wheels increased, and driving wheels, once about 44 ins., decreased till they became all one size, 28 ins., then 26 ins., where they remain to-day. The side elevation of a modern tricycle is exactly the same as a safety bicycle, and the weight of the road racing tricycle is sometimes no more than an average roadster safety.
There are cyclists, like Mr. F. T. Bidlake, who prefer a tricycle to a safety, and to such men a long ride on a tricycle is no more fatiguing than a safety bicycle ride of the same distance.
Very few large manufacturers, however, cater for the tricycle trade as the demand is so limited, and tricyclists mostly obtain their machines from local assemblers, who are much aided in their work by the beautiful tricycle balance geared axles made by the Abingdon firm of Tyseley, near Birmingham. This concern was one of the pioneers in the industry and originally were small arms makers in the gun making quarter of Birmingham.
Tandem tricycles and sociable tricycles are machines of the past. The latter were ponderous affairs weighing over 1 cwt. and mostly made by taking a front steering tricycle or a Rotary and coupling another wheel, crank axle and chain to the existing frame and extending it outwards to accommodate the seat or saddle of the companion rider.
Tandems were rather a different affair. The Olympia tandem of Marriott and Cooper and the Beeston Humber tandem were fast reliable machines. The former had a single rear driving wheel and two steering wheels actuated like the steering wheels of a motor car, i.e. each wheel was separately pivoted. The saddle for the front rider was carried on an extension of the frame and the handle-bar was bent to pass behind the rider’s back. Chains were used to convey the transmission