The Birth of the Bicycle

The Birth of the Bicycle

by Nick Clayton


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The Birth of the Bicycle by Nick Clayton

In this highly readable book, Nick Clayton charts the origins of the bicycle, a machine that is still regarded as the most efficient means of translating human energy into motion. Focusing on the early years of development, the author examines the technological developments that have led to the modern bicycle, including the hobby-horse, velocipede, boneshaker, tricycle, the pneumatic tyre, shaft drive, hub-gear, derailleur and many others. He also looks at differences in design, whether for ladies' bikes or for sport and off-road vehicles. The book is filled with interesting information and anecdotes and the author tackles such questions as why the penny-farthing had such a large front wheel or the meaning of trail-and-fork offset. As the bicycle continues to grow in popularity, both as an environmentally friendly travel solution and for sports as varied as triathlon and cyclo-sportive, this book provides you with all the answers you need about one of the most ingenious human inventions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781445648828
Publisher: Amberley Publishing
Publication date: 09/01/2016
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Nick Clayton is an expert on cycle history and the author of various books and articles on the subject. He founded the International Cycling History Conference and has regularly presented papers. He was editor of the Boneshaker, the journal of the Veteran Cycle Club, for twenty years.

Table of Contents

1 A Very Short History of the Bicycle 4

2 Historiography 9

3 The Draisine aka the Hobby-Horse 15

4 The Quadricycle Years 1820-1868 22

5 The Velocipede Bicycle or Boneshaker 27

6 America and Germany 35

7 The Penny-Farthing or Ordinary Bicycle 41

8 Tricycles 1876-1886 58

9 The Safety Bicycle 65

10 The Braced Diamond Frame 79

11 James Starley (1831-81) and the Coventry Machinists Co. Ltd 85

12 Hans Renold and the Bush Roller Chain 94

13 Harry John Lawson 1852-1925 96

14 Ladies' Bicycles 100

15 Dunlop and the Pneumatic Safety 104

16 The Bicycle Boom 110

17 Gears 115

18 The Lightweight Bicycle 118

19 Mountain Bikes 122

20 The Future 124

Further Reading 127

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