In order that we can go on longer bike tours without risking damage to Gabriel's antique Singer, he recently ordered a Victory, a replica of the 19th-century Victor cycles. It arrived at his bike shop yesterday; here are some short little snippets of him mounting and dismounting in the parking lot. Enjoy!
12/2/2014 03:14:46 am
I never thought much before about how one got up on the bike, so found it very interesting to watch your little snippets. Tell me, why did they make them like this with such big wheels in front and how they came about to make them smaller for women? Thank you.
12/2/2014 08:33:05 am
They made the front wheel large because when it is directly driven from the cranks (no chain or gears) the size of the wheel determines the speed you can go. Smaller wheels would be slower, and they also gave a rougher ride (think of the earlier 'boneshaker' velocipedes of the late 1860s). Remember that the roads were not great (especially in America) and that a larger wheel rolls over the bumps easier. Young, sporting club riders were not convinced by the chain-drive systems available at the time, as they added weight and friction (they still do), so the efficient, elegant, and comparatively lightweight high-wheel ordinary was the choice of most enthusiastic cyclists of the day.
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