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The Comfort Factor

Comfortable and easy to ride, the safety becomes the most popular cycle ever.

Like most new technologies, the safety bicycle was far from perfect. Builders were able to solve most of the problems by fine-tuning their designs and production techniques. Other problems, like the increased vibration and road shock caused by the large reduction in wheel size, were more challenging.

Several manufacturers devised safeties that incorporated shock-absorbing springs in the frame. The Linley and Biggs “Whippet” (810220) introduced in the mid-1880s was one of the first and probably the most popular of the spring-frames. Although this type of bicycle continued to be made for a number of years, a simpler solution was provided by John Boyd Dunlop when he reinvented the pneumatic tire in 1888. With the addition of the shock-absorbing pneumatic tire, the bicycle became a safe, versatile and reliable means of transportation that virtually anyone could master.

Thanks to effective promotion, a new cycling craze was born that lasted until 1900 and grew to encompass millions of people around the world.

The safety triumphs, 1890