The world is a different place when you’re on your bike. The wind in your hair and the sun shining down from above makes for one of life’s great experiences, which also happens to be good exercise! More than 100 million bicycles are manufactured every year, and that number doesn’t seem like it will stop anytime soon, thanks largely due to its popularity among people of all ages.
The bicycle is one of the most convenient and affordable ways to get around. But how did it come into existence? The two-wheeled vehicle with handlebars, pedals and a saddle-like seat that you ride today acquired its particular features from centuries ago when people first started experimenting with different types of bikes!
The bicycle has a long and fascinating history that goes back more than 600 years. Over this time period, it’s changed dramatically from its early inception into what we know today. They’ve evolved a lot since the beginning, with significant modifications that have revolutionized the entire look and function of the bicycle.
Bicycles used to have two wheels like they do today; however, they didn’t have steering or pedals. Imagine riding a bike without pedals – nuts, isn’t it?
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Evolution Of The Bicycle
The first bicycles were made of wood and metal, with wooden wheels and frames. The first recorded reference to a bicycle is from the 1490s, when Gian Giacomo Caprotti, an apprentice of Leonardo da Vinci, drew a sketch of what he called a “vehicle for two”. There’s no evidence that this vehicle was ever built or ridden.
The next recorded instance of a bicycle comes from Germany in 1534. It is believed that Baron von Drais de Sauerbrun invented it and named it the “draisine” after himself. This early bicycle was made completely out of wood and had two wheels connected by a wooden frame. The user would sit on a seat between the wheels and push the bicycle with his or her feet, much like you would a baby stroller.
In 1817, Baron Karl von Drais took his design a step further by adding a crude steering mechanism and pedal power to his draisine, making it the first “draisienne” or “hobby-horse”. This new design allowed the user to propel the bicycle by pushing down on two pedals connected to the wheels with cranks. Although this was a significant improvement, the design was difficult to control and not very practical.
The next major bicycle development came in 1839 when Scottish blacksmith Kirkpatrick Macmillan added rotary cranks and pedals to the front wheel of his hobby horse. This made it possible to pedal the bicycle without having to push it along with your feet, which was a huge breakthrough!
Macmillan’s design quickly caught on and was further improved upon by French inventors in the 1850s. They added a rubber tire to make riding more comfortable and efficient. This new design, known as the “velocipede”, soon became very popular all over Europe and America.
In 1863, Pierre Michaux and his son Ernest Michaux invented the first mass-produced bicycle, which they called the “penny-farthing” because of its large front wheel. The penny-farthing had a very large front wheel and a much smaller back wheel. It was propelled by pedals attached to the front wheel, which made it very fast but also difficult to ride and dangerous.
Many improvements were made to the penny-farthing in the 1870s, such as the addition of a chain drive which connected the pedals to the back wheel. This made it possible to have different-sized wheels and also increased safety.
The next major development came in 1885 with the invention of the “safety bicycle”. The safety bicycle was designed to be more stable and easier to ride than the penny-farthing. It had two same-sized wheels and was propelled by a chain drive connected to gears on the rear wheel. This design quickly became very popular and is still used today.
In 1888, John Boyd Dunlop invented the pneumatic tire, which made riding bicycles even more comfortable and efficient. The pneumatic tire is still used on bicycles today.
In the early 1900s, many different types of bicycles were invented, such as the recumbent, tandem, and mountain bike. However, the basic design of the safety bicycle has remained largely unchanged.
The modern bicycle has come a long way since its humble beginnings 600 years ago. Today, many different types of bicycles are available to suit every need and preference. From racing to mountain bikes, there’s a bicycle for everyone!
Types of Bicycles
There are many different types of bicycles available on the market today. Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular types:
Mountain bikes are the perfect choice for riders who want to take on rough terrains. They’re built to last and have high-quality braking systems and shock-absorbing capabilities that can easily handle big potholes, rocks, or dirt tracks; plus, most mountain bikes consist of lower gears compared to road bicycles, making them great when going up hills!
They usually have wide tires with treads to provide grip and stability on loose surfaces. Mountain bikes also have higher clearance to avoid getting caught on roots or rocks. They’re great for adventurous riders who want to explore off the beaten path.
Road bikes are the most popular type of bicycle because they’re lightweight, affordable and easy to use. They have dropped or turned down handlebars with skinny tires that make them fast on flat surfaces like roads but also efficient at climbing hills. The frame is aluminium, so it can be very durable yet light enough for quick sprints from place to place without becoming unstable.
Road bikes are designed for riding on paved surfaces such as roads, bike paths, and sidewalks. They usually have thinner tires and higher gears to make pedalling easier and faster. Road bikes are designed for riders looking to cover lots of ground quickly. The large, thin tires allow you to glide the bike along various terrains with zero effort.
Touring bikes are a type of road bike that is designed for long-distance riding. They usually have all the same features as a road bike but with some extra additions such as racks and panniers to carry luggage. With multiple attachment points, these touring bicycles allow cyclists ample opportunity to attach anything from water bottles to lights. Touring bikes are sometimes called “cross-country” or “adventure” bikes.
Touring bikes are perfect for long-distance riders. They have sturdy frames that can carry heavy loads on both the front and rear racks, making them great choices when taking your bike out into new territory!
The folding bikes are excellent travel companions. As the name suggests, they fold super easily and smoothly to allow for an easy fit in any car or boat; you can even take them on public transportation with no problem! And when it’s time, put your bike away at home? Folds right into its own carrying bag, so there is never anything lost between trips. They usually have smaller wheels and are not as fast as other types of bicycles. Also, because of their small size, they can be a bit more unstable on uneven terrain.
Fixed Gear/ Track Bike
Fixed gear bicycles, also called “fixies,” are a type of bicycle that has a drivetrain with no freewheel. This means that the rider cannot coast and must constantly pedal to keep the bike moving. Fixed gear bikes are simple in design and easy to maintain, making them a popular choice for city riding. They’re also great for tricks and stunts because the rider can easily control the bike’s movement. However, their lack of a freewheel makes it difficult to ride on hilly terrain. Also, if you stop pedalling on a fixed-gear bike, the bike will come to a sudden stop, which can be dangerous.
BMX is an acronym for the sport of bicycle motor cross because this type of bike has a single speed and a 20-inch wheel. BMX bikes are small, lightweight bicycles designed for racing and stunt riding. They usually have 20-inch wheels and only one gear. BMX bikes are not meant for long-distance riding but are perfect for doing tricks and stunts in skateparks or on the street.
BMX bikes offer the perfect combination of performance and durability. The robust design makes them ideal for tricks, jumps or just about anything else you can throw at it! With their low-maintenance features like single gears that don’t require much adjusting after installation, these bikes are perfect for those who just want to get on and ride.
They can reach up to 40 mph. However when it comes down from hills or dips etc., many riders will reduce their speeds depending on terrain difficulty.
Recumbents are types of bicycles that look like chairs. They have low seats and wide tires, making them perfect for long distances because you’re able to sit back comfortably without getting tired out quickly on your feet or pedals!
You can find recumbent bikes in different varieties. Some have two wheels, while others have three. Recumbents are perfect if you want to go on longer rides because they put less strain on your body. They are designed for comfort and are easy to ride. Recumbent bikes usually have larger wheels for increased stability and speed.
Cruiser bikes are perfect for leisurely rides around town and their neighbourhood. They typically have wider 26-inch tires as compared to several other pavement bike types, making them great choices if you want more comfort when riding on roads or paths with varying conditions!
The seats allow riders to relax into comfortable seating positions, and they usually have comfortable, upright seating and wide tires for a smooth ride. Cruiser bikes are often used for short trips around town or the neighbourhood.
Hybrid bikes are a great option for those who want the best of both worlds. They are the perfect balance of road, mountain and touring features. They come equipped with wider tires than a road bike but are not as wide as a mountain bike that can tackle both paved trails or smooth dirt roads, as well as a flat bar for an amazing view while you ride, thanks to its head-up design! These bikes may also contain disc brakes, so they’ll stop quickly when needed no matter what kind of weather conditions exist! They’re perfect for those who want to commute or take longer rides on different types of terrain.
Cyclocross bikes are a type of bicycle that is designed for racing on off-road courses. They usually have road and mountain bike features, such as knobby tires and front or full suspension. Cyclocross bikes are lightweight and nimble, making them perfect for racing through the woods.
They are specifically designed to be used on dirt trails with obstacles that vary in size and position. The cyclist must dismount mid-ride and lift their bicycle over various short periods while travelling at speed across difficult terrain where no roadways are available. Cyclocross offers the perfect blend of challenge, excitement, and camaraderie for all types of riders!
With the ever-growing number of people looking for green transportation solutions, electric bikes are an excellent choice. Though they may be new on the scene, these bicycles have already gained great popularity and will only continue to grow in future years!
Electric bikes also called “e-bikes,” are a type of bicycle that has an electric motor to assist the rider. They are perfect for people who want a little extra help when riding up hills or long distances. Electric bikes come in all different styles, from mountain bikes to cruiser bikes. They are perfect for commuting or leisurely rides. It’s important to note that electric bikes are not considered motorized vehicles, so you do not need a license to ride one!
There are many different types of bicycles, each designed for a specific purpose. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely ride around town or something more adventurous, there’s a perfect bike type out there for you! Research out which one best suits your needs, and get ready to start pedalling!