THE MOUNT FOR MODERNS
New Hudson tandems and commercial tricycles of the 1930s were built with twin tubes that bolted together to make them easy to dismantle.
As a result of the Great Depression, New Hudson suspended motorcycle production in 1934, and focussed instead on making brake and suspension units for Girling and manufacturing bicycles; various other motorcycle companies followed suit. The cycle manufacturers stopped making expensive models, and reduced construction costs so they could sell bicycles cheaply. The strategy was very successful and, though industry in general was suffering, the cycle industry was booming. New Hudson led the market by introducing many innovative designs …the ‘bolt-up’ frame being one of the most renowned.
With an important international market – which became even more essential in the 1930s – this made them easier and cheaper to ship around the world, as well as making it much easier to supply replacement parts.
1935 New Hudson Twin Tube Ladyback Tandem
& Double Gents Frame
Front & rear hub brakes, plus front rim brake
Matching Bates saddles
Front & rear lamps
21″ front & 20″ rear
(Sidecar – photo and link at bottom of page)
The 1930s was the decade of tandems in Britain. Most people could not afford a car, and families often used a motorcycle with sidecar for holidays. A much cheaper option was a tandem. Young couples would ride them long-distance, for weekends away to the beach or camping in the countryside. And after having children a baby seat could be added to the back, and, when a second child came along, a sidecar too.
New Hudson’s bolt up tandem was a start-of-the-art medium weight machine with a Cyclo Derailleur gear that was ideal for touring. This example is in excellent repainted condition with original specification, apart from an extra front brake added by the previous owners, who used it to ride all over the country.
In due course I’ll add a cycle sidecar and a baby seat to illustrate how it would have been used by a married couple with young children.
I’ve shown the ladyback tandem with the other bolt up twin tube model that was made by New Hudson – a Double Gents. I thought it could be a good idea to display the ladyback model alongside the double gents model with the frame unbolted, to illustrate its most interesting attribute.
I’ll add the sidecar photos in a few days
BOLT UP FRAME DETAILS
1936 NEW HUDSON CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
1935 NEW HUDSON DOUBLE GENTS TANDEM