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Evolution of Bicycles

The first documented bicycle that was introduced in the early 19th century was the Draisines or hobby horses. It was built by a German named Baron Karl von Drais and was introduced in Paris in the year 1818. In this crude structure, an individual sat on a wooden frame that was supported by two in-line wheels. The person had to push the vehicle with his feet and steer the front wheel. In the later half of the 19th century, a new dimension was added to the existing machine. In the 1860s, Frenchmen named Pierre Michaux and Pierre Lallement added a mechanical crank drive with pedals on an enlarged front wheel.

After that, came a series of inventions that concentrated on the back wheel, which included the rod-driven velocipede by Scotsman Thomas McCall in 1869. This creation was made of wood and iron and developed into penny farthing or the ordinary bicycle. It featured a tubular steel frame on which were mounted, wire spoked wheels with solid rubber tires. However, it failed because the rear wheel was too big as compared to the tiny front wheel and the weight distribution was poor. A fall from the bicycle ensured that you landed head first on solid ground and also broke your nose!

After that, came the dwarf cycle, which corrected a few of these faults and reducing the rear wheel diameter and also added gearing in order to attain sufficient speed. However, paddling and steering the front wheel still was a problem. This was solved by J. K. Starley, J. H. Lawson and Shergold who introduced the concept of chain drive, which connected the paddles with the frame and the back wheel. Since they were safer as compared to their previous counterparts, these bicycles came to be known as dwarf safeties or safety bicycles.

The bicycle has been one of the most fascinating inventions by man. It is known for its agility and practicality and has been improved drastically since the time it was invented. Today, bicycles are used for transportation, recreation and commuting purposes. The earliest bicycle to be invented was during early 19th century. At that time, the bicycle was a crude structure, with no rubber tyres, no proper saddle, paddles or even brakes for that matter! From that

time, bicycles have been worked upon and the modern day bicycles are a proof of it. Given here is some interesting information on the history and origin of the bicycle. World bicycle and automobile production, in millions, 1950-2007
Bicycles in million units 130 127 124 120 103 94 86 95 88 87 90 96 103 102 99 99 96 91 95 105 98 84 79 76 74 69 65 62 54 51 49 47 43 52 52 46 39 36 25 Cars in million units 52 49 46 44 42 41 40 41.1 39.9 39 39.1 36.9 36 34.8 34.2 36 35.1 36.3 35.7 34.4 33.1 32.9 32.4 30 30 26.7 27.5 28.6 30.8 28 30 28.9 25 26 30 27.9 26 22 23.1 Bicycles over Cars 2.5 2.59 2.7 2.73 2.45 2.29 2.15 2.31 2.21 2.23 2.3 2.6 2.86 2.93 2.89 2.75 2.74 2.51 2.66 3.05 2.96 2.55 2.44 2.53 2.47 2.58 2.36 2.17 1.75 1.82 1.63 1.63 1.72 2 1.73 1.65 1.5 1.64 1.08

year 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989 1988 1987 1986 1985 1984 1983 1982 1981 1980 1979 1978 1977 1976 1975 1974 1973 1972 1971 1970 1969

1968 1967 1966 1965 1964 1963 1962 1961 1960 1959 1958 1957 1956 1955 1954 1953 1952 1951 1950

24 23 22 21 21 20 20 20 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 11

21.6 18.6 19.2 19 16.7 15.9 14 11.4 12.8 10.8 8.7 9.8 9.1 11 8 8 6 7 8

1.11 1.24 1.15 1.11 1.26 1.26 1.43 1.75 1.56 1.76 2.07 1.73 1.76 1.36 1.75 1.63 2 1.57 1.38

Introduction and Development of Bicycles in India

Bicycle was seen in India in the year 1890. Import of cycles, however, started in 1905 and continued for more than 50 years. Complete ban on imports was announced by the Government in July, 1953, but cycle kept on simmering in the country till 1961. In 1890, selling price of an imported bicycle was around Rs. 45/-; in 1917, during the First World War the price jumped to Rs. 500/- but dropped considerably, month by month and came down to Rs. 35/- or so (U. K. makes) and Rs. 15/- or so (Japanese models). It would be interesting to mention that in 1919, five persons in Punjab imported cycles and used them on The Mall, Simla. These included one Bishop, Two military men and two contractors including S. Pala Singh Bhogal (Grand Father of Mr. M.S. Bhogal of Ludhiana). Under special permission of the Governor, they were allowed to use cycles on 'The Mall' only for one hour in a day. They imported B.S.A. Cross Bar Cycle from U.K. and it used to be a kind of Mela at that particular hour on the Mall in Simla, the scene watched by hundreds of people every day. Later, a firm was formed under the name of Singh & Co. with shops on

Railway Road, Jalandhar and Bazar Vakillan, Hoshiarpur, which imported bicycles in the year 1930 onwards.

Hero group was started by the four Munjal brothers, namely: Mr. Satyanand Munjal, Mr. Om Prakash Munjal. Late Mr. Dayanand Munjal and Late Mr. Raman Kant Munjal. hailing from a small town called Kamalia, now in Pakistan in the year 1944 by establishing bicycle spare parts business in Amritsar. After independence and partition of India, they moved to Ludhiana and started a bicycle unit called Hero Cycles in 1956. By 1975, Hero cycles became the largest bicycle manufacturer in India. In 1984, Hero group joined Honda Motors of Japan to create Hero Honda Motors Limited which soon became one of the market leader in motor-cycle sales in India. In 1986 Hero Cycles Limited entered the Guinness Books of World Records as the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world. By the year 2004, Hero Honda became the world' largest manufacturer of two-wheelers with over 48% market share in India. In year 2006, Hero Honda entered the scooter production with launch of its new model - Pleasure.

TI Cycles of India (a Unit of Tube Investments of India Ltd.) is a bicycle manufacturer based in India. Established in 1949 by the Murugappa Group and Sir Ivan Stedeford of Tube Investments Group in UK, TI Cycles is the maker of brands like Hercules, BSA and Philips cycles. It has manufacturing plants at Ambattur near Chennai, Nasik in Maharastra and Noida in Uttar Pradesh. Currently it is the first largest cycle manufacturer in India and number one manufacturer in special segments like Mountain bikes, Sports Lite Roadsters, Racing bikes etc. It has manufacturing capacity of around three million bicycles per year. Of late TI Cycles has begun to sponsor a variety of cycling events, one of them being the 900+ km Tour of Nilgiris, through its brand BSA.

Every year bicycle production in India takes about 10% of the world, which has is approximately 15 million units.

The annual domestic demand of bicycles in India is approximately 10 million units out of which around 2.5 million units is a government demand for the various welfare schemes. Exports out of India are largely to Africa and the less developed economies and negligible to western markets.

Major players in the domestic bicycle industry are Hero Cycles, TI, Avon & Atlas with 40%, 22% & 17% & 10% of share of volume respectively. Most cycles manufactured & sold in India are in the low price bracket of Rs. 2,500 to 3000.

The market for the premium or the lifestyle bikes targeted towards the lifestyle consumer is just about emerging. The definition of high end bikes it self is changing. Earlier the high-end bikes were considered as those selling between Rs. 5000 to 8000. However now with global brands moving into the country this definition is also changing with price-points starting from Rs.15000 to as high as a few lakhs!

Not only are the price points changing but even definition of the segment are. Hitherto, cycles were simplistically segmented into gents, ladies, kids and high end. But now the lifestyle bikes are being segmented in line with the global trend that is based on their usage. There are Road bikes, Mountain bikes, Tourers, Hybrids, BMX' to name a few. Virtually all the big names are present in the country like Giant, Trek, Merida, and Canondale etc.

The demand for these cycles at this stage is very limited but is set to grow at a frenetic pace in future. While the mass-market segment is experiencing a sluggish growth of between 4-6% annually the premium & lifestyle segment is growing at a CAGR of over 30%. The market size for the lifestyle cycles is estimated at not more than 0.25 million units annually but its only time that this segment will form an important part of the industry.






Hand Drive

1821 1839-1840

England Scotland France England Scotland England France USA England England German England England England England England England England Germany Scotland France England England England Germany France France Italy Italy France

Rear-Wheel-Drive Bicycle Pneumatic Tire Treadle Drive Crank-Driven 4-Wheeler Boneshaker Bicycle

1843 1845 1847 1851 1864 1866 1870

Wire-Spoked Wheel Ball Bearings Caliper Brake Differential Gear Internal Hub Gearings Folding Highwheeler

1870 1872 1876 1877 1878 1878 1879

Chain Safety Bicycle Seamless Tubing

1880 1885 1886 1888 1890s

Derailleur Internal Hub Gearing Butted Frame Tubes Freewheel

1896 1896 1897 1898 1910

Recumbent Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike

1914 1915 1930



1933-1934 Mountain Bike Folding Bicycle Shifter Index Shifting Derailleur 1938 1939 1946 1949 1951 1962 String-Ray Rear Derailleur Index Shifting 1963 1964 1969 1970 Bmx (Bicycle Motocross) Mass-Produced Titanium Frame/Fork 1970 1974 1975 Aluminium Frames/Bikes 1975 1978 High-Quality Folding Clincher Tire Aerodynamic Road/Track Bicycles Mass-Produced Mountain Bike Electronic Cycle Computer Moulton Clipless Pedals Index Shifting 1978 1980 1981 1983 1983 1984 1985 1986 Suspended Mountain Bike Aero Handlebars High-Performance Folding Bike Integrated Brake/Shift Levers Electric Derailleurs Hydraulic Disc Brake 1987 1987 1989 1990 1993 1994 1998 30-Speed Derailleur Drivetrain 2002

USA USA France Italy England Italy England USA Japan Japan England USA USA USA USA USA USA East Germany USA USA England France Japan USA USA USA USA Japan France USA Germany Italy

Advantages of bicycles. Effects on society

Walking and horses were replaced by the use of the bicycle as personal transportation. The bicycle created a faster paced society. Bikes helped enforced a concept of gender equality because bike manufacturers began marketing to women. Womens clothing styles continued to evolve to accommodate lifestyle changes due to growing popularity of bicycles among women. Due to their maneuverability the military incorporated the bicycle into their operations.

Effects on environment
When bicycles were first invented there was not much impact on the environment because bicycles do not give off pollution. In the 1970s pollution became a growing issue and bicycles became more popular. Bicycles are used as alternative today because of expensive gas prices and environmental concerns.

It requires lot of physical effort to go fast

Cycling is one of the best way to keep ones health in proper condition . It gives the whole body a workout which is enough to burn those extra calories consumed in the day. Amsterdam has a population of 7 lakhs and number of bicycles are 6 lakhs with separate roads,rules. It is eco-friendly too , and the fuel is YOU