Unforgotten Brands – BSA Bicycles

bsa logo

In India, BSA is a brand that has a strong reputation and is well known. Despite this, its roots may be traced back to the United Kingdom.

The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited (BSA) was a large British industrial company that produced a variety of products, including firearms (both military and sporting), bicycles, motorcycles, cars, bus and body parts, steel, iron castings, hand and power tools, coal cleaning and handling plants, sintered metals, and hard chrome.


BSA started in June 1861 in Birmingham, England’s Gun Quarter. To automate the production of firearms, fourteen gunsmith members of the Birmingham Small Arms Trade Association created this company. The War Office supported this effort by providing the company with unrestricted access to technical drawings and the War Office’s Board of Ordnance’s Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield, England


BSA began producing bicycles in the year 1880. The gun factory’s ability to switch gears and start making bicycle components was impressive. Large volumes of precision-machined, inexpensive standard components were just what cycles required. BSA produced the Otto Dicycle in 1880, started making their brand of safety bicycles in the 1880s, and built their first experimental motorbike in 1905. When the War Office decided to re-equip the British Army with the Lee-Metford magazine-loading rifle in 1887, the business stopped making bicycles to focus on the new contract. In 1908, BSA resumed producing bicycles under its brand.

In 1919, the company BSA Cycles Ltd. was founded to produce bicycles and motorbikes. After BSA split its bicycle and motorcycle divisions in 1953, the bicycle division was sold to Raleigh in 1957.

TI Group, owners of the British Cycle Corporation, purchased Raleigh in 1960 so that they could gain access to the BSA brand and continue bicycle production in Birmingham at Coventry Road, Sheldon, into the early 1960s using BSA parts.


Tube Investments of India (TII), comprising TI Cycles, is a subsidiary of the Murugappa Group. The firm was founded in 1949, with the help of Tube Investments (UK). In 1955, Tube Products of India (TPI) began producing steel tubes, and in 1960, TI Diamond Chain (TIDC) began producing bicycle chains as part of India’s backward integration programme. In two separate transactions in 1978 and 1985, TI UK sold off its holdings in TII.





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