Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wright Brothers 1898

alternative textOnly five bicycles manufactured by the Wright brothers are known to exist. This one, a model they called the St. Clair, was built in 1898. Less expensive than the Van Cleve, the St. Clair sold for $42.50.

Orville and Wilbur Wright began their bicycle repair business in 1892, and soon added rentals and sales. In 1896 they began manufacturing and selling bicycles of their own design, the Van Cleve and St. Clair, named after their ancestors. They invented the self-oiling hub and the innovation of machining the crankarm and pedal on the left side of the bike with left-hand threads to prevent the pedal from coming unscrewed while cycling.

Image: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution


  1. These bikes are really nicely proportioned. I have a question; what size tires did these racers run on, I presume it was 28 x 1-1/3, ETRTO: 35-635, maybe someone can shed some light on this.

    Jorge Ullfig

  2. They run two sizes... 28 1 3/8 and 28 1 1/2.

  3. Ok, so a
    28 1 3/8 would be ETRTO 37-635 (700x35B — rare today)
    while a
    28x1-1/2 would be ETRTO: 40-635 (700x38B)

  4. yup, the 28 1 1/2 are from Schwalbe Tyres and the 1 3/8's are old Dunlop Roadster tyres made in New Zealand.

  5. Hallo Bishops,
    This is my favourite, beautiful colour! Goes really fine with gold/yellowish rims. Such a serious bike.

    I would love to ask something about the frame. Can you please tell me the measurements between the lugs, please, if no secret? I would like to know all, but the most important points would be 1st: the length between the crank-center-back fork's ending, 2nd: crank-mid -the front fork ending.
    I appreciate it.
    The Netherlands

  6. salve... sono un collezionista italiano volevo chiedere alcune informazioni sul tipo di gomme che monta questa bici- PALMER o SMONTABILI con CAMERA- e sulla misura (28X1 3/8- A) (oppure 28x1 1/2- B) oppure (28x1 5/8-C) e se possono essere reperibili e di che misura si trovano al momento.


  7. Isn't the stem mounted the wrong way? Seems backwards to me...