Pair of similar bicycles: both have an iron frame and handlebars (one with wooden grips), a leather saddle, a single brake on the front wheel operated with a lever on the right-hand side of the handlebars, iron spoked wheels with solid rubber tyres, a link chain, a single chainring on the frame and a single sprocket wheel on the rear wheel, as well as iron and rubber pedals.
One of the two was made by Rover, a firm from Coventry (England). The business was set up in 1878 to manufacture bicycles, but went on to make motorcycles and, from 1904, automobiles. The other bicycle has ropes for tyres. Rubber tyres with an inflatable inner chamber were invented in the nineteenth century, and were an improvement on solid rubber rims. However, they only gradually came into widespread use. Rope was probably a mediocre but cheap substitute for the original rubber. The town of Eibar (Gipuzkoa) was a major centre for manufacturing bicycle and bicycle parts from the 1920s on.
The two bicycles are from the Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa's J. Etxeberria collection.
Urdangarín, Carmelo ; Izaga, José Mª. Montadores eibarreses de bicicletas. In: Oficios tradicionales. [Donostia = San Sebastián] : Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa, Departamento de Economía y Turismo = Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundia, Ekonomia eta Turismo Departamentua,. VI, 99-109.