In 1895, what we now call a ‘K type’ Ladies’ frame was introduced.
It was a development of the Ladies’ straight tube, which can be seen in the illustration from the first edition of that year’s Rover catalogue, above.
A top down tube was added, with extra strengthening at the lower joint.
This new style of Ladies’ Rover was pictured in the third edition of the 1895 Rover catalogue, below. Though different frame styles, they had the same model name.
1895 Ladies Popular Rover
(J.K Starley & Co Ltd)
28 x 1 3/4″ Front Wheel
26 x 1 3/4″ Rear Wheel
Frame No 15139
According to the book A History of Rover Cycles, Rover head badges changed in 1896, when the company name became ‘Rover Cycle Co Ltd.’ So from the catalogue illustration and earlier badge – showing the previous company name ‘JK Starley & Co Ltd’ – this appears to be an 1895 model.
The age is also confirmed by the tyre specs: the 1895 catalogue quotes 1 3/4″ tyres, while the 1896 was fitted with 1 5/8″. This Ladies’ Rover retains its original Victorian pneumatic tyres, a Bates on the front and a Clincher on the rear. Both are wide 1 3/4″ size, the front being 28″ and the rear 26″.
THE WILKINSON CO,
83 Randolph St, Chicago, USA
This model was advertised by The Wilkinson Co in America as the ‘No 4 Ladies’ (below).
REPLACING ‘THE ANGLO’ CHAINCASE
When the Rover arrived, it was fitted with the remains of an Anglo celluloid chaincase. Unfortunately, as you can see, there was not much left of it. Although interesting to retain for reference, it would have disintegrated with riding.
So I had to decide how to replace it. This was not as easy as it might seem, as it’s difficult to hold clear plastic taut enough to prevent crinkling when attached to a curved surface. The solution was to a manufacture a flat metal insert to fit inside the edges of the chain guard. This was made out of brass, and the intention was to cut it back to the edges ready to attach the clear plastic cover.
However, once I saw how well it had been made, I decided it looked good enough as a complete metal chaincase. These were available at the time, though the manufacturing process would have been faster than the handmade brass one you see here.
1890s BATES & CLIPPER TYRES
1887 STARLEY & SUTTON ‘SPECIAL’ ROVER v 1895 LADIES POPULAR ROVER