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Bicycle chronology from 1817 till now(7 posts)

Bicycle chronology from 1817 till nowrwsh
Jan 11, 2003 9:03 AM
I have been preparing a modest article about bicycle chronology from 1817 till now for our Club newsletter. If you want a copy let me know (my query might only then make sense). Little did I know when I started, how controversial things were.

I have used the words "possibly", "probably" etc. many times and certainly I do not want to be so arrogant as to suggest that I have taken a knowledgeable position on one side or another with respect to the various controversies.

Most of the very heated controversy surrounds the "who did what first" issues of the 19th century. However, I now want to address the 20th century a little more. I suppose the difference was that the 19th century innovations were in many instances less commercial whereas thereafter, the developments were more as a result of competitive or market demand.

That being said, there appear to be voids ... what happened from 1920 to 1960 other than the admittedly monumental innovations from Campagnolo? Have there been any true milestones since the mid-1980s or are all more recent developments incremental improvements over previous ideas? I am not convinced that adding gear sprockets, changing headset diameter, adding carbon tubes really count.

Any suggestions you might wish to make will be gratefully accepted.
Mid-90's to now has only been about weight reallyPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jan 11, 2003 9:52 AM
Now I started riding in the late 90's so I can only speak from then on but most changes have been solely based on weight while increasing stiffness. However, things like disc brakes (which you can now get for road bikes) and the shift from tubulars to clinchers are fairly dramatic changes. Then maybe include Mavic's ill-fated remote control SSC gruopo.

As for adding gears thats a justifiable step. If you have a 20 hp car would it go faster with 21 gears closely together or 10 gears spread apart? The other 2 things l ike headset diameter and carbon tubes are to save weight while adding stiffness.

Not around 20 - 60, but in the 1980's: clipless ,indexed shifterteamsloppy
Jan 11, 2003 11:42 AM
Clipless Pedals, esp. with lots of degrees of freedom (late 80's).

Hard fiberglass shoe soles for less fatigue and more power transfer. (seem to have appeared with clipless pedals).

Indexed Shifting (late 80's)

Intergated Shifters/Brake Levers -safety issue (90's?)

Lightweight Clincher (Specialized Turbo ?) to replace "sew-up" tubulars (ca 1980).

Suspension Forks.

The Japanese "Quality" invasion. Tune your bike once per year.

Rapidrise.(The way derrailleurs should have been designed, bu tearly mfg. techniques didn't allow the close tolerances: found only in MTb today).

Foam core, hard shell Saftey Helmet.

Halogen lamps.
good listlaffeaux
Jan 11, 2003 4:15 PM
For road bikes clipless pedals, indexed shifting, and integrated shifting came to mind.

If you include MTBs, they were in their infancy in the early 80's and you could cover everything from frame angles to suspension design and forks.
re: Aerodynamic theories?cydswipe
Jan 11, 2003 7:33 PM
Hey look, I'm no historian or scientist. I think that aerodynamic innovations should be included in your list. I realize that principles of design vary and that the results are hard to verify from design to design. Stuff like who used the first disc wheel or innovations in frame design are neat nitches in a long line of history.
re: Bicycle chronology from 1817 till nowrwsh
Jan 12, 2003 8:00 AM
Thanks for the ideas ..... I am going to post the 20th list (only; my 19th century version is complete) as a new message for further comment and advice .......
What about synthetic fabrics in clothingUprwstsdr
Jan 12, 2003 8:14 AM
lycra and polyester replacing wool.
Also, frame materials, compact geometry.