Bicycle History Facts

  • By: Zane
  • Date: October 13, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

This article contains information about the history of the bicycle. You’ll learn about the Penny Farthing, the Rover Safety Bicycle, and the Flying Pigeon. There are also facts about the first bicycle – the dandy horse! If you love cycling, you’ll enjoy these bicycle history facts!

Penny Farthing

The Penny Farthing bicycle is a vintage type of bicycle that gained its name from the penny and farthing coins that were popular at the time. It was made of metal, featured rubber tires, and had a high center of gravity. It was first ridden by George Ace, a Welsh businessman who achieved fame by becoming the Amateur Cycling Champion of Wales in 1879 and holding that title until 1885. While on the bicycle, Ace used no gears and had to use his feet to steer the bike. This resulted in him becoming the first cyclist to cycle around the world.

Penny Farthing bicycles were popular with Victorian ladies. They were not only cheap, but also made of solid rubber and lacked a brake system. As a result, many people suffered injuries riding a penny-farthing. These bicycles eventually lost popularity and were replaced by the Safety Bicycle, which was far more stable.

The first penny-farthing bicycle was produced in England around 1870 by James Starley. It was inspired by a design for a high-wheeler bicycle that was first patented by Eugene Meyer in 1869. Eugene Meyer was also the first to patent a wire-spoke tension wheel. He is considered to be the father of the penny-farthing bicycle. The name penny farthing comes from two coins from the time – the penny and the farthing.

Rover Safety Bicycle

The Rover Safety Bicycle was invented in 1885 and is one of the most important cycling innovations in history. Developed by John Kemp Starley and William Sutton, the Rover was the prototype of the modern rear-drive bicycle. Although there were other safety cycles before, the Rover pattern quickly took over the market.

The Rover Safety Bicycle had several unique features that helped make it so safe. Its frame was diamond-shaped, its wheels were almost equal in size, and its saddle was positioned for optimal riding comfort. In addition, it had a chain driving the back wheel. The safety bike was extremely popular and was exported throughout the world.

The Rover was not only easy to balance but also fast. Its design made it possible to set records, as the two-wheeled bike was comparatively smoother than other bicycles. Its direct front steering and diamond-framed frame helped make the Rover a success. It also had a low center of gravity and small wheels with solid rubber tires.

It was a breakthrough in cycling and has remained an integral part of the world’s bicycle industry. It was a true revolution in the way society approached cycling, and it has served as a template for all modern bikes.

Pneumatic tyres

The history of pneumatic tyres in bicycles goes back to the early nineteenth century. The pneumatic tyre was invented by John Boyd Dunlop, a Scottish vet who was living in Belfast. The pneumatic tyre was more durable and faster than the previous rubber tyre. Dunlop’s son took up cycling and won races using the new tyre. Dunlop’s invention was so popular that he decided to create a company to manufacture tyres. The company later grew to become one of the largest tyre companies in history.

Pneumatic tyres were developed in the nineteenth century by Robert Thomson and John Boyd Dunlop. They were first produced as horse-drawn carriage tires and were used for horse-drawn carriages. Thomson applied for a patent in 1847 for his invention and sold it to John Boyd Dunlop in 1888. Dunlop then marketed his new tyre for bicycles and motor cars.

The earliest bicycle wheels were solid curved pieces of wood. As technology progressed, leather and solid rubber were added to the wheels for a more comfortable ride. Eventually, pneumatic tyres replaced the clinchers and are the most commonly used tyres today.

Flying Pigeon

For those of you who don’t know the history of Flying Pigeon bicycles, you may be interested in learning more about these classic bicycles. Despite their name, these bicycles are nothing like your typical American bike. The PA-06 uses a double top-tube for added stiffness and to reduce frame-whip. In addition to the PA-06, Flying Pigeon also makes a ladies version called the PB-13.

In the 1960s, the Flying Pigeon became synonymous with bicycles in China. As a matter of fact, it was the most popular mechanized vehicle in the world during the 1970s. Deng Xiaoping, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party at the time, declared that the goal of prosperity was a Flying Pigeon in every household.

Bicycles were a symbol of proletarian progress for the Chinese Communist Party, and the Communist Party was keen to promote the product. The first Five-Year Plan, formulated in 1958, set high targets for bicycle production, and the country doubled its bicycle stock from 1949 to 1958. Bike sales soared and the bicycle industry soon reached a million units. Even in the post-revolutionary era, bicycles became popular gifts for brides. Bicycles were considered as more desirable gifts than a sewing machine or a radio.

Electric bikes

The development of electric bikes began in the early 1880s when Gustave Trouve was researching how to improve the efficiency of bicycles. He began by using a lever-drive tricycle from the Starley Coventry factory. In 1881, Coventry upgraded their tricycles to rotary pedal drive, making them more affordable. Trouve eventually published a drawing of his electric tricycle in a scientific journal. This drawing was a step toward the development of electric bikes and is considered one of the earliest examples of an electric bike. Another electric tricycle, made in 1881 by Ayrton & Perry, has no pedals.

In the 1890s, the first electric bikes appeared in the U.S. patent files. One of these was issued to Ogden Bolton Jr., who had a 6 pole brush-and-commutator hub motor that could output 100 amps. Later, another inventor, Hosea W. Libbey, of Boston, developed a similar bicycle but with a dual motor next to the crank.

As a result of its popularity, the electric bicycle market continued to grow. The invention of lithium batteries brought down the cost of lithium batteries and helped make these new bicycles affordable to consumers. The first e-bikes were lead-acid batteries, while later models used lithium-ion batteries.

Solar power bikes

As the name implies, solar power bikes are powered by the sun, rather than by a traditional source of energy. These bikes can be pedal assisted or full throttle. Fortunately, solar technology has progressed far enough to make solar power bikes practical. With the help of PV panels, you can make a bike with solar power and get a better return on energy investment.

One such bike is the Lightening SuperBike, which clocks in at 218 MPH, making it the fastest production bike in history. Even though it’s not street legal, it won the 2016 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Using solar energy to charge its batteries, it topped competitors’ bikes.

There are several types of solar panels on the market. The flexible Sunpower solar panel is among the most efficient, with a large capacity per square meter. A typical panel yields around 75-85% of its rated value in full sunlight, but only ten to fifty percent when the sky is overcast. To get a decent charge for a long trip, you will need a large panel area, preferably around 200 watts. Smaller panels will serve as a good backup for daily commuting, but won’t help you with the actual riding.

Besides the watts, another important factor is the angle of the sun. Some technogeeks spend half their day contemplating the angle of the sun. Others are pragmatists, and they point their bikes in the direction of the sun, hoping for an average of 80%.

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