1890 Rudge Bicyclette Diamant No 2
This rare machine is not a Rudge-Whitworth, but a Rudge, i.e. it was built before Rudge Cycle Co Ltd was rescued by Charles Pugh of Whitworth to form the merger of the companies. This style of duplex tubing with an open bottom bracket was in fashion for only a year or so, 1888 – 1890.
This is a heavy bicycle, a glorious ‘dinosaur’ that represents the earliest era of safety bicycles. The company was still selling it in 1892, by which time Rudge’s competitors had introduced comparatively lightweight bicycles. As a result, Rudge shipped most of their leftover stock of this model overseas to the British colonies, where the latest fashions were less important than price – and, to be fair, its heavy duty solid frame was much more suitable for their unmade roads.