Because the highwheel bicycles had tricky handling characteristics, many attempts were made to build a safety bicycle. In its final form, with equal diameter wheels giving more stable and predictable handling

A lower center of gravity and chain and sprocket drive, it indeed was a much safer bicycle. The woman’s version often had a rear guard to avoid entangling long dresses, which were the fashion of the day. This example’s hard tires and construction, similar to highwheelers, date it as one of the earliest safety bicycles. The accepted date for the true safety, complete with balloon tires, is set at just after 1887. The identity of the builder of this safety is unknown.

Accession no. 1988G11

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