Video: Top 10 Road Cycling Innovations

Opinion Video

Cycling has come a long way from the days of the penny farthing and bone shaker bikes. Today’s two-wheeled machines are a blend of artisan craftsmanship and cutting edge technology. But which of these technologies stand above the rest?

Our friends from the Global Cycling Network put together a compelling top 10 list that includes STI shifters, clipless pedals, power meters, Lycra and carbon fiber. Check out the video to see the full top 10 list, and then let us know in the comments section what you think are the most important cycling innovations. Surely there will be plenty of differing opinions out there.

Here’s the full list:
1. Shimano STI Levers
2. Clipless Pedals
3. Quick Release Skewers
4. Power Meters
5. GPS Devices
6. LED Lights
7. Time Trial Bars
8. Lycra
9 Carbon Fiber Frames
10. You’ll have to watch the video…

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  • Dimas says:

    I agree with Paul, derailleurs and bicycle computers should be there; but the bicycle has been using the same drivetrain since more than a century, the biggest innovation that I would like to see is a race ready bicycle with a chainless infinitely adjustable gear ratio drivetrain…that would be a leap into the future!

  • Len says:

    A good list until you get past #7.

    Sorry, but if you’re going to go back to the 1920s and include quick-release skewers, then you also have to go back a tiny bit further and include the derailleur and pneumatic tires. Both of which matter way WAY more than lycra and carbon frames.

    You could probably also include the innovation that really started it all… the Rover Safety bicycle, which replaced the dangerous penny-farthing. Doubt there’d even be ‘road cycling’ in a major way without that one.

    Also as a heads-up… many ppl would say that wool jerseys are still better than lycra in all but the warmest climates. Wool is just better through a much broader temperature range, and unlike lycra or the other plastic jerseys, it generally does not stink to high heaven after just one ride.

    Wool’s expensive, to be sure, but considering that one wool jersey can replace 2-3 plastic ones (unless one is willing to do laundry many times per week), that cancels out. Lycra isn’t an ‘upgrade’, it’s a side-grade at best, and is popular ‘cuz it LOOKS cheaper at first glance and you can put your pretty team logos on it.

    But if it’s a long cycling day where you’re going to encounter a wide variety of temps and conditions, wool stomps all over the synthetics and then some. Ditto if you’re ever going extended touring and can only bring along a few items of clothing.

  • Len says:

    Hmm, I try to post a normal-length post, and it doesn’t work. Only short ones do.

    What’s up with that, RBR? Site going ker-blooey yet again? =\

  • Len says:

    Anyhoo, if you’re going to go back to the 1920s and QR skewers, then I’d take the derailleur, pneumatic tires, and the Rover Safety bike frame over lycra, carbon frames, and #10. Easily.

    Oh and btw, many ppl still would take a wool jersey over lycra any day of the week, except in the hottest temps.

  • Eric says:

    If the power meters and GPS made the list, you might as well have included the smart phone, which enables a rider to call for a ride home after bonking or a mechanical. What do I consider more essential? The cable-actuated derailleur, box-section 700c clincher wheels, the cassette freehub, the hard-shell styrofoam-lined helmet, and the padded plastic saddle, to name several.

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