The History of Bicycles

vintage bicycle by face

Vehicles for human transport that have two wheels and require balancing by the rider date back to the early 19th century. The first means of transport making use of two wheels arranged consecutively, and thus the archetype of the bicycle, was the German draisine dating back to 1817. The term bicycle was coined in France in the 1860s, and the descriptive title “penny farthing“, used to describe an “Ordinary Bicycle“, is a 19th-century term.

Early Bicycles

There are several early, but unverified claims for the invention of the bicycle. A sketch from around 1500 AD is attributed to Gian Giacomo Caprotti, a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci, but it was described by Hans-Erhard Lessing in 1998 as a purposeful fraud. However, the authenticity of the bicycle sketch is still vigorously maintained by followers of Prof. Augusto Marinoni, a lexicographer and philologist, who was entrusted by the Commissione Vinciana of Rome with the transcription of Leonardo’s Codex Atlanticus.

Later, and equally unverified, is the contention that a certain “Comte de Sivrac” developed a célérifère in 1792, demonstrating it at the Palais-Royal in France. The célérifère supposedly had two wheels set on a rigid wooden frame and no steering, directional control being limited to that attainable by leaning.[5] A rider was said to have sat astride the machine and pushed it along using alternate feet. It is now thought that the two-wheeled célérifère never existed (though there were four-wheelers) and it was instead a misinterpretation by the well-known French journalist Louis Baudry de Saunier in 1891

Mid-Century Bicycles

At mid-century there were two predominant bicycle styles for recreational cyclists in North America. Heavyweight cruiser bicycles, preferred by the typical (hobby) cyclist, featuring balloon tires, pedal-driven “coaster” brakes and only one gear, were popular for their durability, comfort, streamlined appearance, and a significant array of accessories (lights, bells, springer forks, speedometers, etc..). Lighter cycles, with hand brakes, narrower tires, and a three-speed hub gearing system, often imported from England, first became popular in the United States in the late 1950s. These comfortable, practical bicycles usually offered generator-powered headlamps, safety reflectors, kickstands, and frame-mounted tire pumps. In the United Kingdom, like the rest of Europe, cycling was seen as less of a hobby, and lightweight but durable bikes had been preferred for decades.

In the United States, the sports roadster was imported after World War II, and was known as the “English racer”. It quickly became popular with adult cyclists seeking an alternative to the traditional youth-oriented cruiser bicycle. While the English racer was no racing bike, it was faster and better for climbing hills than the cruiser, thanks to its lighter weight, tall wheels, narrow tires, and internally geared rear hubs. In the late 1950s, U.S. manufacturers such as Schwinn began producing their own “lightweight” version of the English racer.

In the late 1960s, Americans’ increasing consciousness of the value of exercise and later the advantage of energy efficient transportation led to the American bike boom of the 1970s. Annual U.S. sales of adult bicycles doubled between 1960 and 1970, and doubled again between 1971 and 1975, the peak years of the adult cycling boom in the United States, eventually reaching nearly 17 million units. Most of these sales were to new cyclists, who overwhelmingly preferred models imitating popular European derailleur-equipped racing bikes — variously called sports models, sport/tourers, or simply ten-speeds — to the older roadsters with hub gears which remained much the same as they had been since the 1930s. These lighter bicycles, long used by serious cyclists and by racers, featured dropped handlebars, narrow tires, derailleur gears, five to fifteen speeds, and a narrow ‘racing’ type saddle. By 1980, racing and sport/touring derailleur bikes dominated the market in North America. Fatbike was invented for off-road usage in 1980.

In recent years, bicycle designs have trended towards increased specialization, as the number of casual, recreational and commuter cyclists has grown. For these groups, the industry responded with the hybrid bicycle, sometimes marketed as a city bike, cross bike, or commuter bike. Hybrid bicycles combine elements of road racing and mountain bikes, though the term is applied to a wide variety of bicycle types.

Hybrid bicycles and commuter bicycles can range from fast and light racing-type bicycles with flat bars and other minimal concessions to casual use, to wider-tired bikes designed for primarily for comfort, load-carrying, and increased versatility over a range of different road surfaces. Enclosed hub gears have become popular again – now with up to 8, 11 or 14 gears – for such bicycles due to ease of maintenance and improved technology.

credits: http://www.wikipedia.com

The History of Bicycles

Vehicles for human transport that have two wheels and require balancing by the rider date back to the early 19th century. The first means of transport making use of two wheels arranged consecutively, and thus the archetype of the bicycle, was the German draisine dating back to 1817. The term bicycle was coined in France in the 1860s, and the descriptive title “penny farthing“, used to describe an “Ordinary Bicycle“, is a 19th-century term.

There are several early, but unverified claims for the invention of the bicycle. A sketch from around 1500 AD is attributed to Gian Giacomo Caprotti, a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci, but it was described by Hans-Erhard Lessing in 1998 as a purposeful fraud. However, the authenticity of the bicycle sketch is still vigorously maintained by followers of Prof. Augusto Marinoni, a lexicographer and philologist, who was entrusted by the Commissione Vinciana of Rome with the transcription of Leonardo’s Codex Atlanticus.

Later, and equally unverified, is the contention that a certain “Comte de Sivrac” developed a célérifère in 1792, demonstrating it at the Palais-Royal in France. The célérifère supposedly had two wheels set on a rigid wooden frame and no steering, directional control being limited to that attainable by leaning.[5] A rider was said to have sat astride the machine and pushed it along using alternate feet. It is now thought that the two-wheeled célérifère never existed (though there were four-wheelers) and it was instead a misinterpretation by the well-known French journalist Louis Baudry de Saunier in 1891

At mid-century there were two predominant bicycle styles for recreational cyclists in North America. Heavyweight cruiser bicycles, preferred by the typical (hobby) cyclist, featuring balloon tires, pedal-driven “coaster” brakes and only one gear, were popular for their durability, comfort, streamlined appearance, and a significant array of accessories (lights, bells, springer forks, speedometers, etc..). Lighter cycles, with hand brakes, narrower tires, and a three-speed hub gearing system, often imported from England, first became popular in the United States in the late 1950s. These comfortable, practical bicycles usually offered generator-powered headlamps, safety reflectors, kickstands, and frame-mounted tire pumps. In the United Kingdom, like the rest of Europe, cycling was seen as less of a hobby, and lightweight but durable bikes had been preferred for decades.

In the United States, the sports roadster was imported after World War II, and was known as the “English racer”. It quickly became popular with adult cyclists seeking an alternative to the traditional youth-oriented cruiser bicycle. While the English racer was no racing bike, it was faster and better for climbing hills than the cruiser, thanks to its lighter weight, tall wheels, narrow tires, and internally geared rear hubs. In the late 1950s, U.S. manufacturers such as Schwinn began producing their own “lightweight” version of the English racer.

In the late 1960s, Americans’ increasing consciousness of the value of exercise and later the advantage of energy efficient transportation led to the American bike boom of the 1970s. Annual U.S. sales of adult bicycles doubled between 1960 and 1970, and doubled again between 1971 and 1975, the peak years of the adult cycling boom in the United States, eventually reaching nearly 17 million units. Most of these sales were to new cyclists, who overwhelmingly preferred models imitating popular European derailleur-equipped racing bikes — variously called sports models, sport/tourers, or simply ten-speeds — to the older roadsters with hub gears which remained much the same as they had been since the 1930s. These lighter bicycles, long used by serious cyclists and by racers, featured dropped handlebars, narrow tires, derailleur gears, five to fifteen speeds, and a narrow ‘racing’ type saddle. By 1980, racing and sport/touring derailleur bikes dominated the market in North America. Fatbike was invented for off-road usage in 1980.

Bicycles of Today

In recent years, bicycle designs have trended towards increased specialization, as the number of casual, recreational and commuter cyclists has grown. For these groups, the industry responded with the hybrid bicycle, sometimes marketed as a city bike, cross bike, or commuter bike. Hybrid bicycles combine elements of road racing and mountain bikes, though the term is applied to a wide variety of bicycle types.

Hybrid bicycles and commuter bicycles can range from fast and light racing-type bicycles with flat bars and other minimal concessions to casual use, to wider-tired bikes designed for primarily for comfort, load-carrying, and increased versatility over a range of different road surfaces. Enclosed hub gears have become popular again – now with up to 8, 11 or 14 gears – for such bicycles due to ease of maintenance and improved technology.

credits: http://www.wikipedia.com

The History of Bicycles

Vehicles for human transport that have two wheels and require balancing by the rider date back to the early 19th century. The first means of transport making use of two wheels arranged consecutively, and thus the archetype of the bicycle, was the German draisine dating back to 1817. The term bicycle was coined in France in the 1860s, and the descriptive title “penny farthing“, used to describe an “Ordinary Bicycle“, is a 19th-century term.

There are several early, but unverified claims for the invention of the bicycle. A sketch from around 1500 AD is attributed to Gian Giacomo Caprotti, a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci, but it was described by Hans-Erhard Lessing in 1998 as a purposeful fraud. However, the authenticity of the bicycle sketch is still vigorously maintained by followers of Prof. Augusto Marinoni, a lexicographer and philologist, who was entrusted by the Commissione Vinciana of Rome with the transcription of Leonardo’s Codex Atlanticus.

Later, and equally unverified, is the contention that a certain “Comte de Sivrac” developed a célérifère in 1792, demonstrating it at the Palais-Royal in France. The célérifère supposedly had two wheels set on a rigid wooden frame and no steering, directional control being limited to that attainable by leaning.[5] A rider was said to have sat astride the machine and pushed it along using alternate feet. It is now thought that the two-wheeled célérifère never existed (though there were four-wheelers) and it was instead a misinterpretation by the well-known French journalist Louis Baudry de Saunier in 1891

At mid-century there were two predominant bicycle styles for recreational cyclists in North America. Heavyweight cruiser bicycles, preferred by the typical (hobby) cyclist, featuring balloon tires, pedal-driven “coaster” brakes and only one gear, were popular for their durability, comfort, streamlined appearance, and a significant array of accessories (lights, bells, springer forks, speedometers, etc..). Lighter cycles, with hand brakes, narrower tires, and a three-speed hub gearing system, often imported from England, first became popular in the United States in the late 1950s. These comfortable, practical bicycles usually offered generator-powered headlamps, safety reflectors, kickstands, and frame-mounted tire pumps. In the United Kingdom, like the rest of Europe, cycling was seen as less of a hobby, and lightweight but durable bikes had been preferred for decades.

In the United States, the sports roadster was imported after World War II, and was known as the “English racer”. It quickly became popular with adult cyclists seeking an alternative to the traditional youth-oriented cruiser bicycle. While the English racer was no racing bike, it was faster and better for climbing hills than the cruiser, thanks to its lighter weight, tall wheels, narrow tires, and internally geared rear hubs. In the late 1950s, U.S. manufacturers such as Schwinn began producing their own “lightweight” version of the English racer.

In the late 1960s, Americans’ increasing consciousness of the value of exercise and later the advantage of energy efficient transportation led to the American bike boom of the 1970s. Annual U.S. sales of adult bicycles doubled between 1960 and 1970, and doubled again between 1971 and 1975, the peak years of the adult cycling boom in the United States, eventually reaching nearly 17 million units. Most of these sales were to new cyclists, who overwhelmingly preferred models imitating popular European derailleur-equipped racing bikes — variously called sports models, sport/tourers, or simply ten-speeds — to the older roadsters with hub gears which remained much the same as they had been since the 1930s. These lighter bicycles, long used by serious cyclists and by racers, featured dropped handlebars, narrow tires, derailleur gears, five to fifteen speeds, and a narrow ‘racing’ type saddle. By 1980, racing and sport/touring derailleur bikes dominated the market in North America. Fatbike was invented for off-road usage in 1980.

In recent years, bicycle designs have trended towards increased specialization, as the number of casual, recreational and commuter cyclists has grown. For these groups, the industry responded with the hybrid bicycle, sometimes marketed as a city bike, cross bike, or commuter bike. Hybrid bicycles combine elements of road racing and mountain bikes, though the term is applied to a wide variety of bicycle types.

Hybrid bicycles and commuter bicycles can range from fast and light racing-type bicycles with flat bars and other minimal concessions to casual use, to wider-tired bikes designed for primarily for comfort, load-carrying, and increased versatility over a range of different road surfaces. Enclosed hub gears have become popular again – now with up to 8, 11 or 14 gears – for such bicycles due to ease of maintenance and improved technology.

credits: http://www.wikipedia.com

The History of Bicycles

Vehicles for human transport that have two wheels and require balancing by the rider date back to the early 19th century. The first means of transport making use of two wheels arranged consecutively, and thus the archetype of the bicycle, was the German draisine dating back to 1817. The term bicycle was coined in France in the 1860s, and the descriptive title “penny farthing“, used to describe an “Ordinary Bicycle“, is a 19th-century term.

There are several early, but unverified claims for the invention of the bicycle. A sketch from around 1500 AD is attributed to Gian Giacomo Caprotti, a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci, but it was described by Hans-Erhard Lessing in 1998 as a purposeful fraud. However, the authenticity of the bicycle sketch is still vigorously maintained by followers of Prof. Augusto Marinoni, a lexicographer and philologist, who was entrusted by the Commissione Vinciana of Rome with the transcription of Leonardo’s Codex Atlanticus.

Later, and equally unverified, is the contention that a certain “Comte de Sivrac” developed a célérifère in 1792, demonstrating it at the Palais-Royal in France. The célérifère supposedly had two wheels set on a rigid wooden frame and no steering, directional control being limited to that attainable by leaning.[5] A rider was said to have sat astride the machine and pushed it along using alternate feet. It is now thought that the two-wheeled célérifère never existed (though there were four-wheelers) and it was instead a misinterpretation by the well-known French journalist Louis Baudry de Saunier in 1891

At mid-century there were two predominant bicycle styles for recreational cyclists in North America. Heavyweight cruiser bicycles, preferred by the typical (hobby) cyclist, featuring balloon tires, pedal-driven “coaster” brakes and only one gear, were popular for their durability, comfort, streamlined appearance, and a significant array of accessories (lights, bells, springer forks, speedometers, etc..). Lighter cycles, with hand brakes, narrower tires, and a three-speed hub gearing system, often imported from England, first became popular in the United States in the late 1950s. These comfortable, practical bicycles usually offered generator-powered headlamps, safety reflectors, kickstands, and frame-mounted tire pumps. In the United Kingdom, like the rest of Europe, cycling was seen as less of a hobby, and lightweight but durable bikes had been preferred for decades.

In the United States, the sports roadster was imported after World War II, and was known as the “English racer”. It quickly became popular with adult cyclists seeking an alternative to the traditional youth-oriented cruiser bicycle. While the English racer was no racing bike, it was faster and better for climbing hills than the cruiser, thanks to its lighter weight, tall wheels, narrow tires, and internally geared rear hubs. In the late 1950s, U.S. manufacturers such as Schwinn began producing their own “lightweight” version of the English racer.

In the late 1960s, Americans’ increasing consciousness of the value of exercise and later the advantage of energy efficient transportation led to the American bike boom of the 1970s. Annual U.S. sales of adult bicycles doubled between 1960 and 1970, and doubled again between 1971 and 1975, the peak years of the adult cycling boom in the United States, eventually reaching nearly 17 million units. Most of these sales were to new cyclists, who overwhelmingly preferred models imitating popular European derailleur-equipped racing bikes — variously called sports models, sport/tourers, or simply ten-speeds — to the older roadsters with hub gears which remained much the same as they had been since the 1930s. These lighter bicycles, long used by serious cyclists and by racers, featured dropped handlebars, narrow tires, derailleur gears, five to fifteen speeds, and a narrow ‘racing’ type saddle. By 1980, racing and sport/touring derailleur bikes dominated the market in North America. Fatbike was invented for off-road usage in 1980.

In recent years, bicycle designs have trended towards increased specialization, as the number of casual, recreational and commuter cyclists has grown. For these groups, the industry responded with the hybrid bicycle, sometimes marketed as a city bike, cross bike, or commuter bike. Hybrid bicycles combine elements of road racing and mountain bikes, though the term is applied to a wide variety of bicycle types.

Hybrid bicycles and commuter bicycles can range from fast and light racing-type bicycles with flat bars and other minimal concessions to casual use, to wider-tired bikes designed for primarily for comfort, load-carrying, and increased versatility over a range of different road surfaces. Enclosed hub gears have become popular again – now with up to 8, 11 or 14 gears – for such bicycles due to ease of maintenance and improved technology.

credits: http://www.wikipedia.com

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