One of the attractions of cycling is its inherent simplicity. As is often remarked, the basic shape and frame of the bicycle has remained unaltered since the first ‘safety bicycles’ of the 1870s.
Cycling is big business (one of biggest sports in world) so we have a whole industry catering to offering technological improvements. But, whatever the likes of Shimano and Trek come up with, you can’t alter the fact that it still involves sitting on a bike and pedalling.
Throughout all the technological advances, remarkably little has changed. It’s still hard work to cycle up hills, it’s still great fun freewheeling down them.
Of course, humans have a love-hate relationship with simplicity. We all say we like simplicity, but, when we hear talk about electric groupsets, disc brakes, and hard tail suspension and we get weak at the knees and bring out the cheque book and pen.
Yet, so many inventions have come and gone. The recumbent is more aerodynamically efficient, but it never caught the imagination. One piece carbon fibre bikes briefly thrilled us, but with the help of an officious UCI got promptly banned and to be honest we are probably all glad.
Boardman in the 1992 Olympics riding to gold on the Lotus Bike (remember the days when we were happy to get 5 gold medals.)
Lotus Bike is beautiful in it’s own way. It also has it’s own simplicity.
The Love of Fixed
The appeal of fixed – the ultimate in cycling simplicity. Clear lines, minimal fuss
A cyclist dwarfed by his surroundings.
Hills don’t get easier, you just go faster. This MTB rider cruises up Honister Pass in the Lake District. The simple pleasure of cycling.
Which Sport is Easiest to take up?
Track cycling may seem difficult if you don’t live near a velodrome. But, nearly everyone has, at some time in their lives, experienced the thrill of riding a bike.