The Circle City Bicycles blog contains info on bicycles, cycling events, pro racing, bicycle touring, and just about anything else cycling related. Since our bike shop is located in Indianapolis, we focus on biking in the Midwest, but cycling fans anywhere in the world should find this blog interesting. We try to post daily Monday through Friday, but we occasionally miss a day. Each Friday we try to have an interesting bicycle related photo.
A bicycle doesn't have to have a chain. Around 1890, shaft drive systems were developed in the United States and in Great Britain. Shaft drive bicycles were first manufactured in the United States in 1893. Columbia put a strong marketing effort behind shaft driven bicycles in 1897. Sales were respectable in 1898 and 1899, but nowhere close to the sales of chain driven bicycles. Many top racers, including Indy's own Major Taylor won on shaft drive bikes, and even set world records. Their popularity was short-lived, and they soon fell out of favor. Periodically, attempts are made to bring back shaft-drive without much success. In the eyes of most cyclists, they don't offer any significant advantage over chain driven bicycles. Today, someone looking for a lower-maintenance, longer-lasting alternative to a chain should consider a Gates belt.