What Could the Future Hold for the Bicycle?

posted by Chris Valentine

The true history of the bicycle is a source of great debate amongst historians, but many now agree that the first iteration of the bike was invented by Karl von Drais back in 1818. This simply saw the user pushing themselves along with their feet without any brakes – or a steering mechanism for that matter.

Jump forward to the present day and it’s fair to say we’ve come a long way since then and the modern ‘bicycle’ is now smartly constructed to offer effective travel across a variety of different terrains with different velocities. 

With all this in mind, it’s not too absurd to think the humble bike won’t really evolve much beyond what we have now, but there are a few theories about what the future might hold. What follows below are a few examples of this, some of which are based on current developments. 

More Portability

A standard bicycle frame can be quite a cumbersome and difficult to lug around when you’re not riding them, however, the bikes of the future may well be much easier to move around and much more portable. We already have examples of this becoming a reality based on current models from makes like Brompton and their folding bikes; so what’s to say this trend won’t continue and one day the may fold down to be even smaller and more compact?

Electrified Power and Pace

We already have electric bikes – or ‘e-bikes’ as they’re known to many – in many cities around the world, but as this BBC article suggests these may become more advanced and be ‘the future of urban mobility’. This could see them being used by more and more people and even those with mobility issues. In addition to this, they may be used as a way of creating and harnessing extra electrical power, much like how modern electric cars can now give energy back to suppliers.  

Innovative Designs

There’s also a lot of speculation around the physical designs of bicycles. There are already plenty of different concepts in the pipeline, as this list from The Cool List explains. In this breakdown there are some designs that look akin to cars and have four wheels, while there are others which look similar to today’s bikes but appear more streamlined and dynamic. 

More Technology

Much like how the technology in the designs and building of bikes has changed, there’s every chance that the tech available when riding them could soon become much more advanced. This could potentially see people getting the same functionality you can find in cars with top trim levels or even in smartphones and tablets. 

Ultimately, most of the above is just pure speculation for the moment and the reality will unfold as and when the new developments happen. What can be agreed though is that if there are major developments in a similar vein to what history has shown us so far, we’re in for some incredible designs that are sure to make what we have now look as outdated as Karl von Drais’ first effort. 

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