Most bicycles are built more for function than form, but these attempt to combine both into one stylish package. One thing you may not have known about bicycles is that they were originally “introduced in the 19th century and now number more than a billion worldwide, twice as many as automobiles.” Continue reading to see more – bonus video of world’s fastest bicycle and a few interesting facts included.
- In 1868 the 80 kilogram Boneshaker was introduced. It had an iron frame, wooden wheels and iron rims – all with a very smooth ride. I think Brooks already made leather saddles back then. Finally the world had a bicycle (or a velocipede, as they called it) you could race, and in the same year they did race them.
- The growth of bicycles started to decline with the popularization of the automobile – because riding a bike became more dangerous.
- Before the safety bicycle, similar to the one we drive today – and before the invention of the sprocket-chain drive, the cranks and pedals were on the front wheel. To maximize speed, the front wheels grew to up to 64 inch diameter (that’s 163 cm in diameter), finding proper mudguards was a total hassle.
- The longest “tandem” bike was over 20 meters long and it seated 35 people. It was recorded in the history of dumb ideas as a prime example.
- The fastest man on a bicycle is surprisingly an American, John Howard who was foolish enough to ride his bicycle nearly 250 kilometers per hour in the slipstream of a specially designed car. He survived to tell the tale.