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Cyclemaster - Mercury

1953 Mercury Cyclemaster.


This Cyclemaster was very well restored by its previous owner. It’s a rare model, fitted with Webb front forks.

Mercury Cycle Co is an interesting company: they were owned by the British government and established to export bicycles after WW2. They did not supply bicycles directly to the public, but manufactured frames for the Cyclemaster company.


Cyclemaster Ltd

[img]Cyclemaster engine was actually a German design. Just after the war, German engineers were exported to the allied countries as part of the war reparations. One of them was Bernhard Neumann from Auto Union, who came to Holland. He started to work for HNG, a company from Hague. Neumann brought with him DKW – Auto Union blueprints for Radmeister engine (image to the left). In this time HNG company had in plans developing a two-stroke car, based on DKW model.

„After the prototype was assembled it was realized that the production costs would be too high for what was, after all, supposed to be a low-cost car. Bernhard Neumann, Rinus Bruynzeel and Nico Groenerdijke, three of the design team, discussed alternative projects. They had some blueprints for a 2-stroke engine that DKW had also developed – but had been abandoned because of the war. This engine had its engine, carburettor and petrol tank built into a wheel. After making a prototype they realized that its costs was also too high; however, with some modification they managed to design an alternative, with the engine mounted over the front wheel. They demonstrated this to HNG once they’d developed a good working prototype. Their name for it incorporated the first two letters of each of their names, Bernard, Rinus and Nico – hence Berini. This 26cc engine was called an M13, and went into production in November 1949 at the HNG ‘Pluvier Motorenfabriek‘ factory (with many of the parts made in England).” (from

[img]Blueprints for Radmeister were confiscated by the Interpro Buro – international organization, helping the developement of postwar industry. The blueprints were copied and the British version of the engine (image to the left) was manufactured at the EMI Factories in Hayes, Middlesex. It was the same EMI („EMI” stands for Electrical & Musical Industries) which soon became a leader of music industry (EMI Records).

The German name ‘Radmeister’ from copied plans was translated as ‘Cyclemaster’. Cyclemaster engine was introduced to the market by a new company, Cyclemaster Ltd of 26 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, London.

[img]The engine was first shown in April 1950, at the Utrecht Industries Fair. First engines were 25.7cc. One year later a bigger model was developed, 32cc, and at the same time overall color of the engine changed from black to silver.