Browsed by
Category: Rudge-Whitworth

Talk To The Hand…

Talk To The Hand…

…that’s what I’m afraid my husband, who is already making noises about us owning far too many bicycles, will say when I chat with him about an extremely interesting bicycle I heard about today that is available for sale from a friend of a friend. If I purchase it, I’ll probably have to sell more than one of my existing bicycles (say, Mary Poppins *and* Rhonda Rollfast) to fund it. But here’s why it might be worthwhile:


It’s a 1935 ladies’ Rudge-Whitworth (not sure if it’s loop-frame or straight step-through), with cobalt-blue paint, and white celluloid-wrapped handlebars and (I think?) fenders & chainguard. It’s in fine condition and its current owner (the son of a collector) is looking for a home for it where it will be cherished as a completely unique piece of cycling history. A 1935 date puts this bike to either just before or just after Rudge-Whitworth were bought out by EMI (It’s not clear from the information available online how that ownership change altered the bicycles’ design & construction).

What is clear is that after 1943, when Rudge-Whitworth were purchased by Raleigh, the bicycles became rebadged (but not second-tier) bicycles built using Raleigh’s proprietary parts, but with Rudge-pattern forks and chainring.

The majority of the Rudge information online- has to do with post-1943 Rudge bicycles, or the groundbreaking Rudge motorcycles – so I have collected links to pre-Raleigh photos and information I have found online below.

pre-1943 ladies’/ step-through Rudge-Whitworth bicycle photos

Photos with a side of history:

More Rudge-Whitworth History:

Advertising Images:

screencap of matchbox image, date unknown, 
Alright, time to go discuss this like a responsible adult… wish me luck!

Update: (Deep sigh!)

As I suspected, we simply can’t stretch our budget this far right now; we only have money for the bikes that can be ridden day-to-day. (It *really* didn’t help my cause that – unknown to me – our annual property tax assessment AND income tax forms came in today’s mail. Terrible timing!) 
So… my dear bike-obsessed Edmonton friends… contact me if *you* are seriously interested and I’ll hand on the relevant information that’s not in this post. This may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own an antique bike of this vintage and distinction – since I currently can’t do it, I sincerely hope that one of you can.