1ST Bicycle With Pedals

The first true pedal bicycle was the Boneshaker, which had a wagon-style wheel and a seat mounted like a buggy seat. It was heavy and awkward and was best ridden on smooth garden paths or grass. Early bicycles had cast iron frames, wooden wheels, and metal tyres.
The first true pedal bicycle was the Boneshaker, which had a wagon-style wheel and a seat mounted like a buggy seat. It was heavy and awkward and was best ridden on smooth garden paths or grass. Early bicycles had cast iron frames, wooden wheels, and metal tyres.

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1869 Boneshaker Bicycle

The first true pedal bicycle was the Boneshaker, which had a wagon-style wheel and a seat mounted like a buggy seat. It was heavy and awkward and was best ridden on smooth garden paths or grass. Early bicycles had cast iron frames, wooden wheels, and metal tyres. Blacksmiths and wheelwrights would often make these bikes.

Although the wheel’s grating collision with the ground made the bicycle uncomfortable—hence its nickname, “boneshaker”—it was nevertheless a hit with both manufacturers and riders.

The bike on display at the Elliott is in poor condition, lacking its brakes, seat, and spring; it was likely made crudely by a blacksmith; however, it is a good example of the wooden wheels and hubs with metal banding holding them together, and the bar for the pedals can be seen on the front wheel axil. Before the 1870s, they were known as Velocipedes.


References

  • Bicycle: The History – David V. Herlihy [ISBN 0300120478]
  • The Golden Age of Bicycle Racing in New Jersey – Michael C Gabriele [ISBN 1596294272]
  • The Dancing Chain: History and Development of the Derailleur Bicycle – Frank J. Berto [ISBN 1892495597]
  • The Bicycle: The Myth And The Passion – Francesco Baroni [ISBN-13: 978-8854403369]

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1869 Boneshaker Bicycle