By the end of the 19th century, so-called safety bicycles
with two equal-sized wheels and a chain drive powering the rear wheel became the cycling machine norm, a basic design that persists today.
Modern safety bicycles, using chains and gears, emerged from the 1870s and developed rapidly into the superb machines of today.
THE invention of the safety bicycle transformed the lives of countless thousands who could now travel and explore urban and country areas with relative ease.
The early safety bicycles
had solid rubber tires but in 1888, John Boyd Dunlop, a veterinarian in Belfast, Ireland, invented the pneumatic tire.
It wasn't so far from the early days when the safety bicycles
built in Coventry by James Starley were still giving young women in rural villages their first taste of liberation.
On view and in action from 10am to 4.30pm on Sunday will be cycles, safety bicycles
and penny farthings, plus horse-drawn vehicles.
The Clark family business in Temple Street ran the full gauntlet from boneshakers to tricycles, ordinaries (generally known as penny-farthings) and safety bicycles
Early safety bicycles
, called 'high-wheeled safeties' (Adams 1995), had seats positioned slightly differently in order to reduce 'headers', but were essentially similar to the treacherous ordinaries.
Early bicycles such as the "ordinary" - or penny farthing - with is huge front wheel directly connected to pedals, were difficult and dangerous to ride There was the always present danger of taking a "header" - hitting a stone and being thrown over the handlebars - which could prove fatal, and it was the perfection of the chain- driven cycle around 1876 which created the first safety bicycles
She said: "Back in the 1890s affordable safety bicycles
meant that thousands could enjoy the freedom of the open country.
Biggleswade, where the bicycles were made, became known as the home of modem safety bicycles
, and modem cycle road racing and touring.
He worked at Thomas Humber's factory when safety bicycles
had just become popular, and moved to the company's Coventry works in Lower Ford Street after the great fire of 1896.