Last weekend saw the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show in Sacramento, California, where the greats of bicycle frame building gathered to exhibit their finest. Paul Brodie was showing his extraordinary 1888 Linley and Biggs Whippet replica to publicise his frame building course at the University of the Fraser Valley. The Whippet is a full suspension bicycle, where the saddle, handlebars and bottom bracket remain in the same position as the rest of the bike ‘suspends’! Paul, who is an amazing engineer, built the bike from scratch and you can see some of his other projects here, which include a fantastic replica of an 1896 Roper steam powered motorbike. The Whippet caused something of a stir at the NAHBS! As he was exhibiting as an educational institution the bike was not eligible for most of the awards, but it won what was described as a landslide victory in the People’s Choice category.
A while ago Paul approached me to make the leather saddle cover for the bike. He wanted to use the coil spring saddle frame type that was on the Museum bike that he was copying, so I made the cover to the pattern of a Harrington Cradle Spring Saddle, a very distressed original version of which is in my collection. Unfortunately Paul was unable to finish the saddle support in time for the show so the cover is hanging precariously by its nose, to be completed later. The saddle was a complicated one, having eighteen cut-outs! It was good to be involved with Paul as part of this most interesting project. More photo’s of the bike are available here. Photo’s of the Whippet Replica courtesy Paul Brodie.