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Q & A: Old bikes with big wheels

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
on thoes really old bikes was there a reason that the wheel was so big? or are thoes bikes just a joke or something?
- James
U.S
A:
I think it was just so it could go faster. There wasn't a chain with gears on it to vary the ratio of how many turns the pedal made to the number of turns the wheel made, so to go faster you just made a bigger wheel.

There are lots of reasons not to make big wheels -- it's hard to climb up, accidents hurt more, it's harder to get the bike started from rest, and it's hard to pedal one of these things up a hill. I wouldn't want to be going down a steep hill on one either.

But those bikes were for real! We laugh at them now.

Tom

(published on 10/22/2007)

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