Today in Motorcycle History

Starley 1921

Starley Wheels 1921

A new idea in wheel construction by Mr. W. Starley.

Starley Wheels 1921

Showing the construction of the Starley semi-disc wheel.

The Starley Semi-disc Wheel.

A Substitute for a Spring Wheel. Three-point Contact

As the invention of the originator of the tangent cycle wheel, the latest motor cycle wheel produced by Mr. W. Starley (1) is worthy of special attention, particularly as many of the advantages claimed are not obvious unless the construction is carefully studied. In the main, the wheel consists of two discs of aluminium spun to such a form as to give lateral rigidity. Close to their periphery these discs, when riveted together, form a circle of tubular section, in which are mounted three steel straps, which are held rigidly to the discs by outer metal strips, and form the sole contact between the disc and wheel rim.

Constructionally, therefore, the wheel is simple, light, and comparatively clieap. The advantages claimed in actual practice are many, but perhaps the most important is that the rim is given free play and springs to a certain extent, thereby greatly increasing the life of the tyre and also the rider's comfort. As regards strength, the wheel has been tested both mechanically (by a well-known engineering firm) and on the road, and has so far withstood its trials admirably.

Easier to Clean.

It is obvious that a wheel constructed in this manner will be considerably easier to clean than one of the spoked type, and it has the further advantage that there are no spoke nipples protruding through the rim to cause possible damage to the tyre or to allow the ingress of water.

The discs, being of aluminium, are not liable to rust either inside or out, and the space between the rim and the disc provides free play for tyre levers when repairs to the tyre are necessary.

We are told also that the space surrounding the disc is sufficient to obviate trouble due to side winds, which is some times experienced with full disc wheels.

Another very considerable advantage lies in the fact that Mr. Starley has devised a very simple type of internal expanding brake, which can be fitted tn these wheels in a short time and without any alteration in the construction of the plain wheel. Details of this brake we are forced to withhold at the moment, owing to the patents being incomplete, but we may state, without divulging the principle, that they are light, simple and cheap.

The Motor Cycle, November 10th 1921

1. W. Starley is William Starley, son of James Starley, "considered the father of the bicycle industry. His inventions include the differential gear and the perfection of the bicycle chain drive." ( J. Starley died in 1881.