The Cross Frame Safety Bicycle
Welcome to the Online Museum for Premier and Cross-Frame bicycles..
The connection is an obvious one: Premier were acknowledged as being the first to patent and get a cross frame onto the market.
While researching early cross frame bicycles, I noticed a lack of information on the internet. My mission over the past four years has been to plug such gaps. In this case, I’m lucky not to have had to spend my lifetime researching the subject – because the VCC Archive has been an enormous help (more of that below). I learned most about cross frame bicycles while researching and restoring two very early examples, an 1886 Pausey and 1889 Peugeot. The two Raleigh cross-frames in my personal collection are a 1900 and a 1909 Model 20A. I hope this website whets your appetites for these interesting and historic bicycles. I update these websites constantly as more information becomes available.
As you can see from the page-links at the top of this website,
the first pages are for Premier bicycles,
followed by pages for other crossframes.
THE PREMIER: THE FIRST CROSS-FRAME SAFETY BICYC LE
As you can read below, Messrs Hillman Herbert and Cooper set up in business together in 1876. After their resounding success with the Kangaroo, they introduced what is now considered to be the first cross-frame safety bicycle. Named The Premier (and illustrated above), it was patented on 6th February 1886, and went on sale in the same year.
CROSS FRAME STUDY GUIDE
THE VETERAN-CYCLE CLUB
It’s hard to imagine how British vintage bicycle enthusiasts would cope without the V-CC. American vintage hobbyists have no such equivalent body: though internet forums have now plugged the gap to an extent, the VCC system of marque specialists is indispensable.
For example, with the historic importance of cross frame bicycles, they have been a subject of study within the club almost from their inception. Over the past 50 years, various members of the Veteran Cycle Club collated information about cross frame bicycles into a database for fellow enthusiasts. Such information is easily lost with the passage of time. For example, while restoring one of my early cross-frames, I needed to know more about struts and stays – illustrations can be found further down this page.
While by no means comprehensive, this partly edited collection of members’ research – the Study Guide – is a valuable contribution to cross-frame history.
The VCC has now set up an ONLINE ARCHIVE for members to access similar information on a wide variety of vintage bicycle subjects. With permission, I’ve reproduced some of this study guide to fill in gaps in internet information on cross-frames. If you want to read more, please click on the link below and join the V-CC. You will then have access to the Club’s complete online library.
TOWNEND BROS Ltd
CROSS FRAME SAFETIES: STRUTS & STAYS
CENTAUR FEATHERWEIGHT FLEET DE LUXE TRUSS FRAME ROADSTER
S. GOODBY & SON PEERLESS CYCLES