Dursley-Pedersen update



Back in May there was a post here about the Dursley-Pedersen bike that had just been added to the collection at the design museum in Copenhagen.

The bikes are still in production but I have still not seen any actually being ridden in the city so it was worth a trip over to Christiania - to the bike workshops of Christiania Cykler there - to see the current models.

I’m still not sure how people on these bikes cope with Copenhagen cobbles or is that the real benefit of that long low-hung hammock for a saddle - or cope with the pressure and rush of a Copenhagen peloton at full speed on a commute over one of the bridges and through the traffic. 

The options for different handlebars and modifications to the arrangement of the frame were impressive but I did note that none of the bikes in the showroom had that viscous-looking spike as all the bits of the frame came together above the handlebars in the early version … surely lethal if you hit a rut or a drain at the wrong angle and go hurtling over the top when the bike stops abruptly. Versions had the handlebars at the top so if they are straight then the posture is upright … sort of more Dutch … but some had handlebars that swept down like demented bull’s horns. Perhaps that’s the way to deal with pedestrians who try to cross when their little man is on red and your light is on green … 

a Dursley-Pedersen cykel - a new acquisition for Designmuseum Danmark


Designmuseum Danmark has acquired an original Dursley-Pedersen cykel for their collection.

Mikael Pedersen, the Danish engineer and inventor, moved to the English town of Dursley in 1893 to work for a company who made agricultural machinery - Pedersen had invented a new and successful design of milk separator - but while he was there, in 1896, his design for a bicycle went into production and over the following years more than 30,000 were made. 

The seat, made from netting covered with leather and held by straps and wires and springs, was lighter than what was then the conventional form of heavy leather saddle but it was also meant to make the ride more comfortable … the bike was nicknamed the hammock. 

There was also a lightweight racing version of the cycle and a tandem and a folding design that all used the same form of triangular frame that had been inspired by bridge engineering.

A modern version of the design has been produced in Denmark by Jesper Sølling since 1978.

at the moment in small exhibition area before the cafe at Designmuseum Danmark