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
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
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.