In the aftermath of the Wall Street crash in October, 1929, the British cycle industry reduced their production costs and changed their range of models, focusing more on lighter weight machines with 26 inch wheels rather than the taller 28 inch wheel roadsters that had dominated before. Prices were reduced accordingly. Sunbeam built on the increasing popularity of their light roadsters by developing sporting models such as the R.R (Road Racer), a fast and lightweight three-speed. Though the company was still at the top of the cycle market, there was by now increasing competition from the small makers who were developing a serious market for lighter weight frames with fancy lugs and novel features. The Model RR Sporting Sunbeam is an interesting bridge between the old era of nickel and roadsters and a brave new world of lightweights and chrome.
1931 Model RR ‘The Sporting Sunbeam’
Sturmey-Archer ‘Model KK’ three-speed gear
26 x 1 1/4″ Wheels
Frame No 160538
Bluemels ‘No-weight’ mudguards
This Sporting Sunbeam recently arose from a 20-year dry-storage slumber. It’s in gloriously preserved original condition, with faded transfers. You can just about read THE SPORTING SUNBEAM on the top tube. We’ve given it a service and new tyres and tubes, plus a quick wipe over with an oily rag, and it’s raring to go…
1932 SUNBEAM CATALOGUE EXTRACTS