The Rover company was originally a British bicycle company that started making “safety” bicycles in the mid 1880s. The company began making cars in 1904 and began using the Viking longship as their logo at that time.
When bicycling first became popular in the 1870s, the bicycle available was the Ordinary, or the Penny-farthing. This type of bicycle had a very large front wheel that was directly pedal-driven. It was rather unstable, difficult to mount, and, with the rider being seated so high above the ground, put the driver at risk in the event of an accident.
In 1885, JK Starley of Conventry designed and exhibited his bicycle in London. His new design had smaller wheels that were more or less equal in size with the chain riving the rear wheel. Because it was so much safer, it quickly became the new norm for bicycling, and the Ordinary became obsolete.
Don’t think we’re done improving the bicycle just yet, though. British designer Ben Wilson has designed a chainless bike with a practical load-carrying ability. The Donky, his design, has two removable racks that are secured with a quick-release system and can be rotated for a variety of mounting and storage options. Click here to see a picture of the new design.