Category: Bike history & facts

The heaviest bike in the world is the work of Lithuanian Antanas Kontrimas. For the Guinness Book of Records, he built the toughest bicycle in the drive state. Its weight was impressive 1385 kilograms.

1385 kilograms, Lithuanian Antanas Kontrimas
1080 kilograms, German Frank Dose
860 kilograms, Belgian Jeff Peeters


The longest bicycle for more people ever made had 20 seats and was 42 meters long and weighed 2.5 tons, made by the University of Australia in 2015:


The term “bicycle” did not exist until the 1860’s when the Frenchmen invented it to describe the new two-wheel vehicle with the mechanical drive.

The bicycle was called velociped before the word ‘bicycle’ was picked up.

The first bicycle race was held in 1868 near Paris. It was 1.2 kilometres long and James Moore won on a wooden bicycle with iron tires.

Orville and Wilbur Wright, brothers who invented the first plane, had a small bike service in Dayton, USA. The workshop was used to create a plane Wright Flyer.

From 1884 to 1886, Thomas Stevens is the first person who circled the world by bicycle in history.

Fred A. Birchmore (25) circled the world by bicycle in 1935. The entire trip across Europe, Asia, and the USA amounted to 65,000 km. The only pedalling was 40000 km while the rest of the trip was spent on a boat trip. He spent seven pairs of tires.

The first commercial model of the bike that was released for sale in 1868 was weighing 80 kilograms.

In 1975, Bell Auto made the first true cycling helmet. It was made of hard plastic and similarly foam-like material. It was the beginning of the modern helmets we use today.

The bikes had tires filled with air before the cars.

The fastest speed by riding a bicycle on a flat surface, with no help, is 144.17 km/h. The record was set by Todd Reichert in 2016.

Professional cyclists go up to 40,000 km per year.

Bicyclists in America were the athletes with the highest salary before the famous baseball player Babe Ruth went to the New York Yankees.

The Tour de France is one of the most famous cycling races in the world. The first race was held back in 1903 and is considered to be the biggest endurance test in the sport at all.

The longest bicycle race in the world is the Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme – 9200 kilometres.

The Bicycle Motocross X (BMX) was designed in the 1970’s as a cheaper alternative to motocross motors.

BMX, the extreme discipline of bicycling racing, became the sport of 2008 at the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Maris Stromberg from Latvia won the first gold medal in the men’s BMX competition, while Anne-Caroline Chausson from France won the gold medal in the women’s competition.

A bicycle with the same energy consumption can be driven three times faster than walking.

15 bicycles can be parked on space of one car, and some say can up to 20.

There are over half a billion bicycles in China. The bike was first introduced in China at the end of the 19th century.

Every year, more than 100 million bicycles are produced worldwide.

The delivery by bicycle has evolved over the last 30 years to an important industry, especially in cities where couriers have created a reputation for fast delivery and the ability to avoid traffic jams.

On the old continent, bicycles are often used as a means of transport – in Italy, bicycles are used in 5% of all city travel, in the Netherlands 30%, and seven out of eight Danes over the age of 15 have an own bicycle. In the United States, the things are a lot different – the bicycles used for city traffic are used in less than 1% of cases.

57% of the population of Amsterdam drives a bicycle every day.

Some researches show that the number of accidents in cycling, given the mileage, is 11 times lower than the pedestrians. Due to the number of kilometres travelled, the danger of cycling is about 100 times smaller than for pedestrians and 3-4 times smaller than for car drivers.

If we compare the number of calories consumed while driving a bicycle with the number of calories burned by a car, the difference is astonishing. A bicycle driver with burned 100 calories can drive 8 km, while a car with 100 calories can drive only 85 meters.



Depending on the purpose, bicycles differ significantly on the construction, wheel size and width of the tire, the shape of the frame and steering, and other accessories. Sports bikes are designed for cycling competitions, typically made of lightweight and more robust materials, with a minimum of additional equipment such as mudbins, lights, etc. Recreational or transport bikes are usually equipped with accessories that make driving more comfortable or convenient. In addition to the upright bike, there is a lying bike on which the biker is in a lying or semi-lying position.


Today, the following models are most frequently used according to the difference in construction:

  • A city bike, often produced in male and female versions, and the difference is in the corner of the upper tube on the frame. These bikes often have additional equipment for driving comfort, such as dampers, lights, luggage, etc.
  • A road bike, a specific bent handlebar shape, usually very thin tire and free of extra equipment to reduce weight. These bikes are most often the fastest, due to their low weight, lower air resistance and rolling resistance.
  • Mountain bikes with flat steering, a rigid tube frame of a larger profile than the road. They are commonly equipped with a front shock absorber, sometimes with the rear shock absorber to dampen vibrations caused by uneven ground when driving outside the well-groomed paths.
  • BMX is a specific design of a small wheel bike and a simple construction.


We can still share bikes according to other criteria, such as:

  • A number of persons: the most common bikes are for one person, but there is also a tandem, bike for two people. Bikes are rarely used for more than two people, but it is known that there are interesting bike performances for three, four or even some examples of more bikers.
  • A number of portable ratios and gearbox types: The vast majority of bikes are equipped with a speed gearbox, which enables proper power transmissions for different driving conditions such as downhill, uphill or flat ride. There are bikes with only one transmission ratio, no gearboxes, such as BMX bikes, children’s bikes, and racing bikes on the pistes. The gearboxes also come in a variety of designs, ranging from gearboxes mounted to the wheel hub, to the sprocket gearbox and the chain that, by shifting the chain between the different front and rear sprockets, changes the portable ratio.
  • A number of wheels: Although the two-wheeled bike standard is the most widely used, tricycles are often used, especially for cargo transportation or children’s bikes. More than three wheels are less frequent.



The first bicycle in Zagreb was brought by Ladislav Beluš in 1867 from the World exhibition in Paris, and already on June 26, 1885, the First Croatian Bike Society was founded, which promoted a cultivated ride through the city and organized excursions around city Zagreb. Soon many bicycle clubs are established in several cities, and in Zagreb, there are the Croatian club of bicyclists Sokol 1887, the club ‘Koturaški klub Sloven’ 1894, the club of bicyclists Velocitas 1892 and the club ‘Zagrebački koturaški klub Orao’ 1904.

The first bicycling racetrack in Zagreb was built in 1891 at today’s Roosevelt Square, which was built by the Croatian Club of bicyclists Sokol. In this racetrack in 1892, the first bicycling championship of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia was held in a 5000-meter race.

On June 29, 1886, the first bicycling race in Zagreb was held for the Croatian national theatre in Zagreb, driven on Zrinjevac, and competed in two categories: large and small bicycles.

The first bicycle race on Zrinjevac

Many races have been taken since then, and the most famous is Tour of Croatia, a race of more than 1000 kilometres.

U Hrvatsku se godišnje prosječno uveze oko 200 tisuća bicikli. Najmanji uvoz zabilježili smo krizne 2010. godine kada je ta brojka bila 127 tisuća komada, koje su hrvatski uvoznici platili 90,2 milijuna kuna.

Approximately 200 thousand bicycles are imported to Croatia annually. The lowest imports were recorded in the 2010 crisis when this number was 127 thousand pieces, which Croatian importers paid 12.3 million €.

Jedina domaća literatura koja obrađuje anatomiju bicikla i tehničke aspekte je diplomski rad Gordana Krpanca – Konstrukcija brdske dvokolice iz 1991.

The only domestic literature about bicycle anatomy and technical aspects is the graduate thesis of Gordan Krpanac –  Construction of the Mountain two-wheeler vehicle 1991.



The bicycle discovery is not related to a specific time or name of a particular inventor. Through history, there were several examples of vehicles powered by human strength, but often it was significantly different from today’s bicycle concept. As the first bicycle driver, the German baron Karl von Drais was mentioned, he created a bicycle that was driven by the footsteps of the ground, it still exists in the Paleis Het Loo Museum in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands. This bike was almost entirely made of wood, this vehicle better known as “draisine” is the forerunner of a bicycle we know today.

The bicycle Draisine

Between 1850 and 1860, Frenchman Ernest Michaux with his student Pierre Lallement developed the bike pedals on the front big wheel. That bike Michaux later patented. Such bikes were difficult to drive and dangerous because the falls were frequent. Driving problems were somewhat reduced by introducing the steering wheel and shifting the seats to a better position, but the advancement was the introduction of a chain drive designed by J.K. Starley, J.H. Lawson and Shergold. Starley’s 1885 bicycle model is most often considered the first modern bicycle. Further improvement was the introduction of pneumatic tires in 1888, introduced by Scot John Boyd Dunlop.

The bicycle model in 19th century

Osnovni koncept bicikla do današnjih dana nije se bitno mijenjao, osim što je tehnološki napredak donio primjenu kvalitetnijih materijala u izradi, te su današnji bicikli daleko upravljiviji i sigurniji.