Carbon fiber penny farthing

Chemical company BASF asks “What if 19th Century bike inventors had modern chemistry and processes?”



It was the late 19th century bike boom that led directly to manufacturing, industrial process and chemical engineering innovations, so we’ve got a bit of a chicken-and-egg here, but still a fun video.

BASF describes their Concept 1865 Project here. Here are the highlights:

  • Made almost entirely with high-performance plastics, specialty foams, epoxy resin and polyurethane materials from BASF. Only its brakes, axles, and motor are still made of metal. Even the brake disk is plastic. Non-pneumatic tires are expanded thermoplastic polyurethane.
  • Yes, it has a motor. It’s in the rear hub. Battery is encased inside the seat.
  • Hydraulic brake.
  • Integrated LED light – red strips in the rear seatstays, white strips in the front fork.

Via Martin, who’s known for riding his old-fashioned high wheeler all around the San Francisco Bay Area.

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