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The Dunlop Pacing Teams of the 1890's

Dunlop pacing team, E.Gould (amatuer) in the centre
Dunlop pacing team, professional J.W.Stocks in the centre

Dunlop pacing team with the amateur rider E.Gould.

Dunlop pacing team with the professional J.W.Stocks.

In the mid 1890's Components Ltd had acquired the Ariel name from Dunlop. One of their first tasks was to design a series of pacing quints and quads to power some top riders to take World Records for time and distance.

Charles Sangster was responsible for the design, and the quints proved strong and reliable.

There are three quints surviving; one in the National Cycle Museum in Llandrindod Wells, one in Harlow Museum and the one on the right privately owned and still ridden. There is also a quad.

Harlow Museum had a diorama showing the pacing bikes in action on a banked track.

The sight of these massive machines speeding at up to 60mph around a banked track with the professional J.W.Stocks or the amateur E.Gould tucked in behind must have been spectacular.

Surviving quint
Complex chaingear on a quint
From the 1899 Ariel catalogue
Quint illustration from 1899 catalogue

The general demonstration of the sound mechanical construction and powerful ensemble of the noted "Ariel" Multicycles, is more clearly conveyed by the assistance of the accompanying illustration.

One of the most essential features in multicycles is rigidity throughout their whole structure. The necessity of such a feature even in single machines soon asserts itself to the unfortunate possessor of a bicycle built with a keen disregard for stiffness.

The mind which can conceive the disalignment of the chain wheel and bearings, and the displacement of what should be rock solid, will not require any explanation of this unwelcome brake power. But when such grievous results may be obtained in the weak build of a single machine, what must occur in a five man, with its multiplication of bearings and gear, and its elongation of frame?

A multiplication of frictional resistance, which renders the machine what many others have proved - a miserable failure, utterly incapable of the speed required in pacing.

A firm conviction of the eradication of this evil may be had in an explanation of our machines, and a still firmer one by riding them.

The enormous rigidity of these machines however is not obtained by putting weight into them but by scientifically disposing every atom of their structure, so that the two factors, weight and rigidity bear the same relation to each other as does the power applied to the resultant.

There is no overhanging tail to create whip. The front fork is proof against swing, its constructional features being perhaps the most remarkable in the whole anatomy of these multicycles

The entire machine is built on the basis of efficient concentration of multi mamimative power, and the achievements of the machines themselves will not belie their claims. It is no exaggeration to state that the multicycles here illustrated will travel as fast as any man can follow.

The smaller anatomy of the machines is as studied and constructed as is their larger, accuracy and quality not being forgotten in the most minor point.


© Copyright 2004-14 Jeremy P.Mortimore