Patents, Profits, & Perceptions
The Single-Tube Tire and the Failure of the
American Bicycle, 1897–1933
The American single-tube tire dominated the
United States’ bicycle market for forty years,
from the close of the 1890s Bicycle Boom to the
Great Depression in the 1930s. The tire was of
unique and simple construction, having its outer
casing and inner tube vulcanized together as an
inseparable unit, and was usually glued to a
wooden-rimmed wheel. This tire type was almost
unknown outside America.
During the single-tube’s reign, bicycles fell
almost totally out of general use in the United
States—a false start that has hampered American
cycling ever since. The relationship of the
single-tube tire to the early decline of
American cycling lends itself to the social
construction of technology, or SCOT, which seeks
to understand counterintuitive technical
developments by studying real-life applications
and the perceptions of users.
The single-tube tire’s dominance defied the
simple rules of supply and demand, and countered
most conceptions of rational technical
development. The single-tube did not thrive due
to technical superiority, but rather through the
machinations of industrialists, and because of a
disconnect between consumers’ ideals and their
practical needs. Colonel Albert Pope and others
manipulated patents, markets, and social
perceptions to the tire’s advantage. In the end,
the tire’s drawbacks not only caused its own
downfall, but also impeded America’s future
prospects for practical cycling.
Throughout most of the world, the early
twentieth century was an important turning point
for cycling. As bicycle technology stabilized
and bicycle prices fell, cycling transitioned
smoothly from a bourgeois pastime into
commonplace transportation. Cultural enthusiasm
for cycling waned in the 1900s, but production
and registration figures for bicycles
However, this did not happen in the United
States. Instead, American bicycle production
dropped off precipitously in 1898 and never
fully recovered. Thirteen years after the
Bicycle Boom, U.S. production was no more than a
quarter what it had been, and perhaps as little
as a tenth. Consequently, the post-boom era is
known in America as the bicycle bust.
Many historians assume the bicycle’s early
failure in the United States was inevitable—that
the American public was never receptive to
practical cycling, and that North American
geography posed insurmountable barriers to cycle
transportation. Many also assume the rise of the
automobile prevented cycling from gaining a
foothold. But careful analysis shows both
interpretations to be false.
In a practical sense, turn-of-the-century
America was not very different from regions
where cycling nonetheless prevailed—poor roads,
vast distances, and harsh climates did not
dissuade practical cycling elsewhere. In the
smaller worlds of Americans at the time,
bicycles would have offered a viable alternative
to horses in the country and to streetcars in
the city and, when carried on railroads,
bicycles could have added flexibility to
distance travel as well. The idea that
automobiles displaced bicycles is
impossible—bicycle use declined more than twenty
years before automobiles became commonplace.
The American Bicycle as a Socio-Technical
A more likely explanation for the American
bicycle’s early failure is evident in its own
distinctive design, and how poorly it suited the
changing market. American bicycles were
different from bicycles elsewhere, and comprised
a unique collection of technological choices.
Historians in the social sciences call this a
unique socio-technical ensemble.
In the case of the American bicycle, this
ensemble featured the following technical
elements: wood-rims, minimal brakes, hard
saddles, high gears, light construction, the
notable lack of practical amenities such as
fenders, stands, or luggage racks, and the use
of fast, single-tube tires. In short, the
typical American bicycle was a sports machine,
or at least pretended to be so. This was
understood at the time. Maria Ward, a popular
cycling author, advised her readers that
American bicycles had "evolved on the race-track
and for the conditions determined thereon." This
stood in contrast to the sturdy touring
roadsters that became ubiquitous elsewhere.
In the nineteen-teens, the ensemble evolved
into a strained combination of sporting features
and cumbersome accessories. While some additions
were welcome, like stands, racks, and
comfortable seats, most were useless gadgets.
Yet the imagery of sport and speed remained. By
the late nineteen-twenties, typical models
weighed up to fifty pounds, but catalogs still
described them as "light and swift" and the
awkward machines retained their high gearing,
absent chain guards, and single-tube tires.
Of all the American bicycle’s differences,
its single-tube tires were the most profound.
Tires are critical to bicycle design—they
provide traction, isolate shock and vibration,
and reduce rolling resistance. Most important,
however, tires account for bicycles’ most costly
and troublesome routine maintenance. On this
point single-tube tires proved pivotal, and
disastrous, for American cycling.
In 1888, John Boyd Dunlop introduced
inflatable pneumatic tires to cycling, securing
the industry’s evolution toward small-wheeled
safety bicycles. Within months, competing
inventors jockeyed for position in a burgeoning
pneumatic tire market.
Dunlop himself was the first to seize on the
importance of patents. Unfortunately for him,
his pneumatic tire patent was invalidated—a
similar idea had been applied to carriages forty
years earlier. To save his enterprise, Dunlop
began buying up specific design patents that had
followed his tire’s introduction. Chief among
these was a patent from Charles Welch for an
easily detachable "wired on" pneumatic tire,
securing for Dunlop the simplest, most practical
form of the pneumatic tire.
Dunlop’s original tire had a structural
casing that was awkwardly glued around the
outside of the metal wheel rim. The fragile
air-tube inside was not easily accessible for
repair. In contrast, Welch’s design allowed the
outer tire to be easily removed. An inextensible
wire hoop was molded into each edge of the
tire’s casing, whose diameter was carefully
matched to the rim. The tire could be easily
worked onto the wheel, and held fast when
inflated. Dunlop also bought a similar American
patent by A.T. Brown and G.F. Stillman. The
resulting "Dunlop-Welch" pattern later became
the basis for most pneumatic tire applications
including automotive tires, but in the early
years its hegemony was not assured.
In the American market, alternative pneumatic
designs quickly sprang up to compete with
Dunlop. One was the clincher, developed by
Thomas Jeffrey and marketed as the G&J clincher.
Like the Dunlop tire, the clincher was also easy
to remove from the wheel. Rather than using
inextensible wire beads, however, its
carefully-formed edges simply locked into
grooves in the wheel rim. The idea worked well
and steered clear of Welch’s patent. Dunlop was
able to secure a similar English patent by
William Bartlett, but Jeffrey remained
A third alternative was the double-tube tire
of Morgan & Wright. The double-tube’s structural
casing was sewn tightly around the inner tube
and the whole assembly was glued to the rim,
similar to modern racing "sew-ups." These tires
were light, comparatively cheap to manufacture,
and performed well. Their primary drawback was
their being glued to the wheel.
But the most important challenger to Dunlop
proved to be the single-tube tire. I.W.
Boothroyd first described this tire in England
in 1890, and American Pardon W. Tillinghast
demonstrated a similar tire the same year. The
single-tube tire was "composed of an inner tube,
an intermediate layer of structural fabric, and
an outer rubber covering, all vulcanized
together into an integral annular tire." It was,
in essence, a glorified loop of rubber hose.
In 1891, the Pope Manufacturing Company,
America’s largest bicycle maker, introduced its
first pneumatic-tired safety. It featured the
first single-tube tires. Pope’s choice would
help these tires dominate the American market,
and in doing so define a distinctively American
Colonel Albert Pope, president of the Pope
Manufacturing Company, chose the single-tube
tire because it was not patented, and thought to
be unpatentable. Pope had built his business by
controlling the bicycle industry through patent
ownership, and refused to pay fees to others.
His patent acquisitions began when he wrested
control of the original Lallement velocipede
patent, from which he earned $10 for every
bicycle ridden in America. Pope reinvested the
income to bolster cycling—he supported road
building, the League of American Wheelman, and
lobbied on cycling’s behalf.
The sudden success of the pneumatic-tired
safety bicycle troubled Pope because of its
close relationship to the foreign Dunlop patent
monopoly. It didn’t help that an American
competitor held the best alternative tire, the
Pope was caught off guard. He had mistakenly
placed his bet with traditional hard-tired
high-wheelers. When pneumatic tires made safety
bicycles popular, Pope had to change course
quickly. To do so and maintain his autonomy,
Pope desperately needed a pneumatic tire. The
single-tube tire was his only license-free
choice, and he took it.
The Tillinghast Patents
Pope introduced single-tube tires on his
Columbia, and encouraged the tire’s wider
adoption by the industry. Many makers found the
patent-free tire appealing.
When Tillinghast saw his brainchild succeed,
the inventor belatedly applied for and received
two patents in 1892 and 1893. He waited three
years to defend them, by which time forty-five
single-tube manufacturers held 70 percent of the
U.S. market. When Tillinghast finally confronted
the industry, few people paid attention—most
doubted the tire’s novelty because of its
resemblance to rubber hose.
But Pope nonetheless purchased Tillinghast’s
patents, and then turned to his cohorts for
fees. Twenty-one tire makers bought Pope’s
licenses and formed an association to enforce
them. If the licenses were not respected,
non-payers would be at an advantage.
The question remained whether the patents
were defensible. In 1899, the Tillinghast Tire
Association brought lawsuits against two major
producers. To everyone’s surprise a
Massachusetts court sustained the patents—a hose
was not a tire after all.
Single-Tube Tire Hegemony
In 1899, the Tillinghast Tire Association
became The Single Tube Automobile and Bicycle
Tire Co. Ironically, Colonel Pope himself bowed
out just as the new company gained irreversible
Pope’s share in the Tillinghast patents fell
into the hands of America’s largest industrial
rubber conglomerate, The Rubber Goods
Manufacturing Company. This company had already
acquired the American Dunlop Tire Company and
its U.S. patents. In 1907, the Rubber Goods
Manufacturing Company was in turn taken over by
its chief competitor, The United States Rubber
In 1911, United States Rubber acquired all
four important American bicycle tire
manufacturers, including Hartford Tire, Morgan &
Wright, and G&J. The new tire division became
the United States Tire Company, and was a near
monopoly because it brought together all the
proprietary designs, patents, and manufacturing
techniques used in the country.
The monopolization of the U.S. bicycle tire
industry proved the death-knell for the
single-tube’s alternatives. The single-tube had
always been the American industry’s favorite,
and now there was no incentive for United States
Tire to foster any other.
Pope’s first single-tube tires did not get
rave reviews on performance. One writer
described his initial experience:
"Hosepipe" and "inflated cushion" were the
terms of opprobrium that were hurled at it (…)
[It] was of large diameter, tremendously heavy,
and bore more resemblance to fire hose than to
anything else I knew of (…) [I]t ran as if the
tires were filled with water.
But later, by reducing the wall thickness,
introducing materials like Palmer "all warp"
fabric, and other refinements, the single-tube’s
performance came around. Single-tubes eventually
rated well against Dunlop and other rivals, and
finally surpassed them.
Above all, the tires became smaller and
lighter. Industry-wide fads for skinny tires
resulted in widths as narrow as 13/16 in. in
1903, and eventually settled around 15/8 in. By
the late 1890s, single-tube tires had a
reputation that complimented American cyclists’
sporting ideal. One writer observed that, "… the
tendency in the United States was wholly toward
single tubes, (…) it having been found that a
small single tube, pumped hard, is the fastest
of all for road use."
The perception that single-tubes were fast
tires may have been partly due to their use with
wooden rims. McKee and Harrington of New York
City pioneered the use of wood-rimmed wheels
in1891, the same year Pope introduced the
American white ash and rock elm were lighter
and more resilient than steel, and stronger
across the lateral plane. Some weighed up to 40
percent less than steel rims. In combination
with light single-tube tires, the total savings
could be up to three pounds. This was considered
important when it was claimed that "an ounce
saved in the wheels [was] worth a pound saved in
Also, wood rims took advantage of indigenous
wood-craftsmanship. In contrast to the primitive
wheels of the velocipede era, these new wood
rims were a technological triumph, using the
latest techniques of bending, joinery, and
The main disadvantage of single-tube tires
was their impracticality. Single-tubes could be
decidedly hard to live with. The first reason
was the tire’s poor repairability, and the
second was the difficulty of mounting or
removing them from the rim. Both problems
affected the cycling experience, and both had
From the outset, cyclists were concerned
about repairing single-tubes. Because of the
tire’s unique construction, practical repairs
were not obvious.
We asked sarcastic questions of each other
about it; what would be done in case it did
puncture, (…) and we agreed that it would be
rather expensive to have to throw away a tire
whenever this happened.
The challenge lay in the two types of damage
pneumatic tires incurred, and the respective
repairs needed to restore them. One typical
failure was when the inner tube became
punctured, and the other when the structural
fabric was cut or torn. Tires with separate
inner tubes allowed the matters to be handled
separately—one need only remove the inner tube
from the casing. Tubes could then be patched by
the roadside; casings could be mended and
reinforced. If either was beyond repair, it
could be discarded without having to replace the
The single-tube tire, on the other hand, had
all its components vulcanized together. The
inner tube was trapped inside and inaccessible,
and the structural fabric was sandwiched in the
layers of rubber—impossible to isolate for
repairs. The problem was inherent to the design.
Small punctures were not a great problem. If
the fabric was intact, you could insert a
"plug"—similar to repairs on modern tubeless car
tires. Plugs were sometimes made of rubber
bands, or took other patented forms. Repair kits
had promising names like "Sure Thing," "Common
Sense," and "Minute Repair Kit."
However, even straightforward punctures could
bring trouble. For one, the rider couldn’t
always locate the actual damage. Single-tubes
became "porous," allowing air to work through
the fabric and find multiple exits. A nail going
deep enough to injure the tire’s interior on the
opposite side would create an invisible leak. In
this case, one could inject sealing solution
into the tire and roll it around to try to seal
the damage. But the only realistic option was to
locate the damage with a probe, puncture it
through to the outside, and put in a second
As bad as punctures could be, damaged fabric
presented even more serious problems. If this
damage was reparable at all, it was only
possible in a professional shop. Repair manuals
wouldn’t even describe the method, called
vulcanizing—not even for accomplished cyclists.
In this case, a repairman had to strip away the
outer rubber, mend the fabric, and then rebuild
the tire’s rubber exterior. The process involved
caustic compounds, heat, a vulcanizing mold, and
This expensive work had to be done with
aggravating frequency. When asked, one repairman
pointed to a stack of rebuilt tires and admitted
that, "…doubtless half of them will come back to
us one or more times during the course of the
season to be doctored again."
Vulcanization was expensive but, if
successful, produced a sound repair. By
contrast, roadside fixes for damaged fabric
could only be described as ridiculous. Two such
repair products were "tire tape" and metal
Pope himself promoted tire tape as a
temporary fix. The cyclist simply wound adhesive
tape tightly around both tire and rim, to seal
and support the damage. The absurd "repair"
looked like a bandaged arm.
Patented metal plugs were similarly comical.
These odd devices helped when rubber plugs would
not hold. Metal plugs came in three parts: a
flat oblong base, a threaded stem, and a thin
"nut." To make a repair, one worked the base
through the puncture, pulled the stem back to
seat it, screwed the nut down into the tread,
and trimmed off the stem. Unfortunately, the
cyclist was left with a metal nut stuck in the
tread, and the resulting clatter on the
The complexity, insufficiency, and expense of
repair options meant that far more single-tubes
were discarded than other tires, and
replacements bought with far greater frequency.
Single-tubes also brought the expense of
gluing, unlike Dunlops and clinchers, which were
mounted without tools. Gluing was tricky, and
the bond had to resist complex forces. Tires
frequently came loose, sometimes just from
standing in the sun, and could easily pull off
the valve stem. More important was the
possibility of "rolling" a tire off the rim
while cornering. Tire mounting was best done by
a shop, where it was among the "most frequent
jobs" and required a flame-heated cement kettle.
Later, liquid cements allowed cyclists to
attempt emergency repairs, but the solvents were
also hazardous. Glue-less attachment systems
were tried, such as molded nipples that locked
into the rim and serrated washers to grip the
tire—but none caught on.
The wood rims presented problems too,
primarily from their vulnerability to damp
weather. Some were wrapped in fabric to make
them watertight, but none were as durable as
steel. Wood rims also limited braking options
because they couldn’t provide a friction
surface. For this reason, many U.S. bicycles
eschewed brakes entirely, or depended on a
single, unreliable rear coaster brake.
Given the apparent disadvantages, why did the
U.S. bicycle industry prefer making
single-tubes? First, they were cheap to make—as
cheap, in fact, as rubber hose. The tire was
built on a mandrel, its ends brought together
and spliced, and then cured in a mold. The tire
was also cheap because it was simply glued to
the wheel. There were no inextensible wires to
be sewn in the casing, or reinforced clincher
beads. The bottom line was that single-tubes
cost half as much as other tires.
Industry liked cheap tires because they
lowered new bicycles prices, a fact that became
more pronounced as time went on. In the
mid-1890s tire choice affected a bicycle’s price
by about 9 percent. But because bicycle prices
fell faster than tire prices, in 1900 tire
choice influenced prices by 34 percent, and in
1908 by a whopping 42 percent.
Another reason industry liked single-tubes
was their need for frequent replacement—the
tires themselves were profitable. In the glutted
bicycle market, manufacturers could sell
bicycles at a loss and recoup their profits with
In contrast, the economics of single-tubes
were disastrous for consumers. During the Boom,
recreational riders hadn’t minded the
single-tube’s expense, and they liked the sporty
handling. But later, practical-minded riders
found the single-tube’s high costs frustrating.
Frank Schwinn, a rare detractor in the industry,
fumed about single-tube tires:
Just how much this silly tire policy held
back the [bicycle’s] development as an adult
transportation factor will never be known.
While American cyclists were largely
oblivious to their comparative disadvantage, the
contrast was clear to bicycle importers abroad.
One Danish buyer stated flatly, "our people
won’t take single tube tires," and an Englishman
dissembled the problem for American readers:
Riders feel that they must have some easy and
fairly quick way of effecting permanent repairs.
They cannot be dependent upon repair shops, but
must be prepared to make the repair themselves,
anywhere and at any time.
A Dutchman was simply flabbergasted by the
While detachable tires are practically in
universal demand, the [American] job lots were
fitted with… cemented tires… [and] it appeared
difficult to impress the fact upon the American
Not surprisingly, American exporters found
few enthusiastic buyers.
What prevented Americans from making the
changes required by changing conditions?
Shortsighted business leadership was a prime
culprit, and consumers’ failure to champion
their needs was another. Many at the time also
noted the distracting intoxication of motor
technology. Colonel Pope himself was said to be
building automobiles "…for just one person:
himself," as his bicycle empire fell to ruin.
The infatuation captivated bicycle makers and
mechanics alike. In 1909, one frustrated
Mr. Bicycle Man is spending all of his spare
time tinkering with planes, propellers and
whatnots… before long he is neglecting his
business. On my last trip through New York State
I found half a dozen such cases.
It was said not even second-rate minds
remained engaged in improving bicycles.
The single-tube story finally ended in 1933,
when forward-thinking Schwinn introduced
detachable balloon tires on his breakthrough B
10-E. Shortsighted business practices and
consumer complacency had undermined a promising
technology for forty years. Within a year, the
single-tube all but vanished from the market.
"Facts and Figures Show Bicycle Industry’s
Progress," Bicycle News, the Bicycle Trade
Authority 3 (March, 1917), 5. Bruce Epperson,
"How Many Bikes?", in Cycle History 11:
Proceedings: 11th International Cycle History
Conference (San Francisco: Van der Plas
Publications, 2001), pp. 42–50.
Central Canada is a good comparison, where
English roadsters were available through
commonwealth trade ties. John Lehr and John
Selwood, "The Two-Wheeled Workhorse: The Bicycle
as Personal and Commercial Transport in
Winnipeg," Urban History Review 27
(October, 1999), 3–13.
Richard Harmond, "Progress and Flight: An
Interpretation of the American Cycle Craze of
the 1890s," Journal of Social History 5
(1971–1972), 244–245. Tobin, Gary Allen. "The
Bicycle Boom of the 1890s: The Development of
Private Transportation and the Birth of the
Modern Tourist," Journal of Popular Culture 7
(1974), 840–842. "An Editor’s Nightmare: Visits
America, Sees Things and Records Some Dreamlike
Impressions," The Bicycling World 40 (November
9, 1899), 155.
"Bicycle’s Rehabilitation: Light Shed on its
Growing Favor with Certain Anti-Faddist
Classes," The Bicycling World 47 (June
27, 1903), 405.
Karl Hodges, "Did the Emergence of the
Automobile End the Bicycle Boom?" in Cycle
History 4: Proceedings of the 4th International
Cycle History Conference (San Francisco:
Bicycle Books, Inc., 1994), 39–42.
Paul Rosen, Framing Production:
Technology, Culture, and Change in the British
Bicycle Industry (Cambridge, Massachusetts:
MIT Press, 2002), 14.
Maria E. Ward, Bicycling for Ladies: The
Common Sense of Bicycling (New York:
Brentano’s, 1896), 78–79.
Montgomery Ward & Co., "Oh Boy! It’s a
Winner: Hawthorne Flyer," Catalog for Fall and
Winter 1929–30 (Chicago: 1929), 664.
"The Tire Repairs that Come in the Spring—tra
la!" The Bicycling World 51 (April 29,
Safety bicycles’ main drawback in comparison
to dangerous high-wheelers was vibration from
their smaller wheels. Engineer (1889), 158,
reprinted in Bijker, Of Bicycles, Bakelites,
and Bulbs (1995), 73.
Dunlop may have even been inspired by fellow
Edinburgh inventor Robert Thompson’s pneumatic
carriage wheels of 1846. See: Alistair Dodds,
"Dunlop and the Pneumatic Bicycle Tyre – the
Edinburgh Connection" in Cycle History 11,
Proceedings: 11th International Cycle History
Conference (San Francisco: Van der Plas
Publications, 2001), 104–110.
Pardon W. Tillinghast, U.S. Patent No.
497,971 (Washington D.C.: U.S. Patent Office,
September 2, 1892).
Englishman Harry Dacre wrote the song "Daisy
Bell" in 1892 after paying Pope’s royalty to
bring his bicycle into the U.S. A friend
suggested he was lucky not to have a "bicycle
built for two," which would require twice the
"Single Tubes Abroad: Two Kinds of Evidence
Compared—Claimed to be of Equal Worth," The
Bicycling World 43 (July 4, 1901), 312.
The First Circuit Federal Court of
Massachusetts decided against the Reading Rubber
Co. and a subsidiary of United States Rubber.
The United States Tire Company acquired,
among its eighteen subsidiaries, the Single Tube
Tire Company and its Tillinghast patents, the
American Dunlop Company and its "straight-side"
wired-on patent, Morgan & Wright and its
double-tube patent, and G. & J. and its clincher
"Tillinghast’s Triumph: The Hosepipe Tire was
First Derided—How Success Came," The
Bicycling World 40 (November 23, 1899), 233.
"All-warp" fabric gave some single-tubes a
resilient character similar to modern radial
"Are Tires Too Small? The Question Asked and
Dissected—Suggests Spring vs. Rigid Frames,"
The Bicycling World and America Cyclist 40
(October 5, 1899), 17. "Why Not Larger Tires?"
The Bicycling World 47 (September 19, 1903),
Henry C. Pearson, Pneumatic Tires:
Automobile, Truck, Airplane Motorcycle, Bicycle
(New York: The India Rubber publishing Co.,
Alex Schwalbach and Julius Wilcox, The
Modern Bicycle and Its Accessories: A Complete
Reference Book for Rider, Dealer, and Maker
(New York: The Commercial Advertiser
Association, 1898), 72.
"Wood vs. Steel Rims Again," The Bicycling
World 47 (August 8, 1903), 572.
"Tillinghast’s Triumph" (1899).
Charles W. Leng, ed., Bicycle and
Motorcycle Repairing, 7th ed. (New York:
David Williams Company, 1912), 155, C. von Culin,
The Bicycle: Its Care and Repair (Delaware
City, Delaware: C. von Culin, 1896), 74–76.
Schwalbach and Wilcox, The Modern Bicycle
and Its Accessories (1898), 80–81.
"The Tire Repairs that Come in the Spring—tra
"Treatment of Tires," The Bicycling World
43 (May 30, 1901), 220.
Something New in Single Tubes," The Bicycling
World 40 (December 7, 1899), 321.
Schwalbach and Wilcox, The Modern Bicycle
and Its Accessories (1898), 75.
"Hose and Tires: Resemblance Between the Two
Articles—Even Price is Similar," The
Bicycling World 43 (July 18, 1901): 341.
Calculations based on prices published by
Sears, Roebuck, & Co, 1896–1908.
Frank W. Schwinn, 1942 Personal Notes on the
Bicycle Industry (Chicago: Archives of the
Bicycle Museum of America, 1993), 19.
"Force of Habit," The Bicycling World
40 (October 26, 1899), 105.
"Dutch Importer Here: Talks interestingly of
Situation Abroad and Points out Some American
Shortcomings," The Bicycling World 47
(August 29, 1903), 632.
Bruce Epperson, "Failed Colossus: Albert A.
Pope and the Pope Manufacturing Company
1876–1900," Technology and Culture 41
"Aeroplanes Affecting Dealers: Stroud Finds
Some of Them Experimenting at Expense of Their
Businesses—His View of Situation," The
Bicycling World and Motorcycle Review 50
(December 18, 1909), 422.
Forester, John, Bicycle Transportation
(Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1983),
The Schwinn B 10-E was the first true
American balloon-tire cruiser. It ushered in a
school of bicycle design that ultimately
provided a basis for modern mountain bikes.
By 1934, bicycles from national mail-order
houses were equipped with detachable balloon
tires, and single-tubes were offered at a
reduction. Montgomery Ward & Co., Catalog no.
120 for Spring/Summer 1934 (Chicago: 1929),
352–353. Sears, Roebuck and Company, Catalogue
for Fall and Winter 1934–1935 (Chicago: 1934),