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In this highly readable book, Nick Clayton charts the origins of the bicycle, a machine that is still regarded as the most efficient means of translating human energy into motion. Focusing on the early years of development, the author examines the technological developments that have led to the modern bicycle, including the hobby-horse, velocipede, boneshaker, tricycle, the pneumatic tyre, shaft drive, hub-gear, derailleur and many others. He also looks at differences in design, whether for ladies' bikes or for sport and off-road vehicles. The book is filled with interesting information and anecdotes and the author tackles such questions as why the penny-farthing had such a large front wheel or the meaning of trail-and-fork offset. As the bicycle continues to grow in popularity, both as an environmentally friendly travel solution and for sports as varied as triathlon and cyclo-sportive, this book provides you with all the answers you need about one of the most ingenious human inventions.