Why do old fashioned bicycles have huge front wheels?
(Lansing State Journal, January 13,1993)
In the 1800's, bicycles with large front wheels called penny farthings were quite common. These bicycles had no gears or chains as bicycles do today. Instead, the pedals were attached directly to the tricycle. When the pedals were pushed through one full turn the wheel would also rotate one full turn. This meant that the bigger the wheel the farther the penny farthing could go on one turn of the pedals. The penny farthing used an extremely large wheel and traveled faster than other gearless bicycles.
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