Boneshaker

BoneshakerIn a small museum like ours space is limited and so reluctantly these two bikes have been transferred to the Coventry Transport Museum. This frees up space for us and enables visitors to see them in context along many other bikes.

Boneshaker is a name used from about 1869 up to the present time, to refer to the first type of true bicycle with pedals, which was called "velocipede" (from the Latin for "fast foot") by it's manufacturers. "Boneshaker" refers to the extremely uncomfortable ride, which was caused by the stiff wrought-iron frame and wooden wheels surrounded by tyres made of iron.

This type of bicycle was invented in 1863 by Pierre Lallement, first manufactured by the Michaux company from 1867 to 1869 — the time of the first bicycle craze, and copied by many others during that time. It fell out of favour after the summer of 1869, and was replaced in 1870 with the penny-farthing.

There are very few original boneshakers still in existence today, most having been melted for scrap metal during the first World War, and those which do surface from time to time command high prices.