Coventry (Rudge) Rotary tricycle replica

Here at Richards of England we are offering the chance to re live 1879 on 3 wheels. This is a very close copy of a Coventry Rotary tricycle that originally was made by the Tangent & Coventry Tricycle Company Limited, circa 1879. A few variations appeared through the years in many details including the chain. These machines are very rare outside of museum collections which is a shame as they are very good fun to ride.

I was lucky enough to get access to the original machine so generated 3 dimensional drawings and measurements of every component. It was obvious the chain and sprockets are a key feature of the rotary tricycle I’ve seen many “replicas” using inch pitch and modern chain but the rotary chain was originally much bigger and the sprockets very wide and detailed. So I have set up 3 machines to actually reproduce the chain, reproducing the rivets, rollers and links. This level of detail continues across the rest of the machine.

Each component is made in house following the original dimensions making it very convincing the specification is as follows:

  • Light weight hollow rims
  • Direct screw spokes radially
  • Brass hubs
  • Rack and pinion steering (both small wheels turn in sync making it really easy to control via one handle on the right hand side.)
  • Leather lined braking, very efficient and important as these machines can pick up some speed. This feels progressive and easy to control.
  • 48″ driving wheel producing a 48″ gear as the sprockets are a 1:1 ratio.
  • Large wheel is detachable making it easier to transport.
  • Hand made RoE leather saddle very comfy (the chair style as seen on some period specimens could also be reproduced but I guessed its possibly less comfy on the back of the legs depending on seat height)
  • Tubular construction

Here is the 2nd machine produced in the first batch of machines:

The Antique Victorian Tricycles in action:


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Display and Prop bikes

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