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Buy Penny Farthing Uk [WORK]

The penny-farthing, also known as a high wheel, high wheeler or ordinary, is an early type of bicycle. [1] It was popular in the 1870s and 1880s, with its large front wheel providing high speeds (owing to its travelling a large distance for every rotation of the legs) and comfort (the large wheel provides greater shock absorption).

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It became obsolete in the late 1880s with the development of modern bicycles, which provided similar speed amplification via chain-driven gear trains and comfort through pneumatic tires, and were marketed in comparison to penny-farthings as "safety bicycles" because of the reduced danger of falling and the reduced height to fall from.[2]

The name came from the British penny and farthing coins, the penny being much larger than the farthing, so that the side view of the bicycle resembles a larger penny (the front wheel) leading a smaller farthing (the rear wheel).[3] Although the name "penny-farthing" is now the most common, it was probably not used until the machines were nearly outdated; the first recorded print reference is from 1891 in Bicycling News.[4] For most of their reign, they were simply known as "bicycles", and were the first machines to be so called (though they were not the first two-wheeled, pedaled vehicles).[5] In the late 1890s, the name "ordinary" began to be used, to distinguish them from the emerging safety bicycles;[6] this term and "hi-wheel" (and variants) are preferred by many modern enthusiasts.[7][8]

Penny-farthing bicycles are dangerous because of the risk of headers (taking a fall over the handlebars head-first). Makers developed "moustache" handlebars, allowing the rider's knees to clear them,[13] "Whatton" handlebars that wrapped around behind the legs,[14] and ultimately (though too late, after development of the safety bicycle), the American "Eagle" and "Star" bicycles, whose large and small wheels were reversed.[15][16] This prevented headers but left the danger of being thrown backwards when riding uphill. Other attempts included moving the seat rearward and driving the wheel by levers or treadles, as in the "Xtraordinary" and "Facile",[17][18] or gears, by chain as in the "Kangaroo" or at the hub, as in the "Crypto";[15] another option was to move the seat well back, as in the "Rational".[15][19]

The penny-farthing used a larger wheel than the velocipede, thus giving higher speeds on all but the steepest hills. In addition, the large wheel gave a smoother ride,[22] important before the invention of pneumatic tires.[23]

An attribute of the penny-farthing is that the rider sits high and nearly over the front axle. When the wheel strikes rocks and ruts, or under hard braking, the rider can be pitched forward off the bicycle head-first. Headers were relatively common and a significant, sometimes fatal, hazard. Riders coasting down hills often took their feet off the pedals and put them over the tops of the handlebars, so they would be pitched off feet-first instead of head-first.[14]

Penny-farthing bicycles often used similar materials and construction as earlier velocipedes: cast iron frames, solid rubber tires, and plain bearings for pedals, steering, and wheels. They were often quite durable and required little service. For example, when cyclist Thomas Stevens rode around the world in the 1880s, he reported only one significant mechanical problem in over 20,000 kilometres (12,000 mi), caused when the local military confiscated his bicycle and damaged the front wheel.

The well-known dangers of the penny-farthing[24] were, for the time of its prominence, outweighed by its strengths. While it was a difficult, dangerous machine, it was simpler, lighter, and faster than the safer velocipedes of the time. Two new developments changed this situation, and led to the rise of the safety bicycle. The first was the chain drive, originally used on tricycles, allowing a gear ratio to be chosen independent of the wheel size. The second was the pneumatic bicycle tire, allowing smaller wheels to provide a smooth ride.

The nephew of one of the men responsible for popularity of the penny-farthing was largely responsible for its demise. James Starley had built the Ariel (spirit of the air)[25] high-wheeler in 1870; but this was a time of innovation, and when chain drives were upgraded so that each link had a small roller, higher and higher speeds became possible without the need for a large front wheel.

Today, enthusiasts ride restored penny-farthings, and a few manufacturers build new ones with modern materials.[27] One of these manufacturers is UDC Penny Farthings, the largest penny-farthing manufacturer in the United Kingdom. The manufacturer recorded record sales of penny-farthings in 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown.[28]

The Penny Farthing Club is a cycling club that was founded in 2013 by Neil Laughton. The club offers rider training, bike tours of London and other UK cities, and hosts club events such as penny-farthing polo.[29]

The penny-farthing is a direct-drive bicycle, meaning the cranks and pedals are fixed directly to the hub. Instead of using gears to multiply the revolutions of the pedals, the driven wheel is enlarged to be close to the rider's inseam, to increase the maximum speed. This shifts the rider nearly on top of the wheel and makes it impossible for the rider to reach the ground while sitting on the seat.[3]

Although easy to ride slowly because of their high center of mass and the inverted pendulum effect,[34][35] penny-farthings are prone to accidents. To stop, the rider presses back on the pedals while applying a spoon-shaped brake pressing the tire. The center of mass being high and not far behind the front wheel means any sudden stop or collision with a pothole or other obstruction can send the rider over the handlebars.[36] On long downhills, some riders hooked their feet over the handlebars. This made for quick descents but left no chance of stopping.[3] A new type of handlebar was introduced, called Whatton bars, that looped behind the legs so that riders could still keep their feet on the pedals and also be able to leap forward feet-first off the machine.[37]

The record for riding from Land's End to John o' Groats on a penny-farthing was set in 1886 by George Pilkington Mills with a time of five days, one hour, and 45 minutes. This record was broken in 2019 by Richard Thoday with a time of four days, 11 hours and 52 minutes.[40][41]

Until the 21st century, the last paced hour record to be set on a penny-farthing was probably BW Attlee's 1891 English amateur record of 21.10 miles (33.96 km).[39] This was beaten by Scots cyclist Mark Beaumont at Herne Hill Velodrome on 16 June 2018 when he covered 21.92 miles (35.28 km).[42][43]

The bike, with the one wheel dominating, led to riders being referred to in America as "wheelmen", a name that lived on for nearly a century in the League of American Wheelmen until renamed the League of American Bicyclists in 1994.[45] Clubs of racing cyclists wore uniforms of peaked caps, tight jackets and knee-length breeches, with leather shoes, the caps and jackets displaying the club's colors. In 1967 collectors and restorers of penny-farthings (and other early bicycles) founded the Wheelmen,[46] a non-profit organization "dedicated to keeping alive the heritage of American cycling".

The high-wheeler lives on in the gear inch units used by cyclists in English-speaking countries to describe gear ratios.[47] These are calculated by multiplying the wheel diameter in inches by the number of teeth on the front chain-wheel and dividing by the teeth on the rear sprocket. The result is the equivalent diameter of a penny-farthing wheel. A 60-inch gear, the largest practicable size for a high-wheeler, is nowadays a middle gear of a utility bicycle, while top gears on many exceed 100 inches. There was at least one 64-inch (1.6 m) Columbia made in the mid-1880s,[48] but 60 was the largest in regular production.

A penny-farthing is the logo of The Village in the cult 1960s television series The Prisoner, and is also featured in the show's closing titles. Co-creator and star Patrick McGoohan stated that the bike represented slowing down the wheels of progress.

The British farthing is a continuation of the English farthing, struck by English monarchs prior to the Act of Union 1707 which unified the crowns of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain. Only pattern farthings were struck under Queen Anne as there was a glut of farthings from previous reigns. The coin was struck intermittently under George I and George II, but by the reign of George III, counterfeits were so prevalent the Royal Mint ceased striking copper coinage after 1775. The next farthings were the first struck by steam power, in 1799 by Matthew Boulton at his Soho Mint under licence. Boulton coined more in 1806, and the Royal Mint resumed production in 1821. The farthing was struck fairly regularly under George IV and Will