Visit the National Cycle Collection
and enter the World of the Bicycle
ow big is a Penny Farthing's wheel? And just how uncomfortable were those early bikes compared with today's hi-tech versions? Journey through the lanes of cycle history and see bicycles from 1819, such as the Hobby Horse, Boneshakers and Penny Farthings, up to the most modern Carbon Fibre machines of today.
Walk along our historic street complete with country garage including bicycle shops. Lamp collections, photographs, posters and enamel signs are displayed to enhance the period in which the bicycles are set. The Dunlop tyre story sets the stage for the entrance of the tyred bicycle. The exhibition hall contains displays on past racing stars such as Tom Simpson, Bill Bradley winner of the Milk Race in 1959/60, Billie Dovey the keep fit lady of the 1930's who rode just under 30,000 miles in one year, Barry Clarke National Mountain Bike Champion of 1996 and George Nightingale who rode the 25-mile in under an hour in 1938, to name but a few.
The are over 200 machines on display within the 6,000 square feet of floor space at any one time, with a similar number held in the reserve collection. Special themed exhibitions are always on display, for the list of current and forthcoming ones, please see the Events page.
For a brief history of the bicycle compiled by the past Curator David Higman, click this button