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  1. #1
    Senior Member ron521's Avatar
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    Anyone ever hear of a "Royal Lion" bicycle?

    In 1969, our neighbor across the street was moving and didn't want to take his old bicycle with him. He said he had owned it for 13 years, although I'm not sure if he bought it new or not. He offered the bicycle to me for free.

    It was an English-style 3 speed, with lugged frame, 3 piece cottered crank, oil cups on the hubs and bottom bracket. The frame had cracked on the downtube, and been brazed about four inches below the head tube. The paint might have been a metallic red at one time, but was badly faded and oxidized to a faint silvery pink color.

    26 inch wheels rode on 1 3/8 wide tires, the front one of which blew out and spit chunks of rubber in my face while riding.

    The fork had a chromed "cap" which covered the fork crown.

    The front brake shoes had anchor hooks which reached back to the fork, which apparently prevented the steel caliper from flexing/pivoting forward when braking, thus keeping the brake shoe on the rim and preventing the brake shoe from contacting the front tire.

    The steel brake levers were interesting, having a pivoting "bail" to which the cable attached, ensuring that the cable was only pulled in a straight line, and not also rotated by the motion of the lever.

    The 3 speed hub didn't work, as the threaded portion inside, into which the shifting chain attached, was stripped out. So, it was only ridden in its "high" gear. Apparently, the shift "trigger" had failed at some point, and been replaced with a shifter from a Schwinn.

    I rode it a lot, and actually liked it better than my "banana bike". After a year or so, the repaired downtube broke again, with catastrophic frame failure. The entire head tube broke off from the rest of the frame, and dumped me onto the shoulder of the road.

    I kept the parts for a while, but everything on the bike was too worn out to use on another bike, and anyway, I never saw another bike like this one.

    It may have been a good bicycle when new, but it had been neglected and abused...and showed it.

    BUT...it sparked an interest in "lightweight" bicycles which has continued to this day.

    The thing is, I never knew for sure what brand of bicycle it was. The frame badge was so oxidized, I could not clearly read the name, or make out the image. Chain guard and fenders had long disappeared.

    I THINK the frame badge may have said "Royal Lion", and had a lion's face showing, but even in direct sunlight, it was impossible to say for sure.

    Was there ever such a bicycle? Or would it more likely be something else?

  2. #2
    Senior Member julesray's Avatar
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    Is it a Peugeot? Just guessing

  3. #3
    Wood David Newton's Avatar
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    Phillips had a lion on the head badge.
    http://davidnewtonguitars.squarespace.com/

  4. #4
    gna
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    Count Orlok Member gna's Avatar
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    Or a Royal Scot?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Coreyk's Avatar
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    I have a Royal Lion headbadge here that I'll try to find and photograph. I bought it and also wheels, SA hub, handlebars, and fenders from a fellow on the CABE. (These are going to be used to rebuild a 1950ish Indian Princess bicycle.)

    They were a post-1945 BCCI brand like Phillips, Hercules, Robin Hood, etc.
    Decent to very good quality, like all those brands were before TI bought Raleigh and merged them.
    It's funny and kind of poignant that memories of that bike stuck with you in such detail over all these years.

    The one I have the bits from was a deep metallic green as can be seen in the 1950s Phillips color charts available online.

    Off to find that headbadge now...



    Corey K

  6. #6
    Senior Member Coreyk's Avatar
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    Here's a pic of the headbadge. The hub date is 4 54, I think which would date the bike pretty well.



    Is this it?

    Cheers,

    Corey Keller

  7. #7
    Senior Member ron521's Avatar
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    I believe that IS what was on my old bike, although I never knew for certain what the lettering said....the "Royal" was still barely legible, and the image was still there, but the "Lion" text was almost completely eroded away by exposure to the salty coastal air. Thanks so much for posting that.

  8. #8
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    I had a Royal Lion!

    It was 1958. I had just turned 11 and was living in St. Petersburg, FL with my grandparents for the 6th grade, as my mother was ill in the hospital, and my Dad was too busy to care for me in my native Bronx, NY. On Christmas morning I was surprised with a brand new Royal Lion English bike. It was absolutely gorgeous with a fire red metallic paint job, Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub, and a very comfy brown saddle - the type that had many coil springs running longitudinally beneath the cover. It had chrome fenders and a handlebar that resembled the shape of the handlebar of a Harley Davidson Sportster. I had the handlebar turned down so the grips were parallel to the downtube, and I remember this made for a very comfortable riding position at the time. The bike was the envy of all my friends - really pretty. It had 26" rims and whitewall tires when new. I later moved to the Outer Banks of NC and gave the bike away. I have on many occasions searched for the brand, unsuccessfully until now. I was beginning to think that I had mis-remembered the brand until I saw the post here on the Forum. Thanks, Ron, for confirming my sanity, and thanks to Corey for posting the shot of the headbadge. BTW that badge is as I remember it to be, except it was originally red with gold highlights. Great stuff!

    Geary Morton

  9. #9
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    I still have my Royal Lion

    Around 1962 or 63 my dad brought home a metalic red English Royal Lion. I still have the bike and it is in beautiful shape. Chrome is shiny and the paint is perfect. Still has a working light and generator. I am now 54, when I was a kid I lost the tool kit that hung under the seat. I have a picture if I can figure out how to down load it.










    Quote Originally Posted by ron521 View Post
    In 1969, our neighbor across the street was moving and didn't want to take his old bicycle with him. He said he had owned it for 13 years, although I'm not sure if he bought it new or not. He offered the bicycle to me for free.

    It was an English-style 3 speed, with lugged frame, 3 piece cottered crank, oil cups on the hubs and bottom bracket. The frame had cracked on the downtube, and been brazed about four inches below the head tube. The paint might have been a metallic red at one time, but was badly faded and oxidized to a faint silvery pink color.

    26 inch wheels rode on 1 3/8 wide tires, the front one of which blew out and spit chunks of rubber in my face while riding.

    The fork had a chromed "cap" which covered the fork crown.

    The front brake shoes had anchor hooks which reached back to the fork, which apparently prevented the steel caliper from flexing/pivoting forward when braking, thus keeping the brake shoe on the rim and preventing the brake shoe from contacting the front tire.

    The steel brake levers were interesting, having a pivoting "bail" to which the cable attached, ensuring that the cable was only pulled in a straight line, and not also rotated by the motion of the lever.

    The 3 speed hub didn't work, as the threaded portion inside, into which the shifting chain attached, was stripped out. So, it was only ridden in its "high" gear. Apparently, the shift "trigger" had failed at some point, and been replaced with a shifter from a Schwinn.

    I rode it a lot, and actually liked it better than my "banana bike". After a year or so, the repaired downtube broke again, with catastrophic frame failure. The entire head tube broke off from the rest of the frame, and dumped me onto the shoulder of the road.

    I kept the parts for a while, but everything on the bike was too worn out to use on another bike, and anyway, I never saw another bike like this one.

    It may have been a good bicycle when new, but it had been neglected and abused...and showed it.

    BUT...it sparked an interest in "lightweight" bicycles which has continued to this day.

    The thing is, I never knew for sure what brand of bicycle it was. The frame badge was so oxidized, I could not clearly read the name, or make out the image. Chain guard and fenders had long disappeared.

    I THINK the frame badge may have said "Royal Lion", and had a lion's face showing, but even in direct sunlight, it was impossible to say for sure.

    Was there ever such a bicycle? Or would it more likely be something else?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Coreyk's Avatar
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    This is too cool. Glad I was able to fill in a blank.

    Corey K

  11. #11
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    Royal Lion

    Having a problem trying to download pictures of my Royal Lion bike. If anyone is interisted give me an email address and I will send over a picture unless someone can give me any tips on placing a picture on this forum.
    Chuck




    Quote Originally Posted by ron521 View Post
    In 1969, our neighbor across the street was moving and didn't want to take his old bicycle with him. He said he had owned it for 13 years, although I'm not sure if he bought it new or not. He offered the bicycle to me for free.

    It was an English-style 3 speed, with lugged frame, 3 piece cottered crank, oil cups on the hubs and bottom bracket. The frame had cracked on the downtube, and been brazed about four inches below the head tube. The paint might have been a metallic red at one time, but was badly faded and oxidized to a faint silvery pink color.

    26 inch wheels rode on 1 3/8 wide tires, the front one of which blew out and spit chunks of rubber in my face while riding.

    The fork had a chromed "cap" which covered the fork crown.

    The front brake shoes had anchor hooks which reached back to the fork, which apparently prevented the steel caliper from flexing/pivoting forward when braking, thus keeping the brake shoe on the rim and preventing the brake shoe from contacting the front tire.

    The steel brake levers were interesting, having a pivoting "bail" to which the cable attached, ensuring that the cable was only pulled in a straight line, and not also rotated by the motion of the lever.

    The 3 speed hub didn't work, as the threaded portion inside, into which the shifting chain attached, was stripped out. So, it was only ridden in its "high" gear. Apparently, the shift "trigger" had failed at some point, and been replaced with a shifter from a Schwinn.

    I rode it a lot, and actually liked it better than my "banana bike". After a year or so, the repaired downtube broke again, with catastrophic frame failure. The entire head tube broke off from the rest of the frame, and dumped me onto the shoulder of the road.

    I kept the parts for a while, but everything on the bike was too worn out to use on another bike, and anyway, I never saw another bike like this one.

    It may have been a good bicycle when new, but it had been neglected and abused...and showed it.

    BUT...it sparked an interest in "lightweight" bicycles which has continued to this day.

    The thing is, I never knew for sure what brand of bicycle it was. The frame badge was so oxidized, I could not clearly read the name, or make out the image. Chain guard and fenders had long disappeared.

    I THINK the frame badge may have said "Royal Lion", and had a lion's face showing, but even in direct sunlight, it was impossible to say for sure.

    Was there ever such a bicycle? Or would it more likely be something else?

  12. #12
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpreacher View Post
    Having a problem trying to download pictures of my Royal Lion bike. If anyone is interisted give me an email address and I will send over a picture unless someone can give me any tips on placing a picture on this forum.
    Chuck
    PM sent...I want to see the picture!

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  13. #13
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Here the long awaited for pictures!

    Beautiful Bike!

    Aaron



    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  14. #14
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    These should allow people to link to the full sized images, they are awesome

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  15. #15
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    Thanks to Aaron for helping me

    Thanks Aaron for posting the pictures!


    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Here the long awaited for pictures!

    Beautiful Bike!

    Aaron




  16. #16
    Senior Member snarkypup's Avatar
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    Gosh, what a lovely bike! Not what I was expecting somehow, from the description by the OP .

  17. #17
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    Royal Lion

    Does any one have an idea what a bike like this may be worth?


    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Here the long awaited for pictures!

    Beautiful Bike!

    Aaron




  18. #18
    Senior Member ron521's Avatar
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    Wow, now I see what my old bike probably looked like when it was new.
    Simply beautiful.

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