BSA FITTINGS MACHINES
During the first decade of the 20th century, BSA sold frames and fittings through the trade to cycle agents who could add their own transfers for resale to the public. Such a bicycle is now commonly described as a BSA Fittings Machine. If the bike included a BSA frame and was assembled by BSA themselves, it could be fitted with a BSA Piled Arms transfer. If all components were BSA except the frame it might have a transfer (fitted to the top of the seat tube) stating: ‘Guaranteed built with a set of B.S.A. fittings.’
BSA Fittings represent a very important part of cycling history, because of their high standard and perfect standardization. In fact, BSA used the same high standards as in their arms manufacture when machining bicycle components. A bicycle such as this would have been ordered from a local frame builder, who would supply a set of parts from BSA according to the customer’s requirements.
This was an ideal arrangement for bike builders abroad, especially as components were cheaper to import than complete machines. In fact, BSA Fittings completely revolutionized the bicycle trade in Australia. The fittings allowed bike manufacturers to provide an endless supply of bespoke cycles to their customers:
‘As a result, the importation of complete bicycles gradually dwindled down, until it finally disappeared altogether, and, in reversed ratio, the name B.S.A. and the trade mark of the Three Piled Rifles became recognised as the hallmark of quality, as applied to bicycles. Nothing better was wanted, nothing so good was obtainable, and to-day the locally-built B.S.A. machine stands supreme as the only bicycle really worth having for Australian conditions.’
1907 BSA Fittings Machine
BSA Three-Speed Gears
This 1904-1907 BSA Fittings Machine is in good order throughout. It was repainted at some time in its life and the paintwork is now chipped, so touching up the black paint would improve it if you like a neater appearance (most enthusiasts prefer a more weathered look to their early machines). It is mechanically restored and ready to ride.
BSA CHAINRING and PEDALS
1st PATTERN: Chainrings up to 1899 had no more than 20 teeth and straight arms.
2nd PATTERN: From 1899 to 1903 the chainring was detachable and had `Y` arms.
3rd PATTERN: From 1904 to 1907 the arms took the form of an `X`(as on this bicycle).
4th PATTERN: From 1908 the letters BSA were included.
SHORT VIDEO OF THE DING-DONG BELL