Tuesday, June 7, 2016


I love seeing how bicycle design has evolved over the years like this one featured in a 1886 ad by Columbia Bicycle. In the late 19th century to the turn-of-the-century, bikes were a total rage in Europe and in the U.S. and manufacturers commissioned fabulous advertising posters to help sell their products.

 The Montgomery Ward catalog featured this Hawthorne "Gentlemen's" bike in 1899.  It had a fixed single speed gear.

This early "Peugeot" advertising poster shows a cool guy on his cool machine.

 It didn't take long for manufacturers to target women in their advertising. This wonderful 1902 poster featured art nouveau styling by the famous artist Mucha. Now stylish woman were riding their bikes, a sign of changing times and new independence.

 The French company "Cycles Clement" were famous for stylized & fanciful advertising posters. Imagine riding a bike wearing a kimono!

 I found this cycling poster at an antique fair in Strasbourg France. The bike is a fixed gear which would be fine on flat roads but difficult to climb steep hills!

 "Nous Deux" was a popular magazine in France. This issue from the 1960's shows a handsome cyclist on his bike and a beautiful girl ready to hand him a drink. The bike design shows brakes on the handlebars, a design still used to this day.

 This is a 1960 era metal bicycle advertisement from Burma. I found it on a Wesco Fabrics buying trip in Northern Thailand.

 This is a Eddie Merckx titanium bike model Ax. I bought a similar design in 2002 and still have it to this day. The frame is a standard, somewhat old-fashioned, geometry design and a pleasure to ride. Titanium is very lightweight and durable. Today's high-end bikes often use carbon fiber. Other common bike frame materials include steel and aluminum. I've even seen bamboo used on a custom designed frame.
Bike mechanics set up titanium bikes for a tour I took in Italy last year with Experience Plus Cycling Tours.

 You can readily see how technology has changed bike design. This is a fabulous Italian-made Pinarello Dogma F8 used by Tour de France winner Chris Froome. The design is aerodynamic, responsive , and very elegant! "OK...I admit I am drooling!"

My dream machine is definitely this gorgeous bike! It is the fantastic Italian-made Colnago C60 Limited Edition. Total WOW factor and really almost too beautiful to ride!

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