Cycle Revolution: bicycle engineering celebrated at Design Museum

Cycle Revolution exhibition at the Design Museum

Cycle Revolution is a new exhibition opening at London’s Design Museum which celebrates the upsurge in cycling in Britain over the last decade

With the cycling industry employing more people than mining and quarrying (an estimated 650,000 people in Europe), an exhibition acknowledging the quirks and engineering brilliance of the sector was well overdue.

Cycle Revolution at London’s Design Museum (from 18 November) looks at bike culture through the prism of four ‘tribes’: high performers, thrill-seekers, urban riders and cargo bikers.

Alongside such seminal pedal paraphernalia as Sir Chris Hoy and Chris Boardman’s Olympic-winning cycles, there’s a bike-making workshop showing how bespoke frames are manufactured. Best of all is the section examining the future of cycling, including its effect on urban planning, new technology and concept bikes.

Highlights of the bikes on display include Sir Bradley Wiggins’s 2015 hour-record bike and 2014 world championship time trial bike plus a number of Team Sky’s Pinarellos from the 2015 Tour de France, as well as kit and equipment from the team’s 2015 Tour de France win.

Sir Chris Hoy’s Great Britain Cycling Team London 2012 Olympic Track bike and the Lotus Type 108 ridden by Chris Boardman at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games will be displayed, alongside the venerable 1969 Raleigh Chopper and a 1978 Breezer Series 1.

Brompton Bicycle, which was featured in Director‘s interview with cycling entrepreneurs and saw managing director Will Butler-Adams discuss the “normalisation” of cycling, is represented by the earliest Brompton in existence.

A bike builder’s workshop will show visitors the tools, materials and skills that combine to create a bespoke machine with six independent British bike builders are profiled: Donhou Bicycles, Toad Custom Cycles, Hartley Cycles, Robin Mather Cycles, Mercian Cycles and Shand Cycles.

Cycle Revolution is the last exhibition at the museum’s South Bank home before it moves to a new venue at the Commonwealth Institute in Kensington, west London next year.

Cycling Revolution opens 18 November and runs until 30 June 2016

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About author

Christian Koch

Christian Koch

Alongside his work for Director, Christian has written features for the Evening Standard, The Guardian, Sunday Times Style, The Independent, Q, Cosmopolitan, Stylist, ShortList and Glamour in an eclectic career which has seen him interview everybody from Mariah Carey to Michael Douglas through to Richard Branson with newspaper assignments including reporting on the Japanese tsunami and living with an Italian cult.

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