Mikael Pedersen (1855 - 1929) from Denmark patented his revolutionary bicycle in 1893. Before that, he'd made his name as an inventor of ingenious agricultural machinery.

Mikael was a cyclist, and wasn't satisfied with the comfort of a conventional saddle (and indeed, little has altered in the design of such saddles to the present day). He was driven to invent the Pedersen hammock saddle. As an engineer, he understood something of structures, and using the saddle as a starting point, he constructed a frame which derived its enormous strength from the fact that it consisted purely of triangles. The elements in the frame have to withstand only tension and compression, never bending.

Pedersen bicycles were manufactured in the English village of Dursley in Gloucestershire. The frames were very labour-intensive to build - 14 thin tubes had to be hand-brazed in 57 places, forming 21 triangles - and this meant that only the privileged few ever owned a Pedersen. Not everyone could or would pay the extra for this very special bike, but those that did never regretted their decision. On no other bicycle can one glide along with such comfort and posture.

The Pedersen is a therapeutic bike. Many people with back problems can cycle on nothing else. The upright position, particularly with the Royal handlebar, provides an anatomically beneficial posture - and the hammock seat naturally contributes to the overall comfort.

Source: (00-07-15)


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