Thursday, July 11, 2019

Speed King ladies bicycle

I have to confess that I bought this lovely ladies cycle as a donor for another project, a Royal Enfield Bullet cycle that I had bought as a bare frame. In all honesty this was a perfect donor, all the parts were quite appropriate and it looked right. However I couldn't look at the Enfield without getting the nagging feeling that I had ripped apart a perfectly nice and rare cycle. So, over the course of a year I found alternative parts for the Enfield and have just recently re-assembled this Speed King as it was.

Speed King were a small brand which, as far as I know, were marketed by an entrepreneur by the name of J G Graves. Graves also for a few years sold motor cycles under the same brand name. The identification as Speed King is purely from the chap I got the cycle from but I have no reason to believe it is not a correct prognosis though there are no identifying marks on the frame.

The Speed King is slightly a cut above other ladies cycles of the same era. The quality is good and Sturmey Archer drum brakes are fitted, the rear hub being a 3 speed KB6. The hub  dates the cycle as 1937. I suspect that Graves had little to do with the actual manufacturing of bicycles and just had machines made by others and then sold them under his own brand. The frame bears a certain passing resemblance to a Hercules, and Hercules certainly did manufacture bicycles for other companies. There are however a few nice little individual touches such as the oval cutaways in the lugs.

Now, being too sentimental to use the Speed King as a donor and certainly not needing another vintage ladies cycle I need to pass the old girl on. So if you feel in need of a nicely patinated, unusual 1930s ladies cycle of good quality in fully working condition then for the princely sum of £140 the Speed King is all yours. I will even box it up and post it for a small consideration. If interested comment with your email address or mail me direct.

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