perhaps not easy
But it is actually not that difficult to ride a high wheel bicycle. Most people learn it within an hour. To mount it the rider scoots forward with one leg, while the other foot remain on the mounting peg. When there is enough momentum, the rider slip forward onto the saddle and then begins pedaling. This move is a piece of acrobatics but when you know how to do it, then you just do it. And when you have done it for the first time you probably would like to go on. Because this is not like other bikes. This is something very special.
when people ride bikes, good things happen
art of engineering
A high wheel bicycle is direct drive, meaning the cranks and pedals are direct to the hub. The front wheel can be enlarged to close to the rider´s inseam in order to increase the maximum speed. The bigger wheel the faster the bike. The frame is a single tube following the circumference of the front wheel, then diverting to a trailing rear wheel. It is all very simple, still a piece of art to construct and build.
Our bike is built to deliver great results on the road. It is light and stiff and can take a few knocks. We have done all what we can to produce the best of bikes and this is probably the most serious production of high wheel bicycles since the 1880´s. The super strong frame is made of 4130 CrMo steel, rims of alu alloy 6061 and handlebar of stainless steel. We are using high quality sealed bearings and the leather saddle is standard. The unique penny farthing tyres are solid PU and molded in one piece. Components like stem, headset, pedals and hubs are both beautifully crafted and of highest quality. The front wheel has 64 spokes and is laced in a five cross pattern. The rear wheel uses 24 spokes in a two cross pattern.
The geometry of the bike is similar to the ones which were built in the 1880´s. But we have no ambition to build a replica. We are building the perfect bike to ride without compromises. Our concept builds on simplicity. The result is a bike with classic but close to timeless design and with a loveable harmony. It´s a jewel, a jewel to use.
We are all different. Some riders would like the ultimate speed machine while others prefer a construction which works under all conditions. We have therefore two types of wheels which together with a change of some other parts give us two different set-ups. Both models uses the same frame; a TIG welded frame which is build with our our own CrMo tubes and forged parts. The result is a guaranteed strong frame. Without compromises.
All details (specifications, price, etc) about the bikes and the components can be found in the ”shop” (and in ”parts & accessories”). Use the blue info buttons.
The type #1 RACER is light and elegant. The rim is 30mm deep/20mm wide (alternative racing rim 20mm deep) and uses 14G spokes. The RACER comes with straight handlebar (two differen types), racing pedals (spd pedals as option) and 127mm crank arms (light weight 125mm cranks as option). There are nine different colours to choose from. The racer is made for roads in good condition and is not recommended for heavy use. It´s mainly a racing machine. The weight of a 52″ bike is 12,5 kg.more about the RACER
The type #2 TOURER is strong and sturdy. The rim is 25mm deep/25mm wide (alternative touring rim 33mm deep/23mm wide) and uses 13G spokes. The TOURER comes with moustache handlebar (straight handlebar as option), touring pedals and 152mm crank arms (dual cranks 125/150mm as option). There are nine different colours to choose from. The weight of a 52″ bike is 13,6 kg. The TOURER is the perfect bike for both short and long rides. Nice accessories to the TOURER are the 3″ bell and the saddle bag.more about the TOURER
Both TOURER:s and RACER:s are available in nine different colours: black, white, grey (Agathe Grey RAL7038), light blue (Pastel Blue RAL5024), red (Coral Red RAL3016), yellow (Golden Yellow RAL1004), blue (Ocean Blue RAL5020), green (Mint Green RAL6029) and pearl (Pearl Mouse Grey RAL7048).
We always deliver our bikes WITHOUT brakes (hand brakes). The nature of a highwheel bicycle is such a brake just not work the way you expect/want. ALWAYS first learn to ride the bike without brake. Then, when you are familiar with it´s nature, you can add a brake.
We are selling a caliper brake kit for the rear wheel. The brake kit is €35 (article no 2810).
We also have a very popular foot brake. This can not be used when you are sitting in the saddle but works great when you are standing on the peg (then your body weight is also on the rear wheel which make the braking effecient and safe). The foot brake is €35 (article no2811).
All our bikes are prepared for a brake (foot brake or caliper brake) with threads inside the rear fork.
It is important to have a bicycle of right size. The leg length is the key factor factor but there can be reasons for going up or down in size. Only the rider can tell when the bike is perfect. The SHW high wheel bicycle comes in five different sizes, from 48″ to 56″. It´s the diameter of the front wheel which indicates the bike size.
NOTE: The diagram below is for the TOURER. For the RACER you should go up one size (example: a rider of height 178 cm can ride a bike of 54″). The 48″ RACER fits a rider of 163 cm. We now also have the NEW 48″ XS TOURER which can be ridden by riders of approx height 160cm.
speed up and go racing
Races are spectacular. Riding in a group demands enormous concentration and is challenging enough. Doing it shoulder to shoulder in maximum speed is something else and requires special qualities from the riders. A bike from SHW can put you on the starting grid.