Saturday, July 31, 2010

Spaldings Official Bicycle Guide for 1899

Spalding's Official Bicycle Guide for 1899 was digitized at the Library of Congress and is available from the Internet Archive. The publication is at once a review of the top bicycle racers at the time and advice for the novice. There is rather amusing analysis of bike saddle design based on anatomical features, with skeletal bottoms pearched on various saddles.

The "advice" seems to find much wrong with the person receiving the advice, sight unseen. For example, on the subject of "Why Chains Often Break" we read:

The reasons for this trouble are various, but tradesmen hold to the
opinion that it is mostly the chains on cheap wheels which have been
neglected all winter that break in the spring. They are rusty and
worn, and consequently weaker than they were. When taken out on
the road without being cleaned or adjusted the dust gets in them and
tightens them up so that an extra strain is imposed, under which they
part. Another cause is the erratic pedalling of riders who have never
learned how to properly manipulate their feet on a bicycle. The top
stretch of the chain is allowed to slacken and is then tightened sud-
denly by a violent thrust. Then it snaps.

So if your chain breaks, it is because you bought a cheap bike and then didn't take good care of it as well, so it's all your fault.

No comments:

Post a Comment