Written by two leading bicycle historians and generously illustrated with historic drawings, designs, and photographs, Bicycle Design describes the key stages in the evolution of the bicycle, beginning with the counterintuitive idea of balancing on two wheels in line, through the development of tension-spoked wheels, indirect drives (employing levers, pulleys, chains, and chainwheels), and pneumatic tires. The authors examine the further development of the bicycle for such specific purposes as racing, portability, and all-terrain use; and they describe the evolution of bicycle components including seats, transmission, brakes, lights (at first candle-based), and carriers (racks, panniers, saddlebags, child seats, and sidecars). They consider not only commercially successful designs but also commercial failures that pointed the way to future technological developments. And they debunk some myths about bicycles¿for example, the mistaken but often-cited idea that Leonardo sketched a chain-drive bike in his notebooks.
Tony Hadland is the author of Raleigh: Past and Presence of an Iconic Brand and other books. Hans-Erhard Lessing, formerly a Professor of Physics at the University of Ulm and a Curator at the Technoseum Mannheim and the ZKM Karlsruhe, has written biographies of Karl Drais and Robert Bosch as well as books on bicycle history.