Early Ice Bike

Joe Steinlauf demonstrates his spiked icebike tires in Chicago, 1948.


Ice bike ridden by its inventor, Joe Steinlauf, Chicago. 1948.

The Steinlauf family were known for the frankenbike creations they produced at oldest brother Joe’s Chicago bike repair shop. Besides this spike tire bike, the Steinlaufs built a tallbike from a bed frame, crazy chopper bikes, and even a three level pyramidal bike with 10 cyclists on the first deck, seven riders on the 2nd deck, and three on the top deck.

Joe was also a gun nut, so he built “the two-seater for gangsters who can’t afford a car” — a crazy tandem bike with 10 rifles, three pistols, a searchlight, bayonets and handcuffs. This might come in handy for some modern day road warriors such as the legendary Spike Bike from Detroit.

Steinlauf Gun Bike

Photos © Time Inc. From the LIFE photo gallery.