Posted: Thursday 11th June 2020
Birmingham was traditionally England’s small arms capital. In 1861, 14 local gunsmiths formed “Birmingham Small Arms” or BSA. In 1879 they also started to make bicycle parts and complete bicycles. In 1892 their trademark of three standing rifles was adopted.
The company experienced many ups and downs, the ups were mostly in times of war and during post war economic booms. In the 50’s for example, after acquiring the Triumph Motorcycle Company, they had become the world’s biggest motorcycle maker. In 1957 they sold their bicycle division to Raleigh.
In their heyday BSA made a wide range of bicycle parts. Their components had a well earned reputation for durability and reliability, and were priced likewise. Their cranks, for example, were a staple on the Six Day track racing circuit worldwide.
The BSA Continental De-Luxe hub in the photos above is not a good example of the quality of their products. The cones are not ground and the hubs spin roughly. On the other hand, the wide flange is impressive and hub looks as if it could take a lot of punishment.
Flange Diameter: 83 mm
Lock Nut Spacing: 98 mm
Axle Diameter: 9.3 mm round, 8 mm along flats
Weight: 350 grams