200 years in the saddle

The bicycle is celebrating its birthday – reason enough for this year’s EUROBIKE, which took place from 30 August to 2 September, to pay homage in the form of a velography to the evolutionary development from Baden-Württemberg.

Freiherr von Drais would probably have been astonished could he have seen what has become of his invention today. 200 years ago, the Karlsruhe-born inventor designed the “draisine”, the archetype of today’s bicycle. Without pedals, it was more of a running machine but it was nevertheless a great advance and a revolutionary development that has continued to shape transportation to the present day.

200 years and numerous failures and successes later, the EUROBIKE leading international trade fair in Friedrichshafen by Lake Constance this year again demonstrated what has become of the invention from Baden-Württemberg: instead of pure muscle strength, electric drive systems now do most of the work, however, even without a motor, modern bikes are highly sophisticated means of transport, pieces of sports equipment and status symbols.

In the 200th anniversary year of the bicycle, this year’s EUROBIKE joined forces with the cycling culture magazine fahrstil to present an exhibition on the history of the bicycle. Selected bikes and individual components combined to create a unique velography in metal, wood and rubber, which traced and presented the technical, social, sporting, revolutionary and hedonistic potential of the bicycle.

Numerous models and their contemporary “counterparts” were showcased, ranging from the Svea Velocipede from Sweden built in 1869 and a touring bike from France constructed in 1935 to the “world-championship model” road bike from 1956. However, accessories such as saddles, courier bags, gears or brakes were also part of the velography.

After the grand opening of the exhibition for the professional public on the evening of Friday, 1 September, on FESTIVAL DAY on Saturday, enthusiastic cyclists from the general public were able to review the history of the bicycle.

© Messe Friedrichshafen


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