Page:The Cycle Industry (1921).djvu/126

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in quantities was first undertaken by Mills & Fulford, Coventry, followed by W. Montgomery, of Bury St. Edmunds. These two firms were for several years the largest makers of this attachment, which was usually bought separately, and was seldom fitted to the motor bicycle until the latter was delivered to the customer. The chief advantage claimed for it, at first, was that it could be attached to and removed from the bicycle, so converting the latter from a solo machine to a passenger vehicle and vice versa at will. Its chief advantages were, however, that it allowed rider and passenger to converse more easily than the fore-car attachment, and above all there were two wheel tracks instead of three, as with a fore-car. Unmechanical it may be, but it fills the bill and is preferred to-day by many experienced motorists to any small car that is obtainable at prices within about 50 per cent. over its cost. In other words, owing to its speed, simplicity, economy, and reliability, a side-car combination at £200 is often a better purchase than a little motor car at £300.

The drawback is that, however well protected the passenger may be, the cyclist has to face bad weather and get wet as in the case of solo riding. The early forms of side-car had wicker and cane chairs, very open and draughty, the passenger sat bolt upright, and there was little comfort in the best of them. To-day a side-car body is made of metal or wood, has a side door, springs in the upholstery, windscreen, hood, etc., just like a miniature car, and the wheel is sometimes sprung on car lines. The passenger is therefore quite as comfortable as if in a motor car and quite as well protected from the wind and rain.

Many firms specialize in the manufacture of side-cars, which are seldom made by cycle or motor cycle companies, and although the frames and wheels are a branch