. . .with coupled brakes, an innovation.
[Those appeared in 1925 and remained a feature until production ceased in 1946. The famous Rudge 'Multi' appeared in 1912, as did Lindsay, and with its variable gear ratios quickly became a sought after machine breaking many records.]
From 1914 for several years, Rudge won the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races.
Still, there were critics whose slogan was "Rudge, Trudge."
[I, the Editor, had my own Rudge that I loved in my high school days four decades later. This Rudge, a distant descendant, was an unmotorized "English" bicycle with the customary Sturmey-Archer 3-Speed controller mounted upside-down on the right handlebar. I was delighted by its front wheel Dynohub that provided a constant few volts for the headlamp and, as a later experiment, to a portable reel-to-reel tape recorder I strapped to the rear book carrier and would grind up to speed if I was going downhill. It was a rugged ride and suitable to the four-season off-roading I often tried with it. My favorite part, however, was the large sprocket wheel, with a logotype hand shaped into the design.
I bought this bike from an older mentor friend Warren Williams whom I'd met at WEOS, the college radio station where I'd hang out. He sold it to me for 15 bucks though it was worth ten times that much. (He had come into a Ford Falcon from a little old lady that I bet he kept purring for ten years. The Falcon that is.) I guess the fact I got the Rudge for $15 was paying me forward for letting go of my Panhard a few years later for $25. (I just hope Warren and Jethro have since crossed paths and evened the account.)
The Rudge was stolen one day from the driveway of our quiet crime-free Washington Street and I never expected to see it again. Until I was walking in downtown Geneva a few months later and there it was, propped demurely outside a store. So I stole it back. However, I guess Geneva thiefs are a persistent lot and within the year, I was again relieved of its ownership. I do miss that old friend.]
Rudge Enthusiasts collect here.