1817: One of the first bicycles, a Draisienne (hobby horse), was invented by Baron Karl de Drais de Sauerbrun. The rider had no pedals and had to walk the bicycle along. It was impractical for use on anything but the smoothest of surfaces.

1839: The first real bicycle was invented by Kirkpatrick MacMillan. The rider had to swing the rods connected to two shafts and levers that rotated the back wheel.

1861: Pierre Michaux and his son Ernest invented the velocipede, nicked named the bone shaker. It had cranks and pedals.

1870: James Starley invented the penny farthing. The pedals were attached to the front wheel, the frame was lighter and the tires were solid rubber. The machines were made to measure as the rider need to be able to reach the pedals. They were dangerous to ride as any sudden stop caused the rider to sail over the front wheel.

1874: H.J.Lawson invented the chain driven safety bicycle.

1888: John Boyd Dunlop invented the air filled tire (pneumatic tire).

1900: Bicycles were easy to ride, safe and cheap. It was now socially acceptable for women to ride bicycles.

1906: H. Sturmey and J. Archer establish a system of gears for bicycles.


   A common bicycle.

A ladies bicycle

A bicycle built for two, a tandem.