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Secondly, there are competing claims from many inventors in different countries vying to be called the original inventor of the folding bike.

In 1860, Frenchman Ernest Michaux and his brother Pierre added a crank and pedals to the front wheel of their "Velocipede" (below) and we have what starts to look like a bicycle that we all would recognize.

Independently, in 1893, a French army lieutenant named Henry Gérard imagined the use of a folding bike by the army and filed a patent for one through his father-in-law Henri Noêl on June 27, 1893.

The problem was that this bike was deeply flawed and basically didn't work.

A complete telling of the story is in a book entitled "Charles Morel - constructeur dauphinois sous la troisième république".

Since it is in French, here's the short version: Charles Morel, a wealthy French industrialist, became enamored with the relatively new bicycle craze and devised of a folding bicycle and built a prototype in 1892.


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