The Leonardo Bicycle 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 later!
It is widely accepted that the image was not drawn by Leonardo, very likely a pupil of his, and we have, from the drawing, made a working model of what we think it might have looked like. Leonard did draw a chain in one of his codices, using links very similar to a bike chain now, which could have been used with it, but we have used an elastic band, since making a chain link so small would be very difficult.
While there are doubters that Leonardo was the original artistic instigator of this bicycle idea, it flows well from many of the other drawings he did at the time – including things like an aerial screw, self propelled car, and ornithopter, to name a few.