The Safety Bicycle

The main features of the safety bicycle were a chain drive from the pedals and cranks to the rear wheel and direct steering of the front wheel, with both wheels of approximately the same size. One of the most prominent manufacturers was The Coventry Machinist Company.

The final breakthrough came with the invention and development of the safety bicycle.

For a short period at the end of the 1880s and early 1890s these bicycles were built with the same solid tyres as had been used for the ordinary.

In 1888 John Boyd Dunlop developed the pneumatic tyre and the modern bicycle rapidly became the most common form of human powered transport.

From the 1890s onward there have been few fundamental developments of the bicycle.

Reductions in component weight, effective braking, multiple gearing and the introduction of sprung suspension have all contributed to the wider acceptance and use of the machine, but the bicycle of the twenty-first century has not changed in concept from the machine invented and developed by John Kemp Starley and others in the mid 1880s.

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