1887 Rudge ‘Cross-Frame’ Bicycle


Early Bicycles 1791-1907

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ln 1879 H. J. Lawson, the inventor of the chain-driven bicycle, became manager of Messrs D. Rudge & Co. It was natural for a clever engineer like Lawson to modify and improve his earlier ideas on bicycle frame design and the ‘Cross-Frame’ safety bicycle was introduced in 1887.The unusual frame design comprises a strong large diameter steel tube which forms. the ‘backbone’ of the bicycle. This tube is parallel to the ground from the top of the front fork to the steering column and then drops down at an angle to finally divide into a fork which accommodates the rear wheel. The front fork on this bicycle is unusual in being raked rearwards. The front wheel is steered from the handlebars by a crank and connecting rods. The novel design of frame results in the complete bicycle weighing nearly 50lb (22.7 Kg). The block-driving chain runs on sprockets having 16 teeth at the pedal crank and 9 teeth at the rear wheel. Pedal crank radius may be adjusted to suit the rider. Both road wheels are 29½ inches (75cm) in diameter, tension spoked, and fitted with solid rubber tyres. The wheel base is 40 inches (102 cm). A prop-stand is located on the front forks to support the bicycle when stationary.

Additional information

Weight 0.013 kg
Dimensions 38.1 × 25.3 cm