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Ariel Cycle

Name: Ariel Cycle
Make: Starley & Hillman
Year: 1871

This style of cycle is an “Ariel” design penny-farthing made by James Starley during the 1870s.

The frame and wheels of this cycle are made from steel; this makes it a very heavy machine weighing in at about 50lbs. It has tangent spokes adjustable at the hub and solid rubber tyres. The brake is operated by twisting the handle-bars; this pulls a cable taught, which operates a roller onto the rear wheel and aids slowing-down.

This design of bicycle has been referred to by several names over the years such as: Penny Farthing, High-Wheeler, and Ordinary-Bicycle. The idea of the penny-farthing’s large front wheel was to cover a longer distance with each revolution of the pedal. The pedals are directly connected to the driving wheel, making it quite difficult to control the steering.


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