The addition of pedals makes the vehicle all-wheel drive. The front wheel is supported by the motor, and the rear wheel is supported by the efforts of the legs. Front-wheel drive models are equipped with low-power motors of less than 250 W, which is a significant disadvantage. The potential of the power unit will not be enough


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Bicycle: the history

Another hoax is a French invention, which was a rocking toy with wheels. A prototype bicycle with steering without pedals was allegedly assembled by the Count de Sivrac (Comte Mede de Sivrac) in 1791. However, as it turned out much later, this story was a legend invented by a journalist. There has never been a count-inventor of the bicycle by that name:

The first such device, the existence of which is confirmed by a patent, is a “running machine” by Baron Karl von Dres. It is believed that the eruption of the Tambora volcano in Indonesia in 1815 led to its appearance. Because of the ash cloud, the crops in the surrounding areas died, and behind it, the horses died of hunger. There was no one to fill the wagons, which prompted the baron to think about individual transport, controlled by a person.

At its core, the invention was closer to the two-wheeled scooter and Count de Sivrak's never-existing bicycle. One of the names of the device - "Draisienne" - was given to him in honor of the inventor von Dres. By the way, the trolley, which is still used to travel on rails, also bears the name of the baron.

The idea of ​​a wooden two-wheeled transport was picked up by enthusiasts from all over the world. In the following decades, patent offices received dozens of applications from people who tried to "reinvent the wheel" or suggested modifications to the original concept. Among the patents of that time, which significantly influenced the design of a conventional bicycle, it is worth noting ball bearings and a pedal mechanism - until 1839, “running machines” did not have pedals. Scotsman Kirkpatrick MacMillan added pedals to Drez's bike that drove the rear wheel using metal rods and connecting rods.

First e-bikes on the market

Let's get back to the main topic. In 1920, the German company Heinzmann began mass production of electric motors for bicycles. The first was installed on a twin bike. By the way, electric bikes under this brand are still produced, and in 2020 Heinzmann will celebrate its 100th anniversary.

At this time, the French competitor Heinzmann launched the production of "electrocycles". Such vehicles could accelerate to 25 km / h and travel 30 km on a single charge. His weak point was the weight - 75 kg.

During the 30s of the XX century, the number of companies producing electric bicycles expanded. They were joined by Philips with the Simplex, Juncker and Gazelle models. The first came when Philips teamed up with a conventional bike manufacturer (this model is known to have had a 12-volt battery).

Juncker weighed 50 kg without battery. It took a whole day to fully charge it, but it was enough to drive up to 40 km at a speed of 18 km / h. For the release of Gazelle Philips teamed up with another manufacturer, which is also still in service.

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