This appears to be a front suspension bike, patented in 1891. The seat and cranks are attached solidly to the rear wheel, but if the front wheel hit a bump it would be allowed to raise up against the spring located near the crank. Interesting. Many other early suspension designs are in the Bicycle Technology section of the Patent Pending blog. In the top version of this bike, steering is by handles by the saddle, which is connected to the front wheel by cables. There is no traditional handlebar. I think the inventor was trying to allow the rider to sit upright and not have to lean forward to steer the front wheel. That might really relieve some back strain.