Rudge Rational, 1892, with pneumatic tires

A penny farthing with pneumatic tires is extremely rare. The different wheel sizes were a problem and the years when the first pneumatics were developed (1891-92) were also the last years the ordinary was built. If you ever find one of these bikes with the remains of original tires: don’t touch it!

I am not sure if the tires of this 1891 Rudge have been renewed, but I guess so. It is a unique bike and different from the other Rudge bikes I have seen from that period. Look at the broad rims and the brake spoon! The brake spoon turning point has been screwed onto the head. Spade grips and saddle make it look like an American bike. It sure must have been a very special ride!

In a French Rudge catalogue of 1892 I found an illustration of a very similar Rudge, fitted with ‘caoutchoucs creux’, which means it has cushion tires. There’s no mention of a version with pneumatics.

This bicycle is part of the magnificent collection of the Velorama museum in Nijmegen.