1899 Trigwell Regent Crossframe Tricycle

1899 Trigwell Regent Crossframe Tricycle

It’s not easy to find 111-year-old tricycles these days.

Trigwell was a well-respected manufacturer in the pioneer days of bicycles and tricycles, and this late 19th century full-size tricycle is interesting for its cross-frame style.

Though some manufacturers made separate Gents and Ladies cross-frames, others used the cross-frame design for both ladies and gentlemen to ride, to save having to make two different styles.

The wheels are 26 inch front and rear (26 x 1 3/4). The rims are semi-oval with pneumatic tyres.

The head-badge reads ‘Trigwell & Co’ at the top; ‘Makers London’ at the bottom; and ‘REGENT’ in the middle.

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TRIGWELL & Co

146 Brixton Rise, London


The V-CC book Veteran Cycles states: ‘Founded by J. R. Trigwell, maker of the Regent high wheeler of 1880, from Merlin Works, Brixton Rise, London, and also a rational of c1889. An unusual tandem tricycle was produced which took the form of a ‘Kangaroo’ front driver connected to a ‘Cripper’ rear. In 1886 the firm introduced an anti-vibration handlebar and ball-bearing head which were included in the ‘Regent Humber Roadster’ among others. This machine cost £23 5/- and had 44″ and 18″ wheels.’

The book continues: ‘The Regent Cycle Works, which also produced the ‘Regent’ may have a connection. Trigwell Watson & Co appears to have become Trigwell & Co trading from 146 Brixton Hill, London from 1889. From 1895 Trigwell experimented with brazeless frames and aluminium tubes. The lugs came further along the tube than was niormal and were thickened. Still in business in 1898 making the Regent.’

[Above info with thanks to Veteran Cycles V-CC Golden Jubilee 1st Edition compiled by Ray Miller]

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From a review of the 1886 Stanley Show:

Trigwell & Co

146 Brixton Hill, London S.W.

Makers of the celebrated REGENT CYCLES

…There are some fairly new things as applied to standard makers; such as various improvements in ball bearings and the fact that some of the makers have adopted ball-bearing heads. The head made by Trig-well, Watson & Co. is by far the best. This head is so made that it can be adjusted, and, indeed, the top can be unscrewed and taken out; the balls coming along with it without in any way being disarranged. The makers claim that it can be ridden 1000 miles without oiling or adjusting. Humber & Co. will use this head in both bicycles and tandem bicycles this season.

Trigwell, Watson & Co have also introduced a non-vibrating handle bar for lessening the shock to in passing over obstacles.

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As Trigwell was an innovative manufacturer, the Regent was an advanced design for its day.

This machine is in good working order. It was repainted many years ago.

The previous owner bought it in 1974.

The saddle is a Brooks.

Inch pitch block chain is unusual to see these days. This is a fixed rear axle.

The plaque on the rear axle states: Starley No 3 R/axle Patent No 7732.

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Published on February 24, 2010 at 5:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

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