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