Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The 1936 Runwell Sports Tourist

In my continuing effort to get a date of manufacture for my Runwell, I just came across this advert cut from an old issue of The C.T.C. Gazette (Cyclists Touring Club) on British eBay. You can see the unique frame style of the Runwell, but this one has a chain case, frame-mounted pump, 3-speed hub, and apparently a cable brake (that could be the shifter cable, too, I suppose). Makes me think that mine is earlier since it has the rod brake and one speed hub. It also makes me wonder if mine had a chain case lost along the way at some point (sigh). Here's what I can make of the text:

1936 Distinctive Bicycles For Superior Performance And Safety on the Road

Distinctive Frame Design in both Ladies' and Gent's machines ensuring EXTREME RIGIDITY AND EASE OF PROPULSION.

Runwell Sports Tourist Bicycle. One of the numerous interesing new models for the 1936 Season incorporating the Runwell Registered Design Rigid Safety Frame, Oil [illeg.] and Three-speed Gear.

Also, I've found this 1923 advert that does not feature the distinctive frame style, so I'm guessing it was developed later. Unfortunately, all that tells me is that my bike was made sometime between 1923 and 1936, which I pretty much knew already. 

Oh well, at least I certainly feel better knowing I'm in the hands of a Rigid Safety Frame. Phew.


  1. Hey, I've got 5pounds 50. Can I have one too?

  2. According to my little Economist pocket book of Britain, this would've been more expensive than an ounce of gold - £4 5s in 1930 - and just under a third of the price of the cheapest Atlantic passage with Cunard (£16)...

  3. Rod Brakes: my Raleigh Roadster has them and I bought it new in 1973 in Illinois. The S.A. 3 speed hub also says 1973. The British keep a style and also change some models. Raleigh was making caliper brakes as well as Rod Brakes at the same time in Nottingham. The lady's 1973 that I still have has the rod brakes and the loop frame and relaxed geometry I believe some call it the D 1 nice bike and weighs a ton 40 by 635 tyres. Thanks Ed looking for a Sears take a part 20 inch bike next likely made in Austria.