Carlton Cycles

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Carlton Cycles
Traded asCarlton Cycles Ltd.[1]
IndustryBicycle manufacture
Founded1898 (1898)
FounderFred Hanstock
Defunct1981 (1981)
HeadquartersWorksop, Nottinghamshire, England
Area served

Carlton Cycles was a bicycle manufacturer based in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England.


In 1898, Fred Hanstock founded Carlton Cycles in the Nottinghamshire village of Carlton-in-Lindrick. The company relocated to nearby Worksop in 1934.[2][3]

Carlton Cycle’s greatest growth came from Dan O’Donovan. O’Donovan had been working in the motorcycle industry when he wandered by the Carlton booth at a trade show in 1937 and asked for a job. Carlton Cycles needed a salesman and he joined on the spot. O’Donovan turned out to be a marketing marvel and within a short while the dealer network he established was among the largest in the cycling industry. This led to an increase in demand for the company's products and the Carlton Cycles factory expanding as a result. In 1939, Dan O’Donovan took over the company. His son joined Carlton in 1958.[4]

The Raleigh Bicycle Company bought the company in 1960.[5] Raleigh continued to produce cycles under the Carlton name until the 1980s. Carlton, which had been unable to make inroads in the USA market after a failed rebranding deal with Huffy, found success in the late 1960s by recasting itself as "Raleigh-Carlton", a Raleigh-logo'd bike with some Carlton badging, and using the US dealer network to import and distribute bikes. In May 1981, the workers at the Worksop factory voted for closure (though they subsequently changed their mind and were ignored) and production was moved to a new Lightweights facility at Nottingham. [6]


The Carlton Flyer was Carlton's flagship bicycle frame from its introduction in 1935 to the 1970s. Its distinctive frame geometry featured steep angles and a small fork rake, and became popular and as a track and time trial bicycle. It was on this frame that Cyril Cartwright won a silver medal in the individual pursuit at the 1949 World Championships and Tom Simpson won a bronze medal in the team pursuit at the 1956 Olympics.[7]


  1. ^ "Carlton". Classic Rendezvous. Classic Rendezvous. 30 September 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  2. ^ Kohler, Peter (14 January 2014). "Raleigh Professionals Marks I-V, 1968-1981". Ipernity. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  3. ^ Underwood, Peter; Mortimore, Jerry. "Carlton Cycles". Classic Lightweights. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  4. ^ Risemberg, Richard. "Carlton Cycles: Foundation for Greatness". Ebykr. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  5. ^ Harris, Reg (1976). "Chapter 9: A New Way of Life". Two Wheels to the Top. London: W.H. Allen & Co. ISBN 978-0-491-01957-6. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  6. ^ Book Raleigh:Past and Presence of an iconic bicycle brand by Tony Hadland
  7. ^ Sidwells, Chris (17 March 2017). "Icons of cycling: The Carlton Flyer". Cycling Weekly.

External links[edit]

Media related to Carlton Cycles at Wikimedia Commons