1930s German Bicycle with Cantilever Rear Suspension

 

1930s German Bicycle with Cantilever Rear Suspension

Spring Wheels

Spring Handlebars

Brooks Model 33 Stranded Coil Spring Saddle

24″ Frame

26″ Spring Wheels

In Autumn, 2016, a Dutch art dealer emailed me photos of an unusual spring frame bicycle asking if I’d make an offer for it. He’d found it in the street, where it had been put out for recycling. Next day he advertised it on a Dutch website, so I promptly made an offer and the following week it arrived by courier. I’ve never seen a bike like this. The only identifying feature is a ‘T’ on the steering head. The frame pivots at the bottom bracket (below). The bb axle is incompatible with British and French chainsets so I assume it to be German.

Cantilever rear suspension is a popular motorcycle design, so it could be a 1930s prototype: Fichtel & Sachs introduced 98cc two stroke engines in Germany at that time (Villiers did the same in Britain) to fit to a new range of lightweight motorcycles. I’ve seen other strange bicycle frame designs with suspension, also presumed German, from this era.

I’d recently bought a set of German ‘spring wheels’ (used in wartime because of a rubber shortage) and a sprung handlebar (fitted to early 1950s French mopeds), so I decided to add them to the spring frame. A Brooks B33 saddle with stranded coil springs finished it off nicely. This is definitely not how the bike would have originally appeared; I’ve designed this for fun.

I researched the ‘spring wheels’ for my book on the history of military bicycles (due to be published January, 2017), and have included some extracts below.

 

BAD TEETH NO BAR: A HISTORY OF BICYCLES IN THE GREAT WAR

AUTHOR: Colin Kirsch

PUBLISHED: January, 2017


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


BAD TEETH NO BAR: A HISTORY OF BICYCLES IN THE GREAT WAR

AUTHOR: Colin Kirsch

PUBLISHED: January, 2017

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


BAD TEETH NO BAR: A HISTORY OF BICYCLES IN THE GREAT WAR

AUTHOR: Colin Kirsch

PUBLISHED: January, 2017

 

 

 

Extracts from ‘BAD TEETH NO BAR: A HISTORY OF BICYCLES IN THE GREAT WAR’ by Colin Kirsch.

Published by Unicorn Press, April, 2017