1918 Standard Humber with Tall 29 inch frame (WW1 Military fittings)



Humber had been turning out military models for many years prior to the Great War, both at home and abroad, and Humber cycles were supplied to members of the Royal Family of Great Britain as well as royal families around the world. So as well as being adopted by the War Office in Great Britain, Humber also found favour with colonial governments internationally.


For their 1915 ‘Military Humber’ the company simply added military fittings to their most robust frame. As the Humber rear brake linkage conflicts with the usual position for the front rifle clip – on the offside of the steering head – Humber’s front rifle clip was uniquely mounted on the nearside.


1918 Standard Humber Model 9

Special Order: 29″ Tall frame with Double Top Tube

Sturmey-Archer Model K 3-speed gear

29″ Frame

28″ Wheels

Military fittings added

Frame No 454301 (partly indistinct)

(Now sold)

Humber offered frames in any size for both civilian and military use. This 29″ frame model was supplied as a double top tube roadster. It’s not a heavyweight model like the roadsters favoured by police forces, but a medium weight machine. It was manufactured at Humber’s Coventry factory.

When I found this Humber in a friend’s collection 8 years ago, I snapped it up because of its unique tall size. I also needed to illustrate the World War 1 Humber Military Model for my book on the history of military bicycles. So – just as was done during that war – I militarised this civilian bicycle by adding military fittings such as a front carrier rack and rifle clips.

The bicycle itself is in very good original unrestored condition, with the remains of its box lining on the mudguards, and with its steering head transfer (decal) intact. It’s ready to ride.










The ‘Military Humber’ – illustrated above in the company’s 1915 catalogue – had a strengthened frame (using Humber’s tradesmen’s bike specifications) and 1 3/4″ wheels.

The military model was developed from the ‘Special Humber Roadster’ shown in the 1911 Humber catalogue, below: it was the same model with additional accessories.


1911 humber catalogue 31 police


Compare the contemporary Tradesman’s Humber, below, with strengthened frame and forks.


1915 humber tradesmans bicycle












ABOVE & BELOW: Steering lock engaged and disengaged