THE CENTAUR FEATHERWEIGHT IN ‘CYCLING’ MAGAZINE:
We illustrate the new cross-frame put on the market by the Centaur Company. It is claimed by using two smaller diameter tubes as shown in the illustration that while not increasing the vertical rigidity it gives a considerable increased lateral stability as regards the forepart of the frame, and the fact of the tubes being continued through to the fork ends materially strengthens the back part. The new frame weights only 5 lb. and is thus much lighter than an ordinary diamond frame machine. The Centaur Company anticipate that their roadster mount made in this style with brake and guards will scale only 25 lb. complete. The lady’s on similar lines with gear case included, will come out between 25 lb. and 26 lb.
In its prime, the Centaur was the world’s most expensive bicycle, packed with unique features. The company’s ‘Featherweight’ was the world’s leading cross frame design, beating Raleigh’s recently-introduced ‘X Frame’ hands down on weight and performance. Observe the twin chainstays, duplex front forks (their style adopted by Beeston Humber) and unique Bowden rear brake made especially for Centaur to mount on the cross tube.
In the 21st Century, the unique Dursley-Pedersen has quite rightly been boosted to the top of the bicycle collector’s list of must-have items. Luckily, there are enough surviving original Pedersens to satisfy collectors’ cravings, with the model also reintroduced in the 1980s as a modern replica to provide a practical alternative for regular use. But the Centaur Featherweight outclasses the Pedersen in design, style, practicality and collectibility. The example featured here is a rarer ladies’ machine.
1908 Centaur Featherweight Ladies
Armstrong 3-speed Gear
Frame No 157902
Spring frames were all the rage at the beginning of the century, and this machine was designed with twin cross tubes that allowed the frame to flex under use. The Centaur Featherweight was therefore considered to be a spring frame as well as a cross frame.
1906 CENTAUR CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
1903 CENTAUR CATALOGUE
Centaur also marketed a ‘Featherbed Featherweight’ (below) which was essentially the same machine as above, but fitted with special wide rims and 2″ Dunlop tyres.
ARMSTRONG THREE-SPEED GEAR
1905 CENTAUR CATALOGUE: LIST OF OPTIONS