Bikes are relatively simple machines. Which means: unless they're totally rusted a rotted out, they don't really "go bad," and any old bike - either a forgotten one in your garage or a find at the secondhand store - can be lubed up and become ready to ride.
I've gone on before on ManMade about my love of simple machines that work well, and that the bicycle is the most perfect and useful example. And for years, cyclists have been trying to figure out safe and efficient ways to move more than just human bodies from one place to another.
As cycling and bike commuting continue to grow as a realistic transportation option, among the changes, these two are true: 1) there are lots more people with bikes to store indoors, and 2) bike frame and component design and styling have seriously improved, creating beautiful works of craftsmanship.
Bicycles get around by pedals, chains, gears, and wheels. Except, all the times that they don't, and they get around by being carried by their rider. Anyone who spends significant time on a bicycle can attest— on nearly every ride, there's a time when your bike gets lifted off the ground.
FlyKly is one of the coolest things we've seen on Kickstarter, and its no wonder why they are well over their goal already. This new product could potentially revolutionize the way we commute, while still allowing you to use you bike with traditional power.
When you ride your bike in the summer, deciding what to wear is a no-brainer: as little as you can, to keep as cool as possible. But fall and winter cycling are a different beast all together. Of course, the temperatures are cooler, which requires flexible layers, but there's also increased wind and precipitation to worry about.
A few weeks ago, we set about trying to come up with the perfect style combo for the urban bike commuter. And while our option was professional and a bit dressy, there are still those with jobs that demand wearing a suit, or those special occasions when dedicated cyclists end up on their bikes in a suit.
In our Outfitted series, we hand-pick the style items and practical accessories you need to look your best in a specific scenario.
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man's convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man's brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle. - Elizabeth Howard West
Those who live in small places or without a dedicated mud room or home landing pad can attest: it's hard to keep those things you take in and out of the house everyday organized. Especially if one of them is a bicycle.
The Time Life archives are featuring this fascinating story from the December 27, 1948 issue of Life magazine - "Hell on Wheels: Life on Mutant Bicycles" It highlights these hilarious/awesome/inspiring photos from a group of Chicago bicycle enthusiast who were experimenting with frames, wheels, and DIY bicycle accessories. You know, like this two person job, the "Gangbusters Bike" which "mounts 13 shotguns, two revolvers, six bayonets, flare gun." Just in case?
This is a bicycle. You got that much. But this particular bicycle cost a mere $9-12 dollars to make, and, except for the brakes and pedals, is constructed entirely from recycled corrugated cardboard.
Can you imagine the possibilities for developing nations and rural settings?
Check out this beautifully shot video to learn more:
I'm proud to say, that after 5 years of living in NYC, I finally got a bike. Not only can I get around easily, but also I'm officially initated into the ManMade Brotherhood of Biking. I ordered a great single speed, fixed gear from State Bicycle Co. (check it out!) and I couldn't be happier with it. However, there is one thing missing from my ride: accessories. So, of course, I took to the internet and searched for some stylin' bicycle accessories. I could easily make this post ten pages long, but since I'm a strong believer in brevity, I narrowed my list down to nine cool items.
Each Wednesday, I post some of my favorite can't-miss links, images, and otherwise mindblowing goodies from across the web.
The Collective Snapshot by Pep Ventosa is a series of images that “blend together dozens of snapshots to create an abstraction of the places we’ve been and the things we’ve seen.”
If you're looking for a unique bike, might I suggest skipping metal and opting for a wooden bike? I mean, seriously, how cool would it be to ride around on a handcrafted wooden bicycle? I imagine it doesn't have the strength of its metal siblings, but dang it's cool looking.