Image © bicyclehistory.net
A bicycle, or bike, is a pedal-driven land vehicle which has two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. They were first introduced in 19th-century Europe and then quickly evolved into its familiar, current design. Numbering over 1,000,000,000 in the world today, bicycles provide the chief means of transportation in many regions and also a popular form of recreational transport in others. The bicycle is amongst the most notable of human inventions. However there is a lot of confusion regarding when and who invented the very first bicycle. According to general belief, the earliest bicycle was a wooden scooter-like contraption named celerifère and it was made by Comte Mede de Sivrac of France in about 1790.
An overview of the bicycle history
The basic shape and configuration of the frame, wheels, pedals, saddle and handlebars of the bicycle has hardly changed since the first chain-driven model that was developed in around 1885, though many important detail improvements have been made since, especially recently by the use of modern materials and computer-aided design. For example, the conventional design of the saddle or the seat of the bicycle has remained more or less the same. Though there have been experiments with noseless seats, people still prefer the conventional size.
As far as the frames are concerned, different materials have come to be used. Carbon, aluminum and magnesium are frames which are very popular. Even titanium frames have been promoted but they are quite expensive.
In the modern world of bicycles, there are specialities such as road bikes, hybrids, mountain bikes, gravel bikes, electric bikes, kids bikes, triathlon bikes, etc. With more than 200 years of bike development, there's certainly one made just for you.
About the author
Patrice Audet as ridden bicycles his entire life : mountain, roads, fatbikes, commuters, gravel bikes... He's now working at a local bike shop in Quebec City, Canada and runs a bicycle themed t-shirts store on the Internet. You can browse his t-shirt models at http://www.teeezy.com. Have a nice ride!