Recycling

Kids' bikes go back to the future

Shippey PR

Have children's balance bikes reached a tipping point? The pedal-free machines--which look a lot like the world's first bicycle--have gone mainstream, rolling over the competition in stores and on reality TV.

1817

Germany's Baron Karl von Drais invents a wooden contraption--two in-line wheels, no pedals--designed for gliding. The French call it a draisienne; the English, a hobbyhorse

1860s

The velocipede adds pedals to the front wheel; wooden spokes and iron rims that clatter over cobblestones help earn it the nickname "boneshaker"

1870

Bicycles with huge front wheels begin to surge in popularity. Initially called ordinaries, they are later dubbed penny-farthings, in...

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