1904 Quadrant Special Gents

The Quadrant Tricycle Co was one of the world’s leading manufacturers in the early days of cycling. They introduced many innovations, including the 1897 ‘cross-roller’ patent for shaft-drive bicycles. By the early twentieth century, like other cycle manufacturers, they had moved into ‘motor bicycles’ and their 1901 model with a Minerva engine was one of the first. But the vast capital investment required for this new form of transportation did not produce sufficient short-term return, and the company went into liquidation in 1907.


1904 Quadrant Special

25″ Frame

28″ Wheels

Inverted lever brakes

‘Cambridge’ front tyre

Leatheries ‘Empire’ saddle

Four bar (aka “split”) pedals

Frame No 65422

(Now sold)

The Quadrant Special is in remarkable original unrestored cosmetic condition, with its steering head transfer (decal) intact. It was apparently owned by one family from new until my friend bought it for his museum a few years ago.

Since I acquired it, it has been through our workshops: Barry has completely stripped it, cleaned it, replaced bearings as required, and added his secret ‘oily rag’ formula to the paintwork to protect it from rust.

The brake cables inside the handlebar are in good condition: as you can see, the bowden cables connect the inverted brake levers to the brake rods for the stirrup brakes. In 1904, rod brakes were not yet the standard fitting for the cycle trade, and this brake set up is interesting in combining the older inverted lever design with rod brakes: it was current for only a year before roller brake levers became the industry standard (and for the rest of the century).

The Cambridge front tyre is an old original, in good condition. Its name embossed in the tread is a unique feature. The tyre holds air and can be used for riding, though if the machine is to be used for regular riding it would be best to replace it and preserve it for display. The Quadrant is ready to ride.



































Cambridge Street Works, Birmingham

According to the 1904 advertisement above, the company used the ‘Warwick’ name for their upmarket tyres and ‘Cambridge’ were their cheaper brand. The name was embossed into the tread of the tyre.