Design Museum’s Cycle Revolution Exhibition Celebrates Bikes As “beautiful Objects”

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A new exhibition at London’s Style Museum explores contemporary bike style, from Olympic-winning sports activities designs to compact city cycles (+ slideshow).

Named Cycle Revolution, the demonstrate explores four different categories of cycling: High Performers, Thrill Seekers, Urban Riders and Cargo Bikers.

“Bicycles are remarkable due to the fact they are one particular of people things that each and every designer would like to have a go at designing, a bit like chairs or corkscrews,” said Design and style Museum director Deyan Sudjic in an introduction to the exhibition.

The Cycle Revolution exhibition at London's Design Museum

“They’re 1 of people things which is apparently ideal but usually getting refined and improved and tweaked,” he added. “They are of course beautiful objects, they’re also about ways of daily life.”

Amongst the 77 versions on show are many record-breaking bikes and Olympic winners, such as the Lotus Sort 108 that racing cyclist Chris Boardman rode to win gold in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Video games.

The Cycle Revolution exhibition at London's Design Museum

British cyclist Bradley Wiggins’ 2015 carbon fibre Hour Record bike – the 3D-printed titanium handlebars of which were recently acquired by the Victoria &amp Albert Museum – is also shown, alongside Belgian track cyclist Eddy Merckx’s 1972 Hour Record bike.


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A showcase of BMX and mountain bikes is featured in the Thrill Seekers area, which involves a 1970s Raleigh Chopper, different designs from Specialized and UCI BMX globe champion Shanaze Reade’s own bike.

The Cycle Revolution exhibition at London's Design Museum

Cargo Bikers demonstrates versions of courier bikes dating back to the 1930s as effectively as more bulky recent versions – a lot of of which feature front sections for carrying human or animal passengers.

A variety of folding cycles are also on show, such as Moulton models from the 1960s and 1980s, and the earliest prototype Brompton. A close by display shows Brompton founder Andrew Ritchie’s collection of rejection letters he received in response to early requests for investment in the firm.

As site visitors pass via the exhibition, cycling paraphernalia is displayed in cabinets dedicated to every thing from the history of the jersey – including a couple of early wool examples borrowed from Sir Paul Smith’s assortment – and a set of reflective tweed outerwear.

The Cycle Revolution exhibition at London's Design Museum

A future-focused section uncovers more unusual outcomes, including all-wood designs, absurdly tall bikes that reference the penny farthing, and reclining bikes that require the rider to lean to steer.

Increasing independent Uk bike companies are also profiled, in an area that deconstructs the a variety of stages of constructing a cycle.

The Cycle Revolution exhibition at London's Design Museum

The demonstrate concludes with a movie featuring figures including Paul Smith, Norman Foster and Peckham BMX Club founder CK Flash discussing cycling’s value in their personal lives, as properly as its relevance to society as a whole.


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Cycle Revolution opens on 18 November and continues until 30 June 2016. It will be the museum’s final present ahead of Zaha Hadid will take over its Shad Thames building and before it moves to its new area in Kensington.

The Cycle Revolution exhibition at London's Design Museum

Other uncommon bicycle patterns unveiled recently include a folding bike that claims to be the lightest in the globe, Niko Schmutz’s three-piece wooden frame cycle, and “the world’s lightest and most compact electric bike”.

Photography is by James Harris.


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