- AshleyLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
In the early 1860s, Frenchmen Pierre Michaux and Pierre Lallement took bicycle design in a new direction by adding a mechanical crank drive with pedals on an enlarged front wheel.
Severalwhy-not-the-rear-wheel inventions followed, the best known being therod-driven velocipede by Scotsman Thomas McCall in 1869.
The French creation, made of iron and wood, developed into the "penny-farthing" (more formally an "ordinary bicycle", a retronym, since there were then no other kind).
It featured a tubular steel frame on which were mounted wire spoked wheels with solid rubber tires.
These bicycles were difficult to ride due to their very high seat and poor weight distribution.Bicycle in Plymouth, England at the start of the 20th century The dwarf ordinary addressed some of these faults by reducingthe front wheel diameter and setting the seat further back.
Thisnecessitated the addition of gearing, effected in a variety of ways, toattain sufficient speed.
Having to both pedal and steer via the frontwheel remained a problem. Starley's nephew, J. K. Starley, J. H. Lawson, and Shergold solved this problem by introducing the chain drive (originated by Henry Lawson's unsuccessful "bicyclette"), connecting the frame-mounted pedals to the rear wheel.
These models were known as dwarf safeties, or safety bicycles,for their lower seat height and better weight distribution.
Starley's1885 Rover is usually described as the first recognizably modernbicycle.
Soon, the seat tube was added, creating the double-triangle diamond frame of the modern bike.Further innovations increased comfort and ushered in a second bicycle craze, the 1890s' Golden Age of Bicycles.
In 1888, Scotsman John Boyd Dunlop introduced the pneumatic tire, which soon became universal.
Soon after, the rear freewheel was developed, enabling the rider to coast.
This refinement led to the 1898 invention of coaster brakes.Source(s): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle