Antwort: Blasphemy: Other 'Odd' Cycles?

have a look at http://www.hochrad.net/ (Hochrad is german for
penny-fathing. The english version is
http://www.pennyfarthing.hochrad.net/)

I had been unicycling for 10 years when I saw an add for a
build-your-own-pennyfarthing-workshop in the magazine of our juggling-club
in vienna.
I attended the workshop, learned much about metal work, and came home with
a brand new penny fathing a few weeks ago.

Todays penny-fathings are no longer heavy monsters - mine is about 14 kg.
All that a modern machine has in common with the originals of the 1880ies
is the principle. Technology, material, frame and fork-design, spokeing is
21st century (the workshop leader did his master-thesis in mechanical
engineering about penny-farthing-front-wheels).

The riders of “original” “ordinaries” don’t like us, though. In
racing-competitions they have no chance to beat us - therefore they let us
feel some aversion.

Although - as all on that group know - riding a penny farthing requires
little skills compared to unicycling, the reception by passers-by is just
the other way round. You get aahhs and oohhs and applause when on a
penny-farthings and mostly stupid remarks when on a unicycle - crazy!

I use my penny-farthing for my daily commute to work (7 km one way - it
would be hard [and dangerous {and illegal}] to ride a coker through the
traffic in the dark in winter) and for evening and weekend tours (50 to 160
km) totalling about 3000 km a year.
My unicycling activities have not changed much since I own a
penny-farthing. Too different are the locations and type of activities. I
still practise skills on my 20’’, ride a 24’’ through the woods, use my
coker for short tours (20-30km).

Much talked which could also be said in one sentence: Get one, it’s really
great fun.

Georg
Unicyclist and penny-farthing-rider in Vienna, Austria.

Animation <forum.member@unicyclist.com>@unicycling.org am 07.02.2002
21:46:44

Gesendet von: rsu-admin@unicycling.org

An: rsu@unicycling.org
Kopie:
Thema: Blasphemy: Other ‘Odd’ Cycles?

All,

Does anybody else here own any of the other ‘odd’ cycles out
there, like a PennyFarthing or a Recumbent cycle?

If so, what is it
like? Are they fun? I am especially interested in the PennyFarthing,
but both seem interesting.

All of these would remain low priority
compared to my unicycle habit, once I get going a bit better.

Lewis


Animation
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Hi All,

Eventually, I want to add a PennyFarthing to my collection. They look like great fun. My problem is, I dont know what brand to get.

I was looking over at unicycle.com and they have the Coker Wheelman for $379 and the RBR Mini High Wheel for $149.

Does anybody have experience with either of these?

I kinda feel myself favoring the smaller wheel of the RBR (not because of the price at all), but I don’t know which I would prefer.

Can anybody tell me about either of these? Or any other ones?

I do know that I probably don’t want the 48" closer-to-authentic pennyfarthings, just because it seems a little high to me. I think a 36" rim is as high as I could stand. I’ve ridden the Coker unicycle a few feet, and I’m ok with that height, but I don’t think I’d want to go any higher.

Lewis

The photo of the day (02-11-02) at www.pinkbike.com/photo/pbpic16103.jpg
is a man going down some stairs on his penny farthing. Looks to be a period photo. Don’t know if it’s real but looks great.

drewnicycle

yes,it is real and those are the steps of the U.S.capitol in D.C.

the bike is the Smith Star,patented by George Pressey and first build in 1881 in New Jersey

its also worth noting that th Star had a 2 speed gear clutch.

the picture is a library of congress photo takin in 1884,it was to prove stability

> yes,it is real and those are the steps of the U.S.capitol in D.C.
> the bike is the Smith Star,patented by George Pressey and first build
> in 1881 in New Jersey
>
> its also worth noting that th Star had a 2
> speed gear clutch.
>
> the picture is a library of congress photo takin
> in 1884,it was to prove stability

Technically that bike would be a “farthing penny.” If you tried the same
stunt on a regular penny farthing you’d be tasting those steps. The “Star”
design was a big technological breakthrough at the time, and probably was a
stepping stone to the later “safety” bikes, which had the same size wheel
front and back.

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
jfoss@unicycling.com
www.unicycling.com

“You’re not supposed to wash your Roach armor” - Nathan Hoover, on safety
equipment cleaning methods

Why didn’t the designers of the Penny-Farthing use
the same size for each wheel like on a conventional
bicycle? Does it have something to do with gearing?

Some observations:

Carages, cars, etc. of the time had large wheels to (I beleive) deal with the roads of the time. Looking at those other vehicles, you’ll find that front wheels were often smaller than the back. Why? They were the controlling wheel, and had to be smaller to be able to effect significant turns without contacting the frame (in fact, the custom carage wheels made by a Penny-Farthing manufacturer for the coach of the evil villen in Wild Wild West were made so big the carage could not turn more than a few useless degreas. I can hear the director now “Big, BIG, BIG WHEELS, do you understand me?”).

The humungus wheels found on early bikes didn’t realy allow for 2 big wheels- ergo, the natural use of the convention already found in other wheeled vehicles. Trikes were another mater, with some having a tiny wheel straddled by 2 monsters- or recumbants with one large wheel and 2 small ones (kinda like the ‘Green Machine’ of my youth).

This was actualy a fasinating period for wheeled things- people tried EVERYTHING. You’ll find the first in line skates around the time of the first safty bike, with big tires and ice skating action straped to the feet of people burdened with the vestments of Edwardian England. Why? Because wheeled things were COOL, high-tech, modern, and oh so very fasionable. You’ll find this era is full of good reading on the subject.

Rambling,

Christopher

> Why didn’t the designers of the Penny-Farthing use
> the same size for each wheel like on a conventional
> bicycle? Does it have something to do with gearing?

Yes. Gearing wasn’t invented yet.

JF

<Georg.Bachl@aral.at> wrote in message
news:mailman.1013442623.600.rsu@unicycling.org

> Although - as all on that group know - riding a penny farthing requires
> little skills compared to unicycling, the reception by passers-by is just
> the other way round. You get aahhs and oohhs and applause when on a
> penny-farthings and mostly stupid remarks when on a unicycle - crazy!

Such is life - I find the same public / audience response when I ride my
penny farthing. I am getting a surprising amount of gigs just because I ride
the penny farthing. Bizarre. Maybe because it is so big compared to a
unicycle.

Wayne.

> the other way round. You get aahhs and oohhs and applause when on a
> penny-farthings and mostly stupid remarks when on a unicycle - crazy!

How about the audience reaction between jumping rope and coasting? The
audience hasn’t got a clue about coasting on a unicycle. Performing it for a
non-unicycling audience serves the performer only.

> penny farthing. I am getting a surprising amount of gigs just
> because I ride the penny farthing. Bizarre. Maybe because it
> is so big compared to a unicycle.

I have an equally big unicycle, but I think the same would still be the
case. Penny farthings connote an image of nostalgia or something. They are
striking to see. Unicycles connote an image of… what? Usually lesser stuff
in the minds of the average crowd. Circus, clowns, being weird, showing off,
etc. I guess I should get me a penny farthing too… :slight_smile:

JF

>I was looking over at unicycle.com and they have the Coker
>Wheelman for $379 and the RBR Mini High Wheel for $149.
>
>Does
>anybody have experience with either of these?
>
>I kinda feel myself
>favoring the smaller wheel of the RBR (not because of the price at
>all), but I don’t know which I would prefer.
>
>Can anybody tell me
>about either of these? Or any other ones?
>

I’ve had a Wheelman for a couple of years. It is an oddball machine, probably
the least authentic pennyfarthing you can get. It is fun and gets a lot of
comments from passersby (mostly approving) but could really use some better
components in my opinion. The brakes are pretty lame and the stock saddle was
not particularly kiester-friendly for me. Replacing the saddle helped a great
deal. My front hub also developed some problems after two seasons of fairly
hard riding (I rode it instead of my regular bike most of the time) and I am
working on replacing it. There’s no trick to riding it; the small (for a
pennyfarthing) wheel and relatively rearward placement of the saddle reduce the
danger of headers. You have to get used to the oscillating pull on the
handlebars as you pedal, remember not to go too fast and clamp the brakes too
suddenly, and lean back a bit as you stop. It’s pretty much a novelty ride. I
would love a “real” pennyfarthing but my budget doesn’t allow that that kind of
$.

Here is another company to look at. I’ve heard some good things but don’t know
much about them:

http://www.victorybicycles.com/

  • Joe

=============================
If Teddy Grahams crackers
were shaped like goats instead of bears,
would they be Billy Grahams?

>Eventually, I want to add a PennyFarthing to my collection.
>They look like great fun. My problem is, I dont know what
>brand to get.
>
>I was looking over at unicycle.com and they have the Coker >Wheelman for $379 and the RBR Mini High Wheel for $149.
>
>Does anybody have experience with either of these?
>
>I kinda feel myself favoring the smaller wheel of the RBR (not >because of the price at all), but I don’t know which I would >prefer.
>
>Can anybody tell me about either of these? Or any other ones?
>
>I do know that I probably don’t want the 48" closer-to-authentic >pennyfarthings, just because it seems a little high to me. I think >a 36" rim is as high as I could stand. I’ve ridden the Coker >unicycle a few feet, and I’m ok with that height, but I don’t think >I’d want to go any higher.

Wheel diameter directly depends on leg length.
My wheel is 50’’ - leg length is 32’’ (Levi’s 501-size) - just perfect.

From my personal experience: get a wheel as big as possible.
Forget things like a coker wheelman or a ridable - save your money until you can afford a “real” penny farthing.

There are several manufacurers and dealers - see http://www.wuk.at/hochrad/links/hochrad.php#haendler for a list of all known to us.

Have fun.
Georg

Thanks for the PennyFarthing advice and info.

The cheapest “Real” one I could find was $800 dollars, so it will definitely be a purchase I make at least a year from now.

I can see the appeal of the “Real” ones but the smaller ones look fun too. I may end up trying both (perhaps the mini-High-wheel for starters and a “Real” one later on).

Thanks,

Lewis