Bicycles have been promoted for their utilitarian strengths since before they were technically known as bicycles. The draisine and the boneshaker, were hoped to become an inexpensive utilitarian alternative to horses by their makers.[2] However the inherent danger, cost, discomfort, and restrictive gender roles of the day, kept it popular mainly with wealthy adventurous young men, and mainly for recreation and sport. The development of penny-farthing moved away from the utilitarian goal of earlier forms, with its less stable ride, and difficulty carrying much baggage. It furthered the trend of bicycles to be used by young men, willing to take risks, for sport and recreation. Despite this, we find the earliest mention of working bikes in 1874, in Paris, as couriers, for a newspaper and the stock market riding penny-farthings.[3] It was the introduction of the safety bicycle that was successful for the first time to build a bicycle that worked well for utilitarian purposes, "a poor man's nag".[4] It was this development that was the cause of the bicycle boom of the 1890s. The main use of bicycles during the boom was still sport and recreation, but additionally they were adopted by many professions: police, postal workers, delivery men, municipal workers and for basic transportation of people of all classes, races, and genders.[5] In the USA, after the boom, use changed dramatically from sport and recreation to basic transportation. By 1902, as the boom was coming to an end, nearly all cyclists were cycling for practical purposes.[6] The price of bicycles dropped dramatically, due to increased competition between makers and more price conscious consumers; profits dried up and many of the cycling manufactures went out of business. The history is similar in the UK, but there some of the manufactures were better able to handle the transition to transportation based cycling, even to the point of talking of a second boom due to so many working-class people taking up cycling.[7] Additionally the British makers were

able to tap into the developing markets overseas, primarily India, China, and Japan. In countries like the USA, the use of utility bicycles all but disappeared until after the Second World War, when a few British and Italian roadster-type bicycles saw a brief upsurge in popularity. Since the Second World War, utility bicycles have remained popular in countries like the Netherlands, China, and much of the developing world. Since the 1890s only incremental mechanical advances have taken place for the majority of the world's utility bicycles. In fact many bicycles in Asia still employ rod brakes. One exception to this was the continued development of substitute propulsion systems for utility bicycles in the form of add-on gasoline engines and transmissions. Developed shortly after 1900 in Europe and the United States, motorized utility bicycles surged in popularity in Western Europe after the Second World War. Typically, a small one or two-horsepower, two-cycle engine was fitted with a tire roller-drive mechanism that would convert any standard utility roadster into a motorised bicycle. As they could still be propelled by human power, they were considered as bicycles under most national registration schemes. The motorised utility bicycle or cyclemotor offered greater range, faster commutes, and increased versatility to a large sector of the postwar European consumer market that could not afford expensive automobiles or motorcycles.[8] In 1962, the advent of the Moulton bicycle brought a fresh outlook to the traditional utility concept. Utilizing small, easily transportable frames and wheels as well as suspension, the Moulton was designed to accommodate the increasing public usage of bicycles in concert with other forms of mass transportation. During the 1990s, several bicycle designs were introduced in an attempts to improve on the traditional utility bike. Most of these centered around the use of lightweight frame alloys, new brake and gearing systems, and electronic navigation and monitoring assistance.