The introduction of the Sturmey-Archer 3-speed gear allowed Raleigh to adapt it for use in a tricycle and offer their customers the ultimate pedal-operated machine for elderly riders.
By 1906, Humber were fitting the Cordner 3-speed gear to their tricycles, but the Raleigh was still a good selling point for the company. The gear is an early version of the unmarked X hub which they later sold a licence to BSA to manufacture.
As you can see in the photo below, it has an integral sprocket in the centre of the hub shell to connect the gear to the differential. This trans-axle is a superb example of the engineering skills of the British cycle industry in the early 20th century, from which the motorcycle and automobile evolved.
1906 Raleigh 3-speed X frame Tricycle
Frame No 141121
Accessories: Rear carrier rack & bag. Clock.
Brooks ‘B15 Size 2’ saddle
The tricycle was one of several machines I bought from a lady in Lancashire, previously owned by her grandad Leonard Heys who had various cycle shops and businesses in the Liverpool area. He died in 1980 and they’ve been stored since. In my opinion they were in storage even before 1980.
We’ve taken it apart and serviced and cleaned it. The handlebar appears to be original. The catalogue illustration shows inverted brake levers, and there is provision for them on the handlebar. Was the pull up brake lever fitted from new out of preference or was it a later addition? I’m inclined to think it was added later as an easier option after the integral cable snapped. It’s a fiddly job refitting it inside the handlebar, but I may have a go at it and add an inverted lever brake when I find where I put it. The other item that has been replaced is the gear trigger: it says ‘K Pattern’ which would be 1920s …another job to do when it’s back in the workshop for brakework.
1907 RALEIGH CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
HANDLEBAR FOR INVERTED BRAKE LEVERS
K PATTERN GEAR TRIGGER
(Below) The seat stays are also stamped with its frame number
STURMEY-ARCHER 3 SPEED GEAR #250955
THANKS to Barry Sharman for his work on the tricycle.
LOCATION: Next to my warehouse in East Sussex.