Classic Lightweights UK
The Constrictor Tyre Company Ltd - Nursery Lane Works, London E7.
Submitted by Peter
An early history of Leon Meredith, Bastide and the Constrictor Tyre Company by Geoff Waters
It is made from stamped aluminium plates and it is a 4-bar link design (Parallelogram)with a single pulley. It is designed as a 3 speed but by filing away some aluminium on the lower rectangular plate top, the travel is increased. Other factors prevent it from travelling more. When changing gear, it wants to go onto the large sprocket, rather than the one just smaller on the downshift but the upshift will engage the next smaller one.
It seems to be very sensitive to spring tension. Actually, I am surprised how well it works for its crudity. Keith Hellen
Left is original box for the hub shown on the right
marketed both pre- and post-war, they
sold both alloy and steel hubs which were manufactured
them, some by BSA in the UK whilst others were imported from the
Continent. These hubs were all stamped as
The catalogue goes on to say:
and Conloy hubs are precision
made lightweight types, with
standard size flange. The Viper has a steel barrel with
flanges; one side is screwed for standard cog and lock ring and the
other for freewheel block. The spindles are drilled up each
and are turned in form of oil nipple. Oil can be injected
straight into the bearings. The Conloy hub is turned from
bar. The rear is screwed for double cog only. The
are the same as fitted to the Viper."
The catalogue also lists their 'New Quick Release Drop Out Conversion Set'
goes on to say: "A form of wheel
drop out that holds the wheel
securely and without fear of slip. The existing hub cones,
and washers, etc. are retained but the spindle is replaced with a
hollow one. Carrier slides are fitted to the fork ends and a
steel skewer is passed through the whole and locks the wheel in
position. A derailleur can be fitted and this remains
when the wheel is removed. The wheel also goes back
automatically into its correct position and does not need centralising.
Finished in polished chrome and cadmium."
The sheet says: "CIRCUM is our new and patented device for wheel building. Having two spokes in one length, you do away with the trouble of having the heads broken off and the wheel therefore getting out of truth. Each double length of Spoke (right) has a 3/8" diameter circle in the middle and this is placed round bumped or protruding collars of which there are ten on either side of a Rear wheel. This enables one to use a smaller Spoke and the tangent comes further along the Spoke and when tied and soldered as we do all our wheels, you get the most rigid wheel possible. For this season we have designed special Hubs both in Alloy and Steel, so that our flanges or discs can be riveted on and we shall fit and supply complete. We were anticipating when we first patented and introduced this new method of Spoking that we should adapt it to an ordinary type of Hub, but we prefer to go along with a complete unit for this season. With the Front Hub (left), the flange is not so wide, as from our experience of experiments, a rolling wheel does not want this rigidness and at the same time it gives us better alignments of spoking."
The double-spokes were sold in 15, 16 and 17 gauge.
Constrictor Asp rims, both HP and Sprint, were the first choice for
many of the top Clubmen of the era but many were built with Harden or
Airlite hubs. For some reason the Constrictor hubs were not
popular and for this reason there are not many of them in circulation
today. Constrictor also produced their own wingnuts (right)
are very rare.
A collector-friend of mine recently went to pick up a frame which had been for sale, the seller asked if the collector had heard of Constrictor.A post-war Earl's Court stand with more concentration on gears - 1950s
He was taken upstairs and shown a veritable treasure of things Constrictor including showcases, and draws with components in them. We have been allowed to show some of this with the images below.
Showcase with derailleurs, wingnuts, lamp bracket, hubs, pedals, rim samples, adjustable stem and much more - see what you can identify!
More treasures for you to identify including pedal, clips, gears, brakes and cranks.
Several drawers such as this one were found. At first glance there may not seem to be much
but a second look shows Circum hubs, the desirable Costrictor lamp bracket, cranksets,pedals and
hubs - this is just the top layer. After sorting through, the following were collected
Constrictor toeclips Sir? Alloy toeclips are always rare - or perhaps some.......
.....rather tasty wingnuts? Don't look under the glass, you will only feel sick with envy.
Especially when I sort out some.......
Circum hubs and spokes!!!!! Only cleaned one up so far
(Circum hubs only shown in brochures 1938-40)
A wonderful collection of catalogues - and there is more-
Does this make up the complete set?
C T C award for the application of Conloy metal awarded 1927
Constrictor stand at the cycleshow, Olympia - can you identify the year - 1930s? Look at the complete bikes.
Another 1930s stand at Olympia.
Second from left is Lesle Bane, director. Third from left is another director, Joe Bane
First from right is David Cavall, works manager.
Constrictor stand 1937/38
David Cavall 3rd left, Leslie Bane 4th left, Joe Bane 5th left.
Meredith transfers which were used to 'badge up' bikes imported from France
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