1930 Armstrong Gent’s ‘Riche’ Cross-frame Roadster

1930 Armstrong Gent’s ‘Riche’ Cross-frame Roadster

Sturmey Archer K Series 3-Speed

22″ Frame

28″ Wheels

Frame No B35377

(Now sold)

I bought this beautiful bicycle from my friend John; it had been in his family for many years. Neither of us have ever seen another. I’ve not spotted this model in any Armstrong catalogues, and by the end of the twenties cross-frames were going out of fashion. So I suspect it might have been made to special order.

It has a number of interesting features, such as the rear brake set-up which is similar to Sunbeam’s design.

The Armstrong marque specialist has never come across this model, although he did find a reference to this model (without illustration) in a 1930 Armstrong catalogue, with a price tag of 12 guineas. So we have speculated that, with Raleigh ending their long run of cross-frame models by this time, perhaps Armstrong bought in the frames, added their own chainwheels and other parts, and attempted to take over the cross-frame market for export. This was, of course, the time of the Stock Market Crash in America and the General Strike in Great Britain, but exports were still strong for many British companies.

You can compare the style of the 1930 Armstrong and Raleigh cross-frames further down the page.

British manufacturers traditionally sold previous styles of bicycles to the Colonies. There was invariably over-production of particular models, so that as a new style of bicycle came out – in this case, by the beginning of the 1930s, it was lightweights – the companies could sell the outdated models more cheaply abroad without compromising their home market sales. The Superbe cross-frame had been Raleigh’s top (and most expensive) model since the early 20th century, so there’s no doubt there was still a market for this distinctive model in various parts of the world.

It is not known how successful Armstrong were with the sale of their ‘Riche’ Cross-frame Roadster. As there’s so little information about this model, we presume Armstrong only made them for a short time.





Sherborne St, Birmingham

(This Address before 1935)













Sampson Rd North, Birmingham

(This address after 1935)

























1947 & 1948 Export Adverts