Bicycle Diaries: Chicago to Miami in 30 days

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Chicago to Miami in 30 days

with the Ingo-bike

Sighted on last month's
Chicago Critical Mass

I wondered what the hell it was. Then during a google search on another topic I stumbled across a few jpegs. First called the Exercycle, the pedal-less, gear-less bike was invented by the Huyssen brothers and manufactured by Chicago's Ingersoll-Rand Corporation from 1934 to 1937. The inspiration for the Ingo-bike was the limber platform of some homemade scooters that moved with the up-and-down motion of the rider.

So it's powered by the rider making a bouncing motion on the platform which turns the eccentric hub rear wheel. It has a tall front stem that connects the handlebars to the front tire for steering. To prove that it worked, a team of Ingo-Bikers made an incredible trek from Chicago to Miami on the odd machines in just over 30 days.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my former mechanics had one that his uncle had given him. One interesting feature is that the main frame is a pair of leaf springs, which allow the stem and handlebars to flex back towards the rider, and thus store and transmit more energy more smoothly to the rear wheel. According to the generous uncle (who had purchased it new), the motion required to ride it was "like a monkey fuckin' a jug." Many modern versions have been built (see the Bicycle Forest site), but none that I have seen use the sprung frame. Val

21/6/07 14:28  

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