ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Birth of the Modern Bicycle 1893-6

Updated on February 27, 2012
1895 bike
1895 bike
1898 duo bike
1898 duo bike
1899 Female bike-no bar across -easy access for bulky dresses
1899 Female bike-no bar across -easy access for bulky dresses
1902 bike
1902 bike
3-gears
3-gears
3-gear details
3-gear details
The inventor
The inventor
The bridge and its inspiration
The bridge and its inspiration
1903 gearbox
1903 gearbox
The new, flexible seat
The new, flexible seat
The seat of a few ounces
The seat of a few ounces

Great devices we use daily without much thought always began with someone at some point in time. The bicycle you ride in a race, up a mountain, along a trail today was born in 1897. Prior to this date, nearly all bicycles were of the high wheeler types where the pedal was attached directly to the wheel. The bikes were visually different with their huge 55-inch front wheel for faster speeds and its much small rear wheel. This sort of bike required the user to pedal 121 revolutions per minute to reach 20 mph. The High wheel bikes were very common from the 1880's, some bikes began to use a chain that drove the rear wheel by the 1887-9. These bikes were heavy and their seats were uncomfortable.

Enter Mikael Pedersen, who lived in England. He was an avid bicycler who rode up to 5000 miles a year, who had found many faults with the bicycle, a toy reserved for the rich (a bike cost 4 pounds. The average wage was 1.5 pounds a week). He found the seat to be very uncomfortable and heavy, and created a new seat made of small strands of rope. He was also unhappy with the frame most bikes had. Then, one day, probably in 1893-4, he rode across the Whipple-Murphy bridge in Dursley glancing at the structure, he stopped, and it dawned on him to use the similar geometric design for it was light and strong for his new bike tubular frame that weighed around 15-19 lbs, which was light for bikes. The seat was strung within the frame with leather straps and was flexible. Riding this bike was comfortable, not rigid. Of course, the 24" wheels were new and the first 2-3 speed gear boxes appeared, which resemble to today's bikes. The bike was popular with racing.

With the help of backers, who believed in his new bike, the company was formed and created production bikes starting in 1896. As the bike became popular, production increased to 30 bikes a week. The first bikes had no gears, it was not until 1903 that the first 3-gear boxes appeared. He went on to create a racing bike that weighed only 10 lbs. All of the standard functions of today's bike were present in the 1903 models-hand brakes, tube frame, standard sprocket and 2-3 gears, switched by a lever.

Mikael began to lose interest and by 1917, his small bike company stopped making them, although others made copies of them. It is estimated that maybe 8000 were produced, other sources indicate 30,000. He went on to design other things that were of lesser importance and he faded away with age. He died in 1929.

Like Henry Ford who took the car to the next level, Mikael did the same for the bicycle!


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      6 years ago

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      khmohsin 

      6 years ago

      Very nice to see this information .

    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 

      6 years ago from Olney

      Very interesting hub. Thank you.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Riding bikes is an enjoyable exercise, however I believe the 1902 bike would be a challenge. The design seems a little uncomfortable. Thanks for the history lesson.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      6 years ago

      I often wondered where did the modern bike originate from.

    • RecruitmentTips profile image

      RecruitmentTips 

      6 years ago from Melbourne

      Great photo's... That '1898 duo bike' must be designed as some sort of punishment :) That guy better watch his beard!

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      6 years ago

      The history also helps!

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Nice!!!!!!!!!!

      I'm bicycle bound these days. They're my only form of transportation at present, and it's also rather healthy to use that mode of trans!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)