Monday, December 20, 2010

Consider This,

Consider the fact that modern bicycle design is based around the very first bicycles.
Resembling a horse, the first cyclist's could straddle the bicycle and with their feet push the machine as though running. Coasting for long sections could be enjoyed on down hills and sections of flat road with a good strong tail wind.

Two wheels of the same size was the style of choice and because of horse back riding being the normal position of the times and the length of a man's legs, Bone shakers or Hobby Horse cycling was excepted as the best way to achieve the job of cycling.
As time went on, drive trains of various designs including motors were employed to power the cycle at speeds greater then running. Although gear changing mechanisms and component materials have changed, the "Horse like" position for bicycles as well as motorcycles, has not.
Even though we would never design any other mode of transportation with the same sitting position. we still to this day as a whole favor the same riding style as first used back in the early 1800's with the Draisienne and other less famous home made bikes.
Sitting is usually done in a matter for comfort first. Our armchairs do not have a narrow seat as well as our cars.
Cycling requires the legs to move freely to pedal without any restriction. Wider seats cause resistance and loss of power and because of it, narrow seats are chosen for the position of having your pedals below you. By placing the pedals in front of you and the weight more on your lower back and up, allows full freedom of leg movement with less frontal area for the wind to see and cause wind resistance.
The question asked is: "If bicycles were fist designed as modern High Racer style recumbents, Would they ever go to the horse like riding at a later date?" Most likely not.
About a year ago I was escorting a customer outside the store for a recumbent test ride. Two young racer types at the door started laughing at the bicycle and my customer. I said to my customer, "Hold on." I asked the young cyclists, "After nearly 200 years of bicycle design, how come you guys are still riding bicycles that resemble a horse?

They stopped laughing.


  1. I have had some friends say that they would not be caught riding with me if I am riding one of those weird looking bikes. I told them they wouldn't be able to catch up with me to be seen with me.

  2. Give them about 15 years and when they finally catch on, They will tell people that they were one of the first to ride one,
    It happened with Mountain Bikes as well as every change in bicycle design.


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