1871 – De Ariel.
Especially since the velocipede was very slow, they searched for an adjustment on this bike.
The Englishman James Starly and his partner William Hillman asked in 1870 patent, and in 1871 they brought on the market the Ariel.
Ariel had as adjustment, a larger front wheel in comparison with that of the velocipede.
The front wheel of the Ariel had a diameter of 125 cm and the rear wheel had a diameter of 35 cm
The rims and spokes were made of wire and the tires were made of solid rubber. The spokes in the wheels had not been crossed yet.
The bicycle was also called a penny farthing or a half cents. The first Ariel, was constructed by James Starley and was originally made of wood.
The Parisian Meyer made the first iron Ariel. The Ariel of 1874 is already of metal.
Still the pedals are stuck on the front axle. Due to the growing front wheels a hefty rate could be achieved; there were competitions with these bikes.
But you could also make a major blow. A small dimple in the road could be fatal and in the worst case you made a ‘header’: a somersault.
Many cyclist had to bite the dust and usually came out unscathed. It is perhaps not surprising that it was primarily a male activity.