9 bikes that changed the word! Today I’m excited to present this video by my favorite YouTube channel, GCN (Global Cycling Network). Global Cycling Network sees a lot of bicycles and fortunate enough to test most of them. GCN tests bikes that they wish they never had to, and others that have changed history.
In the video that I’m going to provide at the end of this post, GCN presents a list of the bikes and companies that they think has changed the cycling world.
What are the 9 bikes that have changed the world? According to GCN, bikes have changed an awful lot since they were first invented over a few hundred years ago. The very first bikes were very crude, and are almost completely unrecognizable when compared to the modern road and gravel bikes that we ride today. In this video, Chris goes through 9 bikes that GCN thinks have had a big impact on bike design in the modern day.
The Giant TCR is probably one of the most important design changes in cycling history. It featured a shift from a classic horizontal top tube to a sloping one. This eliminated the need for 10 different bike sizes. With the Giant TCR a rider can choose between the small, medium, and large.
Father of this design, Mike Borrows decided it was better to get a bespoke fit through component adjustment, rather than unique frame builds.
OPEN U.P Bikes
The OPEN U.P is considered the instigator of modern gravel riding. This model had drop chain stays and multiple wheel size options. It had shorter, more agile chain stays that gave it a more lively feel to the ride, with the added ability to ride bigger tires.
Since it’s birth, many brands have copied it’s setup, making gravel riding something that’s here to stay.
Even though Brompton isn’t considered a true road bike by many, it still has changed the world of cycling. Designed and built in London, Brompton began life back in 1975 as a sketch.
The first prototypes were a far cry from the neat machine that we know today. But it was still a massive jump forward in the field of foldable bikes.
Since the 90’s Brompton has taken the world by storm. It’s not the lightest, smallest, or fastest folding bike. Yet it still combines all of these aspects to make it the most usable, and best designed folding bike.
Many people have changed their work and life habits because of this tiny bike. They can combine it with rail travel. Living outside of towns. Storing it under a desk in an office. And of course storing it at home, out of the way, in a corner.
Eddy Merckx’s hour record bike
Eddy Merckx’s hour record bike. In pursuit of perfection for his hour record attempt back in 1972, Merckx enlisted the experience of Calnago.
With a combination of the finest components, custom engineered pieces, and a lot of drilling, they came up with a bicycle that was a touch shy of 5 kilos.
The Cinelli Laser was the beginning of aero. Before the world of shaving your legs for watts, this was the first bike designed for aerodynamics specific in mind. It was cutting edge technology back in the 1980’s.
Teardrop shaped in profile, and heavily labor intensive, it was one of the most expensive bikes ever produced.
The Cervelo Soloist was the first recognizable aerobike in the field. It brought tube design and manufacturing together in house for the first time. Cervelo made developments in stiffness and erodynamics that others were only dreaming of.
Released back in 2002, it brought internal cable routing to the mass market.
Colnago Titanio Bitittan
The Colnago Titanio Bitittan, hit peak innovation in the 1990’s. This bike stifled the rules of the U.C.I, with a departure from the traditional front triangle. As a result, it was banned from racing.
It pushed the boundaries of materials designed in the industry, leading the way to using carbon fiber.
Graeme Obree’s Old Faithful
Graeme Obree’s Old Faithful combined all the attempts of aerodynamics effficiency that troubled the U.C.I. Famed for his aero record back in 1993 on his homemade machine, Obree went beyond materials to save seconds.
Obree developed and adopted the infamous tuck and Superman, with the arms out front. Both of which are banned by the U.C.I.
Canyon has turned the bicycle market on it’s head, by allowing you to order bikes on it’s website. You can go through the entire of process of fit, spec and ordering without ever stepping foot in a bike shop.
This allowed Canyon to avoid markup costs associated with distributors and physical retail space.