Welcome to the Future, The Penny Farthing Re-imagined

When Steampunk and the 21st century collide with a little help from the imagination of a team at BASF, the worlds largest chemical company, this centuries most highly over engineered penny farthing was born. The inspiration of the project originated from the chemical companies founding year – 1865, which is when Karl Drais first put pedals on “Dandy Horse” and introduced the world to the bicycle. 

Using two dozen different polymers, BASF and design partner DING3000, have rethought and updated every facet of this historical marvel.Penny Farthing 1865 to Today
The original velocipede was limited because it used a direct drive system. The lack of gears meant the  front wheel was often enlarged as close to the riders inseam as possible, which put the rider above the front wheel and made it difficult to dismount.

The e-velocipede remedies this issue by using an electric powered rear wheel, whose battery is stored in the detachable seat. The seat itself uses a special plastic to dissipate vibration, insulate the battery from the elements, and provide superior cushioning and wear life. e-velocipede future plastic bike LEDs
Integrated LEDs in the seatstays and fork provide ample light for night excursions. The carbon fiber reinforced fork is filled with two types of foam to ensure a pleasant ride. Future Plastics Penny FarthingThe rims are produced from a thermoplastic which is valued for it’s toughness, light weight, and ability to absorb energy. The material has been used to replace metals in places like battery carriers and crash absorbers.

Stopping power is provided by carbon fiber reinforced fabric embedded in a reinforced polymer, in order to withstand high heat and still offer a good braking surface.

If you can think of it, the BASF team already did it. Seriously. Want the full details? Check out their PDF on the Concept 1865 here for all the cool details.

Via Urban Velo


26 thoughts on “Welcome to the Future, The Penny Farthing Re-imagined

  1. Yet another wheelsize??? And right after they shoved 27.5 down our throats? I guess the real question is, will it work for enduro?

  2. Yet another wheelsize??? And right after the industry shoved 27.5 down our throats? I guess the real question is, is it good for enduro.

  3. WAIT A MINUTE… when he locked that thing up did you see him actually lock it to anything? Me neither. Maybe it just locks the wheels…. and if the rear wheel is motorized and has gears, why is he pedaling? I’m so confused….

  4. Steampunk? Really? It looks like they put some time and money, into this project, too bad they had to do that corny theme. Just do a normal looking bike if you want people to use it. Noone will want to look like a goof.

  5. Don’t you all worry, 5 years from now we’ll see some rad footage of a plaid wearing huckster type rocking some serious north shore trails (all while thumbing his nose at the guy on the mtb unicycle…)

  6. Yeah, I would hate to look “like a goof” as they do on those Segway things. Anyway, as an avid penny farthing rider, I think it is cool to see a company digging up its roots if you will. All the car companies are doing it, why is it a bad thing when another industry wants to? Great concept!

  7. But… is it better? I’m still waiting for a proper hydraulic drive with fluid lines inside the chainstays and a CVT, possibly regenerative braking as well.

  8. When did so many cyclists get so d*mn stupid? Did any of you watch and listen to the ad? They said IF the original inventor of the bicycle had today’s materials… gesh… if they had used a safety bike it would look like any $7k bike at your local shop. God, I think this will be the last time I read the comments section.
    Oh, and BTW that was the ORIGNAL tire size, long before 26″, 29″, 700c or 650… (lol).

    Hell, I think its actually a really good idea! no chain, gears, one less bearing set, safer for visibility… there just that endo issue to worry about.

  9. Apparently a number of people are confused about what a “concept bike” is. If you follow the link you’ll eventually end up at the Ding 3000 website. There you’ll learn that Ding3000 is a design company, and their intent with this bike design had nothing to do at all with bringing the bike to market.

    I think it’s a pretty cool exercise in design.

  10. Hi,

    Bit tricky to refer to history of chemistry. Especially if you have in your ekhem… portfolio this bit about manufacturing Zyklon B used for exterminating millions of people in concentration camps.

    Oh… And also using of slave labor…

    Apart of that interesting concept, but I prefer safe bike.


  11. I want to expose myself to design company publicity scheme pitches. They can’t all be oblivious to the uselessness of their “ideas”. How does a salesperson withstand their mark telling them every problem with their product in verbose detail? I don’t just want to have a chuckle; this is a social skill applicable to less extreme settings.

  12. JimmyZ apparently didn’t read what Ding 3000 read about the purpose of the video. That’s ok because JimmyZ’s style of commentary is popular with all the junior high and high school kids.

  13. Hi, I’m a penny farthing racer and steampunk from Oamaru, NZ. Could you make those bigger wheels, just the front wheel, not the bike itself, in a 51 inch size?

  14. Looks like a lot of design went into an……old design!!! I would never ride this but there are companies making penny farthings so there is a market for them .

    Would be better with a freehub with direct mounted cranks.

    Any technical data on THIS website would be great as the link isn’t working for me.

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