History of the High Wheel Bicycle
The high wheel bicycle also known as the penny-farthing and high wheeler was invented by Eugène Meyer, a Frenchman, in 1869. It was popular in the 1870s and 1880s, with its large front wheel providing high speeds, allowing travel of large distance with every pedal stoke, and comfort, as the large wheel acted as a shock absorber. The high wheel also features a direct drive design, meaning the cracks and pedals are fixed directly to the hub. While this style of bike is no longer used by the average cyclist it set the stage of the bikes we love and ride today.