B.S.A. folding bicycle, c. 1942

Made:
c.1942

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BSA folding bicycle, c. 1940. Right hand side view on white background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

BSA folding bicycle, c. 1940. Left hand side view on white background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

BSA folding bicycle, c. 1940. Detail view on white background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

B.S.A. Airborne Bicycle, B.S.A. Cycles Ltd., c. 1942

In 1941 bicycle manufacturer B.S.A. Cycles Ltd. was asked by the War Office to design a folding bicycle which could be strapped to the back of troops parachuting into action. The resulting machine weight only 9.5kg. In practice they were dropped by parachute in groups of three to be picked up by the troops after landing. The twin loop frame of small diameter tubes gives low weight be retains adequate rigidity. After loosening the two large thumbscrews the front half of the frame can be folded sideways to overlap the rear half. Cable operated centre pull brakes are fitted. Over 60,000 folding bicycles were produced, a figure equal to half the total production of military bicycles during the Second World War. The life required was only 50 miles but in face some achieved many thousands of miles in private hands after the war.

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Science Museum: The Bicycle Tour

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Details

Category:
Road Transport
Object Number:
1981-148
Measurements:
overall (estimate): 1000 mm x 2000 mm x 500 mm, 9.5 kg
type:
bicycle
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • vehicle - transportation
  • land vehicle
  • passenger vehicle
credit:
Barrett, R.

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