c1910 BSA Path/Road Racer built from ‘A’ Pattern Fittings
Expanding Handlebar Stem with Forward Lug
French ‘Cycles BSA’ Headbadge
Sloping Top Tube (1″ Drop)
21″ Frame (32″ Standover Height)
44 1/2″ Wheelbase
Sometime in 2014, my friend Alain was at an antique fair in France when he spotted this gem and immediately phoned me at 6-00am GMT on a sunday morning. I said yes in my sleep.
The chainwheel with the BSA name in it was used from 1908. Comparing the 1910 BSA Fittings catalogue with the 1914 BSA catalogue, I can see that, while similar, the 1914 Path Racer has slotted fork ends; while this example has blind ends. So that makes it earlier than 1914. According to the 1910 fittings catalogue, BSA offered optional handlebar stems with expander bolts in 1910.
The most interesting thing about it is the headbadge. BSA Fittings Machines were not often badged, as they were assembled from components. However, BSA started making their own complete machines in 1910. So, as it has a badge, I assume this to be 1910 onwards. In lieu of any other information, I have assumed a production year of 1910.
The track racer had a 40 inch wheelbase, while the path racer / road racer had 44 1/4 inch wheelbase. The handlebars are the type used on the track racer, but the wheelbase on this machine it is 44 1/2 inches, meaning it is definitely a Road Racer.
As you can see above (the first picture i saw of the BSA) it had broken wooden rims when purchased. The hubs have now been rebuilt into metal rims and this 115-year-old ‘Cycles BSA’ is now enjoying life on this side of the English Channel.
1910 BSA FITTINGS CATALOGUE
1914 BSA CATALOGUE