1876 'Coventry' Tricycle

MA 05 Coventry Tricycle.jpg
MA 05 Coventry Tricycle.jpg

1876 'Coventry' Tricycle

7.50

This illustration represents a type of two-track cycle which for over a decade became one of the most popular machines on the road. The first models, known as Coventry 'Lever' tricycles, were introduced in 1876. On these tricycles the treadle lever-type drive to the rear wheel proved heavy and unreliable, so the Coventry manufacturers changed over to the simpler method of an endless chain drive. The Coventry 'Lever' tricycle was patented by J. K. Starley and in 1877 sold for about ten guineas. It proved to be one of the most comfortable and safe machines of the period. The solid iron frame consists of a longitudinal bar carrying at each end a small wheel inside a conventional cycle fork, the wheel being free to swivel in a plain hole in the frame member. A large side wheel is attached to the frame by a stub axle mounted on another member attached to the side bar. The seat for the rider is carried on two flat springs attached to the frame holding the side wheel. The driving mechanism consists of pedals on levers which are in turn attached to the cranks by lengths of chain. These chains, when in tension, act as connecting rods and so pull the cranks round. The large side wheel is 50 inches (127 cm) in diameter and the small front and rear wheels 24 inches (61 cm). Solid rubber tyres are fitted. The Coventry tricycle has a wheelbase of 5 feet (1.5 m), an overall length of 7 feet (2.13 m) and is 3 feet (90 cm) wide.

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