Thursday, January 15, 2009

1908 Racycle Model 135

Racycle had some interesting (or weird) ideas about how to engineer a more efficient bicycle. The large sprockets reduce the turning angle of the chain rollers, which is supposed to translate to less friction, and the crank bearings are spaced very far apart (actually in line with the crank arms themselves) in order to reduce the leverage on the bearings, and thus the friction, when pedaling. It all makes for an interesting machine, but it's not quite effortless. Note the very relaxed frame geometry and the unusual shape of the handlebars (both features typical of the period). All plating is nickel, not chrome. The rims are Lobdell brand steam-bent maple. It's a thrill to ride, but I really need to get a better brake in it; the New Departure Model A coaster brake is hopelessly feeble.

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