The invention of the safety bicycle had to wait for the development of roller chain, or maybe roller chain was invented to enable the creation of the safety bicycle. It's a little hard to tell which came first, but it was when Dunlap added the pneumatic tire that it finally made a big impact.
The bicycle was what made the Gay Ninties gay. It was a practical investment for the working man as transportation, and gave him a much greater flexibility for leisure. Ladies, heretofore consigned to riding the heavy adult size tricycles that were only practical for taking a turn around the park, now could ride a much more versatile machine and still keep their legs covered with long skirts. The bicycle craze killed the bustle and the corset, instituted "common-sense dressing" for women and increased their mobility considerably. In 1896 Susan B. Anthony said that "the bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world."