The crash of the late 1890s killed off many of the leading bicycle makers, and most of the others were absorbed into Colonel Pope’s ‘Trust’ – becoming the ‘American Bicycle Company’ – which itself collapsed several years later. Those cycle companies that were able to withdraw their profits and attract extra investment turned their back on cycle production and instead moved into the fledging automobile and motorcycle industries. So only a few leading American bicycle manufacturers remained in the field. This was a healthy situation, as it had been over-production, unreasonable competition and the enforced lowering of sales prices that had led to the crash six or seven years earlier. The Miami Cycle Co was one of the country’s top quality cycle manufacturers of the early twentieth century. Observe their motto in the advert above for that totally different wheel – ‘The Survival of the Fittest.’ They catered to a niche market, the same wealthy individuals who bought the new-fangled motorcycles …whose main criterion in choosing a machine was not price, but speed.
The Racycle stood out a mile, easily outclassing market leaders Columbia – whose top of the range model was a cushion-frame chainless – and Iver Johnson. The Racycle achieved a coup that no other manufacturer had to date achieved …a road bike with a track front sprocket. This was made rideable by a large rear sprocket and an 1/8th pitch chain with clearance equal to a Rizla paper.
The addition of the company’s optional Safety Cushion Tri-Spring front fork made it not only one of the most expensive bicycles in the USA but also one of the most dynamically-styled bicycles ever made in America.
1908 Cushion Frame Racycle Pacemaker
fitted with the optional Racycle ‘Safety Cushion Tri-Spring’ Fork
Track-size Sprocket with
1/8th Pitch Chain
THE RACYCLE SAFETY CUSHION TRI-SPRING FORK
1908 RACYCLE CATALOGUE EXTRACTS