Throwback Thursday: The World’s First Full-Suspension Bicycle, circa 1888

Ahead of its time

The world’s first suspension bike debuted in 1885, but it was discontinued three years later. The arrival of air-filled, pneumatic tires in 1888 provided the cushion needed for riding bikes on the bumpy roads of the 1880’s and made the Whippet full-suspension bike obsolete.  Mountain bike frame builder Paul Brodie shared the below diagram and brief history of the Whippet full-suspension bike at the North American Handmade Bike Show a few years ago. Paul Brodie was one of the early pioneer frame builders in mountain biking. When last we spoke with him, he was teaching classes on bicycle frame building at the University of Fraser Valley in British Columbia.