The Bicycle: From Wood To Metal.



A bicycle is a two-wheeled, steerable machine propelled by its rider; the bicycle is said to be the most efficient means yet devised to convert human energy into propulsion. First made in the early 19th century, it developed as an important means of transportation and as the basis for a world-wide sport and industry. Bicycles are the most numerous road machines in many countries. Bicycles "touring" - travelling or sightseeing - is most widely practised in England but has a large and increasing number of followers in Germany, France, and other European countries. The oldest touring club is the Patrick Bicycle Club of London, founded in 1870. A bicycle rider can quite easily maintain a pace ...

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vehicle that weighed some 45kg (100 lbs). It comprised of a wooden beam structure, straddled by the rider, with a fixed wooden rear wheel and a steerable wheel in front, controlled over a tiller mechanism. It was propelled by pushing off with the legs, rolling along between these propulsive pushes. (fig 1)

page 14 von drais 1817.

Despite the technical and visual development the bicycle has undergone in the years since, the basic concept is clearly present in Von Drais’ invention, and what is more, unlike so many other ideas, this one was actually built and used in practice. The essential principle was the transition from an intermittent (walking) to a continuous (rolling) movement, which greatly reduces energy consumption, since the body weight does not have to be raised with every step, as it is in walking.

Macmillan’s 1839

Copies of Von Drais machine were made in Britain by Denis Johnson and in America. Not until Kirkpatrick Macmillan, a blacksmith of Dumfriesshire, Scotland, ...

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of two Frenchmen, Pierre Michaux and his son Ernest. ffb In Paris in 1861 The Michaux family built a machine on which they attached two cranks to the front wheel. The cranks could be rotated by the rider’s feet, an arrangement that, according to Henry Michaux in 1893, was an adaptation of the crank handles of a vertical grindstone the inventors hand seen. Their machine immediately caught on though its wood and iron frame gave it the nickname of the (Bone- shaker).

James Starley, an inventive young foreman of the Coventry company immediately began development work on the primitive machines. Starley set out to reduce the weight of the clumsy (Velocipedes, fig 5).

page 16 penny ...

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Added: 2/9/2006 04:45:08 AM
Category: Miscellaneous
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1476
Pages: 6

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