1932 Norman Tourist Bicycle. England


1 in stock


The popularity of internal hub gearing on early British bikes was due to the bike designers being adamant that the chain should always run in-line.   As an engineering principle, this had a great deal of merit.  Certainly a chain running in-line more efficient that one running between a chain wheel and a sprocket that are not in perfect alignment. This is particularly the case with the wider 1/8″ chains that were the norm until the late 1930s when narrower, more flexible chains were produced that worked well with derailleurs.  The Brits looked down their noses at the french with their derailleurs that most of the time ran with the chain out-of-line.  However, derailleur systems were the gear ratios.  The ratios of hub gears are predetermined during manufacturing.  The typical three-speed hub has a 25% increase and a 33% decrease from normal. The “normal” is the gear determined by the size of the sprocket and chain-wheel.  The other two gears are determined by the internal planetary system that cannot be changed.

Derailleurs, however, began to gain popularity primarily amongst the touring cyclists who wanted to ride wide ratios to enable easier climbing and carrying of heavy loads.

In 1931, the Triumph Company of Coventry introduced the Trivelox system that combined the best of both worlds.  Their derailleur kept the chain always in line by moving the sprockets laterally rather than the chain, as is the case with all other derailleurs.

This Norman bike is fitted with the earliest model.  The sprockets are moved laterally on a splined hub by a steel plate that is mounted between the two larger sprockets and is extended forward to a spring-loaded cable.  An indexed lever mounted on the top tube pulls the cable that in turn pulls the sprockets to line up with the chain.

Norman Bicycles were made in Ashford Kent, England, between the early 1920s and 1954 when the company was acquired by Tube Investments and production was transferred to the vast Raleigh plant in Nottingham. The Norman brand name was used by Raleigh, mostly on export models, until the mid-1970s.

This bicycle was built around 1932 and is fitted with an assortment of odd components.  The handlebar and stem are from the Canadian Company CCM.  The rear brake is a centre-pull Phillips and the front is a side-pull Bowden.


  • Serial Number: 9220
  • Size: Seat tube Centre to centre: 52.5 cm, Top Tube Centre to Centre: 53.5 cm
  • Frame: Steel, lugged, stamped horizontal drop-out
  • Fork: Steel, stamped drop-outs. Brazed-on lamp bracket.
  • Headset: Steel
  • Hubs: Front – Steel, thick barrel – Englang, Rear: Trivelox Steel
  • Rims: Front-Sturmey Archer 32H, Rear – Araya Endrick 40H – Chrome
  • Tires: Kenda 26 x 1-3/8 Black K-40, wire bead
  • Crankset: Chromed steel, 48T Steel 61/2″ joggled
  • Rear derailleur: Trivelox 3 speed
  • Shift Lever: Trivelox mounted on top tube
  • Freewheel/sprocket: Trivelox
  • Chain: 1/8″
  • Brakes: Phillips F-Victor Bowden
  • Levers: Tourist Steel
  • Cables: Black
  • Saddle: Leather – Hero M2 Spring
  • Seat post: Straight Steel
  • Handlebars: CCM Steel Raised
  • Stem: CCM Steel 7 cm
  • Pedals: D/S Rattrap
  • Rear reflector
  • Fenders: Black Steel
  • Pedals: Pressed Steel


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