Who Invented The Bike? A History

Who invented the bicycle? This is a question that has been asked by people for many years. The answer is not quite as straightforward as you might think. There are several different people who have claimed to be the inventor of the bicycle. In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating history of this iconic invention and find out who really deserves the credit!


Karl von Drais

Karl von Drais was born on June 17, 1785 in Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg. He was a German inventor who developed the first bicycle.

Drais began his career as a civil servant in the government of Baden. In 1817, he became interested in improving transportation and submitted a proposal to the grand duke of Baden for developing a “locomotive buggy.” The grand duke rejected the proposal, but allowed Drais to develop his idea anyway.

Drais’ invention, which he called the Laufmaschine (running machine), was made of two wooden boards connected by a hinge at the front and propelled by pushing off with your feet. It was the first machine to use two wheels in tandem and the first that could be ridden without any prior training.

He unveiled his invention at a park in Baden-Baden on June 12, 1817. Though it was not immediately successful, the Laufmaschine gained popularity over the next few years and was used for transportation and recreation by both young and old alike.

Eventually, his would evolve into the modern bicycle. Today, we continue to use this to get around town, commute to work, or just enjoy a leisurely ride on a sunny day. Thank you, Karl von Drais, for making our lives just a little bit easier!

John Kemp Starley

The first recorded instance of a bicycle-like invention was made by an Englishman named John Kemp Starley in 1885. His bike, which he called the “safety bicycle”, featured two equal sized wheels and a chain drive system. This design was a huge improvement on previous designs, which were often dangerous and unstable.

John Kemp Starley was born in 1854, in Coventry, England. His father was a watchmaker and his mother was a milliner. He apprenticed with his father for four years before going to work for the Swiss watch company, Longines. He returned to England in 1877 and went to work for George Singer’s sewing machine company in Coventry. It was there that he met James Starley, who would become his business partner.

In 1880, the two men started their own business making bicycles. They called their company “Starley & Sutton Co.” Their first bike was called the “Ariel,” and it had Equal wheels of equal size. This design is still used on modern bicycles today.

The company prospered and in 1885, they moved to larger premises. In 1888, they renamed the company “J. K. Starley & Co.” John Kemp Starley died in 1901, but his company continued to make bicycles until it was bought out by Raleigh in 1960.

Pierre Michaux

However, some people argue that the credit for inventing the modern day bicycle should actually go to Frenchman Pierre Michaux. Michaux is credited with creating the first pedal-powered bike in 1855. His bike used pedals connected to the front wheel in order to power it forwards.

Pierre Michaux was born in France in 1811. He was the son of a blacksmith and he grew up working in his father’s shop. When he was eighteen, Pierre moved to Paris to learn more about blacksmithing and metallurgy.

Pierre Michaux is best known for inventing the velocipede, or “bone shaker,” in 1839. The velocipede was the first human-powered vehicle with pedals, and it became very popular during the 1860s. More than 200,000 velocipedes were manufactured during that time period!

Pierre Michaux died in 1883, but his invention lived on.


Whichever inventor you believe deserves credit for creating the bicycle, there is no doubt that this invention has had a profound impact on the world. Over the past century, bikes have become an extremely popular form of transportation. They are a cheap, efficient and eco-friendly way to get around. In fact, bikes are now used by over one billion people worldwide!

The History – 1900s

In the early 1900s, bicycle design began to change with the introduction of pneumatic tires. These tires made biking much more comfortable and resulted in a boom in popularity. Bicycles began to be mass-produced around this time and were increasingly seen as a necessity rather than a luxury.

The Tour de France, one of the most famous cycling races in the world, was first held in 1903.

During the first half of the 20th century, bicycles played an important role in the women’s suffrage movement. Women used bikes as a way to travel long distances and spread their message of equality far and wide.

Bicycles have also been used in times of war. They have been used for transportation, carrying supplies and even as weapons! In fact, some historians believe that the invention of the bicycle helped to shorten the length of World War One by making troops more mobile.

The 1950s

By the 1950s, cycling had become a popular mode of transportation and sport all over the world.

There are several reasons why cycling became a popular mode of transportation in the 1950s. Firstly, the invention of pneumatic tires (the early 1900s as above) made biking a much more comfortable experience. This led to an increase in the number of people who opted to cycle as their main form of transportation.

Secondly, the rise in popularity of the automobile led to a decline in public transportation. Cycling became a more affordable and convenient way to get around than using buses or trains.

Today, bicycles are still used for transportation and recreation, and there are many different types available to suit everyone’s needs.

Women In Cycling

Cycling has come a long way since the 1960s. In those days, cycling was seen as a sport for men only. Women were not allowed to participate in races, and they were not considered strong enough to ride a bicycle.

This attitude began to change in the 1970s. Women started to compete in cycling races, and they began to be treated as equals to men. This progress continued in the 1980s, when women began winning major cycling competitions.

Today, women are some of the best cyclists in the world. They can compete with men on equal terms, and they often win major races. Cycling is now a sport that anyone can enjoy, regardless of their gender or age. Thanks to these amazing athletes, cycling has become a truly inclusive sport.