Gallery


Draisine (1817)
Replica of Baron von Drais 1817 invention, built by Zbynek Simek of Slovakia in 1994. This vehicle has a steering system, but it has no pedals. It enjoyed popularity in Europe, England and America even though it weighed approximately 40 pounds (18 kg).
Hobby Horse (1818)
This is a reproduction of the first two wheeled primitive vehicle made by Johnson in England in 1818. It was built by "R.B.R. USA" (Rideable Bicycle Replicas). It has no pedals or brakes. It was propelled by striking the feet on the ground and pushing forward. It was not very comfortable to ride.
Macmillan (1839)
Replica of an 1839 wooden wheeled machine first built in Scotland by a Dumfries blacksmith, Kirkpatrick Macmillan. It is thought the machine may have been driven by levers attached to cranks on the rear axle. No original drawings exist, so this claim cannot be easily substantiated. This machine was built from reconstructed drawings by Simon Ramsey of Mitchell, ACT.
Boneshaker (1869)
Built by coachbuilders, Ernest & Pierre Michaux of Paris, France. They modified a hobby horse by fitting cranks and pedals to the first axle. This enabled the rider to propel the machine more easily, but it was still a very heavy, cumbersome bicycle by today's standards. The average Boneshaker weighed 60 pounds (27 kgs) and could sustain about 8 mph (13 km/h).
Boneshaker Tricycle (1870)
Adapted from the Boneshaker bicycle. Built in England. This machine was popular with older people and considered safer than the two-wheeled version. Note that the pedals are on the front wheel.

Pennyfarthing (1880)
Manufactured by Singer & Company, Coventry, England. This "Singer Ordinary" has a 54 inch diameter front wheel. The large front wheel enabled the rider to travel further and thus faster with one revolution of the pedal, however, due to an inefficient braking system, "headers" (riders being propelled headfirst over handlebars) were common.
Solid Tyre Safety (1880s to 1894)
Built by Rudge Cycle Co. of Coventry and purchased by Messrs. Marricott and Cooper of London, England. The back wheel was originally 30 inches in diameter and the front wheel was 28 inches in diameter. These bicycles allowed safer mounting and dismounting, but were not popular with the public, possibly due to poor marketing; but also because the short spoke length in the wheels did not provide the shock absorption that high wheeled bicycles gave. The vibration problems were eventually solved by the invention of the pnuematic tyre in 1889. By 1893 the solid-tyred bicycle had disappeared and the modern bicycle became established.

Pennyfarthing (1895)
Built by Misecek Manufacturing of the Czech Republic. This reproduction Ordinary was entered in the Australian National Pennyfarthing Championships in 1995 and 1996, and ridden by Josef Zimoveak. It won in both years. 
Safety (1889)
Probably built in Britain. This is a very rare solid tyred bicycle. Note the timber pedals and the special handle bar grips. The addition of mudguards put this bicycle into an elite class. Around this time pnuematic tyres were being mass produced and solid tyres were becoming obsolete. 
Mens Early Roadster (1890)
Manufactured in France and called "la Souplette". Made almost entirely from Hickory wood. It was claimed that the wood parts of the frame were elastic and provided adequate spring effect.
Track Bicycle (1890)
Manufactured by Massey-Harris Co, Toronto, Canada. The wooden wheels, the 1" pitch block chain, the cutaway seat and the arching handlebars are distinctive features of this bicycle.
Child's Treadle Tricycle (1890’s)
Probably built by a blacksmith in Britain for the child of a wealthy family. It has a treadle drive and tiller steering.
Track Bicycle (1892)
Manufactured by Humber Co. Ltd. in Coventry, England. Distinctive features of this bicycle are: twin chainstays on driveside, seat stay lugs over rear hub axle and eccentric fittings on the pedals to enable adjustment of crank length. The curved top tube is an unusual feature, which would not have enhanced the frame strength.
Track Bicycle (1896-1898)
Manufactured by Waltham Mfg. Co. of Waltham, Mass., USA. Note the wooden rims, moulded tyres and cutaway racing handlebars.

 from the Canberra Bicycle Museum