1907 BSA Spring Frame Roadster

1907 BSA Spring Frame Roadster

Sturmey-Archer 3-speed gear (#155241, dated 1907)

27” Frame. 28″ Wheels

n the cycle industry at the turn of the 20th century innovation and invention was rife, and it was believed that improving suspension on bicycles would be an important factor in the development of the new-fangled motor bicycle. Bear in mind that in this era before cars and motorcycles took over, proper roads were few and far between around the world, and the topic of strength in bicycles and comfort for riders was a current topic in the cycling press.

In America, ‘cushion frames’ (cycles with shock absorbers on the rear fork) had just come onto the market. The British felt it was their patriotic duty to go one better, and the BSA Spring Frame was the result. It not only had two shock absorbers on the rear forks, but the whole frame was articulated, with two pivot points on the top tube, and one each at the bottom of the down tube and seat tube, above the bottom bracket.

The engineering was superb, and it was an immediate success. Not only was it light enough to compete adequately in timed road trials, but the construction was sturdy enough for long-distance riding on rough roads, as proven by Francis Birtles when he rode a BSA Spring Frame across Australia.