- 1817 -

The Draisienne


Created in 1817 by the german Karl Drais von Sauerbronn, it's the first vehicle made up of a beam connecting only 2 wheels located one behind the other. The driver sat on a saddle and moves by pressing the ground with its feet. Drais called his machine Laufmaschine (running machine). Because of the name of its inventor, this vehicle will be known also under the name of Draisienne.

In a French patent of 1818, this same vehicle will be called Vélocipede.


- 1839 -

Vélocipede with levers


In 1839, the Scot Kirkpatrick Mac Milan is the first to improve the Draisienne by involving the rear wheel using levers, which avoids "beating sole" and makes it possible to advance more quickly and on longer courses. Consequently, it is certainly the first to have tried out balance on a bicycle.


- 1861 -

Vélocipede with pedals


French Pierre and Ernest Michaux, father and son, had the idea to fix pedals on the Draisienne front wheel axle.


- 1869 -

The High-Wheel


At that time, whereas the French industry of the bicycle will stop due to war, English industry progresses quickly. Knowing that the pedals are assembled on the front wheel axle, to go more quickly it is thus necessary to increase the diameter of the latter. High-Wheel will be also called bicycle.


- 1880 -

The Safety


The High-Wheel races involved a climbing up of the front wheel, which makes it far from sure for any other use that sporting. There is thus there a return behind on the wheel's sizes and the saddle's height. The pedal's axis is placed under the front wheel axle. The pedals actuate the wheel by 2 chains, 1 on each side.


- 1890 -

The Bicycle


It is in 1879 that the first patent for a small bicycle is deposited. It is a bicycle with a front wheel not exceeding 1 meter diameter and an pedal's axis connected by a chain to the back wheel axle. In 1890, the bicycle will have acquired its final form.