1900 Rudge-Whitworth No 31 Special Lady’s Tricycle


These tricycles have long been recognised as the most satisfactory and easy running in the market. There is a steadily increasing demand for them, which has enabled us to introduce important improvements and still to make a substantial reduction in the price. Tricycles are strongly recommend for nervous or elderly riders, to whom they present the enormous advantage over the bicycle of being absolutely incapable of sideslip.

– 1909 Rudge-Whitworth catalogue description

Along with Premier and Humber, Rudge-Whitworth was one of the few cycle companies to enjoy royal patronage. The Royal Family had been keen supporters of the British cycle industry since Queen Victoria purchased several tricycles in 1881. Though there are no reports of her riding a tricycle herself, as a result tricycles became fashionable for ladies to ride around Hyde Park.

With the advent of the safety bicycle, the young royals took up cycling too. Princess Beatrice (1884 –1966) rode this model of tricycle. Called ‘Baby Bee’ by her family, she was Queen Victoria’s grand-daughter. Beatrice later married into the Spanish Royal Family. Her husband was Alfonso de Orleans y Borbon, a first cousin of King Alfonso XII.



1900 Rudge-Whitworth No 31 Special Lady’s Tricycle

 with optional Rudge-Whitworth Freewheel and Front Rim Brake

21″ Frame

26″ wheels

Starley rear axle

Frame No 114071

(Now sold)

This Rudge-Whitworth tricycle needs a few jobs and is priced accordingly.

It retains its original transfers (decals) on its seat tube. Though frame number 114071 was built in early 1900 I assume it was not sold until 1901. The front rim brake was an optional extra, offered for no extra charge in 1901. Earlier models had fixed wheel with a front plunger brake that acted directly onto the front tyre. A particularly interesting feature of this machine is the set of Rudge-Whitworth patent V section tricycle rear mudguards.

The tricycle requires a repair to strengthen the front fork, which has been badly repaired in the past. New tyres will also need to be fitted, then it will be ready to ride.





These machines are a speciality, and are gaining every day in popularity, especially with elderly and nervous riders who are not inclined to adopt the bicycle.

The Lady’s Tricycle particularly is much approved by many Lady Bicyclists, who use the Tricycle in wet or slippery weather.

– 1901 Rudge-Whitworth catalogue













CYCLING MAGAZINE, 27th May, 1908: