1928 Popular Triumph Path Racer with Ball End Fork Crown

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1928 Popular Triumph BALL END FORK CROWN 01

By offering a product which has always won universal respect and admiration the Triumph still leads the field. And now the superb quality construction and improvements for 1930 make the Triumph even more famous as “The Best British Workmanship can produce.” There are fifteen models to choose from – a range so diversified that no matter for what purpose a cycle is desired there is a Triumph to answer the requirements and at a price well within your reach.

A Triumph is built to last and outlast others. Rough roads hold no terrors for the cyclist whose machine is equipped with the Triumph Resilient Front Forks, which effectively absorb all vibrations and so add to the pleasure of any long distance holiday tour. The graceful sweep of the fork blades vary in sectional outline after they emerge from the Triumph Patent Fork Crown, down to the slotted fork ends.

– 1930 Triumph sales brochure

The Triumph Cycle Co was one of the world’s leading cycle manufacturers, pioneering, in the 1890s, lightweight frames with quality components. Their Resilient front fork was the best on the market. But, with over 30,000 Triumph ‘Model H’ motorcycles supplied to the British War Office in WW1, motorcycle development and production became the company’s main focus. The range of Triumph cycles was not updated until the end of the 1920s: the 1930 Triumph Imperial, for example, was still offered with a band brake …a feature that had been dropped from all other companies’ bicycles by 1905!

Actually there was a very good reason why Triumph still built their bicycles in exactly the same style as twenty-five years before – in the inter-war years demand from overseas far outweighed Triumph cycle sales in Great Britain, and customers in the Colonies much preferred nostalgic styles.

However, one ‘novelty’ was introduced, in 1919: a ‘Ball End’ fork crown. This unique feature was offered as an option at least until the mid-thirties, by which time (1932) the Triumph Cycle Co had been sold off to Raleigh so the company could concentrate on their most important products, Triumph cars – their very successful ‘Super Seven’ made its debut in 1928 – and Triumph motorcycles, which were among the most popular models in the world.

Few of these fork crowns were fitted to Triumphs, and most were exported. As few Triumphs of this era survive, it’s not surprising that the Triumph ‘Ball End’ fork crown is hardly known today.

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1928 Popular Triumph Path Racer

with Patent Ball End Fork Crown 

22″ Frame

26″ Wheels

I bought this rare machine as a frame set from my friend Andrew, who is the leading authority on early Triumph bicycles. He had it hanging in his shed for over twenty years until I persuaded him that he would not get round to building it up. I fancied an interesting lightweight Triumph path racer from the genuine Triumph era, i.e. before it was sold to Raleigh in 1932. So I used the bare minimum of parts: just a drop handlebar and a new top quality Shimano coaster wheelset. The machine is fast and light and, with no extra components cluttering it, the unique ball end fork crown is displayed to best effect.







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Museum for Triumph Bicycles



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1930 Triumph catalogue with thanks to VCC Archive