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Page 392. 1938-1954 Locomotief X Frame Super de Luxe

1938-1954 Locomotief X Frame Super de Luxe

23″ Frame

Excellent Original, Unrestored Example, with Locomotief transfers intact

Sturmey Archer 3-Speed ‘Model AB’ hub

Locomotief Headlamp and Dynamo



Since the 1880s, cycle manufacturers dreamed of being able to make a bicycle to suit both men and women, rather than having to make separate styles of machine. Raleigh patented this style of X frame in the late 1890s and they made two different designs of X frame, with lower cross bars on the Lady’s X frame than on the Gent’s. In order to avoid Raleigh’s patent, other manufacturers made different styles of X frame, and there was much litigation over patent infringement.

Locomotief patented their cross frame design in the 1930s. The Super De Luxe was their top-of-the-range model, and promoted as a ‘unisex’ bicycle, although it was more accurately described as a priesterrijwiel, meaning a priest’s bicycle. It helped to create a boom in cross frames in Holland, and was the most popular model. It is actually very well-designed, with excellent styling, and was current from 1936 until 1955.

Like the Velosolex in France and the Raleigh Superbe in England, this cross frame bicycle became an icon in Holland.

The Sturmey-Archer ‘Model AB’ 3 Speed hub fitted to this example was introduced in 1938. I’ve never checked the frame number of the bike, but it could be any age between 1938 and 1954.

I bought it five years ago, and had it serviced at that time. It has been in storage since.






Locomotief History


In the Netherlands, cross frames became really popular by the late thirties, together with the reintroduction of a different category bicycles: the tandem, and a flourishing development of the (bicycle-)industry. After the depression of the first half of the thirties, people bought more bicycles, obviously providing opportunities for more special models.

One of the first, if not the first, was Gazelle in 1930. Other well-known brands like Simplex, Juncker, Locomotief and Germaan followed suit in the late thirties. In the early fifties, every major brand had one or more models in its collection, with the striking exception of Fongers.

Locomotief merged with Simplex in 1952. This was a successful merger and, by 1960, the company were manufacturing about 10% of the Dutch total production.

Probably the most popular model was the Locomotief “Super de Luxe”, which was promoted as a unisex cross frame.
















Del Prado plastic model of the Locomotief Cross Frame
















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