Rover 'Safety' bicycle, 1885

Made:
1885 in Coventry
maker:
Rover Company

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rover safety bicycle of 1885. (First embodiment of the modern arrangement.) (Saddle re-made by Brooks in 1961).

In the late 1870s bicycle designers were exploring new designs that would allow the rider to be closer to the ground, and that would therefore be safer. The British inventor John Kemp Starley designed the first successful 'safety' bicycle in 1885. It has all the basic features of standard modern bicycles, including chain drive, which meant that both wheels could be the same size. With the introduction of the safety bicycle cycling became enormously popular, among both men and women.

Details

Category:
Road Transport
Object Number:
1901-6
Measurements:
overall (approximate): 1100 mm x 650 mm x 1950 mm, 16.8kg
type:
bicycle
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • vehicle - transportation
  • land vehicle
  • passenger vehicle
credit:
Rover Cycle Co. Ltd.