Bianchi bicycle, 1885, Italy
It seems like the bicycle was assembled in the workshop on Via Nirone, Milan, by a young mechanic called Edoardo Bianchi.
Edoardo started his job as a mechanic in 1885. Among his many activities (fixer of scales, wheelchairs, various tools etc.), he assembled bicycles too, since in those days the request was high. The spare parts came from France and England but he soon started to apply some modifications to improve them until he produced his own bicycle.
With this rare shape of the frame, we are this close to the true BICYCLE.
Until now the frames had just an oblique tube, or a couple of tie rods at most.
Here we can see the horizontal tube for the first time, joining the steering with the saddle like modern bikes. This frame is already a “cadre”.
The tires were made of solid rubber until 1888, when Bianchi factories became larger and moved to via Bertani in Milano. That year Edoardo applied for the first time in Italy the revolutionary idea of the Scottish John Boyd Dunlop: the tire with inner tube that made the ride smoother, softening the bumps on the road.
The Edoardo Bianchi, in fact, was the first Italian company to use pneumatic tires. From 1890 on the company started designing their first motorbikes and later cars.
Cross frame with two tie rods
Spoon brake on the front tire
Small step to help climbing on the bike