Saturday, August 9, 2014

Triumph Palm Beach bicycle

This Triumph Palm Beach Tourist was gifted to me by the relatives of an elderly neighbour of my parents who recently passed away. It dates from the late fifties / early sixties, is very original, little used and obviously hasn't seen action for many many years.

I've realised that I'm not going to use the bike and as it is so original have made the decision to keep it exactly as it is, I've brushed the cobwebs off but am not even going to oily rag it. Someone else sometime in the future can renovate it if they want to, I'm going to leave well alone even down to those horrible ugly Eveready battery lights and the two chain locks without keys stuck around the seat post. I love the way that time has melted away the original handlebar grips.

Triumph cycles were once the same company as the motorcycles. The roots go back to 1885 when a 20 year old German immigrant, Seigfried Bettmann formed the S. Bettmann & Co. Import Export Agency in London buying bicycles from other manufacturers and rebranding them. In 1886 the name was changed to the Triumph Cycle Company. The history of Triumph has been written out many times so it isn't worth repeating the job here. Key events cycle-wise though are when Triumph began producing their own cycles in 1889, having bought a factory site in Coventry in 1888. In 1936 during financial difficulties in the depression the cycle division was separated from the motorcycle one and run under different ownership. In 1951 the Triumph Cycle Co Ltd was sold to the Birmingham Small Arms Company, the bicycle arm of which was then sold to Raleigh in 1956.

Triumph Palm Beach Tourist bicycle
Triumph Palm Beach Tourist downtube transfer.

Triumph Palm Beach Tourist bicycle
Original Lycett saddle.

Triumph Palm Beach Tourist bicycle
Raleigh Industries produced Triumph Palm Beach Tourist.

Triumph Palm Beach Tourist bicycle
Freakily aged handlebar grips.

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