Carlton Cycles is one of the most deserving bicycle companies to be better known than it is. While revered by its cliquish followers and well-known among enthusiasts of fine road bikes, a mention of Carlton to any member of the general public — even the lad or lassie tooling along the bike path on an aluminum…
Bayliss-Wiley is not exactly a household name. Not even in households full of vintage cyclists. When first researching it on the mighty Internet, most paths lead to folks named Bayliss marrying others named Wiley.
Like so many other useful things at that time and place, cycling apparel was difficult to obtain after World War One in Europe. The continent had been thoroughly ravished by a half-decade of brutal conflict and matters of sport went largely unaddressed by everyone except for their most ardent supporters.
The job of a bicycle designer parallels that of a surgeon in many senses: triage what’s wrong, decide what no longer functions, find a way to solve the problem and repair or replace whatever needs fixing. And like any good surgeon knows, if the spine fails, so too does the rest of the body.
Perhaps one of the most recognized bicycle brands in the world, the Raleigh Cycle Company emerged from a modest twelve-person operation on Raleigh Street in Nottingham, England in 1886 producing 3 bicycles a week. Frank Bowden, an ill lawyer and businessman given less than 6 months to live, purchased a bike from the workshop under advice from his doctor, â€œIf you want to save your life, take up cyclingâ€. With that one sentence the course of the bicycleâ€™s history changed for the better.