'Tension' bicycle

1871 in Stoke Newington

Grout 'Tension' bicycle, 1871. This could easily be mistaken as simply an early example of James Stanley’s ordinary bicycle (aka the penny-farthing), however this has a significant difference. The large wheel uses the W. H. J. Grout patent of 1870 making this a ‘Tension’ bicycle. The tension of the spokes can be adjusted by tightening or loosening the screws at the end of the spokes, improving the rider’s control of the bicycle. The tension patent was also used in tricycles which boasted the capability of easily riding up hills while other riders with non-tension tricycles had to dismount and push.

On display

Science Museum: Making the Modern World Gallery

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Road Transport
Object Number:
Oxford Motors Ltd.

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