Penny Farthing

& Classic
Cycle Supplies

Home | About Us | Cycle Supplies | Brooks | Contact | Annual Tour | Links | Events

Agents for Brooks Saddles and accessories

Click on link on right or above. Email me to see if I can order that special item for you. ,


I am developing the prototype Ordinary (aka Penny Farthing, Hi wheeler) for the Oamaru Ordinary Cycle Club as pictured above. It has an open head design based on an original Victorian Ordinary.

In the course of development in trying to make an affordable Ordinary it has been difficult to track down certain supplies so I have engaged manufacturers to supply those items.
There are some parts that require specialised equipment and the skill to operate such as lathes and milling machines. Often builders do not have access to this equipment but do have equipment such as a drill, grinder and a welder. The parts below have the machining done and allow you to progress and build with equipent more typically found in a DIY garage. I have kept away from using castings. Prefering to fabricate from steel. It is much easier to join steel strip with electric arc or MIG than a casting. Acetylene plants allowing brazing are much less common these days due to high rental costs of cylinders for home users. The cost of MIG welders is very reasonable these days and one can use gasless wire or own a carbon dioxide bottle that is cheap to fill.

The open head design of the cycle at the top of the page was built without the use of castings. The design itself based on an original Victorian cycle in a New Zealand museum.


The Ordinary Cycle uses a solid rubber tyre which is cut to length to suit the size of the rim.

There are two types of rubber.

  1. A wire spring moulded through the centre of the rubber. The tyre is cut to length and a few turns of the spring exposed by cutting back some of the rubber. The ends are then screwed together and the tyre mounted to the rim. Tools required...Pliers and a knife

  2. The second option provides a hole through the centre of the tyre. A length of 8 gauge wire is fed through this. The wire is then tensioned and joined by brazing. Tools required....Wire cutters, hacksaw, wire-tensioner, propane/Mapp gas torch, ezyflo brazing stick and flux

The first option requires fewer tools but the tyre can cost considerably more.

Supplies now available:

Penny Farthing Tyre rubber

Made in New Zealand

Sold any length you require at $NZ 39.00 per meter

Long Spokes

Supplied from a leading commercial spoke manufacturer.

Cost $NZ 3.00 each 14 gauge
$NZ 3.75 each 13 gauge (J head only)

Any quantity supplied.


Back-bone tubes

38mm (1 1/2 inch) steel tubing 1.5m long. The backbones are supplied straight. They can be rolled to the radius required for your cycle. The end of the tube has been formed into a taper using a press giving a strong result. Taper is 300mm (12inch) long, the tubes taper down to 20mm (3/4inch)

Cost $NZ 69.00 (straight)
$NZ 109.00 (rolled to required radius)

Payment options

New Zealand
Bank transfer

Catalogues in PDF format. There are Ordinary (Penny Farthing) supplies and a collection of new old stock for safety cycles. Click on links below to download.

Supplies for safety cycles

Supplies for Ordinary cycles (Penny Farthings)

Ordinary (Penny Farthing) Cycle Parts for builders



Cost $NZ

In Stock?


These are the flattened steel tubes used in the bicycle pictured at the top of the page for the forks.

$NZ 195.00
(for two)



38mm (1 1/2 inch) steel tubing 1.5m long. The backbones are supplied straight so they can be rolled to the radius required for your cycle.

$NZ 69.00



As above rolled to the radius you require

$NZ 109.00


Fork end and bearing carrier

Fork end and bearing carrier sold as bicycle set (four pieces). Lower part machined to fit 6003 bearing. Upper part slots into the forks for a secure location. They are then welded in place. Final outer profile and finish achieved with grinder and file.

$NZ 299.00
(four pieces)


Head to backbone adapter

Head to backbone adapter. Requires slotting to suit neck.

$NZ 39.00


Backbone to rear fork adapter

Hole machined with taper to match backbone.
Stepped collar to match fork.
Holds everything together while allowing you to get alignment right before welding.

$NZ 99.00


Leather saddle (embossed)

Hand made by a local saddler. As shown in the next two photos. Comes embosed with the makers name stamped on it. 'Graves Saddler Oamaru'. Quality Cattle hide. Can be supplied with no embossing if desired.

$NZ 195.00
(leather only)


Leather saddle (plain)

Hand made by a local saddler. As shown in the photos at top of page. Comes with no embossing. Quality Cattle hide.

$NZ 195.00
(leather only)


Tyre rubber

Dimensions are 20mm OD and 4mm ID

$NZ 39.00
per metre


Rear hub

Steel, chrome plated hub. 20 holes.

$NZ 15.00

Other components will be listed here as and when they enter production.
Please enquire as to when an out of stock item is due.