History of Siegfried Bettmann & Early Triumph Bicycles

1909 ‘Standard’ Triumph Roadster




1909 ‘Standard’ Triumph Roadster

Sturmey-Archer ‘Model X’ 3-Speed

27″ Frame

28″ Wheels

Frame No 160636

(Now sold)



Apart from the chain wheel, there is little difference between the ‘Standard’ and ‘Royal’ Triumph. When fitted with the Sturmey-Archer 3-Speed gear and a Triumph oil bath chaincase, hiding the chainwheel, there’s no difference …apart from the price. This summarises Triumph’s dilemma in producing both expensive and cheap machines. In fact, they produced separate catalogues for expensive and cheaper machines; but anyone ‘in the know’ could buy a ‘Standard’ thus affecting the company’s sales of Imperials and Royals. The advent of WW1 solved the company’s dilemma: when production resumed after 1918 there were only cheaper machines.










Specification for the Royal Triumph included a chaincase and Sturmey-Archer 3-Speed gear.

As you can see in the catalogue description below, although the illustration shows a handlebar-mounted gear trigger, a top-tube gear trigger was actually fitted to Triumphs.

By fitting a chaincase and 3-Speed, the Standard was brought up to the spec of the Royal.















1909 triumph model x sturmey archer





Here’s the 1909 Standard Triumph when I bought it. Its restoration was timed at 44 hours. Observe the ‘catherine wheel’ chainwheel, which identifies its model as a ‘Standard’ of 1909.

(Brazed-on pump clips were only fitted from 1909 onwards, a useful guide in dating a Triumph).

As you can see from the ‘before’ photo above, the mudguard was not usable, so we fitted replacement mudguards. The chain case disc cover was also missing, but luckily one from another manufacturer (unsure which) fits perfectly.

The wheels were rebuilt using the original hubs and replacement rims. You can see the old rims below. New brake rubbers were fitted.

The paintwork has been cleaned carefully to preserve its originality, including the remains of the original box lining in various places. The headstock transfer can also be seen, though it’s not readable.

The bike rides very well, although the brakes need bedding in.