Have bicycles ever been used in war?

Who actually invented the bicycle?

Milestones in bicycle history

The history of the bicycle is around 200 years old. First, so-called “running bikes” or “walking machines” were developed - this was the preliminary stage of the bicycle and is now very popular again with small children, as training wheels are now viewed as inhibiting the learning phase.

History of the bicycle - from 1817 to the present day

1817 - The impeller - made entirely of wood

In that year a German named Karl Friedrich von Drais developed the first steerable walking machine called “Draisine” or “Velocipede”. This did not go faster than 15 km / h on a flat surface and the tires, handlebars and frame were still made of wood. This was roughly the speed of a galloping horse. Nevertheless, his idea catapulted the world into a new mobile age.

Balance bike (then) and toddler bike (today)

1853 - bicycle pedals

The German Philipp Moritz Fischer came up with the idea of ​​attaching pedals to the front axle of the wheel. The balance bike thus became a pedal bike.

1869 - The penny farthing - a shaky affair

When the so-called "high bikes" were developed, a top speed of up to 40 km / h was possible. However, this was not for everyone and also a very wobbly and unsteady undertaking, because the front wheel was up to one and a half meters in diameter and it was not uncommon for overhead falls with serious injuries. / Mark Twain: How to tame the penny farthing

1870 - chain drive

Later, the drive and the steering were separated by the ring gear attached to the rear axle, the chain, the drive sprocket and the crank. While the power was now transmitted to the road via the rear wheel, the front wheel was used for steering. The French watchmaker André Guilmet is considered to be the inventor of the chain drive.

By using different sized gears on the crank and wheel axle, the speeds increased.

1875 - lighting, brakes and Co. (further development)

Around 1875 the bicycles were equipped with oil lamps as lighting. But these were mainly used to be seen for yourself. A little later, coaster brakes were installed as standard. Further technical highlights were a spring-loaded saddle and the freewheel (so that the pedals and cranks do not move when rolling).

1888 - pneumatic tires

Irishman John Boyd Dunlop invented a rubber tire filled with air. This then also prevailed in the bicycle industry.

1927 - derailleur

In 1927 the first derailleur system with multiple sprockets was built. This made it possible for the first time to adapt the functionality to the nature of the path. Almost all sports bikes have this type of gear shift to this day.

Due to a shortage of rubber, there were emergency bicycle tires in (post) war times

A: Tires made of helically wound sheet steel (1916-1919)

B: Wheel with spiral spring tires (1916-1919)

C: Wheel with cork disc pad (around 1945)

D: wheel with rubber washers (around 1945)

E: wheel with rubber sleeve (around 1945)

F: wheel with springs and solid rubber tires (around 1945)

G: tires with springs and solid rubber cover (around 1945)

Bicycle inventions over the past 40 years

1974 - Charles Kelly, Gary Fisher and Joe Breeze equip old bikes with studded tires and thus invent the mountain bike.

1976 - The trend towards light bikes is initiated by the German company Kettler. They welded the first aluminum bicycle frame.

2005 - E-bikes are becoming socially acceptable. The new lithium technology enables longer ranges. Lead-gel, nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride batteries are no longer used.

Bicycle types currently

There are a large number of types of bicycles today. Are you planning to buy a new bike? Then the low season (September to March) is exactly the right time to buy high-quality bikes (if you don't have to have the very latest model) at particularly low prices. In order not to forget any criteria, it is advisable to use a checklist.

Trend entrance bicycles

If you are interested in single speed and / or fixed gear bikes, this article will give you a little insight.

power consumption

With the same physical effort, you can cover significantly longer distances by bike than on foot and it is still considered the most environmentally friendly means of transport.

Did you know…?

... that there is probably nowhere else in the world that people ride as much bicycles (Fietsen) as in the Netherlands? There are even more fights there than people. On average, it rains in the Netherlands, including nights, 7% of the time over the year - although the moderate sea climate there is not that humid, you should always have rain protection with you.

... that the bicycle is the most built and sold “machine” in the world today?

Tip: A special excursion tip on the North Sea is an annual church tower tour in the municipality of Krummhörn. This is 65 km long, connects 19 Krummhorn villages and is considered a tourist delicacy. Culturally valuable and a sporting challenge. :) Lighthouses, Gulf yards, chieftain's castles, windmills, the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea and much more are waiting to be discovered. I have put together more excursion tips for your next bike tour on the North or Baltic Sea in a previous blog post.

If you have missed something or discovered a bug, please leave me a short message in the comments.

Best regards



Tags: Draisine, Invention, Fietsen, High Bike, Balance Bike, Vacation, Velocipede