1908 – 1910 Monopole Model Royal
with Biflex front forks & rear stays
and Concealed Rollr Lever Brakes
Not much is known about Monopole Cycle Co, but they were obviously quite active in the late 1890s, and were one of the companies that build Pedersen bicycles, which they exhibited them in 1897 at the Stanley and National cycle shows. Like many British cycle companies, they had a healthy export market.
This wonderfully preserved original machine – its transfer at the top of the steering head declares it to be a ‘Model Royal’ – uses various parts bought in from Components Ltd. With the Biflex front forks & rear stays, plus the Ariel chainwheel, it looks very similar to the Ariel ‘Special Roadster’.
Dating the Monopole: The illustration below is from the 1907 Monopole catalogue, which also offers the handlebar with concealed roller lever brake as an option (though not illustrated on a bicycle). The models shown in that catalogue have the earlier style of front mudguard, which end at the steering head; whereas the (original) mudguard on the Monopole featured here has a ‘forward extension’. Raleigh introduced that feature in 1908, so I have dated this Monopole as 1908-1910. [Many thanks to Andrew Millward for helping me with this, and for providing the copy of the 1907 Monopole catalogue]
1907 MONOPOLE CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
Lea & Francis started using the handlebar with concealed roller lever brake in 1902. Initially the front brake rods were external. In 1907 the front brake rods were concealed in the head tube. These two patents are dated 1910, which was when Raleigh introduced this feature. Components Ltd, New Hudson and Raglan also used this handlebar, as well as various French companies over the following years.
MONOPOLE CYCLE & MOTOR Co Ltd
THE PEDERSEN CONNECTION
‘In the spring of 1897 Mikael Pedersen, helped by Anders Mellerup, five skilled mechanics and a lad started to produce bicycles… Initially the main aim of the Pedesen company was not to produce many bicycles in Dursley but to induce other manufacturers to do so under licence…. Trent, Singer, Valkyrie, Brooks, Monopole and Humber produced Pedersen cycles and exhibited these at the Stanley and National cycle shows at the end of 1897.’
ARIEL SPECIAL ROADSTER
Info & 1907 Monopole catalogue with thanks to Andrew Millward