Triumph Cycle

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Head badge of a Triumph bicycle
Triumph roadster with rod brakes

Triumph Cycle Co. Ltd., based in Nottingham, England, was a bicycle manufacturing company.


The genesis of what would become Triumph Cycle Company began during 1884 when Siegfried Bettmann emigrated to Coventry in England from Nuremberg, part of the German Empire. In 1885, aged 20 years, Bettmann founded his own company, the S. Bettmann & Co. Import Export Agency, in London, England. Bettmann's original products were bicycles, which the company bought from other manufacturers and then sold under its own brand name. Bettmann also distributed sewing machines imported from Germany.

In 1886, Bettmann sought a more general name, and the company became known as the Triumph Cycle Company. A year later, the company registered as the New Triumph Co. Ltd., now with funding from the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company, who were interested in promoting commercial use of pneumatic bicycle tires. That year, Bettman was joined by a partner, Moritz (Maurice) Schulte, also from Nuremberg.[1] Triumph began manufacturing its own bicycles for sale in 1894.[2]

In 1902, the company produced its first motorcycle, and in 1905, introduced the first all-British motorcycle. Motorcycle production continued until 1982 (see Triumph Motorcycles). During the early 1920s the company also began producing motorcars, and in 1930 the company was renamed the Triumph Motor Company. In 1936 the bicycle division was sold due to financial difficulty, becoming a separate Triumph Cycle Company with new ownership.

The company's Coventry factory was destroyed by German bombing raids during World War II. After the war, trading as Triumph Cycle Co. Ltd., the company produced mainly lightweight sports roadster bicycles, exporting significant quantities to the United States. In 1951, the Triumph Cycle Co. Ltd. was sold to Birmingham Small Arms Company.

The bicycle division of BSA was purchased by Raleigh Bicycle Company in 1956, and continued to make bicycles under Raleigh management.[3]

See also[edit]