1. Sports
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Bikes - An Illustrated History

By

1 of 8

The Earliest Bicycle - 1790
The celerifere - one of the earliest bike prototypes - had no pedals or steering.

The celerifere - one of the earliest bike prototypes - had no pedals or steering.

Library of Congress

The first contraption that can realistically be said resembles a bicycle was constructed around 1790 by Comte Mede de Sivrac of France. Called a celerifere, it was a wooden scooter-like device with no pedals or steering. A similar model, improved with a steering mechanism attached to the front wheel, was created in 1816 by German Baron Karl von Drais de Sauerbrun. He called it a Draisienne, after himself, though popular parlance also dubbed it the hobby horse.

When using either of these devices, the rider perched on a seat between two wheels similarly sized wheels, and using the feet, propelled the bicycle a bit like a scooter. Drais exhibited his bicycle in Paris in 1818, and while popularly received, its design limited its use to really just flat, well-groomed paths through gardens and parks, which were off-limits to a good portion of the population in those days.

  1. About.com
  2. Sports
  3. Bicycling
  4. The Bike Life
  5. An Illustrated History of the Bicycle

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.