1903 Golden Sunbeam Two-Speed Ladies

1903 Golden Sunbeam Two-Speed Ladies

With Sunbeam ‘Foot Brake’

Frame Number 63893

This 108-year-old Ladies Sunbeam is well preserved and rides well.

It appears to have been repainted at the Marston factory. The ‘Golden Sunbeam’ transfer and chain case transfers are intact. In due course I’ll gently rub away the paint on the headstock to see if the head transfer is also revealed.

The major change for 1903 was the introduction of the Sunbeam two-speed chainwheel gear, with direct drive on the low gear and about 25% increase to the high gear. The Price of all the Golden Sunbeam models between 1900 and 1902 was 18 guineas (£18 18/-), the most expensive in the Sunbeam range. I don’t have the 1903 prices.










The Foot Brake has been a great favourite with tourists. It is most powerful. It will carry riders down the longest and steepest hills without any strain on the hands.

THE CLUTCH mechanism constitutes a very comfortable rest for the feet while free-wheeling, besides operating the Brake. It is inside the crank bracket. It does not widen the tread, and is sheltered from all dirt.

It comes into action at two points: when either crank is reversed at the moment when rising above the back stays.

THE SPRING MODERATOR inside the tubular piece makes it impossible for the brake to be applied suddenly or with a jerk; it also prevent jamming, and removes any inequalities that would mar its action.

THE STOP. The brake works up against a stop. So that the rider can in an emergency use it for dismounting.

THE HORSE-SHOE. It will be seen from the illustration that this works close to the top back stays out of the reach of mud and dirt. The pads which come in contact with the rim are made of special composition, and possess extraordinary stopping power.

TO WHEEL BACKWARDS. In the centre of the Brake Rod is a small round milled nut; when raised, this nut throws the clutch inside the Crank Bracket out of action, and the Machine can then be wheeled backwards.














The left side pedal (above) is missing one of its four rubber blocks.




Owners often cut a hole in the chain case so they could insert a screwdriver to make it easier to remove the rear wheel. You can see the insertion below.