The fascinating story of the Pedersen Frame

The Pedersen frame design was the brainchild of Mikael Pedersen, an inventor and engineer. Born in Denmark in 1855, he moved, in 1893, to England. With him he brought the designs for his triangulated bicycles and started work on their development.


Cycles were originally produced by licensees but in 1899 Mikael, dissatisfied with the quality of the frames, started manufacturing them himself in a factory in Dursley, Gloucestershire. Adapting his system he produced a variety of machines, solos, tandems, triplets, and at least one quad, seen in a photograph pacing Mr.Pedersen on his private track in the garden of his house.


He designed and produced a 3-speed gear, which, although working with a countershaft rather than epicyclic gearing, could have competed with Sturmey-Archer. 1904 brought in a crop of testimonials to the new gear, unfortunately a design flaw made it unreliable.


Mikael stubbornly refused to make the changes that were needed and by the end of the year, with a book full of orders that they were unable to meet, the business was wound up.


In 1905 the business was taken over by R. A. Lister and Co., manufacturers of farm machinery. Pedersen bicycles were produced in quantities until 1917, and thereafter sporadically and in small  numbers until  1922.


The world after the war was very different to that before. The Edwardian age of elegance and wealthy leisure in which Mikael's bicycles had found a niche had gone forever. Tastes changed too. Even by 1910 a writer would comment “Wherever I go with (my Pedersen cycle) the youngsters hail it with the same remark 'What a funny bike'.” 


Mikael Pedersen died, aged nearly 74,  in Copenhagen on the October 22 1929.    


Thanks to David E. Evans - 'The Ingenious Mr. Pedersen'


© 2018 The Norwich Pedersen & Ed Green