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The Evolution Of Bicycles Throughout History

1691 words - 7 pages

In 1817, the bicycle was introduced. It was clumsy, heavy, and dangerous. Throughout the last two centuries, modifications have made the bicycle easier to ride with inventions such as brakes, softer tires, and better maneuverability. The development of the modern day bicycle has led to increased environmental awareness, increased women’s civil rights, and permanently altered the public’s views on mass transportation.
The first bike was called the Draisienne that was invented by Baron Von Drais in 1817:
“…a walking machine that would help him get around the royal gardens faster: two same-size in-line wheels, the front one steerable, mounted in a frame which you straddled… The device was propelled by pushing your feet against the ground, thus rolling yourself and the device forward in a sort of gliding walk” (A Quick History 1).
This bike was entirely made out of wood where as modern-day bikes are made out of aluminum (1). The invention of the bike allowed people to get to places faster and easier than walking. With people liking the idea of the bikes more changes were made to the Draisenne, which eventually became the Velocipede.
“The next appearance of a two-wheeled riding machine was in 1865, when pedals were applied directly to the front wheel” (1). Velocipede means fast foot because for that time the bike was fast compared to walking (1). Overtime, the Velocipede became known as the Boneshaker. The wheels of the Boneshaker were made out of metal or wood so, “…when riding over cobblestone it literally shook your bones” (1). It was the most uncomfortable bike to ride so people thought it would become a fad. This was very true because the High-Wheeler got invented.
The High-Wheeler was a bicycle that had a huge front wheel and a tiny rear wheel. There were many dangers when riding the bike because the front wheel could be up to 5 feet high (Bicycle History 292). This bike was invented in 1870 and was completely different from the Velocipede in not only looks, but also in material. The High-Wheeler had tires padded with rubber for the first time, which is what we use today (293). The idea of the large tire was to travel further for just one turn (292). The problem of the High-Wheeler was that it was extremely unstable. Especially, if something like a rock, dog or person crossed your path, the chances of over rotating, falling over the front of a bike, were very high. “Thus the term "taking a header" came into being (A Quick History 1). This is because over-rotating usually led to being stuck underneath the handlebars, landing on their heads. Inventors realized this problem could be solved by building a bike that had level tires.
The Safety Bike was the first bike that actually looked like the modern bikes we know today. Instead of uneven sized wheels it had two equally sized wheels and an aluminum diamond frame. The Safety Bike “had a chain-and-sprocket system”(Bicycle History). This meant it did not have the pedals directly...

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