Leonardo da Vinci Bicycle
Pathfinders Design and Technology

Leonardo da Vinci Bicycle

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The Leonardo da Vinci Bicycle design has an interesting and controversial history. The design itself would have been incredibly groundbreaking for the time, no inventor/engineer during that era had even considered a personal vehicle – of any kind (well, maybe a horse). A bicycle design was not seen until the 1800’s – over 300 years after this drawing was completed!

It is widely accepted that the sketch was not drawn by da Vinci, very likely a pupil of his sketched it. This is a working model of based on that drawing. Da Vinci did draw a chain in one of his codices, using links very similar to a modern bike chain, which could have been used with it. In Pathfinders version they used an elastic band in place of the chain, since making a chain link so small would be very difficult.

While there are doubters that da Vinci was the original artistic instigator of this bicycle concept, it flows well from many of his other drawings from the same time period – including concepts like an aerial screw, self propelled car and ornithopter, to name a few.

Recommended for ages 6+.


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