History montage

The History of Bicycles

Look below along the Bicycle History Timeline ...

Click on whatever takes your fancy ...
Great, GOLDEN NUGGETS of 'bicycle history information' lie beneath!!


1493 - First Sketches?

Leonardo da Vinci BicycleRenaissance artist, scientist and inventor - Leonardo Da Vinci - made sketches (allegedly), of a bicycle prototype.

This was almost 400 years before the bicycle was actually invented.

However, it has been suggested that these sketches are actually fakes.

Perhaps a false start to the history of bicycles ?

1790's - Celerifere

Celerifere or VelocifereThe Celerifere or Velocifere was invented by Frenchman - Comte Mede de Sivrac. The celerifere had a wooden frame and wheels, and no steering apparatus.

It was manually propelled by the feet like a balance bike.

1810 - Tarmac Roads

Tarmac RoadScottish engineer and road-builder John McAdam invented a road surfacing method - which eventually became known as tarmacadam.

The process of 'macadamization' involved building roads with a smooth hard surface that were more durable and less bumpy.

1817 - Draisienne

DraisienneThe Draisienne was invented by German - Baron Karl Drais von Sauerbronn. The Draisine was made entirely of wood. It was steerable but had no pedals.

To move forward, a rider would thrust his/her feet against the ground.

More About Who Invented the Bicycle

1818 - The Hobby HorseHobby Horse (bicycle)

The Hobby Horse was (re)invented by British coach-maker Denis Johnson.

He launched the Hobby Horse in England, describing it as a pedestrian curricle.

Like the Draisienne, Johnson's Hobby Horse had no pedals, but was propelled by the rider's feet pushing along the ground. There were no brakes and to slow the machine the riders had to drag their feet along the ground.

1839 - Macmillan VelocipedeMacmillan Velocipede

The Macmillan Velocipede was invented by Scotsman, Kirkpatrick Macmillan.

MacMillan's velocipede was the first bicycle with pedals to drive the rear wheels.

MacMillan has cemented his place in the history of bicycles with many crediting him with being the man who invented the modern bicycle.

1853 - Tricycle and QuadracycleQuadracycle

The Tricycle and Quadracycle were manufactured by Willard Sawyer. Sawyer made a variety of models, from a 6-seater family machine to a lightweight racer. His Promenade and Visiting model 'preserved evening costume' and he also made Ladies', Invalid's and Children's models. He built machines for the Emperor of Russia, the Prince Imperial of France, the Crown Prince of Hanover and numerous other members of the aristocracy.

1862 - Lallement's Velocipede

Lallement's VelocipedeLallement's Velocipede was invented by Frenchman, Pierre Lallement.

1863 - Boneshaker

Michaux Velocipede or BoneshakerMichaux Velocipede or Boneshaker, was invented by two Frenchmen, Pierre and Ernest Michaux.

The Michaux Velocipede was powered by pedals and a crank that was connected to the larger front wheel axle.

1865 - Storage Battery

Storage Battery InventionFrenchman, Gaston Plante, invented the storage battery. Until then an electric vehicle was not really considered a viable option.

1868 - Steam Velocipede

Steam VelocipedeThe frame of Michaux's boneshaker was modified to allow room for the Perraux steam engine.

The bicycle seat was raised, and pulleys and drive belts were added to power the rear wheel.

1868 - Bicycle College

First American Bicycle CollegeThe first American bicycle college opened in New York.

1869 - Monocycle

Rousseau's MonocycleThe original monocycle was built by Rousseau of Marseilles.

1869 - Roper Steam Velocipede

Roper Steam VelocipedeThe Roper Steam Velocipede was built by Sylvester H. Roper. The velocipede handlebars had controls attached to them in the shape of twist grips - similar to our modern motorcycle.

1869 - First Road Race

James Moore First Bicycle Road RaceThe Paris-Rouen was won by Englishman James Moore.

Moore cycled the 113km distance between the two cities in 10 hours and 25 minutes. He dominated in the cycle-racing scene for several years and was one of the earliest cycling stars.

1869 - Circus Velocipede

Lallement Velocipede PatentCalvin Witty, an American entrepreneur, acquired Pierre Lallement's velocipede patent.

He went on to sell the velocipedes to circus performers for use in their acts.

1869 - High Bicycle

Meyer's High BicycleThe High Bicycle was invented by Frenchman, Eugene Meyer.

The High Bicycle preceded the Penny Farthing. It had a large wire-spoked tension wheel and a smaller back wheel.

1869 - McCall's Velocipede

McCall's VelocipedeScottish cartwright, Thomas McCall, built two versions of a two-wheeled velocipede with levers and rods tossing a crank on the rear wheel.

1870 - Penny Farthing

Starley's Penny FarthingThe Penny Farthing or Ordinary Bicycle was invented by Englishman James Starley.

This bicycle, with its large front wheel and smaller rear wheel, gave increased speed and a more comfortable ride for the cyclist.

1870's - Unicycle

UnicycleThe Unicycle is believed to have evolved as a spin-off of the Penny Farthing.

The theory is, that when cyclists stopped abruptly, the rear wheel of the penny-farthing would rise up off the ground. Some riders began experimenting to see how far they could travel on one wheel and eventually decided the front wheel was superflous to their needs, and so the unicycle was born ...

1871 - American Bicycle

American Bicycle CompanyThe American Bicycle was made by Pickering and Davis.

This bicycle had hollow steel tubes for lighter weight, and featured the first wheel brake.

1873 - Safety Bicycle

Lawson's Safety BicycleThe rear-chain-driven Safety Bicycle was developed in Britain by H. J. Lawson. He obtained a patent for it in 1879.

Lawson designed the rear-chain-driven Safety Bicycle in direct competition to the boneshaker. The two bicycles appear to be similar in construction. However, Lawson's wooden bicycle wheels were only 23 inches in diameter, earning it the nickname the Sussex Dwarf.

1875 - Ordinary in Australia

Ordinary Bicycle in AustraliaThe first Ordinary bicycle was imported into Australia.

1877 - Penny Farthing in America

Albert Pope Penny Farthing ImporterPenny Farthings were imported to America by Albert Pope.

1878 - Columbia Bicycle

Columbia Bicycle PosterThe Columbia Bicycle was designed and manufactured by American Albert Pope.

1878 - Portable Bicycle

Grout's Portable BicycleThe First Portable Bicycle was created by Englishman, William Grout.

The portable bicycle became the precursor to the folding bike.

1880 - American Wheelmen

League of American WheelmenThe League of American Wheelmen club was founded.

The League grew substantially and by 1898, had more than 102,000 members, including famous names such as the Wright Brothers, John D Rockefeller and Diamond Jim Brady. The League of American Wheelmen was, (and still is today, under the name of the League of American Bicyclists), an advocate of cyclists rights and improving road conditions for cyclists.

1880's - High Wheel Tricycle

High Wheel TricycleThe High-Wheel Tricycle was invented as a safer alternative to the precarious High-Wheel bicycle.

Unfortunately it was also more expensive too and didn't take off.

1880's - High Wheel 'Safety' Bicycle

High Wheel Safety BicycleThe High-Wheel Safety Bicycle was developed. Its design swapped the small wheel from the front to the back of the bicycle, so that the bike was less likely to tip forward.

Unfortunately it tended to tip backwards when going up steep hills!

1881 - Sociable Monocycle

Sociable MonocycleAccording to The History and Development of Cycles by C.F. Caunter, published in 1955 for the Science Museum by Her Majesty's Stationery Office ...

The Sociable Monocycle was produced by Pearce in 1881.

1884 - Circumnavigation

Thomas Stevens Penny FarthingEnglishman, Thomas Stevens, was first person to bicycle around the globe on a Penny-Farthing.

More About Thomas Stevens

1884 - Rotary Tandem Tricycle

Rudge Rotary Tandem TricycleThe Rudge Rotary Tandem Tricycle was invented by Englishman, Daniel Rudge.

This unique tandem tricycle was driven by both cyclists, and steered by the two small wheels, which were interlinked by rods. Propulsion came from the big wheel.

1885 - Rover Safety Bicycle

Starley Rover Safety BicycleThe Rover Safety Bicycle was invented by Englishman, John Kemp Starley. The bicycle he designed had two wheels of equal size, with a chain drive to the rear wheel and an adjustable saddle.

In 1888 John Kemp Starley created the Starley Rover which changed the history of bicycles completely. It was so popular, it became the common template for the shape of bicycle frames for the next 60 years.

1885 Onwards - The Golden Age of Bicycling

Suffragettes on BicyclesWith social Revolution, a suffragette movement, the bicycle became increasingly popular.

Competitive cycling also took off.

1885 - Daimler Motorized Bicycle

Daimler Motorized BicycleGottlieb Daimler fitted an internal combustion engine to a wooden frame to create a motorized cycle.

1885 - Army Bicycles

British Army BicycleThe British army began using bicyclists as scouts during Easter Manoeuvres.

1887 - French Army

French Army BicycleThe French army formally added bicycles to military service.

1887 - Pneumatic Tyres

Dunlop Tyres PosterDunlop Pneumatic Tyres were invented by Scotsman, John Boyd Dunlop.

1887 - Raleigh Cycles

Raleigh Cycles PosterRaleigh Cycles, was started in England by Sir Frank Bowden.

1888 - Reconnaissance

Cycle CorpsThe British army formally established the 26th Middlesex Cyclist Volunteer Corps.

The bicycle was found to be invaluable for reconnaissance and communications work, being lighter, quieter, and logistically much easier to support than horses.

1888 - Springfield Roadster

Springfield RoadsterThe Springfield Roadster was a 50 inch highwheel safety.

1888 - Sunbeam Bicycles

Gentlewoman's Touring Sunbeam BicycleThe Sunbeam Bicycles Company was founded by John Marston.

The company got it's name when Mrs Marston noticed the sun reflected in the high gloss finish of the bicycle frame and thereafter the bicycle became known as The Sunbeam.

1889 - Back-pedal Brake

Stover's back-pedal brake bicycleA bicycle with a back-pedal brake was patented by Daniel Stover and William Hance.

1890 - Humber Bicycle

Humber Bicycle PosterThe Humber Car Manufacturer designed and produced the Humber bicycle.

It was a classic design for a bicycle and consequently the majority of subsequent bicycles were based on this design. In 1932 Humber sold the brand to Raleigh, who continued using the Humber brand name into the 1970s.

1891 - Tandem Velocipede

Barr Peck Tandem VelocipedeThe Tandem Velocipede was patented by Henry Barr and Frank Peck.

1891 - Detachable pneumatic bicycle tyre

Andr� and Eduoard MichelinAndre and Eduoard Michelin invented the first detachable pneumatic bicycle tyre.

1891 - USA Army Bicycles

Signal Corps Cyclist BadgeThe first military use of bicycles in the USA occurred with the formation of the Connecticut National Guard Signal Corps.

1891 - 6 Day Bicycle Race

6 Day Bicycle RaceThe first International 6-Day Bicycle Race was held in the USA at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

1892 - Telegram delivery in Japan

1892 Japanese Bicycle Telegram DeliveryIn Japan the 'Ministry of Communications' began using the bicycle in the delivery of telegrams.

1892 - Huffy Corporation

Huffy Bicycles LogoThe Davis Sewing Machine Company owned by George P. Huffman began producing Huffy bicycles at their factory in Ohio.

This was to become the Huffy Corporation.

More Huffy Bicycle History

1893 - Folding Bike

Ryan Folding Bike PatentThe First Folding Bike patent was applied for by American, Michael B. Ryan.

1893 - First Recumbent

Fautenil Recumbent VelocipedeThe Fautenil Velocipede was classified as a separate type of bicycle, although recumbent style bicycles had been existence earlier.

1893 - Wright Cycle Company

Wright brothers Orville and WilburThe Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, opened their bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio.

It was called the Wright Cycle Exchange, and later became the Wright Cycle Company. The brothers started with the sales and repair of bicycles and then developed their own brand for manufacture.

1893 - World Sprint Championship

Arthur Zimmerman Cycling ChampionAmerican, Arthur Augustus Zimmerman, won the first world championship in a sprint cycle race.

Zimmerman was one of the world's greatest cycling sprint riders and won over 1000 races across the USA and Europe.

1894 - Female Circumnavigation

Annie Cohen Kopchovsky PosterAnnie Cohen Kopchovsky was the first woman to cycle around the world, making bicycle history.

1895 - Schwinn Bicycles

Ignaz SchwinnAdolph Arnold and Ignaz Schwinn began manufacturing its famous Schwinn Bicycles.

The company was known as Arnold, Schwinn and Company Incorporated.

1895 - Ideal Bicycle

Shelby Ideal BicycleThe Shelby Cycle Company began producing the Ideal Bicycle, a pneumatic-tyred safety bike.

1895 - Battery Powered Bicycle

US PatentA US patent was granted to Ogden Bolton Jr, for his Battery-Powered Bicycle.

1895 - Street Printing Tricycle

Street Printing TricycleThe Street-Printing Tricycle made its debut in France. The tricycle was designed with a rear attachment that comprised two inking rollers and a tank for a gravity-fed ink supply. The wheels of the tricycle were solid rubber and contained the message lettering.

As the bicycle was propelled forward its wheels were inked and thus rolled a message onto the pavement.

1895 - Michelin Tyres

Michelin Tyres PosterIn France, the Michelin Brothers improved on Dunlop's tyre by giving it a beaded edge, and making it more suitable for motor vehicles.

1896 - French Folding Bicycle

Morel Folding BicycleA Folding Bicycle for the French Infantry was created by Captain Gerard Morel.

1896 - First women's 6 day bicycle race

First women's 6 day bicycle raceThe first U.S. women's six day bicycle race was held at Madison Square Garden, in New York City.

1896 - First Olympic Bicycle Race

First Olympic Bicycle RaceThe first Olympic Bicycle Racing was held in Athens, Greece.

1896 - 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps

25th Infantry Bicycle CorpsThe 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps was formed at Fort Missoula, Montana.

The troops rode special bicycles built by A. G. Spalding.

1896 - Faun Folding Cycle

Faun Folding CycleThe Faun Folding Cycle was invented by Englishman William Crowe. It was patented in 1899.

The bike was unique because it featured folding handlebars that integrated a brake mechanism.

1897 - Theodore's Motorized Bicycle

Theodore's Motorized BicycleA Motorized Bicycle was invented by Felix Millet Theodore.

1897 - Challand Velocipede

Challand VelocipedeThe Challand velocipede design is identifiable as the prototype for our modern recumbent bicycles.

1898 - Police Bondage Tricycle

Police Bondage TricycleThe Police Bondage Tricycle was designed and built by the Davis Sewing Machine Co. It was used to transport prisoners and was fitted with restraints.

1898 - Coaster Brake

Frank Kramer Coaster Brake Bicycle PosterThe coaster brake was fitted onto bicycles.

1898 - Rex Bicycle

Hicks Rex BicycleThe Rex Bicycle was invention of Bohn C. Hicks of Chicago, Illinois, who assigned his rights to the Rex Cycle Company. Mr Hicks submitted the reason for his unusual design was so that the bicycle was 'particularly adapted to absorb or minimize the shocks incident to riding over obstructions.'

1898 - Eight Man Tricycle

Giant Eight-Man Tricycle Publicity StuntThe Giant Eight-Man Tricycle was a trike, made by the Boston Woven Hose and Rubber Company as a business publicity stunt.

1898 - Steffens' Electric Bicycle

Steffens' Electric Bicycle PatentThe Rear Wheel Drive Electric Bicycle was patented by Matthew J Steffens.

1899 - Marshall W. Taylor

Marshall W. (Major) TaylorMarshall W.Taylor, (commonly known as Major Taylor), was one of the first black American elite athletes. Between the years 1895 and 1904, Taylor became celebrated as the fastest bicycle rider in the world. He extensively travelled the world to compete in cycling races.

In 1900, (after years of racial discrimination), Major Taylor was finally permitted to enter into the national championship series. He won the series and became and became the American sprint champion.

1899 - Mile-a-minute Murphy

Mile-a-minute MurphyAmerican, Charles M. Murphy also known as 'Mile A Minute Murphy' set a world speed record when he covered a mile in 57.8 seconds on his bicycle. Murphy laid down about three miles of planking between some railway tracks and had a shield built to attach to the rear carriage of a locomotive. During the record attempt he rode his bicycle flat out along the planking, in the slipstream of the locomotive shield, which provided him with a measure of wind resistance.

1899 - Boer War Cyclists

Boer War CyclistsA Cycle Corps was utilized in the Boer War. The Cycle Corps were used as messengers, patrols, scouts and railway defense. By 1901, 13,000 cyclists had served.

1899 - Dayton Special Roadster

Dayton Special RoadsterThe Dayton Special Roadster Bicycle was manufactured by the Davis Sewing Machine Company.

1899 - Indian Bicycles

Hendee Indian BicyclesThe Hendee Manufacturing Company began producing Indian bicycles. The Indian Motorcycle Company was then created to build the bicycles.

However, it was not until 1902 that the company began manufacturing the more famous motorcycles.

1901 - Cape Colony Cycle Corps

Cape Colony Cycle Corps SoldierThe Cape Colony Cycle Corps, a unit of 500 troops, was formed in South Africa. The corps main work involved with despatch-riding, linking between cavalry and infantry, reconnaissance, carrying mail and stores in rucksacks, and even transporting carrier pigeons.

1901 - Machine Gun Tricycle

Vickers and Maxim Machine Gun TricycleVickers and Maxim built a two-man military tricycle. The tricycle had two machine guns and 1000 rounds ammunition attached.

1901 - Brown Recumbent Bicycle

Brown Recumbent BicycleThe American designed Brown recumbent was a precursory to our contemporary recumbent - despite being ridiculed and lambasted on its release into the marketplace.

1902 - Gazelle Bicycle

Gazelle Bicycle PosterThe Gazelle Bicycle was sold to the public by the Dutch company, Arentsen and Kolling.

1903 - Tour de France

1903 Tour de FranceThe Tour de France cycling race was held for the first time ever. It was won by Italian-born Frenchman, Maurice Garin.

1909 - 3 Speed Bicycle

Raleigh 3 Speed Bicycle PosterRaleigh created a bicycle, equipped with a Sturmey Archer 3-Speed hub.

1914 - Mass Production

1914 Model Peerless BicycleMass production of the bicycle meant that it became a cheap and practical form of personal transport.

1914-18 - Military Cyclists

Military CyclistsDuring the first world war, the British military utilised 14,000 cyclists in a variety of bicycle regiments and battalions.

1917 - Colson Bicycles

Colson TricycleThe Colson Bicycle Company formed when Fred Colson merged the Worthington, Fay, and Fairy businesses into one company. The business became well renowned for it's extensive production of tricycles for adults, children and handicapped people. The company was eventually come to be called Evans-Colson and finally just Evans.

1919 - Fuji Bicycles

Fuji Bicycles LogoThe Nichibei Fuji Cycle Company Ltd, was formed by the merger of Nichibei Trading Company and a Japanese Mechanical Engineering company. Nichibei Fuji Cycle Company began the production of bicycles for the Japanese domestic market.

1920's - Lines Brothers

Tri-Ang Sports Kids PedalcarLines Brothers acquired The Unique and Unity Cycle Company. They originally made bicycles for adults, children's tricycles and bicycles and pedal cars.

1921 - Shimano Bikes

Shozaburo ShimanoShozaburo Shimano established the Shimano Iron Works and began production of the bicycle freewheel.

1924 - Velocar

Mochet's VelocarThe Velocar was invented by Frenchman Charles Mochet. They had the comfortable seating position and the trunk of a car, with the pedal propulsion of the bicycle. The technical equipment included a differential, three gears and a light fairing made of the airplane windshield material Triplex.

1933 - Schwinn Cruiser Bicycle

Schwinn Cruiser Bicycle PosterThe Cruiser Bicycle was developed by Schwinn.

1933 - Mochet's Recumbent Bicycle

Mochet's Recumbent BicycleCharles Mochet developed the Recumbent bicycle, based on the same ergonomic principals as his earlier velocar.

1934 - Recumbent Bicycle Banned

Francis Faure's recumbent bicycle recordThe world's fastest bicycles - recumbent bicycles - were banned from competing by the UCI after Francis Faure rode 45.055 km (27.9 miles) in one hour on a Paris velodrome smashing an almost 20 year old standing record. The recumbent was denounced as an illegal bicycle and banned forever from competing against upright bicycles in the sport.

1934 - Schwinn B-10E

Schwinn B-10E BicycleSchwinn developed the B-10E Boys motorbike.

1935 - Elgin Bluebird

Elgin Bluebird BicycleThe sleek Elgin Bluebird was produced from 1935 to 1937.

1936 - Schwinn Streamline Aero-Cycle

Schwinn Streamline Aero-Cycle PosterSchwinn released the Streamline Aero-Cycle onto the market.

1937 - Folding Paratrooper Bicycle

Folding Paratrooper BicycleThe Birmingham Small Arms Company started manufacturing military bicycles including the folding paratrooper bicycle.

1937 - Dayton Super Streamline

Dayton Super Streamline BicycleThe Dayton Super Streamline was fashioned by the Huffman Bicycle Company.

1938 - Derny Motorized Bicycle

Derny Motorized BicycleThe Derny Motorized Bicycle - built by Roger Derny et Fils.

1938 - Shelby's Airflow Bicycle

Shelby's Airflow BicycleShelby released the stylish Airflow Bicycle.

1939-45 - American Military Bicycles

American Military BicycleDuring World War II, American Military Bicycles were built by the Westfield and Huffman (Huffy) Companies.

1941 - Bicycle Taxis Forbidden

German Military CyclistsThroughout WWII, the German occupiers in Holland forbad the use of bicycle taxis.

1941 - Schwinn Auto Cycle Super Deluxe

Schwinn Auto Cycle Super Deluxe BicycleThe Schwinn Auto Cycle Super Deluxe was created.

1942 - Columbia Compax

Columbia Compax Paratrooper BicycleColumbia created the Compax bicycle for military use by paratroopers. It was a disassembling bicycle.

1949 - Huffy Convertible Childrens Bicycle

Huffy Convertible Childrens Bicycle AdvertisementThe Huffy Convertible Childrens' Bicycle revolutionized the kids bikes market.

More Huffy Bicycle History

1949 - Shelby Donald Duck

Shelby Donald Duck BicycleThe Shelby Donald Duck in both boys and girls designs hit the streets.

1949 - Sitzski Snowbike

Sitzski SnowbikeThe Sitzski Snowbike was patented by Engelbert Brenter, founder of the Brenter Snowbike Company. The 'Sitzski' was the forerunner of the contemporary Snobike.

1950 - Rollfast Hopalong Cassidy

Rollfast Hopalong Cassidy BicycleH.P. Snyder Manufacturing Company produced the Rollfast model Hopalong Cassidy.

1952 - Novice Tandem Gold Medal

Russell Mockridge and Lionel Cox Tandem Bicycle Olympic Gold HelsinkiThe Australian duo, Russell Mockridge and Lionel Cox, won Olympic Gold at Helsinki in the 2000 metres tandem event. Mockridge and Cox came together as a team only days before the event. Mockridge was a champion cyclist and Cox was a cycling unknown who had never taken part in a tandem event in his life! A week later they rode home to a gold medal.

1955 - Huffy Radio Bicycle

Huffy Radio BicycleThe Huffy Radio Bicycle had a built in radio for music lovers.

More Huffy Bicycle History

1956 - BMX Bikes

BMX Bikes BeginningsThe first organized BMX Races were held in the Netherlands. BMX riding was invented in Holland by kids who tried to emulate their motorcross heroes using their bicycles. One of the first ever Bicycle Motocross riders was Ton van Heugten. Ton went on to became a world champion in sidehack racing. (BMX stands for Bicycle Motocross.)

1962 - Moulton Bicycle Company

Moulton Folding BicycleThe Moulton Bicycle Company was founded by Dr Alex Moulton, who created the revolutionary small wheel design.

1964 - 5 wins in Tour de France

Jacques Anquetil Cycling ChampionFrenchman and road racing cyclist Jacques Anquetil, became the first 5-time winner of the Tour de France. His winning streak began in 1957 and continued from 1961 to 1964. Jacques also realized a swag of other achievements including, in 1960, being the first French rider to win the Giro d'Italia.

In 1961, he became the first Frenchman to sport the yellow jersey of the Tour de France from the opening day to the final day, and in 1963 he became the first rider to win all three Tours, with victory in the Vuelta.

1964 - Schwinn Sting-Ray

Schwinn Sting-Ray Muscle BikeThe Schwinn Sting-Ray Muscle Bike or Lowrider was released by Schwinn and customised the by Custom King, Sean Johnson.

1964 - Chopper Bicycles

Tom Karen Chopper Bicycle DesignerThe original Chopper Bicycle (a children's bicycle), was designed by Dr Tom Karen at Ogle Design.

1968 - Raleigh Chopper Bicycle

Raleigh Chopper BicycleRaleigh launched its Chopper Bicycle (a children's bicycle) into the US market.

1970s - 10 Speed Bikes

1970s Schwinn 10 Speed BikeThe 1970's saw a boom in the Ten Speed Bicycle industry.

1970 - Moulton 3 Speed

Moulton 3 Speed BicycleThe Moulton Bicycle Company produced the Moulton Mark III, 3 Speed bicycle.

1970s - The Goodies Trandem Bicycle

The Goodies Trandem BicycleBetween 1970 and 1982, the hit British series The Goodies, featured the cast Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie, travelling around on a three-seater bicycle called the Trandem.

1970 - Cannondale Bikes

Cannondale Bikes LogoThe Cannondale Company was founded in the USA by Joe Montgomery.

More Cannondale Bicycle History

1971 - Raleigh Folding Bike

Raleigh 20 Stowaway Folding BikeRaleigh introduced the Twenty Stowaway Folding Bike.

1971 - Schwinn Apple Krate Sting-Ray

Schwinn Apple Krate Sting-Ray BicycleSchwinn released its immensely popular Apple Krate Sting Ray.

1971 - Giant Bikes

King Liu Giant Bikes FounderThe Giant Bicycle Company was started in Taiwan, by engineer King Liu.

More Giant Bikes History

1971 - BMX Bikes

Scot BreithauptThe first Major BMX race was started by Scot Breithaupt in the USA.

1974 - Modern Recumbent Movement

David Gordon Wilson Recumbent BicycleUS based engineers, Chester Kyle and David Gordon Wilson of MIT, are acknowledged as the fathers of the modern recumbent movement.

More About Recumbent Bicycles

1974 - Specialized Bikes

Mike Sinyard Specialized BikesSpecialized Bicycle Components Inc was founded by Mike Sinyard.

1975 - Tandem Bicycles Circumnavigation

Tandem BicycleEnglish couple, Veronica and Colin Scargill completed a tandem bicycle ride around the world. This was an amazing 18,020 miles or 29,000km.

1975 - Klein Bikes

Gary Klein, Klein Bikes FounderKlein Aluminium Bicycle Frames were conceptualised and designed by MIT graduate, Gary Klein.

More Klein Bicycle History

1975 - Trek Bicycles

Richard Burke, Trek Bicycles FounderThe Trek Bicycle Corporation was established in America, by Richard Burke and Bevil Hogg.

1975 - GT Bicycles

Richard Long and Gary Turner, GT BicyclesGT Bicycles was founded by Richard Long and Gary Turner

1975 - Series Hybrid Pedelec

Augustus Kinzel's Series Hybrid BicycleThe Series Hybrid Bicycle (SH) was created by Augustus Kinzel. This type of bike is powered by the cyclist charging up a generator via the pedals. Pedal energy is transformed into electricity and can be fed straight into the motor. Today, these are called Pedelecs, and they only supply power when the cyclist is pedalling, unlike an electric or e-bike, which can supply constant power from the battery.

1976 - John Hathaway

John Hathaway Bicycle TourCanadian, John Hathaway, undertook a 50,600 mile or 81,433km bicycle tour of every continent in the world. It took him 23 months to complete and made the Guiness Book of Records.

1976 - Repack Downhill Race

Repack Downhill Race PosterThe Repack Downhill Race was the first great mountain bike event. It was organized and promoted by Charlie Kelly and Gary Fisher.

1977 - Pacific Bikes

Chris Hornung, Pacific Cycles FounderPacific Cycle was founded by Chris Hornung. The company is now the major distributor of the DYNO, GT, InSTEP, Huffy, Mongoose, Murray, Pacific Outdoors, Powerlite, Roadmaster, and Schwinn brands.

1979 - Gary Fisher Bicycles

Gary Fisher Bicycles Original LogoThe Mountain Bikes Company was started up by Gary Fisher and Charlie Kelly, the fathers of the sport of Mountain Biking.

1979 - Bicycle Speed Record

Freddie Markham, bicycle speed recordFast Freddie Markham set a bicycle speed record of 81.8 kph over 200m in a Human Powered Vehicle (HPV).

1979 - Avatar 2000

David Gordon Wilson's LWB recumbent bicycleThe Avatar 2000, a long-wheelbase (LWB) recumbent bicycle was designed by MIT's David Gordon Wilson and is considered the first modern production recumbent.

More About Recumbent Bicycles

1980 - International Unicycling Federation

Jack Halpern, International Unicycling FederationThe establishment of an international unicycling federation (IUF) was proposed by German-born unicyclist promoter Jack Halpern.

1980 - Mountain Unicycling

Kris Holm, Unicycling ChampionOff-Road Unicycling (Muni) is an extreme unicycle sport that was devised by pioneer, Kris Holm, one of the most skilled mountain unicyclists on the planet and the most famous in unicycling history.

1980s - Freestyle BMX Bikes

Freestyle BMX Bike RidingThe 1980's saw the creation of the Freestyle or Trick bicycle style of BMX riding. It allegedly originated in San Diego with teenager BMX riders Bob Haro, Kyle Miller, John Swanguen and William Crazy Lacy Furmage. There were five separate discipline created. They were street, park, vert, trails or dirt jumping, and flatland.

1981 - International BMX Federation

BMX BikeThe International BMX Federation was founded.

1981 - Specialized Stumpjumper

Early Specialized Stumpjumper BicycleSpecialized Bicycle Components Inc produced an all terrain mountain bike - the fat-tired and lightweight, 15-gear StumpJumper.

1981 - Brompton Folding Bike

Brompton Folding BikeThe Brompton Folding Bike was created by Andrew Ritchie. In April 1987 his folding bicycle design won the Best Product award at the international Cyclex exhibition.

1982 - Dahon Folding Bike

Dr David Hon, Dahon Bike FounderThe Dahon Folding Bicycle was created and produced by Californian-based physicist Dr David Hon.

1982 - Haro BMX Bikes

Bob Haro, Freestyle BMX PioneerBob Haro developed the BMX Haro Freestyler.

1982 - BMX Bike World Championships

BMX Bike World ChampionshipsFirst BMX World Championships were held in Dayton Ohio, USA.

1983 - Human Powered Vehicle Championships

Human Powered Vehicle ChampionshipsThe First European Human Power Championships were held.

1984 - World Unicycling Convention

UNICON PosterThe First World Unicycling Convention and Championships (UNICON) was held in Syracuse USA.

1985 - Avanti Bikes

Avanti Bikes PosterAvanti Bikes started out in New Zealand then in 1991 Avanti established another arm of the company in Australia.

Since then, Avanti has built up its collection of diverse bicycles to over 80 different models that supply all sections of the cycling community.

Mid 1980s - Linear Recumbents

Linear Recumbent BicycleThe Linear Recumbents Bicycles Company was founded in Iowa by Dirk Kann.

More About Recumbent Bicycles

1988 - Kona Bicycle

Kona BicycleThe Kona Bicycle Company was established by Jacob Heilbron, Dan Gerhard and Joe Murray.

More About Kona Bikes

1988 - Mountain Bike Hall of Fame

Joe Breeze, Breezer Mountain Bikes FounderJoe Breeze was inducted (along with others) into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame for the central role he played in the design and development of mountain biking.

1988 - London Bicycle Tour

London Bicycle TourIn London 31,678 cyclists set a record when they undertook a collective bicycle tour.

1989 - Bicycle Helmets

Bicycle HelmetAustralia passed the world's first Bike helmet legislation, compelling cyclists by law to wear helmets.

1990s - Felt Bikes

Felt BikesFelt Bicycles was founded by Californian, Jim Felt.

More About Felt Bikes

1991 - Conference Bicycle

Eric Staller's Conference BicycleEric Staller created an 8-person bicycle called the Conference Bicycle.

1993 - Electra Bicycles

Electra Bicycles LogoThe Electra Bicycle Company was started by German-born Benno Baenziger and Jeano Erforth.

1993 - Sno Bikes

Sno BikesSwiss Skibob Association changed its name to Swiss Snow Bike Association.

1996 - Olympic Mountain Bikes

Paola Pezzo, Olympic Mountain BicyclistOlympian Paola Pezzo won the a gold medal in mountain biking and she also won gold again at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

1999 - Lance Armstrong

Lance ArmstrongLance Armstrong won his first Tour de France cycling race. He went on to win the race for a record seven consecutive years.

1999 - Street Unicycling

Dan Heaton, Street UnicyclistStreet Unicycling was invented by Dan Heaton. Street Unicycling is a form of riding that combines freestyle and trials.

2003 - Electra Townie Bikes

Electra Townie BikeThe Electra Flat Foot Technology Townie Bike is an innovation in bicycle design.

2003 - Cycling Nude in Spain

Cycling Nude in SpainIn Spain a naked cyclist demonstration was organised by Coordinadora de Colectivos Ciclonudistas de Aragon who claimed the protest was ...

A defiance to the established power and a bet for civil disobedience. Stop the dependence on oil! Down with the pollution! Down with textile industry! Naked in front of traffic against the oil and car dictatorship and its wars. Reclaim the streets for the people.

It was the third such event in Spain.

2006 - Sinclair's Folding A-Bike

Sinclair's Folding A-BikeThe A-bike Folding Bicycle was invented by Englishman Sir Clive Sinclair.

It weighed a mere 5.5 kilograms and fitted in a bag.

2008 - Beijing Olympics BMX

Beijing Olympics BMXBMX bikes joined the Beijing Olympics

2008 - Ride the Lobster

Ride the Lobster Unicycle RaceRide the Lobster, the world's first multi-stage unicycle race, was held in Nova Scotia.

2009 - Gazelle Electric Bicycles

Gazelle Chamonix Innergy Electric BicycleGazelle created history in 2009 when it won the prestigious Dutch Bike of the Year award with its Chamonix Innergy electric bicycle.

This was the first time that an electric bike had collected the esteemed award.

Bicycle History Timeline Quick Finder ...

Please use the scroller above1840    1850    1860    1870    1880    1890
1900    1910    1920    1930    1940    1950
1960    1970    1980    1990    2000


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Check out our COMPREHENSIVE page on 'Who Invented The Bicycle'.

Or read about Thomas Stevens - the first man to circumnavigate the globe - on his Penny Farthing!

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History of Bicycles



Velocipede Bicycle Poster

History of Bicycles - quote ...

... It would not be at all strange if history came to the conclusion that the perfection of the bicycle was the greatest incident of the nineteenth century.


Mountain Bike History Documentary

Klunkerz is an Award-winning documentary about the history of off-road cycling, focusing on the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Features: Joe Breeze and Gary Fisher