Gormully & Jeffery American Light Champion 1889

This American Light Champion was built in the years 1887-1890 and top of the line of Gormully & Jeffery from Chicago. Standard were for instance the ram's horn handlebar and a ball bearing head. Of course it had ball bearing hubs and pedals as well. With tangent spoked wheels and hollow rims this bike represents the final stage of the ordinary: it didn't get any better.

This 54 inch example with Lillybridge Hammock saddle was sold on the Copake auction in New York in 2010. The rear hub is not original. The pedals are ugly remakes an the brake hardware is missing, but it stills shows a very sophisticated bike, with beautifully shaped front hubs and a the (ball bearing) head with patented handlebar clamp. You can't confuse it with any other machine: that's what I call individual character!