1929 All-Black Royal Sunbeam for Gentlemen


SUNBEAMS ARE THE MOST INEXPENSIVE BICYCLES
Some people say they would like a Sunbeam but for the price. Ask an engineer if he would purchase low-priced machinery made merely for sale, and then remember that a bicycle is a complicated piece of machinery. The 2nd or 3rd rate bicycle costs too much in repairs, it demands hard work from its rider, and is soon worn out. For that reason the so-called cheap bicycle turns out to be expensive in the end. The Sunbeam costs practically nothing in repairs, runs its best, wet or fine, and lasts a lifetime.
– 1927 Sunbeam sales catalogue

1929 All-Black Royal Sunbeam for Gentlemen

2 Speed Epicyclic Gears

Brooks Leather Saddle

24″ Frame

28″ Wheels

Frame No 156723

This Gentlemen’s Royal Sunbeam is in original unrestored cosmetic condition. The transfers (decals) are faded, and the ends of the handlebar grips are worn. The brake rubbers will probably need replacing after the next hundred miles or so. It was previously owned by a friend and I’ve known the machine for the past eight years as it was his preferred mount for local rides.
In my job as a collector and restorer of 1869-1930 bicycles, I ride many, including some glorious and rare ‘dream’ machines. But, with just a few exceptions (eg early Triumphs), a normal workaday Gentlemen’s Sunbeam is the equal to any of them. Sunbeam claimed that their two-speed is as good as any three-speed gear, and I agree wholeheartedly. When it comes to serious pre-1930 riding, a British roadster is much more enjoyable to ride than any foreign machine. And, if you want a comfortable ride with minimum effort, a Sunbeam is absolutely the best. The sun was shining yesterday, so I took this Sunbeam for a ride along Brighton seafront. It rides very well and is an ideal mechanical companion if you’re looking for a reliable vintage bicycle with character and charm.

1926 sunbeam

 

 

 

Sunbeam bicycles have never gone out of fashion. They were built to the highest standard and they are an absolute pleasure to ride. When they were new, they were expensive, sought-after machines. Nothing’s changed. They are still the best.

This particular machine is a real survivor, cosmetically original, and retaining its transfers (decals) on the headstock and chaincase, as well as the ‘Royal Sunbeam’ lettering on the down tube. With the exception of the tyres and saddle – which is nevertheless a correct period style 3 coil – the bike is totally original. I’ve taken it for a spin – despite its 87 years of age, it rides as well as when it was new. That’s why Sunbeams are still expensive bikes …or, as Sunbeams own advert states:

‘Quality is the true test of cheapness.’