1904 Dursley Pedersen Gentleman’s Royal Roadster

 

The Dursley Pedersen was not popular in its day: the design flew in the face of convention, the bicycle market was extremely competitive, and they were expensive. As is often the case, some years after the demise of the company, Mr. Pedersen was recognized as a genius, and the machine has had a cult following ever since. One century down the road, Dursley Pedersen has become the most sought-after marque and good original examples have shot up in value.

As you may expect, early machines are at a premium, particularly one fitted with a Dursley Pedersen three-speed gear, which is an iconic design feature in its own right.

The only negative aspect of this bike is the rear mudguard, whose lower rear portion has broken off; it also has wrong rear stay brackets (compare the correct front ones). But I’ve now purchased a new-old-stock rear mudguard for it, which I’ll include with it. If the bike is to be ridden, the tyres will need replacing sometime soon, so I will also supply a pair of new 28 x 1 1/2 tyres (in either black or cream).

It has been repainted sometime in the past 108 years (probably over 40 years ago). I believe the front wheel is aluminium and the rear is steel. The rims have been painted – this is a typical ‘restoration’ of the 1960s – which has protected them; if you prefer you could remove the paint. The frame tubes are solid and I can see no rust or damage. I purchased this bike from a friend.

Every Dursley Pedersen was handbuilt, and even their given frame sizes can vary. A Number 7 size DP is almost the largest machine, recommended for a rider with an inside leg measurement of 35 inches. I have an inside leg measurement of 31 inches, suitable for a Number 4 Dursley Pedersen, but I’m used to riding larger frame bikes. Climbing onto it from a wall, I can mount this bike; once in the saddle I can reach the pedals, because these hammock saddles sink down once you’re on them. I obviously can’t touch the ground with my feet, but I can ride it.


1904 Dursley Pedersen Gentleman’s Royal Roadster

Three-Speed Dursley Pedersen Gears

Size 7

28″ Wheels (28 x 1 1/2 tyres)

Frame # 1792

Gear # 18072

(Now sold)

 

FRAME No 1792/ SIZE 7

The Dursley Pedersen Study Guide, part of which is reproduced below, suggests that the confusion over the head-badges – no logic can be applied to their application, with early bikes often having what we now assume to be later badges – may be due to bikes being re-fitted with later badges when they were returned to the factory for repairs. This may also explain why so many early bikes also have later mudguards, ie with extensions forward of the front forks.