Dandy horse

The trolley or walking machine (also the name used by the inventor ) is a single-track, powered by human propulsion vehicle without pedals, which is considered as the prototype of today's bicycle. They were developed by Baden inventor Karl Drais in 1817 in Mannheim and applied for a patent ( privilege from Baden and French Brevet 1818). Reasons for the development were famine, lack of food and horses dying after the Tambora eruption.


The trolley is considered to be the first human means of locomotion, in which two wheels consecutively. This was - without precedent in nature - invented the hitherto unknown two-wheeler principle, and for the first time in flat terrain rapid locomotion without a horse possible. The very first running machine had no moving handlebars but simply armrests. Only in a second step arranged Drais the front wheel about its axis vertical to rotate, causing the driving cam only is possible. In England, another had the impeller also applied for a patent and gave him the name dandy horse.

The device was soon after its inventor, the designation trolley (French le vélocipède or la draisienne, english the velocipede or draisine ). The drivers were called " trolley riders ." The invention was soon imitated but also mocked: see Karl Drais. Because of difficulties in the safe control of the wheel, its weight, the hard wheels on bad roads, and ( probably ) because of its price gained this means of transportation, about three times the walking speed could be achieved with the one in the first half of the 19th century no greater distribution.

In a later publication appeared to this assessment:

" These running machines had only a few years of success, the authorities banned immediately the only possible driving on the sidewalks, and after execution Sands 1820 bullied the fraternity the inventor and son of the judge Oberhof. The invention was a bit more into oblivion. Since the people were afraid of the balancing, they attacked rather on multilane Velozipede back [ ... ]. About 50 years later came to skating rinks, the population was now more willing to risk balancing. Now the bike was vélocipède bicycle ' called, ie, two-wheeled Schnellfuß '. "

In 1862 the trolley reappeared in altered functional design. Above all, the Frenchman Pierre Michaux had now mounted cranks to a wheel of the vehicle, with which the user reached the forward movement by leg strength. In addition, changes to the frame, seats ( introduction sprung saddles ) were carried out and Michaux took part with such a bike at the Paris World Exposition in 1867. His exhibit, attracting attention and led to the establishment of the first factory for the manufacture of bicycles, the Compagnie Parisienne, ancienne maison Michaux & Comp. The vehicles were now called Velocipede. It took many more years in which the wooden frame replaced by steel, introduced the pneumatic tire, the chain drive was developed.


Between two behind the other wheels, a saddle is a seat and a strap to opening of the arms and for steering the front wheel. The locomotion is provided by alternately pushing off of your feet on the ground. On flat roads can be so up to 15 km / h. The rear wheel is fixed to the frame, while the front wheel is rotatable about a vertical axis.

Children impeller

After the idea of ​​a walking machine for adults include such equipment for children were made. In the 20th century the principle wheel was given a new chance there arose new rugged Kid's Bikes (English balance bicycle ) for about two -to six- year-old children and quickly became popular. The product designer Rolf Mertens revised in 1997, according to Marc Brost and Wolfgang Uchatius these well-suited for running and balancing learning devices and started selling. The first of these children running wheels were made of wood, now even those are offered with frames of steel or aluminum. It is believed that children who have been practicing with a runner later quickly learn to ride a bike. Impellers are suitable for children from the age of about 2 years and are normally used up to and including 5 years. A children's impeller can thus be used but still slightly longer than the children tricycle. Three wheels are up to the age of 4 years recommended before the children usually lose interest. The kids scooter is the vehicle which is in use for the longest time (up to 8 years ).