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How early could something like the modern bicycle have been created?

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How early could something like the modern bicycle have been created?

Old 11-21-14, 09:33 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
The drive train would be the sticking point for an earlier bicycle. Almost everything you could imagine custom fabricating with the right skill level. I think the chain would be a problem.
While the bicycle drawing was a hoax, da Vinci really did design chain drives, they'd be tedious to make by hand but not especially challenging.

Alternatively, flat leather belts on pulleys were reliable power transmission for centuries, too.
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Old 11-22-14, 09:24 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by fsir View Post
There was no cushiony material available at any time prior to pneumatic tires that could have been better than raw wood wheels? I thought the MesoAmerican Natives introduced the Eurpoeans to rubber.
I suppose a tire could be built up with strips of leather that would provide some cushioning. Even a solid tire would be better than straight wood. Springs under seats also used to be more common.
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Old 11-22-14, 09:38 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
Sorry, but let's be realistic. The car would have supplanted the bicycle just as it replaced the train. Trains and cars travel faster, with greater creature comforts and more load capacity than a bicycle ever could. Cars add in the freedom to not be tied to someone elses schedule the same way a horse-drawn carriage did (which coincidentally coexisted just fine with trains but were replaced by cars). My 35 mile drive to work this morning in windy 10F weather is why bicycles aren't the predominant form of transportation.



If the train and car were not invented but the bicycle was we would have arranged our cities and lives around it more sensibly. The invention of the automobile is why you have a 35 mile drive!
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Old 11-22-14, 12:49 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by modelmartin View Post
If the train and car were not invented but the bicycle was we would have arranged our cities and lives around it more sensibly. The invention of the automobile is why you have a 35 mile drive!
No, wanting to live outside the suburbs and outside of certain restrictive local Governments is why I drive 35 miles. I didn't mean to sound like I dislike it, it's a great time to relax after a day at work. Yes, life everywhere would be different without motorized transportation.


So, has anyone out there tried to make their own primitive bike?

Just had a thought that instead of a bike chain, what about a linked chain for propulsion. Like chain for a padlock? That's been around a lot longer and is easier to make. Every other link would be open for a gear tooth to engage it.

Last edited by Caliper; 11-22-14 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 11-22-14, 03:36 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
No, wanting to live outside the suburbs and outside of certain restrictive local Governments is why I drive 35 miles. I didn't mean to sound like I dislike it, it's a great time to relax after a day at work. Yes, life everywhere would be different without motorized transportation.

My comment was not about your choice. That was made possible by the car and a highway system. If there was not a highway system and you had to commute by bike you certainly would not decide to move 35 miles from work. Cars and a highway system made your choice possible.

Number one reason for sprawl is highways!
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Old 11-23-14, 12:56 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by modelmartin View Post
My comment was not about your choice. That was made possible by the car and a highway system. If there was not a highway system and you had to commute by bike you certainly would not decide to move 35 miles from work. Cars and a highway system made your choice possible.

Number one reason for sprawl is highways!
Don't forget parking lots and the enormous acreage that they consume. Without car parking lots to bloat the city, that city might be much smaller and he wouldn't have a 35 mile commute, only a 10 mile commute from his suburb.
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Old 11-23-14, 08:21 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by modelmartin View Post
If the train and car were not invented but the bicycle was we would have arranged our cities and lives around it more sensibly. The invention of the automobile is why you have a 35 mile drive!
+1

This steam locomotive and electric streetcar providing access to the suburbs for those wanting to live there. One can point out that it was the electric streetcar that gave us the 10 mile commute since that was the length of many lines.

Once those option were eliminated, most Americans were stuck paying for their transport.

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Old 11-23-14, 01:46 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by jputnam View Post

Alternatively, flat leather belts on pulleys were reliable power transmission for centuries, too.
Still are. Friend of mine is a machinist who has 3-phase in his garage for a mill a lathe and some other stuff. I was surprised as hell to see the lathe had a stapled leather belt between the motor and the business-section.
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Old 11-23-14, 04:28 PM
  #34  
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But they were making bikes in the Renaissance, and even earlier. The full report is here.

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Old 11-23-14, 04:53 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
I think it's been shown that gyroscopic effects have minimal effects on staying upright. That's why it's so easy to lean, or even fall over. What keeps the bike upright is the ability to steer the bike under yourself as you're moving. It works equally well with skis on it, with no gyroscopic action at all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxW6ir2TTtk

The two-wheel balancing isn't really essential to the idea, though. If it turned out to be impossible to balance on two wheels, no problem, we'd all be riding 3-wheelers with similar features and think nothing of it. But they wouldn't have been any easier to make.
+1 on the balancing. A bicycle will self-balance as long as it's moving and the contact point of the front wheel is behind the steering axis. It's easy enough to demonstrate by "ghost-riding" a bike across an empty lot. Heck, you don't even need a wheel:
The Daily Bike: The Icyclists | adventure journal

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Old 11-23-14, 06:16 PM
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Old 11-26-14, 01:49 PM
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The day after the wheel was invented....You can make a 100% wooden bicycle if need be.
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Old 11-26-14, 03:32 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
Don't forget parking lots and the enormous acreage that they consume. Without car parking lots to bloat the city, that city might be much smaller and he wouldn't have a 35 mile commute, only a 10 mile commute from his suburb.
I doubt we'd be entirely free from parking lots without cars. A horse and buggy still takes about the same space to park. Bike parking would reduce space by 0-75% depending on how many people are in the car (four bikes park in about the same space as one car)

Smaller cities would be great, but thank goodness I don't work in one! Moved out of the suburbs about 5 years ago, doubt they'd take me back anymore. Too crowded and never really comfortable living there anyways.

Originally Posted by John Redcorn View Post
Still are. Friend of mine is a machinist who has 3-phase in his garage for a mill a lathe and some other stuff. I was surprised as hell to see the lathe had a stapled leather belt between the motor and the business-section.
My biggest concern with a leather belt would be stretch. With a power source that has continuous torque this isn't an issue, but on a bike I worry I'd spend too much effort as the belt stretches and contracts with each pedal stroke.

[QUOTE=Jeff Wills;17333657]+1 on the balancing. A bicycle will self-balance as long as it's moving and the contact point of the front wheel is behind the steering axis. It's easy enough to demonstrate by "ghost-riding" a bike across an empty lot. Heck, you don't even need a wheel:
The Daily Bike: The Icyclists | adventure journal

What's that funny round thing on the back of the bike? Not a wheel?
Yes, caster/trail makes bikes self-steer which helps, but the ability to stay upright also comes from gyroscopic action.

Actually, an ice bike could work to separate gyroscopic action from motion (kinda hard to do that with wheels) Make a bike with a skate front and rear. Give it a push and compare how long it will ghost ride across a sheet of ice compared to a wheeled bike. I believe the wheeled bike will stay upright longer but would be interested to see this done.

Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
The day after the wheel was invented....You can make a 100% wooden bicycle if need be.
A balance bike, yes. But you'll still need some sort of concept of leverage and power transmission.
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Old 11-26-14, 11:16 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
Actually, an ice bike could work to separate gyroscopic action from motion (kinda hard to do that with wheels) Make a bike with a skate front and rear. Give it a push and compare how long it will ghost ride across a sheet of ice compared to a wheeled bike. I believe the wheeled bike will stay upright longer but would be interested to see this done.
I'd love to see someone try this. It sounds like something the MnHPVA would try, but they seem to be defunct. I'd try it, but it doesn't freeze often enough here to make experimentation possible.
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Old 02-21-15, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
+1 on the balancing. A bicycle will self-balance as long as it's moving and the contact point of the front wheel is behind the steering axis. It's easy enough to demonstrate by "ghost-riding" a bike across an empty lot. Heck, you don't even need a wheel:
The Daily Bike: The Icyclists | adventure journal

What's that funny round thing on the back of the bike? Not a wheel?
Yes, caster/trail makes bikes self-steer which helps, but the ability to stay upright also comes from gyroscopic action.

Actually, an ice bike could work to separate gyroscopic action from motion (kinda hard to do that with wheels) Make a bike with a skate front and rear. Give it a push and compare how long it will ghost ride across a sheet of ice compared to a wheeled bike. I believe the wheeled bike will stay upright longer but would be interested to see this done.

I actually did this when I was a kid - not with a skate, but with a ski. Took off the front wheel, and replaced it with a ski, (built up with the appropriate number of 2x4s to get the correct height!).

Did plenty of testing, even high speed testing at the local sliding hill. MUCH harder to balance.
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Old 02-21-15, 11:39 PM
  #41  
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Test bicycles have been built with added counter-rotating wheels to eliminate gyroscopic forces. They're still stable.

Researchers explain why bicycles balance themselves | Cornell Chronicle
Hugh Hunt - Cambridge University - Are Gyroscopic Effects Significant When Riding A Bicycle ?
Sign in to read: Like falling off... - 09 December 2006 - Control - New Scientist
https://socrates.berkeley.edu/~fajans...onesBikeBW.pdf
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