Yesterday, my boss picked up this....ahem!..."gem". It's a 19th century ladies shaft drive bike featuring more carbon fiber! The rims and the handle bars are wood on this baby! (If you're having a little trouble with yesterdays and todays refernces to carbon fiber, then let me help you out. Wood is a form of carbon fiber! That's right, natures own little version of lightweight nirvana.)
That's not the reason I show this bike to you. The real reason for this is the wheels. I took an un-official measurement of rim diameter using my trusty Stanley tape measure, and found that the rim diameter on this bike is slightly larger than 700c. That's right folks. Even though the grips, saddle, and pedals on this bike are downsized for the ladies, the wheels are big. Bigger diameter rolls over stuff better. We were able to get some air in these crusty, over 100 year old clincher tires, and I'd say the rubber on these is at least a 1.8 inch width. Yep! It's a 29"er folks! A fixed gear, shaft drive, 29"er! Just goes to show you, they really knew a thing or two back then and we are just standing on the shoulders of our ancestors.
So, next time someone says to you something about those "new 29 inch wheeled bikes" being a fad, or weird, or whatever, just look 'em in the eye and say, " 29"ers? It's old news my friend. What rock did you just crawl out from under?" Ha, ha!
History. Don't ever turn your back on history! There's higher intellegence in them thar years!