Front, centre-spread and rear cover of US
version of the Parabike brochure. (Colin Stevens' Collection)
After World War II, BSA produced a civilian version of the airborne bicycle
and called it the Parabike.
These were rigid bicycles for boys and girls and BSA's advertising linked
their design to the types of bicycles such as their fathers might have used in
The term "Parabike" appears on BSA postwar literature and this is
the FIRST mention that I have found of this term, so I believe (until shown
otherwise) that this is a post-war name. The wartime manuals refer to the
military version as the "airborne bicycle".
Many collectors now call the military bicycles "Parabikes" but I
believe that this is incorrect.
After WWII, the Danes acquired a supply of surplus WWII BSA airborne bicycles.
They added a serial number on the seat post apparently, (just below the seat)
and their serial number starts with CF ... In the early 2000s, they sold a bunch
surplus. Many were complete and in excellent condition. An original one will
also have the BSA serial number.
The Danes also
made copies so the serial numbers are the main clue. Also the BSA bikes have BSA
stamped in several places.
More recently, a bicycle called the Galaxy has been on the market
and takes its design from the airborne bicycle as well, but is not an exact