penny-farthing

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penny-farthing

n
(Automotive Engineering) Brit an early type of bicycle with a large front wheel and a small rear wheel, the pedals being attached to the front wheel. US name: ordinary
[C20: so called because of the similarity between the relative sizes of the wheels and the relative sizes of the (old) penny and farthing coins]
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From the bone shakers and penny-farthings of yesteryear to the lightweight racing machines of today, cycling has evolved enormously
Sadly, the solid tyres and total lack of suspension do not differ from the original penny-farthings first turned out by the Starley workforce in a factory opposite what is now Little Park Street police station.
But he's making a nod in the direction of Coventry's history by riding a modern version of the penny-farthing, first invented by James Starley, the father of the bicycle industry.
From penny-farthings to modern mountain bikes, these weird and wonderful cycles are getting youngsters active.
There was also a reverse penny-farthing, which has a large wheel at the back and a small one at the front.
Around 130 cycles, including Victorian 'high ordinaries' which later became known as penny-farthings, plus boneshakers dating from the 1860s, front-wheel pedal bicycles and even the odd tandem, filled the country roads on the 17-mile tour from Shenstone, near Bromsgrove yesterday.
This Saturday a nice selection of penny-farthings will go under the hammer at Phillips auction house in London (Details: 020 7313 2700).
But countless penny-farthings were produced by anonymous craftsmen and these machines haven't held their value as well as those with named manufacturers.
Examples of boneshakers and penny-farthings can be seen at Coventry Transport Museum in Millennium Place, in the city centre.
Mr McElvogue was devastated as he lost dozens of rare penny-farthings and Sunbeams which he said were worth more than pounds 25,000.
But Mr McElvogue has been left heartbroken by the loss of his rare, priceless bikes, which included penny-farthings and Sunbeams, which he thinks were worth about pounds 8,000.