A pennyfakething is an Ordinary (or hiwheel) made from a safety bicycle. It represents a way for a steampunk to modify a safety bicycle to resemble a twisted, Mad-Max version of the vintage pennyfarthings of the 1800s.

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Name: Johnny
Location: Hardin City, NV

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Freakbikers Unite's Pennyfakething Build-Off!

In 2014, the Facebook group Freakbikers Unite held a Pennyfakething build-off. Here are the contestants:

Ed White

Greg Bamber

Jim "Chainsaw" Johnson's "Miss Pennyswerth"

Djer Horus

Tommy Adams' "Pennyliner"

Crobin Bates' "Fatpenny"

Harry Brider's "Penny Suess"

Mack Carter's "Afreaka Bammbikaa"

David Sprecher

Greg Bamber

Rick Hill's "Quarter Farther"

Deven Seymour

Corbin Bates' "Half Penny"

Rick Hill's "Cherry Bomb"

This one reminds me of a vehicle out of the old Lobo comics. Makes me want to build a motor-penny:

This one is my favorite. If I'd known what I was doing when I made Pickup Styx, I probably would have ended up with something like this. It pares away the excess and gets right to the perfect unity of form and function. The true spirit of a Pennyfakething, which is to say "An Ordinary bicycle without a big front wheel, made using bicycle parts". It's Mack Carter's "Penny Hardaway"

And the winnah!

Joel Wiggins' "Zeben Penny"

Hrm. Something is wrong with this picture! Ever pushed a shopping cart so fast that the front wheels start wobbling? That's what negative trail does to a bike. Is the fork on backwards? I think it's clear that this bike can't be and is not ridden in any serious sense. Don't know if the competition specified that the bike be rideable (Penny Seuss looks like a backbreaker), but here at, we like bikes that can be daily riders like Winifred, my commuter for years. Style only counts for so much when you're trying to get across town. I've thrown the pictures up because it won the build-off, but any experienced builder will perceive that it cannot be ridden any serious distance, and I think this is the least impressive of the bunch.

Here are three by Tommy Atoms, including an amazing masterwork Victus Mortis:

Unfortunately, if you think about the way those sweet tallstacks give you little leverage over the wheel, this one just didn't ride well, and he ended up changing the design.

if I've left any out, please email me with pictures!

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Pennyfakething Explosion!

Ben Pitts has made this lovely pennyfakething:

He used the exact same fencing flourishes as I used to make my Emigrant! Bet this thing has the turning radius of a barge.

Reclamation Department

This one is by Fishmonger. Not sure if he's finished it yet:

Swimmin Wit Da Fishes

Jeremy from Puerto Rico says this one gets more attention than his choppers:

Atomic Zombie Blog

A very clean and sleek Pennyfakething by Rusty Box:

Rusty Box Tumblr

Arn Anderson might just be the first person to chop a bike up and put it together with front-wheel drive:

Bunnyfluffer Cycles

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Do it yourself!

Here's four pennyfakethings from the Freak Bike Militia:




Kenny P

Here's another one from some kids in Brittany:

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bumper Car

This pedal-powered bumper car is essentially a pennyfakething with casters on the back. It's based on Atomic Zombie's spincycle.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Crononaut

The Mini-Winnie


The Winifred


Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Winifred was based on what I'd learned from the horrid Pickup Styx. The beach cruiser is single-speed and much more comfy of a ride. The curved lines and armature look more authentic. And most importantly the handlebars are underneath, making the bike far more safe. It turns out you don't need your hands at all! I could sip tea riding this thing, and it's taken me hundreds of miles in Chicago, New York, and Black Rock City.

Here's a video of the mount:

Winifred got her name when a hipster said to me, "You win. You win the game of bike."


Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Klaas of the club Klunker League Now Ghent Belgium is a master bicycle mutator. Here's his pennyfakething:


Friday, May 30, 2008

Prekarious Et Best

This pennyfakething was made by a Rat named Eric. He gave it away and it surfaced again at Bike Kill one year. It rides like you'd imagine.