Malvern Star Sociable

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P!N20
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Malvern Star Sociable

Postby P!N20 » Mon May 14, 2018 12:55 pm

Anyone know much about the Malvern Star Sociable?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociable

Doesn't seem to be a whole lot of info online - although they did have several different titles.

I'm wondering if it actually went into production and are there any surviving (rideable) examples? It looks like it would be tricky to ride, but maybe no harder than a tandem.

Surely there's a retrogrouch out there somewhere who has restored one.

gentlemen would be able to spend time with young ladies in an activity that allowed proximity.

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Clydesdale Scot
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Re: Malvern Star Sociable

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Mon May 14, 2018 6:28 pm

I have a recollection I have looked into this before.
I think you will find the Malvern Star version was produced in the 1930's for the Malvern Star 50 years of bicycle development and toured Australia over the following years.
The bikes on tour were originals or reproductions of earlier examples.
So they were not a 'product' of Malvern Star.
An early example
Image

and have a read of this article
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article75715135

and following a vague recollection... there was one at the (now defunct) Canberra Bicycle Museum.
see the catalogue at page 10, right hand column
http://veterancycleclublibrary.org.uk/ncl/pics/Canberra%20sale%20catalogue%20Nov%202009%20(V-CC%20Library).pdf

ironhanglider
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Re: Malvern Star Sociable

Postby ironhanglider » Mon May 14, 2018 10:19 pm

I dimly remember an article from a few years ago of opening up an old RAN dockyard in Sydney to the public (Cockatoo Island?) which included a picture of a Sociable in use.

I'd expect that like a tandem it'd take a little practice for starting and stopping, but once going it'd behave ok. Out of the saddle climbing and sprinting would be for the show offs.

Cheers,

Cameron
Image

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P!N20
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Re: Malvern Star Sociable

Postby P!N20 » Tue May 15, 2018 9:05 am

Interesting. It sounds like there weren't all that many made, and most were used as a novelty or promotional aid.

I'm wondering how the mechanics worked - I guess both riders could pedal the bike, but who had control of the braking? I understand both riders would need to turn the handlebars to turn left or right, but what happens when a quick decision needs to be made and opposing directions are chosen? Would they cancel each other out and the bike would keep going straight into the obstacle, or would the stronger rider prevail which could see the bike tip as the other rider didn't lean into the turn?

I can't figure out this image of a more recent example, it looks like each person's cranks are hanging off the normal cranks, but it's hard to see. Pretty obvious who has control of the braking though:

Image

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P!N20
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Re: Malvern Star Sociable

Postby P!N20 » Tue May 15, 2018 9:15 am

ironhanglider wrote:I dimly remember an article from a few years ago of opening up an old RAN dockyard in Sydney to the public (Cockatoo Island?) which included a picture of a Sociable in use.


There's a video here of a sociable in use on Cockatoo Island: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=612-3jEQCJQ

Looks like it's pretty easy to use, really.

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find_bruce
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Re: Malvern Star Sociable

Postby find_bruce » Tue May 15, 2018 9:55 am

Here is a decent photo of the 1930s Malvern Star
ImageMan and woman on a Malvern Star abreast tandem bicycle, c. 1930s, by Sam Hood by State Library of New South Wales, on Flickr

1) The one on Cockatoo Island - 2 frames joined together, using standard cranks & 2 chains to drive the single rear - looks to me to be wider than the 1930s design

2) the one above uses a single frame, standard cranks & then a special pedal with another longer crank arm on the outside & a second, standard pedal.

Tandems can be tough on chains - I reckon a couple of hefty lads could mangle those cranks

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Clydesdale Scot
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Re: Malvern Star Sociable

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Fri May 18, 2018 6:01 am

Instructables: A Sociable Bicycle was posted 16 May 2018

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