in the cycle industry was in full swing. However, in 1898 in Britain there was a downturn in the market and companies looked at ways of reducing the costs of cycle production. Singer had already moved into a new market for motor bicycles, which required a big investment. My feeling is that they simplified the design of their Singer ladies’ tricycles by reverting to a loopframe design so they could use the same tubing as their loopframe ladies’ bicycles.

I bought this tricycle from a lady on the Isle of Wight who used it for several decades on veteran cycle runs. It’s an old-time restoration in sound condition. It would have had a plunger front brake in 1898, whereas the front rim brake here is a style from the early 1900s, a popular upgrade at the time. The Singer is ready to ride, though could do with servicing if regular use is required.

 

 

1898 SINGER CATALOGUE EXTRACTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNDERSLUNG DOWN TUBE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE SINGER MOTORWHEEL TRICYCLE

 

 

ROVER LADY’S UNDERSLUNG MODEL

A few other companies used the underslung design for three or four years towards the end of the 1890s. Rover is the best documented. It’s a minor feature in the evolution of bicycles that is now hardly known.

TO SEE THE

1901 LADY’S METEOR ROVER

PLEASE CLICK HERE