Introduced in 1899. Discontinued in 1917. The back design depicts a gear-driven shaft where the bicycle chain would normally be. While innovative, this was not a popular idea then or now. Some bicycles being marketed today feature notched belt drives instead of chains.

Chainless is an elegant design that was evidently relatively popular. Today it is not difficult to find; complete US8d and US8c decks do appear on the market from time to time. Much rarer is the earlier US8b release. Finding any Chainless deck in an original box would be a prize.

The first image below shows the box for USPCC's reproduction of the Chainless back design for the Heritage Series. There were three other back designs reissued for this series: Pedal, Pneumatic No. 1 and Tri-Tire No. 2. Of the several revival series that USPCC has launched in recent years, the Heritage Series is is certainly the most elegant.

The second image depicts a back design from the UK that also focuses attention on the crank. There were many similar themes in bicycle card designs in Britain and America around the turn of the last century, and it's likely that the ideas flowed in both directions across the Atlantic.

The last few images below show the 1897 Columbia Chainless Bicycle, which was evidently the first gear-driven bicycle. This example was sold by Copake Auction, Inc. in Copake, New York (4/22/2017). Also pictured is an advertising poster for the Columbia Chainless which sold at the same auction.

A blue US8d Chainless deck (VG, no joker, no box) sold on eBay for $80 on December 7, 2016. A blue US8b Chainless deck (VG-, no joker, no box) sold on eBay for $71 on May 3, 2017.

  17. Chain                                                            19. Club  


The Heritage Series release of Chainless.


This British Deck has a similar theme


The Columbia Chainless Safety Bicycle (1897)


A detail of the Columbia Chainless, showing the gear drive.


A French Poster advertising the Columbia Chainless Bicycle