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Victorian design of bike that (for anyone that doesnt know) incorporated one huge front wheel and a small one at the rear. (see link)
With the huge diameter wheel comes excellent traction and high ground clearence - both desirable qualities for off road bikes.
Balance problems would be overcome
by moving the seat further back (and hence lower down) than on the original models and modern gear technology could cope with the large size of the front wheel. Probably.
(?) Penny Farthings
[brained, Jul 14 2005]
(shameless plug) [skinflaps, Jul 14 2005]
||Best one-huge-wheel bike I've seen has just that - rider seats on a seat inside the wheel. There's a link to a picture somewhere on this site.
||It would have to be a big, fat, knobby front wheel - hard to get your legs around. A far from rubbish idea though. Needs a little fleshing out maybe.