Riley Bicycles (1896-1911)

Photo courtesy of Alan Teeder

William Riley bought the Bonnick Cycle Co in 1890 to try and combat the slow demise of the weaving industry which his family's company had previously been concerned in. By 1896, the business and its products had been improved enough to take on the Riley name, and for the next 15 years Bicycles were one of the mainstays of the company. Very few examples survive today, but those that do are comparable with similar machines produced 50 or so years later, showing the standards and engineering quality that Riley employed from those early days.

Naturally there were a variety of models produced by Riley during the 15 years of production, but as mentioned, so few survive and very little literature exists, makign it difficult to provide anything more than a basic summary of the specifications:




Constant Drive (Single gear)


A sprung Saddle...


Standard Horseshoe Brakes front and rear.


How fast can you cycle?


Wheelbase 3'ish (aprx. 900mm ish)
Frame Size 20"ish (aprx. 500mm ish)
Track Nil
Wheels 26"
Tyres 26x2Ż
Fuel Tank Lunch
All measurements guessed from photo above!