The bicycle wheel enters a new phase of development!
The bicycle wheel has come a long way from the early days of its development. The British engineer James Starley in 1871 invented ‘The High Wheel Bicycle’, also known as the ‘Penny Farthing’. There were several earlier attempts to build an efficient bicycle, such as the ‘Hobbyhorse’ and a French invention the ‘Velocipede’, but it was James Starley’s Penny Farthing that was the first really efficient bicycle. The Penny Farthing was constructed with a simple frame with one large wheel at the front and a smaller wheel at the rear, both tyres were made of rubber. James Starley is regarded as the father of the British cycling industry.
Although the Penny Farthing was a success, it was a dangerous bicycle to ride. In 1885 James Starley’s nephew, John Kemp Starley produced the first successful ‘Safety Bicycle’ called the ‘Rover’. With further advances in technology such as John Dunlop’s reinvention of the bicycle tyre in 1888, the bicycle was now a safer and more comfortable form of transport.
The development of the safety bicycle was the most important change in the history of the bicycle. The public perception that the bicycle was a dangerous sports toy for young men, changed to that of the bicycle being now a new form of everyday transport for men, and, crucially, women of all ages.
Over the next 50 years the design of bicycle components began to evolve, the introduction of derailleurs, freewheel hubs, efficient gearing and brakes that worked well really helped to bring the bicycle to the design we see today. A greater variety of materials, manufacturing techniques, increased popularity and scientific knowledge has enabled bicycle manufacturers to create many different forms of bicycles, such as the commuter bikes, BMX’s, mountain bikes and specialist racing bikes.
What technical advances is the humble bicycle making in the 21st century?
Today the bicycle continues to evolve, there are pollution reversing bikes, feather light electric bikes, life matching luxury bikes and many others. One of the newest gadgets on the market for your bike is the new Urban cycling gadget, which is able to turn almost any bicycle into an electric one, or so it’s maker claim. The battery-powered Electron Wheel fits most bikes with rim brakes to give cyclists a cruising speed of 20mph with a 50-mile range. It is mounted on the bike’s front fork and is said to take just 20 seconds to clip on without tools. The device can be monitored using a smartphone app.
At Bibo we believe that the popularity of the bike continues to increase because individuals are trying to make good lifestyle choices, being more mindful of what pollution is doing to our planet, choosing a healthier lifestyle. Cycling enables us to achieve these goals. That’s why at Bibo we are creating a clothing line to help to achieve those life style choices.