Bike – All There is to it and More


A bicycle leaning against a wall

The bike is now a staple in many people’s lives, providing both recreation and transportation. From high-end mountain bikes to more practical road bikes, there are plenty of options out there. Let’s explore the history of this iconic vehicle that has changed the world.

Bikes have been around for centuries and they’ve come a long way. They’re now a staple in many people’s lives, providing both recreation and transportation. From high-end mountain bikes to more practical road bikes, there are plenty of options out there. Let’s explore the history of this iconic vehicle that has changed the world.

Knowing about bikes

A bicycle parked in front of a brick building

Bicycles have been around since about 1817 when Baron Karl von Drais first invented them as a way to travel from place to place without getting tired from walking on foot all day. They were originally called velocipedes – meaning “fast foot.” This name would later be shortened to just bicycles because it was easier for people to say and remember how these vehicles worked than what they were actually called.

Bikes got an upgrade in 1839 when the Scottish blacksmith Kirkpatrick Macmillan upgraded them even more by adding pedals to make it easier for people to travel with less physical strength. This was the first bicycle design that would actually be used as a true vehicle instead of just taking short trips on a road.

In 1870, Pierre Lallement, another blacksmith, brought the first pedal-propelled bicycle to the United States where it became very popular. He dubbed this new product a “velocipede” and he also added caliper brakes which are still used in almost all modern bikes today.

History of bikes

A close up of a bicycle

In 1886, Albert Pope bought Lallement’s patent after he passed away and he also began to mass-produce bikes. The design of the bike would be mainly what it is today, but instead of having a chain drive system that would connect the pedals to the rear wheel, they used a belt drive system which didn’t work as efficiently.

In 1894 John Dunlop invented pneumatic tires for cars and this same design was later transferred to bikes. This allowed for a smoother and quieter ride than before and it also provided more balance and superior control over the bike itself.

In 1896, Henry Ford’s first automobile prototype was powered by a battery-powered electric motor which is used today in hybrid vehicles. Electric engines were commonly found on early bicycles as well because they were a lot easier to start than the combustion engines of this time.

Two years later, in 1898, Frank Bowden and William S. Harvey launched the Raleigh Bicycle Company in Nottingham, England. They sold their bikes under the name “Raleigh” because it was much shorter than what they actually were called – Starley & Sutton Co Ltd.

In 1900, the British Shaft Drive Unicycle Company started mass-producing bikes in Birmingham and they were better known as “BSA” or “Birmingham Small Arms.” In 1905, William Harley and Arthur Davidson would start manufacturing their own motorcycles out of Milwaukee.

In 1903, Charles and Frank Duryea established the Duryea Motor Wagon Company in an attempt to produce America’s first gasoline-powered car. The company also built the Duryea Motor Buggy, which was the first American automobile to be ever made completely out of metal instead of wood or other materials.

In 1905, William Harley and Arthur Davidson would start manufacturing their own motorcycles out of Milwaukee. Their bikes were considered to be the best bikes in the world which allowed them to start selling their bikes to other people around the world.

In 1907, ads for bicycles started popping up in different magazines and other publications. This allowed for more interaction between bicyclists all over the country and other parts of the world, increasing bike popularity even more than before.

In 1913, William C. Durant started the Chevrolet Motor Company and in 1916 the Ford Model T would be released to the public starting a family-wide craze over cars all around America. Bikes were still extremely popular at this time because there was less traffic on streets and highways during this decade. In 1921, Harley Davidson established itself as being the leader in the motorcycle industry and would continue to be a popular brand for years to come.

In 1926, BSA merged with Triumph which allowed for them to create motorcycles that were more reliable and of better quality. They began to produce 3-wheeled bikes as well as 4-wheeled cars that even had a steering wheel instead of a steering column.

In 1928, Indian motorcycles would become one of the most popular bikes in America and would be used for many different things besides transportation. They were also notably faster than other competing brands which made them extremely popular all around the world.

In 1936, Hondas first automobile prototype was completed and it was called the “Dream D-2 .” The D-2 was the first four-wheeled vehicle produced by Honda.

In 1940, American Bantam introduced their first model which they called the “Bantam Reconnaissance Car” or “BRC.” Only 65 of these models were manufactured due to America’s involvement in World War II.

In 1945, after World War II was over, the BSA group was in a poor financial situation and they were bought out by a bicycle manufacturer named Austen. The new name for this company would be “BSA-Triumph.”

In 1949, Bill Burke’s Honda company established itself as being one of the most popular motorcycle companies in the world. They started producing their own frames, transmissions, brakes, and other parts that were exclusively used on their bikes.

In 1953, the first-ever modern mountain bike was invented by a man named Carlton Schwinn who would later start producing full-suspension bikes as well as BMX bikes that are popular with children all over America.

In 1958, Italy would receive their first shipment of Hondas that would end up selling extremely well. Their bikes were later used as racing motorcycles all around the country.

In 1962, the US military announced they are going to start using bicycles for some of their patrol missions in South Vietnam. This was done because it helped lessen energy consumption and also made transportation easier for them while they were fighting in this war.

In 1966, Schwinn introduced their version of the mountain bike with full-suspension features that were called “Stingray” bikes. They became extremely popular around children all over America and are still manufactured today although in limited quantities.

In 1969, France would introduce the first touring bicycle that was made out of steel which was similar to today’s modern touring bicycles. This allowed for people to do long-distance traveling with their bikes more easily than ever before.

In 1974, the first mass-produced mountain bike was created by Gary Fisher and Charlie Kelly which they called “Mountain Bikes.” In 1979, Panasonic would release their version of the mountain bike that had full -suspension.

In 1982, Specialized released their first mountain bike which they called “Stumpjumper” and it would later become one of the most popular bikes sold all around America for many years to come.

In 1991, a Swiss man named Andy Kessler creates a form of bicycle that is very similar to the modern-day BMX bikes. They have 20″ tires and a brake for each of the two back wheels.

In 1993, Gary Fisher creates a bike that has 29″ tires which were first used on mountain bikes so they can be ridden more easily over rocky surfaces. This later becomes a popular type of bicycle called “29ers.”

In 1998, GT makes an updated version of their “Stumpjumper” mountain bike which is called the “Epic.” It is equipped with many different types of gear and also has a front suspension fork.

In 1999, Trek makes an updated version of their original “Stingray” mountain bike that was called the “Fuel.” This would be one of Trek’s most popular mountain bikes because of their high-quality parts.

In 2000, Trek releases their first “29er” which is called the “Marlin.” This was an extremely popular bike that gained a lot of positive reviews from people all around the world. In 2002, Mike Kluge designed a BMX bike with an aluminum frame which he names the “Zeus Alu BMX.” This would become a popular choice for people who wanted to cycle around their neighborhoods.

In 2003, the general manager of Haro Design in America decides to create a modern version of the Schwinn Sting-Ray and he produces it with 21-speed derailleurs.  In 2004, Gary Fisher designs his next-generation mountain bike in which he calls “Surge.”

In 2006, Trek releases their second version of the “29er” called the “Superfly.” This would be another very popular 29er that many people decided to purchase for themselves or as a gift.

On February 1, 2011, Schindelhauer Bikes released their first version of a “city bike” and it was called the “Bike.” This would become extremely popular in Europe and elsewhere because of its lightweight aluminum frame and other high-quality parts.

In 2012, Cannondale releases their updated version of their mountain bike that was originally named “Stumpy 29er.” It’s equipped with many different types of gear and is made out of aluminum. The bike that has been around for centuries is not like the bikes of today, but it still remains one of the most popular options to get around with.

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