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Anyone ridden a c.1900 bike?

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Anyone ridden a c.1900 bike?

Old 11-04-15, 05:46 PM
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Anyone ridden a c.1900 bike?

Pursuant to that photo I posted in the other thread...

Has anyone ridden, or does anyone ride a very very old bike, or a replica? I don't imagine that there's many people pining for wooden rims, but I'm really curious about how the geometry handles, why they had evolved to that point (really high top tube, really long wheelbase with no stem extension, slack angles), and then why they went out of style in favor of "speed bikes" and cruisers.

From wright-brothers.org

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Old 11-04-15, 06:08 PM
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At a certain point, you pass from the realm of vintage the realm of antique.
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Old 11-04-15, 06:25 PM
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I ride wood rims. I also was very tempted by a turn of the century Clement, but it's, you know, French.

By 1906, the high top tube was gone. By 1915, there were "stems". By 1945, the geometry was "regular".
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Old 11-05-15, 07:34 AM
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I rode a track bike once raced by Major Taylor around the parking lot. It was old and had wooden rims....
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Old 11-05-15, 09:48 AM
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http://www.amazon.com/Bicycle-Histor...ywords=bicycleBicycling, the History Is an intestine read.

I know of a person who collect in that era, late 1800's actually. He has ridden many of his.

Interesting that the picture is of the non drive side. The Smithsonian displays this bicycle the same way.
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Old 11-05-15, 09:59 AM
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The two forum members I can think of that are into riding really early bikes (ftwelder and blaise_f) aren't very active here anymore. It's almost like they have real lives or something.
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Old 11-05-15, 10:53 AM
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I tried a replica high wheeler briefly. It was insane.
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Old 11-05-15, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
The two forum members I can think of that are into riding really early bikes (ftwelder and blaise_f) aren't very active here anymore. It's almost like they have real lives or something.
There are a few. @Velognome has some pretty old stuff. At one point, he was working on a pre-1920 Schwinn.
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Old 11-05-15, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
There are a few. @Velognome has some pretty old stuff. At one point, he was working on a pre-1920 Schwinn.
Maybe if we mention @Velognome enough, he'll pop in and share his progress.
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Old 11-05-15, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
Interesting that the picture is of the non drive side. The Smithsonian displays this bicycle the same way.
The Smithsonian has that Wright bike with the drive side against a bench. I stood there gawking at it for long time. Yes, it's in the room with one of THE original propellers... and I'm looking at a bike.
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Old 11-05-15, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
The Smithsonian has that Wright bike with the drive side against a bench. I stood there gawking at it for long time. Yes, it's in the room with one of THE original propellers... and I'm looking at a bike.
I work nearly across the street. I have bee in there many times and have mentioned the orientation. Last time I was told that since it was on lone, the owner has to approve of any display changes. Someone does not care to do the paper work.
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Old 11-05-15, 04:25 PM
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I did some sketching with an assumption of 28 in tire size, and came up with the following

Seat tube angle 69°
Head tube angle 68°
Seat tube length 24 in
Top tube length 23 in
Fork offset 2.5 in giving trail of 3.25 in
Standover 35 in
Wheelbase 45.5 in
Chain stays 19.5 in
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Old 11-05-15, 04:38 PM
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@Darth Lefty, what is the reach from saddle to grips? Very small by modern standards.
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Old 11-05-15, 04:44 PM
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Early 20's without original rims.

Massey Harris.
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Old 11-05-15, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@Darth Lefty, what is the reach from saddle to grips? Very small by modern standards.
I guesstimate 18 in but since the grips are at an angle and the figure is poor it's not perfectly clear. They're also swept so it's not perfectly clear where to take the measurement. I don't know how it's supposed to feel. I put cruiser bars on my MTB when setting it up for the front baby seat, and at first I tried rotating them pretty low to get the wrist angle perfectly neutral, but the result left me in a shrugged posture that wasn't comfortable, and I put them back up high.
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Old 11-05-15, 08:17 PM
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The Owls Head Transportation Museum has this late 19thc racer on display. Unrestored. Fascinating bike.
Collections - 1896 ca. Pierce Special Racer | Owls Head Transportation Museum
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Old 11-06-15, 02:50 AM
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@noglider #7

I tried a brief ride on a replica high wheeler once back in the 70's. I agree. Also an early "bent" from the 70's. Can't say which was less enjoyable!

Not quite 1900's but I did a century on a 1936 Durkopp track bike that had been used in the Berlin Olympics. Almost all original, fixed gear, 1" pitch chain, wood rims and all. The bike weighed under 18 Lbs. and was a very smooth ride.

It looked like this one:



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Old 11-06-15, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
... Last time I was told that since it was on lone, the owner has to approve of any display changes. Someone does not care to do the paper work.
Or maybe there's cat stickers all over teh drive side.
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Old 11-06-15, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
@noglider #7

I tried a brief ride on a replica high wheeler once back in the 70's. I agree. Also an early "bent" from the 70's. Can't say which was less enjoyable!

Not quite 1900's but I did a century on a 1936 Durkopp track bike that had been used in the Berlin Olympics. Almost all original, fixed gear, 1" pitch chain, wood rims and all. The bike weighed under 18 Lbs. and was a very smooth ride.

It looked like this one:


verktyg

Chas.
Awesome, man.

What's going on with that saddle?

Is the nose connected to the frame?
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Old 11-10-15, 12:26 AM
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A lot of bikes were still using slack frames and long wheelbases into the 70s. Especially lower priced bikes. Huffy and Columbia were building bikes with 68° frame angles, and on shorter frames most companies used such slack angles to help fit standard sized wheels on as small a frame as possible.

The inconvenience of the high top tube was probably not immediately realized, people having just come from high wheel bikes - also in theory I suppose it makes for a stronger bike overall - less stem and seat post to flex.
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Old 11-10-15, 08:43 AM
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My grandfather rode one of the original big wheeled bikes in the annual parade held in Zionsville IN into at least the middle 50's. He lived on a farm about 5 miles from town and he rode it to town and back home as well as in the parade. I was just a youngster at the time. He rode a Schwinn for daily transportation. He always had a sizeable club sticking out of the handle bar end to fend off dogs. It was his "dog knocker". Many farmers had large, aggressive watch dogs.
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Old 11-10-15, 09:10 AM
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My family was playing music at a festival where a guy who made replica high wheel bikes was showing off his craft. We were easily drafted into demonstrating for him. Imagine 5 kids rolling around a parking lot like shriners on high wheel bikes! It was a blast. One of the kids with us didnt really understand the brake and rolled over the front wheel, but he and the bike were unhurt.

We also have a guy who rides critical mass in Cleveland, OH with his high wheel bike.

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