1897: At last Colonel Pope was ready to launch his Columbia Chainless bicycle. He’d invested a lot of money in his shaft-drive project, buying up every relevant patent he could lay his hands on. The chainless bicycle concept was not new, but the new Columbia Chainless had two new aspects that assisted greatly in its marketing – it was lightweight and it worked well. As Colonel Pope was a master of publicity, the 1898 Model 50 Chainless arrived with much fanfare, and it was well-received by the press and the public alike.
1898 Columbia Chainless
Tall 26″ Frame
28″ Wooden Wheels
Columbia Script Pedals
This Model 50 Chainless is an older restoration, fitted with Columbia script pedals and an attractive period accessory – a wooden handlebar. Unusually, it has a tall 26″ frame – ideal for an inner leg measurement around 34″. The saddle is of the right age and style, though it has been painted on top. The nickel is in good condition and although there are a few scratches to the paintwork, the frame is in sound condition. The shaft-drive mechanism operates freely and it’s ready to ride.
1898 COLUMBIA CATALOGUE EXTRACTS