Chainles 'Quadrant' bicycle, 1898.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This chainles bicycle is driven by a Lloyd's cros roller gear, patented by W and J Lloyd and W Priest in 1897. Chainles bicycles became popular in the 1890s as they avoided the risk of the rider's clothing becoming caught in the chain, leading to an abrupt stop or crash. Unfortunately, as they only had one gear they were only suitable for riding on flat terrain. Their popularity was brief, as the problem of clothing catching in the chain was solved by the development of chain guards.