Two-wheeled travel has always been a lightning rod for innovation. Steel tubing, ball bearings and pneumatic tires can all trace their origins to bicycle applications. By the late 19th century a full one-third of all U.S. patent applications were for bicycle-related designs, according to the Franklin Institute. Some interesting ones we found include a sail-powered bike (Patent No. 6932368), a double bicycle for “looping the loop” in circus performances (No. 790063) and a wild one-wheel bicycle with the rider sitting inside the wheel (No. 325548).
Get a copy: You can order Bicycle Times Issue #40 here.
Of course the bicycle builds on inventions that came before it. The wheel is seen as perhaps the greatest invention of all time, and its creation is a far more complex tale than the bicycle’s. In this issue we excerpt a portion of Richard W. Bulliet’s book, “The Wheel,” that documents how there are actually three distinct types of wheels, each with its own origin story.
Since the “ordinary” design with two wheels of the same diameter was introduced in the 1870s, the bicycle has largely rolled along an evolutionary path. But now with the introduction of so many new technologies so quickly, will the bicycle be radically transformed from the simple, mechanical form we know it as today? And how will our experience interacting with it change? See some of the interesting examples that could represent the future—or failure—in this issue.
And what about the bikes themselves? How are they changing? We got our hands of one of the most distinct bicycles in years, the new Cannondale Slate, for our lead product review. Its unorthodox and distinctive suspension fork is derived from mountain bikes, and it might take you places on a road bike you could never go before.
The best thing about technology is that it is always expanding. Old technologies are rarely lost. Bicycles are still being ridden that are generations old, but still bring a smile to our faces and wind across our cheeks. Whether your interest in technology celebrates the new or the old, the bicycle has something for everyone.
In this issue
Inventing the wheel
The history of wheeled travel is diverse, opinionated and often circumspect. In this excerpt from “The Wheel,” by Richard W. Bulliet, we learn how something as ubiquitous as the wheel isn’t as simple as you might think.
Wear with care
Proper cycling apparel is an investment, and if you want it to stay functional and comfortable for the long haul, you need to take care of it. We discuss textiles and apparel care with the experts.
Bikes in paradise
On the tiny Marshall Islands there are no private vehicles, so bicycles are the only way to roll. And just as Darwin would have predicted, there they have evolved some distinguishing characteristics all their own. By Jordan Vinson.
Bike to the future
The cycling industry has always drawn entrepreneurs and innovators. Take a look at some of the ideas that could change the way you ride. By Adam Newman.
How LED Lights Work
Learn how these tiny diodes can emit such powerful light. By Karl Rosengarth.
Catching up with Charlie Kelly
- Cannondale Slate
- Felt V55
- Scott Sub EVO 20
- Faraday Porteur
- GT Traffic 1.0
- Bike lights
- Commuting gear
- Shoes and pedals
Our friends over at Aero Tech Designs have a sense of humor when it comes to their holiday jersey designs. After unveiling some special “holiday technology” with their winter jersey, the latest is this… um… distinctive St. Patrick’s Day kit.
By mid-March we’re all ready to shake off the winter cobwebs and get back to full-time biking, so if you want to start the season with a little luck-‘o-the-Irish, this is your ticket. Whether you’re celebrating with green snacks or green-tinted-beer, everyone will know you’re ready to party.
You can pre-order a jersey before February 15 for $70, and $80 after that. They are expected to ship on February 22, so there’s plenty of time before the big day.
American cycling apparel manufacturer Aero Tech Designs has unveiled the Ugly X-mas Jersey 2.0 with holiday technology. Available for a limited time only, this jersey was created for the all-around, off-season holiday party animal. Perfect for events at the office or going out for a classy dinner with that special someone.
New for 2015 is the Holiday Performance Enhanced Fabric that will keep you warm and toasty this winter. The fabric is engineered specifically for holiday over-eating and post-ride beers. It will keep your midsection supported through holiday dinners so you can conquer all manner of cake, pie, cookie and nog post dinner.
The Ugly X-mas Jersey 2.0 is a cycling jersey at heart and is best used to shred up fresh powder on your fat bike. The three rear pockets are custom shaped to fit exactly one dozen cookies (or two pieces of pumpkin pie) in the middle pouch and two side pockets for your favorite bottle of beer or cider. Perfect for the go-getter holiday cyclist on the move.
Every Ugly X-mas Jersey 2.0 is made by elves at the Aero Tech Designs Top Secret Holiday Laboratory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There it is sewn by X-mas tree light while Alvin and Chipmunks and Nat King Cole echo in the sound proof walls.
Let the X-mas Jersey be your go-to gift this holiday season. The inner neck line of the jersey is sublimated with special “To:” and “From:” tags. This will ensure that your thoughtful gift will keep on giving for many rides to come; on the other hand, the tag is on the inside of the neck line and if you don’t like who gifted you the jersey, you’ll never be able to see their name while wearing the jersey. Win-Win!
The Aero Tech Designs Ugly X-mas Jersey 2.0 and other USA-made cycling gear is available at the Aero Tech Designs website.Tweet Print
Giro’s New Road line of clothing has offered a different take on the all-lycra-all the time status quo of road cycling. But lycra has its place too and the three-tiered Chronos line is a less garish way to dress for speed on a bike with subdued style and lots of options for women as well.
Chrono Pro: All-out Road Performance
The Chrono Pro Bib is the result of over two years of exhaustive design, research, and testing. All-day comfort comes from a host of performance features, including the custom Chrono Pro chamois, custom bib straps, and a unique lumbar support panel. The Chrono Pro Jersey pairs lightweight and breathable fabrics for the best fitting performance jersey possible. Subtle design benefits include a tapered collar and secure zip pocket that features a moisture barrier for your valuables.
- Chrono Pro Jersey/ Chrono Pro Women’s Jersey: $180
- Chrono Pro Bib: $250
- Chrono Pro Women’s Short: $150
Chrono Expert: Make a Statement on the Pavement
The Chrono Expert Bib utilizes premium Italian materials to ensure the right blend of compression, comfort, and durability. Also available as a short, this bib features a custom Chrono Expert chamois, developed in partnership with Cytech. For women, the Chrono Expert Halter bib pairs the performance of a bib with the convenience of a short, with a unique breathable mesh halter that can easily be pulled over the head for nature breaks. The Chrono Expert Jersey features stretch wicking polyester in a contoured, race fit.
- Chrono Expert Jersey/ Chrono Expert Women’s Jersey: $100
- Chrono Expert Bib/ Chrono Expert Women’s Halter Bib: $150
- Chrono Expert Short $120
Chrono Sport: Elegant and Affordable Essentials
The Chrono Sport Bib is an affordable option with many of the design features of its higher end companions such a custom chamois developed with Cytech, mesh shoulder straps, and a radio pocket, while the Chrono Sport short is priced within reach of every enthusiast. The Chrono Sport Jersey has a more forgiving performance fit with a mesh back panel for ventilation, three cargo pockets, and features 90 percent polyester and 10 percent elastane for a comfortable fit..
- Chrono Sport Jersey/ Chrono Sport Women’s Jersey: $80
- Chrono Sport Bib: $120
- Chrono Short Short/ Chrono Sport Women’s Short: $80
The full line can be found at Giro’s website.Tweet Print