How Did We Come by the Modern Penny Farthing?

How Did We Come by the Modern Penny Farthing?

Don’t be fooled by the name, the Modern Penny Farthing is not a particularly modern design. In fact, it’s really a throwback to a design that’s well over a hundred years old. In fact, the modern penny farthing is a take on the design that was the first machine in the evolution of the bicycle to be so called.

It all began way back in the day with the indomitable human spirit that always wanted things a little better than it had them. The first wheeled, human-powered machines didn’t have too much in common with the bicycles of today, or even really with the modern penny farthing for that matter.

One of the earliest designs was the product of an enterprising individual by the name of Karl von Drais. Known by such names as the Velocipede, Hobby-Horse, and the aptly named Draisienne, this machine was heavy and ungainly. Although superficially it somewhat resembled a bicycle, it had no pedals and no chain drive. Riders were also to steer it like a bike but had to drive it forward by pushing off of the ground with their feet. In a way, it was like a bicycle shaped scooter.

What might be called a slight improvement over the Draisienne was the boneshaker, which came with as colorful a name as could be deserved. One needs only a little imagination to wonder about the reasons that it might have come to earn such a moniker. This machine has no suspension system whereby to mitigate the effects of a rough road. Therefore, all of the bumps and jolts that a rider would experience went right through the frame and into the ride. At least the boneshaker had no chain drive like a modern bike but it did have pedals attached to the front wheel which did allow riders to power it through cranks.

The penny farthing or high wheel bicycle, after which a modern penny farthing is styled, was created in part to assuage the troubles of a rough road. While you might not recognize it from the name, you might very well recognize it from its appearance. Simply put, a penny farthing bike is a familiar bike that has one large front wheel to which the pedals were attached, and a smaller hind wheel.

This interesting design offered riders a few different benefits that were improvements over the other earlier models. The circumference of the front wheel had a few different positive effects. The first is that it helped to absorb some of the bumps and shocks of a rough road. Without a suspension system, this helped to smooth out what would otherwise be a ‘boneshaking’ ride. The second benefit is that the speed a rider could attain was directly proportional to the size of the front wheel. With a larger circumference, a rider could reach higher speeds than were possible with earlier models like the boneshaker.

If you’re interested in a modern penny farthing, you can find one and join one of the guilds that still race them. You might have to get creative with the places to which you’re willing to travel, as one of the more active clubs is across the pond. However, the first step is to find a quality modern penny farthing, and if that’s your aim you can find one at Visit’s aforecited website and take a look at some of the penny farthing bikes they offer from Hoppley and in their own name. If you’ve always wanted to learn to ride one, can make it happen.

If you have questions about learning to ride or about the specifications of the models they offer, visit their website or give them a call at 678-484-4962. They can help you pick out the perfect high wheeler.

For more information about Affordable Unicycle and Penny Farthing High Wheel Bike Please visit :

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