During the 1870's, the Coventry Machinists Co Ltd. became 'the old firm': the first, the biggest, the one that started the whole Coventry bicycle industry. People like Starley, Hillman, Singer started their careers at CMC, before entering the trade themselves.
The old and heavy CMC Gentleman's was the only bicycle made by CMC. Until 1878.
In that year appeared a bicycle that is now widely recognised as the one that made the ordinary grown up.
The CMC Club was light, with its hollow front and rear forks and optional hollow rims. It was stiff, with an oval hollow backbone. It featured front wheel brake and roller bearings at the front hub.
Non of those was new, but all together in a large scale production bicycle was a sensation.
Click the picture for a set of pictures of the first year's model: 1878.
Only this year had the rear attached 'rubber buffer spring' (as CMC called it) and a brake spoon with roller at the end. This worked by twisting the handlebars, as was usual with the rear wheel brakes.
The bicycle still has the original Lamplugh and Brown saddle - almost the standard saddle of British ordinaries until around 1882.
A bush at the left side of the turning point can block the handlebars, thus fixing it. This makes braking impossible. Serial nr. of this bicycle is 11274. Wheel size is tall with 56 inch. I added two pictures of a similar bicycle in Velorama: the step and brake detail.