Friday, May 04, 2007

The bikes of the future

I stumbled across this 1954 British Cycling magazine article (pdf 4.6mb) while cruising the web the other day - a look forward half a century to the bicycles of the year 2000.

It's a fascinating read. In some areas the guesses are spot-on: between them they've predicted disk brakes, twist-grip gears, aluminium and carbon frames, eight speed gears, the demise of the cottered crank and the dual suspension mountain bike, years before they became a reality. In other areas they're way off: the adoption of shaft drives and constantly variable gearing remains a dream; we haven't standardised around 24 inch wheels and bad drivers, bad roads and punctures remain a constant.

My favourite prediction was the super-metal for frame building to come from atomic power research. Putting together a few of the more radical ideas would make a cracking ride - but sadly none of the major manufacturers seem to have come up with a gyroscopically-controlled uranium-framed recumbent! Maybe next year.

2,651km so far this year.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Hi Surly Dave,
I found your blog through Chris_L's blog and have enjoyed reading your articles, especially the one about the bike of the future. You mentioned bikes not having shaft drives...not true. Take a look.
From what I hear they are really nice bikes for commuting but most likely not for heavy off road use.
Anyway, thanks for the articles!