PostHeaderIcon Bicycle technology – then and now part2

During much of the 20th Century, bicycle developments were confined to “tweaking” the details rather than the overall re-design of the bicycle as a whole.

 Bicycle technology The most important development of the 20th Century was the introduction and perfection of gearing systems.

Technical developments in bicycles continues to undergo tremendous refinements. There have been, and continue to be, significant developments in areas like brake systems and frame materials. High-tech, lightweight materials, including carbon and titanium, sometimes in combination, are now used in the frames and components of high-end bicycles.

Many bicycles are now available with full suspension and hydraulic disk brakes. Fully equipped urban commuter bikes are available with carriers for a briefcase or laptop, effective lights for night riding, and other electronic and mechanical accessories.

There are many types of bicycles. One can find road bikes, mountain bikes, city bikes, comfort bikes, touring bikes, trekking bikes, radonneur (long distance) bikes, racing bikes, folding bikes, tandems, cargo bikes, electric bikes (referred to as “e-bikes” or “pedelecs),  Bicycle technology recumbent bikes, tricycles, and even fully-enclosed pedal-driven machines.

There are now four e-bike (electric bike) categories: CEBs, which are conventional electric bikes; SABs, or simple assisted bikes; EHBs, or electro-hybrid bikes; and SHBs, which stands for Synergetic Hybrid Bicycles.

Modern lighting systems of course, now use ultra-bright multi-light LEDs with rechargeable battery packs and on board generators. Modern audio warning systems are also electronic.

No matter what advances in technology we may see, some people may still choose on installing an old-fashioned bell or horn.

 Bicycle technology Bicycle Technology
Understanding the Modern Bicycle and its Components

Rob Van Der Plas and Stuart Baird

List US $39.95
8½ x 11 inch jacketed hardcover
320 pages with 800 black & white illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-892495-66-2
Published by Cycle Publishing, San Francisco, California

A thorough and up-to-date treatment of the technical aspects of the modern bicycle, illustrated with 800 photographs and other illustrations. This new, 2nd edition was completely rewritten, with up-to-date material and numerous clear illustrations, covering both the modern bike itself and its components in a historical context. Bicycle Technology explains every technical aspect of the modern bicycle in all its varieties—from road bike to downhill bike, and from folding bike to E-bike and recumbent.

For more information visit

About the authors

Rob van der Plas is a mechanical engineer with a lifelong passion for the bicycle and its technology. His previous books include The Penguin Bicycle Handbook, The Mountain Bike Book, and Bicycle Repair. He lives in San Francisco.

Stuart Baird is a retired avionics engineer with a passion for the bicycle and the ways its performance can be optimized. He lives in Devault, Pennsylvania.

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