Ever since man was able to propel himself forward at speed, whether by animal or wheeled vehicle, he has striven to do so at faster speeds or on increasingly elaborate machines. As you can see in the photo above, tall bicycles were built over a century ago, in this case to attract attention for publicity purposes.
1970s Tall Bike with Sidecar
54″ from top of saddle to the ground
Front Wheel 26 x 1 1/4″
Rear Wheels 26 x 1 3/8″
British eccentricity is not a new thing. Strange contraptions, including tall bikes, are an established part of British history. Humber built and sold an ‘Eiffel Safety’ at the end of the nineteenth century. The Eiffel Tower was topical at that time, being constructed in 1889, and was the centrepiece of both the 1889 World’s Fair and the Paris Exposition of 1900.
This Tall Bike has been designed and built with some consideration. The idea of a sidecar for extra stability is an interesting one, though with a passenger mounted I’m not sure if it helps or hinders. Cornering is certainly easier without a passenger.
There’s one brake, on the front wheel. Apart from renewing the tyres, the Tall Bike is ready to use. It would certainly be an excellent advertising medium.
The raised chainwheel was used on some bicycles of the 1890s, when it was known as ‘The Giraffe.’
I have a Giraffe, made by the Warwick Cycle Company around 1900 (below). I still haven’t got round to restoring it.
1940 AMERICAN ‘STILT BIKE’
1898 HUMBER ‘EIFFEL’ SAFETY BICYCLE