CAERSWS Cycling Championships

7 Little Known Facts About Bikes

7 Little Known Facts About Bikes

“We all know some standard things about our bikes. They’re good for us mentally and physically and they’re environmentally friendly, of course. But what about some things you might not know about your trusted two wheeled companion? In this article we share with you some of the lesser known facts about the bicycle, enjoy!


1. Beginnings

In 1817, the German, Karl Drais von Sauerbronn invented a vehicle known as the eponymous Draisine. It also used two wheels, was foot powered and was the predecessor of the modern bike.

2. The name

The term, bicycle, began to be used in France in the 1860s, referring to the updating vehicle with two wheels, this time with the chain and the pedal.

3. Flying bikes

The Wright brothers are credited with inventing and flying the world’s first aircraft, all the way back in 1903, but did you know they also ran a small bike shop? If only they had more time and we might have flying bikes by now!

4. Efficiency

In many cases, 99% of the energy applied to the pedal is transmitted to the wheel, an incredibly efficient amount. Indeed, if a pedestrian and a cyclist exert the same amount of energy, the cyclist will travel 3 times faster.

5. Safety in numbers

The more cyclists on the streets, the safer other cyclists are, according to numerous studies. In Amsterdam, between the years 1977 and 1997 the amount of cyclists on the streets increased by 45% while simultaneously the number of cyclists who lost their lives decreased by 40%. These numbers are encouraging and are caused by cyclists becoming more visible, motorists changing their normal speeding habits and cities investing more in the infrastructure needed for greater numbers of cyclists.

6. How many pieces make up a bike?

More than half of a bike’s components are in the chain. On average, a modern chain consists of about 456 pieces, while the rest of the bicycle has 252. There are bikes that have more parts than others, it just depends on the size.

7. How many bikes are in the world?

It’s estimated that there’s around 1 billion bicycles in the world, with 450 million being used in China alone. Despite being double the amount of bikes in the world as cars, cars have generally been given preference. Changes are happening though, seen with cities such as Copenhagen which have become incredibly bike friendly.”

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