The Paul Brodie 1888 Whippet Full Suspension
The Whippet was hand made in London, England, by C.M. Linley and J. Biggs. Apparently, they were Cycle Engineers of some repute! Whippets were produced from 1885 to 1888, then the Dunlop pneumatic tire came on the scene, and the spring-framed bicycle was suddenly obsolete. For those 3 years though, it was a great success. The Whippet design was exceptionally unique, and definitely ahead of it's time. It did, however, have a design flaw-- adjusting the chain caused the (2) headtubes to slowly become increasingly mis-aligned, resulting in the front "scissor linkage" gradually unable to work when the bars were turned... the Whippet has (7) pivot points in it's suspension design.
Here's a few specifications: wheelbase...........43.5" weight...................44 lbs tire diameter........30" (some Whippets had 27.5" rear tires..) geared to 55.5" final drive.............block chain and sprockets brake....................rear spoon brake pedals are adjustable from 5.75 to 6.5" (crank length..)
What's it like to ride? I'm told it was a terrible bike to ride! First of all, solid rubber tires. Then, the suspension had one spring with ZERO dampening, so every time you pedaled, it "bobbed". Finally, the seat was mounted on a big coil spring, so you were bobbing on a seat that was bobbing on a frame... Yahoo!
Whippets are rare bicycles; there are (probably) less than ten surviving today; mostly in Museums and private collections. This 1888 Whippet was built by Paul Brodie, from the line drawing below, and photos of another Whippet in a Museum 3000 miles away.
Paul teaches Framebuilding 101 at UFV (University of the Fraser Valley) and would be happy if you enrolled in his course!
Course info> 604 847 5471 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ufv.ca/bicycleframe
Here's the Whippet at the Open House Feb 9 / 12 > cranks are machined from 954 bronze: