Royal Enfield announced the above ‘Special Military Bicycle’ in December, 1914. It was a ‘militarised’ version of their normal roadster at the end of 1914. That was the model they supplied to the War Office, without gears or chaincase. One of the best selling bicycles in this era was the Royal Enfield Girder model – seen below. The Girder was an expensive model, but it was a strong machine so it proved popular for war duty, and various regiments (such as the Gloucestershire regiment) ordered it from Enfield Cycle Co Ltd for their cyclist corps. Basic accessories such as rear carrier and rifle mounts were available as required.
1918 Royal Enfield Riche Duplex Girder Roadster
(As used in World War 1)
Sturmey-Archer ‘Model K’ Three-Speed Gear
Blue Cellulose Paintwork / Nickelled Parts
This attractive Royal Enfield boasts good condition paintwork and pin-striping, and the Royal Enfield ‘3 Cannon’ chainwheel, which was introduced in 1913. The three-speed gear is a Sturmey-Archer ‘Model K’ which came out in 1921, and was a popular upgrade after World War 1: three-speed production had stopped during the war so the Sturmey-Archer factory could make fuses.
The key to the extra-strong frame of the Royal Enfield Girder was the duplex tubing behind the bottom bracket.
WORLD WAR ONE CYCLE-AMBULANCE
This Royal Enfield Girder features in a new book on military bicycles, which will be published this summer. It is featured as part of the bicycle ambulance, seen below (as a four-bicycle team and also an improvised double-bicycle stretcher support).
Royal Enfield had a unique design for their patent inflator pump clips (above and below)
1913 ROYAL ENFIELD CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
PHOTO LOCATION: 90 Montpelier Rd, Brighton – the most interesting antique house entrance in the city