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62

What really struck me though was that the average speeds really haven't changed much The chart ranges from about 25km/h to over 40km/h, and that is a big change. As others have mentioned, increasing your average speed requires a non-linear increase in power applied to the pedals. In other words, to increase average speed from 25km/h to 26km/h is easier ...


29

I think the simple reason is that the drivechain hadn't been invented. In 1818 the dandy-horse or draisine was invented. This was similar in shape to a modern bicycle, but without pedals. Riders would scoot along with their feet. If you want to go a bit faster, especially on any kind of incline, then you need a better way of putting power in. Without a ...


25

People were doing tricks on bicycles almost as soon as they were invented. While I couldn't find references about curb hopping in particular, I'm pretty sure that these tricksters from the late 1800s wouldn't have had a problem pulling it off. Cyclocross has roots that go almost as far back. The first organized cyclocross races were around the end of the ...


20

It only seems strange to you because you've had the benefit of never having to learn the lessons of the penny farthing and the technological achievements of the safety bicycle firsthand (aka 'standing on the shoulders of giants syndrome'). The penny farthing is only awkward and dangerous because you are comparing it against a technological leap forward. ...


13

We just pulled the front wheel up and dropped it as we went over the curb, then we kept riding, letting momentum pull the rear wheel over the bike. It's what I still do. (I don't have a BMX bike.) Sheesh. So much fuss over a simple and second-nature action we never even gave a 2nd thought to.


13

As already said in the title of the Wikipedia page, these bikes are intended for motorpaced racing on track. The backwards fork allows the rider to stay closer to the derny motorcycle for more efficient drafting. Since the races take place on track, with single riders drafting motorcycles, the handling is not that much a problem, but people have indeed died ...


12

Note that if you have a penny farthing, then hopping curbs really isn't much of a problem. You do have to be careful not to do an end-over but a bit of leaning back on the saddle or hooking your legs on the front bars would do the trick. Some various positions for penny-farthing MTBing: Note that solid rubber tires had an advantage over modern pneumatic ...


10

Don't forget, when the penny farthing was invented, horses were still a major mode of transport - when you see people on horseback regularly, the idea of sitting that high up doesn't seem unreasonable.


10

There is a book written by Frank Berto titled The Dancing Chain - History and Development of the Derailleur Bicycle. The fourth edition was updated in 2012. On page 368-369 he discusses chain design and chain types. Apparently, the 1981 Sedisport chain was the first bushingless chain. Its main feature was that it shifted better than bush-roller chains and ...


9

Are you still looking for stage maps? I have the Tour DuPont program books from 1993, 1995 & 1996. They include a map and a profile of each stage. Also have Lance Armstrong's signature in the 1995 book. edit - Here's a first snap of the overall maps for the three years. Apologies for the quality - I've just snapped them with a phone in the meantime,...


9

This is not a proper answer. Its more a collection of notes gleaned from different sources. Feel free to add more if you find other things. 1989 The first Tour de Trump, a 10-day, 837-mile bicycle race through five Eastern states http://www.nytimes.com/1989/05/15/sports/dispute-mars-end-of-the-tour-de-trump.html Other site says 825 miles total, or 782 ...


9

This is not a complete answer, but one factor certainly is that nowadays bikes often use powder coating as their finish, rather than liquid paint. Powder coating has signifcant advantages over paint (more resilient coating, no risk of running, no solvents required), but the surface characteristics are different. In particular, the sparkle effect of metallic ...


9

Riding with the fork backwards like that results in a geometry with an extreme amount of trail. This tends to make the bike stable in a straight line at high speeds, so it was done for high-speed runs, record attempts, etc. but I don't think it is good for normal purposes.


8

If you look at drawings of old bikes, both types of brake configurations are depicted. This supports the idea that it was merely a design choice with no significant pros and cons over other configurations other than aesthetics. I suggest that it just so happens that builders in the place and time period you cited used this design because it was fashionable. ...


7

The guy using it apparently is Hans-Henrik Oersted who was sponsered by chinelli. The company recently did a rerun of two jerseys to honor him. The picture can also be found on cinellis website about the jerseys so i wrote a request for information to their customer service. They answered it is a handmade trainer build especially for Hans-Henrik Oersted in ...


7

Yes, for smaller ones. No, for full mudguards. Tour de France Here's Team Katusha using them on the ‘Paris Roubaix stage’ of the Tour de France in 2014, according to Stickybottle: While mudguards are fitted to most bikes used by racing cyclists for winter training, it’s against the rules to use them competing. Not only would they hugely slow down a rider, ...


7

Caveat: This answer features rampant personal speculation and anecdotal evidence. I personally the current dominance of flat bars in mainstream cycling is the result of two main events: The flood of cheap 10 speed knock-offs entered the market in the 70's and 80's. The explosion of MTB bikes in the 80's and 90's (which featured flat bars). Event 1: Low ...


7

Flat bars are easier to learn on than drop bars (unless the latter have interrupter brake levers). At this stage low speed manoeuvrability matters more than efficiency. Some people with small hands apparently have trouble braking firmly from the hoods and getting into the drops is tricky for a novice (I dismiss starting in the drops as I've never got on with ...


7

My father worked at Fafnir Bearings for 35 years and even though it ceased to exist as an independent company about 50 years ago, the trademark is still active. In the post World War 2 era, Japan rebuilt its bearing industry using Imperial standards. Bearings are a strategic technology in a manufacturing society and any rational government will promote ...


6

There's a short answer to your question and a longer fuller answer. The short answer is that a common standard for road cranksets is 130mm BCD (bolt circle diameter). The smallest inner chainring you can use with 130 BCD is a 39 (as Kibbee has said, technically you can get a 38 tooth 130 BCD chainring although that doesn't leave much metal between the lower ...


6

Wheel & tire sizes are a source of unending confusion. The more you learn, the more confusing they get. 29" mountain-bike wheels have the same bead-seat diameter as modern road bikes: 622 mm (which are sometimes referred to as 28" wheels in Europe, which is confusing, because they're slightly smaller at the rim than 27" wheels…see what I mean?). When ...


6

I don't have the real history of industry type explanation, which would probably involve the personalities and business leanings of people working at OEM hub/headset/BB/pedal manufacturers over the decades and so is probably lost in time, but the simple answer is that large-scale technical choices in the bike industry get made based on what's simplest to ...


5

Two things that must be considered when looking at the average speeds of the Tour de France are strategy and racing dynamics before you look at the numbers. The main strategy objective for any of the teams in the Tour is to go only as fast as you must to achieve a given objective while doing the least amount of work possible. If teams could win the tour ...


5

OPINION Drop bars should never have been popular. There was a surge in popularity for the "ten-speed" in the 70s and 80s, and part of that look was drop bars. This artificially made drops seem like a common thing and a good idea. As the MTB arrives in the 90s, flat bars re-exert themselves for the added width and leverage, returning drop bars to their ...


5

I know this thread is super old but the 1990 version ran through my home town of Saugerties NY, ran through West Saugerties and up Devils Kitchen into Cairo. Platte Clove/ Devils Kitchen is a very steep incline and my dad was telling me that many of the bicyclist had to get off their bikes cause they couldnt make it up it (this road is closed during the ...


5

Apparently they were invented by a guy called Florian Wiesmann who called his brakes "Wies-brakes", which sounds a lot like "V brakes" to an English speaker. In 1991 he made this brake: Apart from the centred brake cable attachment, that's very much like a modern V brake. By 1996 he had something you'd look at and swear it was a slightly fancy-looking V ...


5

This is a non-answer because I've been looking at Japanese bicycling sites and blogs and no one really knows. The closest answer is found here: 105の名の由来とは? 最後に、各グレード名の由来についての豆知識を紹介します。1971年に誕生したデュラエースの名は、素材のジュラルミン(Duralumin)と耐久性を意味するデュラビリティ(Durability)に、世界一のコンポという願いを込めた「エース」を組み合わせた造語です。1976年に誕生のアルテグラは、Ultimate(究極)+Integrate(統合)を意味するコンポーネントです。...


4

From the Military History Journal (Volume 4 No 1 - June 1977) there is an article entitled BICYCLES IN THE ANGLO-BOER WAR OF 1899-1902, by D.R. Maree, which seems to fit this question. The 'War Cycle' carried several men on the coupling-framework in addition to the eight riders, could be fitted with a Maxim gun, and was capable of a speed of over 48 kmh. ...


4

There can be different reasons for using this type of lever. Personally I use it because the handlebar I've chosen bends sharply close to the end of the handgrip, so there's not room for both the thumb shifters and brake levers. I've used the reverse levers for several years now without spearing or hooking anything with them, and find with a non-linear brake ...


4

Although 29ers have been around since the early 80's they have only been in production from a major producer for the last decade. Trek was the first big brand to offer a 29er in early 2000's. Reasons why you may not of seen many are: Until the last couple of model years model years 29er's have predominatly been in the XC category (HT and FS) while ...


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