1936-1955 Locomotief ‘Super Deluxe’ Cross-Frame (Dutch)

1954 Locomotief Cross-Frame Model ‘Super Deluxe’

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I don’t know how to date my Loco X-frame. But from information reproduced below, at least I know this model was manufactured between 1936 and 1955.

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The model name is visible, above.

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It did not need to much to put it back on the road, essentially only a brake overhaul and new front tyre and tube. It now rides well.

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Locomotief History

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.

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The most comprehensive website I’ve found that deals with Dutch cycles and cross-frame history is http://www.rijwiel.net/kruisfre.htm

Here are some extracts:

First generation

Burgers Premier RoverThe first bicycle to be called a cross frame was the “Premier” in 1886, made by the (British) Hillman, Herbert & Cooper in 1886. The cross frames were one of the first safeties and were made by several companies until the nineties. The cross consisted of the seat tube and a tube that connected the head tube to the rear axle (the last part of course as a fork, encasing the rear wheel).………

In the UK, however, homeland to the bicycle industry, cross frames were manufactured up to the thirties. Raleigh,  had them in their collection as early as 1897, kept on advertising them ‘at home’ up to 1935, and in the Netherlands even until 1936.

Third generation

At this point, we have arrived at the third phase in the history of the cross frame bicycles. In the Netherlands -and obviously in no other country- the 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. The probably most popular model was the Locomotief “Super de Luxe”, which was promoted as a unisex cross frame.

Locomotief unisex cross frame
Locomotief unisex cross frame,
app. 1936 – 1955

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What you see below, under the rear rack, is a bike lock mechanism.

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The Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub does not have markings that co-relate to the S-A dating charts, as where 2 digits are generally stamped in to show the last two numbers of the relevant year, mine only has the number 4.

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Del Prado plastic model of the Locomotief Cross Frame

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7th June 2009: I recently received the following email from www.rijweil.net, which is my favourite Dutch bicycle website:

Dear bicycle enthusiast,

I visited your online bicycle museum and was amazed about the quantity and quality of the
information given there – great! One page was about your Locomotief cross frame bike which you
couldn’t date. From the pictures I can see that it must be from after the Locomotief-Simplex
merger. For example, the front hub was produced by Simplex, though you will find no stampings on
it. On the rear hub you found “4 … 12″ and I’m quite sure that this must be “54 … 12″.
Sometimes the date is stamped badly on SA-hubs. On the picture I get the impression that I see a
“shade” of a 5 left to the 4. Maybe I’m dreaming.

Anyway, your bike can also be dated by the frame number. You will find a 6 digit frame number on
the left rear dropout. The first digit indicates the year, like this:
3….. = 1953
4….. = 1954
5….. = 1955
a.s.o.
So Locomotief used the same numbers every five years.

Best regards,
Herbert Kuner
http://www.rijwiel.net

Thanks Herbert. I’ll have to climb over quite a few bikes now to get to the Loco in my storage place. But next time I’m feeling athletic I’ll check the frame number from the information you’ve provided.

All the best,

Colin

Published on January 16, 2009 at 4:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

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