I had never seen a Dutch Union before, so photographing S.T.'s bicycle was a real treat - not a run of the mill vintage 3-speed for sure!
This is S.T.'s 1973 Union "Savoy". It is a 22" straight step-through frame with 26" wheels, caliper brakes, 3-speed Sturmey Archer hub, dynamo lighting that runs off of a bottle generator, a vinyl chaincase, transparent dressguards, and lots of proprietary insignia.
In geometry and feel, this Union is very similar to the Raleigh Lady's Sports, but considerably fancier - with prettier lugs and all sorts of interesting details throughout. It is these details that make this bicycle really special, and so that is what I focused on in the photos.
The rich bordeaux frame is covered with neat decals and pinstriping designs in gold and cream.
It's all been preserved in great condition.
I know that decals are not a big deal, but they do contribute to the overall look. The bordeaux, cream, and gold combination looks very regal.
Chrome fork crown, caliper brakes, and bottle generator. I like the retro look of the bottle generators, but I am puzzled as to why bicycle manufacturers continued to use them when the Sturmey Archer dyno-hub has existed since the 1930s. Even today the Dutch seem to favour these over hubs - I wonder why?
The matching vinyl chaincase is stitched together around the edges.
Here you can see the stitching, as well as the Sturmey Archer 3-speed AW hub.
The gear shifter is remarkably well preserved, and the cream grips match the bicycle's colour scheme nicely.
Proprietary emblem on the kicktand.
Rear rack and fender, with tail light and Spanniga rear light/reflector.
Here is a close-up of the gorgeous vintage Spanniga reflector. This alone makes me want the bicycle!
S.T. uses this bicycle as her "commuter," and she has fitted it with this wooden crate that her father made for her while she was at college. She has also owned lady's Raleigh DL-1s, but overall prefers the Union. It is certainly a dramatic and unique bicycle, even in our 3-speed-saturated neighborhood!
If you have questions about this Union Savoy, please contact the knowledgeable and friendly somervillain.