A bicycle is a human-powered vehicle that features two wheels and is propelled by pedals. It is also steered by handlebars. Some people use a bicycle as their primary mode of transportation, while others ride for recreation or competition. Bicycles are an effective way to get exercise and can help people stay healthy.
People who use a bicycle as their primary mode of transport often ride to work, school, or other locations that are close by. This makes it easy to commute to these places and helps the environment by reducing the need for cars or buses. Bicycles can also be used to visit local attractions, such as parks and museums.
When riding a bicycle, it is important to follow the rules of the road. This helps prevent accidents and injuries. In addition, cyclists should wear a helmet to protect their head. If a person is injured while riding a bicycle, they may be able to recover damages from the at-fault party.
A bicycle is the most efficient means of human-powered travel, both biologically and mechanically. It converts up to 99% of the energy a person puts into the pedals into forward motion. In order to keep this high efficiency, a bike must be well-engineered and maintained.
The first bicycles were invented in the nineteenth century, and were originally referred to as draisines or laufmaschines after their German inventor Karl Drais. The bicycle grew in popularity after the invention of the safety bicycle in the late 1880s. The safety bicycle featured a chain and sprockets to connect the pedals and wheels. It was a significant improvement over the older, all-metal models that were called boneshakers because of their rough ride.
Modern bicycles are available in many different styles, from road bikes to BMX bikes. They can be made of steel, aluminum, carbon fiber, titanium, or other materials. Most affordable bikes have frames and forks made of steel or aluminum, while more expensive models feature a combination of these and other materials. The dimensions and angles of the frame and fork, referred to as geometry, determine the handling characteristics of the bike.
Most bicycles have rim brakes, which clamp on the wheel rims to slow down the bike. More expensive bikes often have disc brakes, which use a separate rotor on the hub that acts as a braking surface. These are generally more powerful and consistent than rim brakes, but can be more difficult to adjust.
Zach is a freelance writer, the head coach at ZNehr Coaching, and an elite-level racer in road, track, and e-racing. He has written extensively on all things cycling, from buyer’s guides to product reviews and race analysis. He has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and enjoys helping athletes of all ages and abilities achieve their goals. His writing has appeared in a number of online and print publications. He is an advocate for the power of the bicycle to promote health and wellness.