When England's Cycle Industry led the world…

1897/1898 Centaur No 2 Roadster

1897 Centaur 1

Centaur was a leading innovator of the era, and this Centaur machine #50479 is the only known survivor that illustrates their new ideas introduced in 1897, including:

Duplex forks

‘Compression rear forks’ – later known as twin chain stays and seat stays

Oval top tube (7/8″ wide by 1 3/16″ deep)

Handlebar swivel system with coaxial clamp bolt

Seat pin with coarse threaded axial bolt allowing the saddle clamp extension tube to be mounted either before or aft of the seat pin

1899 centaur catalogue 1

1897/1898 Centaur No 2 Roadster

26″ Frame

28″ Wheels

Frame No 50479

Martin Silent Toolbag

Indian head Bell

Paterson Pneumatic Saddle

1899 centaur catalogue 0

 

 

 

 

1897 CENTAUR CATALOGUE EXTRACTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1899 CENTAUR CATALOGUE EXTRACTS

 

 

THE MARTIN SILENT TOOLBAG

 

martin_silent_toolbag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE HENDEE (INDIAN) CONNECTION

The American company Hendee & Nelson, precursor of the Hendee Mfg Co, who made the famous Indian motorcycles (and, later, bicycles), imported Centaur bicycles from England to sell rebadged as ‘Silver King’ in America.

Hendee-early-info

In the illustration below, compare the old-style 1897 Centaur frame on the left with the Centaur-framed Hendee Silver King on the right (one of few survivors, this one owned by Steve McQueen and sold at auction after his death). By the time this model of Silver King went on sale in the USA, Centaur had introduced their new frame style, perhaps one of the reasons they sold the older style stock of Centaur frames to Hendee.

1897-Centaur-Steve-McQueens-Silver-King

Centaur had previously sold outdated Centaur frames to Hendee in 1894…

1894-Hendee-Silver-King-02

 

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