Also known as the “velocipede,” “hobby horse,” “draisine,” and “running machine,” Karl von Drais is known as the father of the bicycle. Although, the bike we know and love today was brought to us by several different inventors.
Beginning in the 1860s, french inventors Pierre Lallement, Pierre Michaux, and Ernest Michaux developed prototypes that featured pedals with front wheels. These were the first inventions to be called the bicycle.
In the 1870s and 1880s, models with the oversized front wheel, also known as “penny-fartherings” or “ordinaries,” became extremely popular and made the bicycle much more mainstream.
In 1885, the bike we know today came to fruition. Englishman John Kemp Starley made the “safety bicycle” with equal-sized wheels and a chain drive. Shortly after, brakes and tires were added, which created the basic bicycle template we have today.
Did you know that ebikes were essentially created before automobiles were mass-produced? Although, they were heavy, and you were likely better off on a manual bicycle to get you to your destination faster.
In 1895, Ogden Bolton Jr. created one of the first patents in the United States for a battery-powered bicycle with a motor hub mounted on the rear wheel and a battery in the frame's main triangle. As time went on, different companies had their take on how the ebike would look in the future.
Moving into the 20th century, electric bikes started to go into mass production, and Europe was the first to see higher production levels. Leading into the 21st century, production in the United States substantially increased, and by 2001, the “power bike” was more commonly referred to as the electric bike.
As motor vehicles have become more popular, the number of people who commuted by bike decreased. Although, with the updates recently made to ebikes, between 2020 and 2023, more than 130 million electric bikes are predicted to be sold.
Electric bikes have changed how people think of biking. The battery assist makes pedaling less physical effort, resulting in a faster speed and making pedaling uphill or carrying heavier cargo easier. So, if someone hasn’t ridden their bike in a while, an ebike may encourage them to get back in the saddle.
Electric bikes make commuting more accessible, but they’re also better for the environment, and they emit zero carbon and occupy much less road space than cars.
If you are considering purchasing an electric bike, consider Blix. Blix’s mission is to inspire others to live a more fun and healthier lifestyle by creating ebikes that combine style, utility, and performance.