Shimano, Inc. is a Japanese multinational manufacturer of cycling components, fishing tackle and rowing equipment. It produced golf supplies until 2005 and snowboarding gear until 2008. Headquartered in Sakai, the company has 32 consolidated subsidiaries and 11 unconsolidated subsidiaries. Shimano's primary manufacturing plants are in China. In 2017, Shimano had net sales of US $3.2 billion, 38% in Europe, 35% in Asia, 11% in North America. Bicycle components represented 80%, fishing tackle 19%, other products 0.1%. The company is publicly traded, with 93 million shares of common stock outstanding. Shimano sales constitute an estimated 70–80% of the global bicycle component market by value, its products include drivetrain, brake and pedal components for road, mountain and hybrid bikes. The components include: crankset comprising chainrings. Shimano Total Integration is Shimano's integrated shifter and brake lever combination for road bicycles; the Italian firm Campagnolo as well as US based SRAM are Shimano's primary competitors in the cycling marketplace.
When the 1970s United States bike boom exceeded the capacity of the European bicycle component manufacturers, Japanese manufacturers SunTour and Shimano stepped in to fill the void. While both companies provided products for all price-ranges of the market, SunTour focused on refinement of existing systems and designs for higher end products, while Shimano paid more attention to rethinking the basic systems and bringing out innovations such as Positron shifting and front freewheel systems at the low end of the market. In the 1980s, with Shimano pushing technological innovation and lower prices, the more traditional European component manufacturers lost significant market presence. During this period, in contrast to the near-universal marketing technique of introducing innovations on the expensive side of the marketplace and relying on consumer demand to emulate early adopters along with economy of scale to bring them into the mass market and SunTour introduced new technologies at the lowest end of the bicycle market, using lower cost and heavier and less durable materials and techniques, only moving them further upmarket if they established themselves in the lower market segments.
In the 1980–1983 period, Shimano introduced three groupsets with "AX" technology: Dura-Ace & 600, Adamas in the low-end. Features of these components include aerodynamic styling, centre-pull brakes, brake levers with concealed cables, ergonomic pedals. By 1985 Shimano introduced innovation only at the highest quality level trickled the technology down to lower product levels as it became proven and accepted. Innovations include index shifting, dual-pivot brakes, 8-9-10 speed drivetrains, the integration of shifters and brake levers; these components could only work properly when used with other Shimano components, e.g. its rear dérailleurs have to be used with the correct Shimano gear levers, cables and cassette. SunTour tried to catch up to this technological leap, but by the end of the 1980s SunTour had lost the technological and commercial battle and Shimano had achieved the status as the largest manufacturer of bicycle components in the world. Shimano's marketplace domination that developed in the 1990s led to the perception by some critics that Shimano had become a marketplace bully with monopolistic intentions.
This viewpoint was based on the fact that Shimano became oriented towards integrating all of their components with each other, with the result being that if any Shimano components were to be used the entire bike would need to be built from matching Shimano components. The alternative perspective is that by controlling the mix of components on the bicycle, a manufacturer such as Shimano can control how well their own product functions. Shimano's primary competitors make proprietary designs that limit the opportunity to mix and match componentry. In 2003 Shimano introduced "Dual Control" to mountain bikes, where the gear shift mechanism is integrated into the brake levers; this development was controversial, as the use of Dual Control integrated shifting for hydraulic disc brakes required using Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, locking competitors out of the premium end of the market. However, with their 2007 product line, Shimano moved back to making separate braking and shifting components available in addition to the integrated "Dual Control" components, a move to satisfy riders that wished to use Shimano shifting with other brands of disc brakes.
Shimano in 1990 introduced the Shimano Pedaling Dynamics range of clipless pedals and matching shoes designed so that the shoes could be used for walking. The shoes have a recess in the bottom of the sole for fitting the smaller cleats and therefore it does not protrude, while conventional clipless road pedals are designed for road cycling shoes which have smooth soles with large protruding cleats, which are awkward for walking; the SPD range, in addition to other off-road refinements, were designed to be used with treaded soles that more resemble rugged hiking boots. SPD pedals and shoes soon established themselves as the market standard in this sector, although many other manufacturers have developed alternatives which are arguably less prone to being clogged by mud and/or easier to adjust
Mountain bike trials
Mountain bike trials known as observed trials, is a discipline of mountain biking in which the rider attempts to pass through an obstacle course without setting foot to ground. Derived from motorcycle trials, it originated in Catalonia, Spain and is said to have been invented by the father of Ot Pi, a world champion motorcycle trials rider. Pi's father had wanted his son to learn motorcycle trials by practicing on an ordinary bicycle. Trials riding is an extreme test of bicycle handling skills, over all kinds of obstacles, both natural and man-made, it now has a strong – though small – following worldwide, though it is still a European sport. Skills taken from trials riding can be used on any bicycle for balance, for example controlled braking and track standing, or balancing on the bike without putting a foot down. Competition trial bikes are characterized by powerful brakes, wide handlebars, lightweight parts, single-speed low gearing, low tire pressures with a thick rear tire, distinctive frame geometry, no seat.
The general principle in a bike trials competition is to ride a number of pre-marked sections, the winner being the rider with the fewest points at the end of the competition. There are two official types of competition rules, enforced by the UCI and BikeTrial International Union; the maximum number of points that can be obtained in each section is 5, the lowest score is 0 points or'clean'. The most common way to gain a point is by putting a foot down within a section. Certain rules enforce the number of points gained within a section, for example, putting both feet down or a hand will result in 5 points. Exceeding the time limit for the course will either result in 5 points or an additional point for every 15 seconds over the limit. Within UCI rules, if any part of the bike except the tires touch any object in the course, a dab will be given; the UCI rules were changed to this format after too many competitions ended in a draw and riders were forced to ride an extra section. UCI rules allows riders to compete in both mod and stock categories.
When a rider is in a section, neither tire is allowed to cross the side boundary tape if the wheel is in the air. The rider's hands must remain on the handlebars. Before beginning a section, a rider is allowed to walk through it, examine all the elements, but must not enter it with their bike; the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships are held annually and crown a 20-inch and 26-inch wheel trials world champion. The rules are unlike UCI scoring and parts of the bike can rest on an object without resulting in a'dab'; the rules are the same as the "BIU" but only people belonging to a club or school can compete in these, these are for lower level students to learn how to compete. Trials bikes are designed without regard for attaching a seat. Competition riding does not require the rider to sit down and the omission allows for a lighter bike which interferes less with the body movements of the rider. For the same reason most trials frames are as low as possible to such a degree that at top dead centre, the pedals are higher than the frame is above the bottom bracket.
In terms of geometry, trials frames those biased towards competition, tend to have BB spindles positioned higher than the line between the axles. BB rise is one of the significant dimensions used in describing a trials frame with rises between 30 and 75 mm being common in 26" frames. Many competition style 24" frames aim to place the BB at the same height relative to the ground as a 26" frame and so have a BB rise 25 mm more than a similar feeling 26" frame. Street riding biased 24 and 26" frames tend to have lower BB's than competition frames. Trials frames will have holes in the front of the head tube and elsewhere such as the BB shell, the seat tube and the dropouts to reduce frame weight; this feature is not seen in mountain bikes due to mountain bikes' increased exposure to mud and dust and the attendant maintenance problems having an easy route for dirt to take into the headset and BB will cause. The disc brake mounts on trials frames will be more reinforced than those on normal mountain bikes as trials riding requires much higher brake forces than seen in mountain bike riding forces acting backwards on the rear brake.
Unlike all other off-road bike frames in production, trials frames stock frames are made without disk mounts. Most trials frames have four-bolt mounts for hydraulic rim brakes, as this is the most popular choice for the rear brake in a trials bike; the four-bolt mount is not seen on any bicycle frame other than trials bikes. Current production trials frames are most made in various aluminium alloys, but frames are available made from steel, titanium and carbon fibre. Trials brakes must create more stopping torque than standard bicycle brakes and are set up on the rear, with more emphasis on locking the wheel they act on than bringing the bike to a smooth halt from speed. For larger wheeled trials bikes, brakes that act directly on the rim are more popular, namely hydraulic rim brakes and cable actuated V Brakes, though disk brakes are used on the front wheel, by most riders. All competition only riders on 26" wheeled bikes use hydraulic rim brakes on both wheels, while for 20" competition the split is more between rim brakes and disks.
The main reason for the preference for rim brake on the back of 26" wheeled bikes is that there is significant wind-up bet
Schwinn Bicycle Company
The Schwinn Bicycle Company was founded by German-born mechanical engineer Ignaz Schwinn in Chicago in 1895. It became the dominant manufacturer of American bicycles through most of the 20th century. After declaring bankruptcy in 1992, Schwinn has since been a sub-brand of Pacific Cycle, owned by the multi-national conglomerate, Dorel Industries. Ignaz Schwinn was born in Hardheim, Germany, in 1860 and worked on two-wheeled ancestors of the modern bicycle that appeared in 19th century Europe. Schwinn emigrated to the United States in 1891. In 1895, with the financial backing of fellow German American Adolph Frederick William Arnold, he founded Arnold, Schwinn & Company. Schwinn's new company coincided with a sudden bicycle craze in America. Chicago became the center of the American bicycle industry, with thirty factories turning out thousands of bikes every day. Bicycle output in the United States grew to over a million units per year by the turn of the 20th century; the boom in bicycle sales was short lived, saturating the market years before motor vehicles were common on American streets.
By 1905, bicycle annual sales had fallen to only 25% of that reached in 1900. Many smaller companies went bankrupt. Competition became intense, both for parts suppliers and for contracts from the major department stores, which retailed the majority of bicycles produced in those days. Realizing he needed to grow the company, Ignaz Schwinn purchased several smaller bicycle firms, building a modern factory on Chicago's west side to mass-produce bicycles at lower cost, he finalized a purchase of Excelsior Company in 1912, in 1917 added the Henderson Company to form Excelsior-Henderson. In an atmosphere of general decline elsewhere in the industry, Schwinn's new motorcycle division thrived, by 1928 was in third place behind Indian and Harley-Davidson. At the close of the 1920s, the stock market crash decimated the American motorcycle industry, taking Excelsior-Henderson with it. Arnold, Schwinn, & Co. was on the verge of bankruptcy. With no buyers, Excelsior-Henderson motorcycles were discontinued in 1931.
Ignaz's son, Frank W. "F. W." Schwinn, took over day-to-day operations at Schwinn. Putting all company efforts towards bicycles, he succeeded in developing a low-cost model that brought Schwinn recognition as an innovative company, as well as a product that would continue to sell during the inevitable downturns in business cycles. After traveling to Europe to get ideas, F. W. Schwinn returned to Chicago and in 1933 introduced the Schwinn B-10E Motorbike a youth's bicycle designed to imitate a motorcycle; the company renamed it the Aerocycle. For the Aerocycle, F. W. Schwinn persuaded American Rubber Co. to make 2.125-inch-wide balloon tires, while adding streamlined fenders, an imitation "gas tank", a streamlined, chrome-plated headlight, a push-button bicycle bell. The bicycle would come to be known as a paperboy bike or cruiser. Schwinn was soon sponsoring a bicycle racing team headed by Emil Wastyn, who designed the team bikes, the company competed in six-day racing across the United States with riders such as Jerry Rodman and Russell Allen.
In 1938, Frank W. Schwinn introduced the Paramount series. Developed from experiences gained in racing, Schwinn established Paramount as their answer to high-end, professional competition bicycles; the Paramount used high-strength chrome-molybdenum steel alloy tubing and expensive brass lug-brazed construction. During the next twenty years, most of the Paramount bikes would be built in limited numbers at a small frame shop headed by Wastyn, in spite of Schwinn's continued efforts to bring all frame production into the factory. On 17 May 1941, Alfred Letourneur was able to beat the motor-paced world speed record on a bicycle, reaching 108.92 miles per hour on a Schwinn Paramount bicycle riding behind a car in Bakersfield, California. By 1950, Schwinn had decided. At the time, most bicycle manufacturers in the United States sold in bulk to department stores, which in turn sold them as store brand models. Schwinn decided to try something different. With the exception of B. F. Goodrich bicycles, sold in tire stores, Schwinn eliminated the practice of rebranding in 1950, insisting that the Schwinn brand and guarantee appear on all products.
In exchange for ensuring the presence of the Schwinn name, distributors retained the right to distribute Schwinn bikes to any hardware store, toy store, or bicycle shop that ordered them. In 1952, F. W. Schwinn tasked a new team to plan future business strategy, consisting of marketing supervisor Ray Burch, general manager Bill Stoeffhaas, design supervisor Al Fritz. In the 1950s, Schwinn began to aggressively cultivate bicycle retailers, persuading them to sell Schwinns as their predominant, if not exclusive brand. During this period, bicycle sales enjoyed slow growth, with the bulk of sales going to youth models. In 1900, during the height of the first bicycle boom, annual United States sales by all bicycle manufacturers had topped one million. By 1960, annual sales had reached just 4.4 million. Schwinn's share of the market was increasing, would reach in excess of 1 million bicycles per year by the end of the decade. In 1946, imports of foreign-made bicycles had increased tenfold over the previous year, to 46,840 bicycles.
The postwar appearance of imported "English racers" found a ready market among United States buyers seeking bicycles for exercise and recreation
Panasonic Corporation known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. is a Japanese multinational electronics corporation headquartered in Kadoma, Japan. The company was founded in 1918 as a producer of lightbulb sockets and has grown to become one of the largest Japanese electronics producers alongside Sony, Toshiba and Canon Inc. In addition to electronics, it offers non-electronic products and services such as home renovation services. Panasonic is the world's fourth-largest television manufacturer by 2012 market share. Panasonic has a primary listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the Nikkei 225 and TOPIX indices, it has a secondary listing on the Nagoya Stock Exchange. From 1935 to October 1, 2008, the company name was "Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd." On January 10, 2008, the company announced that it would change its name to "Panasonic Corporation", in effect on October 1, 2008, to conform with its global brand name "Panasonic". The name change was approved at a shareholders' meeting on June 26, 2008 after consultation with the Matsushita family.
Panasonic was founded in 1918 by Kōnosuke Matsushita as a vendor of duplex lamp sockets. In the 1920's Matsushita began launching products. In 1927, he produced a line of bicycle lamps that were the first to be marketed with the "National" brand name. During World War II the company operated factories in Japan and other parts of Asia which produced electrical components and appliances such as light fixtures, electric irons, wireless equipment and its first vacuum tubes. After the war, Panasonic regrouped as a Keiretsu and began to supply the post-war boom in Japan with radios and appliances, as well as bicycles. Matsushita's brother-in-law, Toshio Iue, founded Sanyo as a subcontractor for components after World War II. Sanyo grew to become a competitor to Panasonic, but was acquired by Panasonic in December 2009. In 1961, Matsushita met American dealers; the company began producing television sets for the U. S. market under the Panasonic brand name, expanded the use of the brand to Europe in 1979.
The company used the National brand outside North America from the 1950s to the 1970s. The inability to use the National brand name led to the creation of the Panasonic brand in the United States. Over the next several decades Panasonic released additional products, including black and white TV's, electrical blenders, rice cookers, color TV's and microwave ovens; the company debuted a hi-fidelity audio speaker in Japan in 1965 with the brand Technics. This line of high quality stereo components became worldwide favorites, the most famous products being its turntables, such as the SL-1200 record player, known for its high performance and durability. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Panasonic continued to produce high-quality specialized electronics for niche markets such as shortwave radios, developed its successful line of stereo receivers, CD players and other components. In 1973, Matsushita established "Anam National", joint venture with Anam Group in South Korea. In 1983, Matsushita launched the Panasonic Senior Partner, the first IBM PC compatible Japanese-made computer.
In November 1990, Matsushita agreed to acquire the American media company MCA Inc. for US$6.59 billion. Matsushita subsequently sold 80% of MCA to Seagram Company for US$7 billion in April 1995. In 1998, Matsushita sold Anam National to Anam Electronics. On May 2, 2002, Panasonic Canada marked its 35th anniversary in that country by giving $5 million to help build a "music city" on Toronto's waterfront. On January 19, 2006, Panasonic announced that it would stop producing analog televisions from the next month, in order to concentrate on digital televisions. In 2008, all models of electric shavers from the Panasonic factory were called Panasonic shavers, they dropped Matsushita and National from their name, regardless of worldwide or Japanese markets. On November 3, 2008, Panasonic and Sanyo announced that they were holding merger talks, which resulted in the acquisition of Sanyo by Panasonic; the merger was completed in December 2009, resulted in a corporation with revenues of over ¥11.2 trillion.
With the announcement that Pioneer would exit the production of its Kuro plasma HDTV displays, Panasonic purchased many of the patents and incorporated these technologies into its own plasma displays. In April 2011, it was announced that Panasonic would cut its work force by 40,000 by the end of fiscal 2012 in a bid to streamline overlapping operations; the curtailment is about 10 percent of its group work force. In October 2011, Panasonic announced that it would trim its money-losing TV business by ceasing production of Plasma TVs at its plant in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture by March 2012, cutting 1,000 jobs in the process. In January 2012, Panasonic announced that it had struck a deal with Myspace on its new venture, Myspace TV. Myspace TV will allow users to watch live television while chatting with other users on a laptop, tablet or the television itself. With the partnership, Myspace TV will be integrated into Panasonic Viera televisions. On May 11, 2012, Panasonic announced plans to acquire a 76.2% stake in FirePro Systems, an India-based company in infrastructure protection and security solutions such as fire alarm, fire suppression, video surveillance and building management.
In line with company prediction of a net loss of 765 billion yen, on November 5, 2012, the shares fell to the lowest level since February 1975 to 388 yen. In 2012, the sh
Raleigh Bicycle Company
The Raleigh Bicycle Company is a bicycle manufacturer based in Nottingham, England. Founded by Woodhead and Angois in 1885, who used Raleigh as their brand name, it is one of the oldest bicycle companies in the world. After being acquired by Frank Bowden, it became The Raleigh Cycle Company in December 1888, registered as a limited liability company in January 1889. By 1913, it was the biggest bicycle manufacturing company in the world. From 1921 to 1935, Raleigh produced motorcycles and three-wheel cars, leading to the formation of Reliant Motors; the Raleigh division of bicycles is owned by the Dutch corporation Accell. In 2006, the Raleigh Chopper was named in the list of British design icons in the Great British Design Quest organised by the BBC and the Design Museum; the history of Raleigh bicycles started in 1885, when Richard Morriss Woodhead from Sherwood Forest, Paul Eugene Louis Angois, a French citizen, set up a small bicycle workshop in Raleigh Street, England. In the spring of that year, they started advertising in the local press.
The Nottinghamshire Guardian of 15 May 1885 printed what was the first Woodhead and Angois classified advertisement. Nearly two years the 11 April 1887 issue of The Nottingham Evening Post contained a display advertisement for the Raleigh ‘Safety’ model under the new banner ‘Woodhead and Ellis. Russell Street Cycle Works.’ William Ellis had joined the partnership and provided much-needed financial investment. Like Woodhead and Angois, Ellis's background was in the lace industry, he was a lace gasser, a service provider involved in the bleaching and treating of lace, with premises in nearby Clare Street and Glasshouse Street. Thanks to Ellis, the bicycle works had now expanded round the corner from Raleigh Street into former lace works on the adjoining road, Russell Street. By 1888, the company was employed around half a dozen men, it was one of 15 bicycle manufacturers based in Nottingham at that time. Frank Bowden, a recent convert to cycling who on medical advice had toured extensively on a tricycle, first saw a Raleigh bicycle in a shop window in Queen Victoria Street, about the time that William Ellis's investment in the cycle workshop was beginning to take effect.
Bowden described how this led to him visiting the Raleigh works: In the early part of 1887, while looking for a good specimen of the new safety bicycle, I came across a Raleigh in London. Its patent changeable gear and other special features struck me as superior to all the others I had seen, I purchased one upon which I toured extensively through France and England during 1887 and 1888. In the autumn of the latter year, happening to pass through Nottingham, with the idea of, if possible, getting a still more up-to-date machine, I called upon Messrs. Woodhead and Angois, the originators and makers of the Raleigh … It is clear from Frank Bowden's own account that, although he bought a Raleigh ‘Safety’ in 1887, he did not visit the Raleigh workshop until autumn 1888; that visit led to Bowden replacing Ellis as the partnership's principal investor, though Bowden did not become the outright owner of the firm. He concluded that the company had a profitable future if it promoted its innovative features, increased its output, cut its overhead costs and tailored its products to the individual tastes and preferences of its customers.
He bought out William Ellis's share in the firm and was allotted 5,000 £1 shares, while Woodhead and Angois between them held another 5,000 shares. In Frank Bowden's own lifetime, Raleigh publicity material stated that the firm was founded in 1888, when Bowden, as he himself confirmed, first bought into the enterprise. Thus, Raleigh's 30th anniversary was celebrated in 1918; the 1888 foundation date is confirmed by Bowden's great-grandson, Gregory Houston Bowden, who states that Frank Bowden "began to negotiate with Woodhead and Angois and in December 1888 founded'The Raleigh Cycle Company'." The December 1888 foundation date is confirmed by Nottinghamshire Archives. In recent years, the Raleigh company has cited 1887 as a foundation date but, whilst this pre-dates Bowden's involvement, the Raleigh brand name was created by Woodhead and Angois and the enterprise can, as demonstrated above, be traced back to 1885; the company established by Bowden in December 1888 was still owned with unlimited public liability.
In January 1889, it became the first of a series of limited liability companies with Raleigh in its name. It had a nominal capital of £20,000, half of, provided by Frank Bowden. Paul Angois was appointed director responsible for product design, Richard Woodhead was made director responsible for factory management, Frank Bowden became chairman and managing director; some shares were made available to small investors and local businessmen, but take-up was minimal, Bowden ended up buying most of the public shares. He subsequently supplied all the capital needed to expand the firm; when Frank Bowden got involved with the enterprise, the works comprised three small workshops and a greenhouse. As Woodhead and Ellis, the firm had expanded round the corner from Raleigh Street into Russell Street, where stood Clarke's five-storey former lace factory. To enable further expansion of the business, Bowden financed the renting of this property and installation of new machinery. Under Bowden's guidance, Raleigh expanded rapidly.
By 1891, the company occupied not only Clarke's factory but Woodroffe's Factory and Russell Street Mills. In November 1892, Raleigh signed a tenancy agreement for rooms in Butler's factory on the other side of Russell Street. Shortly after this, the company occupied Forest Road Mill. (Forest Road junctions with Russell Street at the op
The crankset or chainset, is the component of a bicycle drivetrain that converts the reciprocating motion of the rider's legs into rotational motion used to drive the chain or belt, which in turn drives the rear wheel. It consists of one or more sprockets called chainrings or chainwheels attached to the cranks, arms, or crankarms to which the pedals attach, it is connected to the rider by the pedals, to the bicycle frame by the bottom bracket, to the rear sprocket, cassette or freewheel via the chain. The two cranks, one on each side and mounted 180° apart, connect the bottom bracket axle to the pedals. Bicycle cranks can vary in length to accommodate different sized riders and different types of cycling. Crank length is measured from the center of the pedal spindle to the center of the bottom bracket spindle or axle; the larger bicycle component manufacturers offer crank lengths for adult riders from 165 mm to 180 mm long in 2.5 mm increments, with 170 mm cranks being the most common size. A few small specialty manufacturers make bicycle cranks in a number of sizes smaller than 165 mm and longer than 180 mm.
Some manufacturers make bicycle cranks that can be adjusted to different lengths. While logic would suggest that, all other things being equal, riders with shorter legs should use proportionally shorter cranks and those with longer legs should use proportionally longer cranks, this is not universally accepted; however few scientific studies have definitively examined the effect of crank length on sustained cycling performance and the studies' results have been mixed. Bicycle crank length has not been easy to study scientifically for a number of reasons, chief among them being that cyclists are able to physiologically adapt to different crank lengths. Cyclists are more efficient pedalling cranks with which they have had an adaptation period. Several different formulas exist to calculate appropriate crank length for various riders. In addition to the rider's size, another factor affecting the selection of crank length is the rider's cycling specialty and the type of cycling event. Bicycle riders have chosen proportionally shorter cranks for higher cadence cycling such as criterium and track racing, while riders have chosen proportionally longer cranks for lower cadence cycling such as time trial racing and mountain biking.
However, the evolution of low rider torso positions to reduce aerodynamic drag for time trial racing and triathlon cycling can affect crank selection for such events. Some have suggested that proportionally shorter cranks may have a slight advantage for a rider with a low torso position and an acute hip angle as the rider pedals near the top-dead-center position of the pedal stroke. Cranks can be shortened for medical reasons using shorteners such as Ortho Pedal Unicycle cranks vary in length to accommodate different unicycle wheel sizes, different unicycling disciplines; as all unicycles are ungeared, crank length is a major factor in determining how much force is transmitted to the wheel. Larger wheel diameters require longer cranks, as do disciplines such as Mountain Unicycling, Trials and Flatland; these unicycles and disciplines use cranks lengths greater than 125mm. For indoor unicycling such as freestyle or hockey, shorter cranks give a smoother pedaling motion and enable tighter turns without the pedal hitting the floor.
Crank lengths of 100 mm are common. As there is no chainwheel on a unicycle and left cranks are identical, except for the pedal attachment thread in the left-hand crank, reverse threaded. Cranks are constructed of either an aluminum alloy, carbon fiber, chromoly steel, or some less expensive steel. Tubular steel cranks can be light and strong, are found on BMX bikes, are finding their way to mountain bikes. Aluminum cranks may be hot forged or cold forged. Cold forging gives the metal additional strength, the cranks can therefore be made lighter without increasing the risk of breakage. Shimano "Hollowtech" aluminum cranks are made by forging the main arms around a hard steel insert, withdrawn, leaving an internal void to save weight, they are welded up before final machining. There are a variety of methods used to attach the cranks to the bottom bracket spindle. Older cranks use a wedge-shaped pin, called a cotter, for attachment to the bottom bracket spindle. Newer cranks slide onto a square tapered spindle.
The taper is 2 degrees with respect to the centerline. There are at least two non-interchangeable dimensions, two orientations: diamond and horizontal square; the hole in the crank in which one screws a crank puller always has a diameter of 22 mm, though some old French cranks require a different puller. A hexagonal tapered spindle a splined bottom bracket spindle with two prominent specifications, numerous uncommon ones; the ISIS spline may be the most common splined standard as it was decided on and supported by several companies. Shimano's Octalink is a common proprietary standard that comes in two forms: version one for XTR, 105, Ultegra
A bicycle called a cycle or bike, is a human-powered or motor-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A bicycle rider is called bicyclist. Bicycles were introduced in the late 19th century in Europe, by the early 21st century, more than 1 billion were in existence at a given time; these numbers far exceed the number of cars, both in total and ranked by the number of individual models produced. They are the principal means of transportation in many regions, they provide a popular form of recreation, have been adapted for use as children's toys, general fitness and police applications, courier services, bicycle racing and bicycle stunts. The basic shape and configuration of a typical upright or "safety bicycle", has changed little since the first chain-driven model was developed around 1885. However, many details have been improved since the advent of modern materials and computer-aided design; these have allowed for a proliferation of specialized designs for many types of cycling.
The bicycle's invention has had an enormous effect on society, both in terms of culture and of advancing modern industrial methods. Several components that played a key role in the development of the automobile were invented for use in the bicycle, including ball bearings, pneumatic tires, chain-driven sprockets and tension-spoked wheels; the word bicycle first appeared in English print in The Daily News in 1868, to describe "Bysicles and trysicles" on the "Champs Elysées and Bois de Boulogne". The word was first used in 1847 in a French publication to describe an unidentified two-wheeled vehicle a carriage; the design of the bicycle was an advance on the velocipede, although the words were used with some degree of overlap for a time. Other words for bicycle include "bike", "pushbike", "pedal cycle", or "cycle". In Unicode, the code point for "bicycle" is 0x1F6B2; the entity 🚲. The "Dandy horse" called Draisienne or Laufmaschine, was the first human means of transport to use only two wheels in tandem and was invented by the German Baron Karl von Drais.
It is regarded as the modern bicycle's forerunner. Its rider sat astride a wooden frame supported by two in-line wheels and pushed the vehicle along with his or her feet while steering the front wheel; the first mechanically-propelled, two-wheeled vehicle may have been built by Kirkpatrick MacMillan, a Scottish blacksmith, in 1839, although the claim is disputed. He is associated with the first recorded instance of a cycling traffic offense, when a Glasgow newspaper in 1842 reported an accident in which an anonymous "gentleman from Dumfries-shire... bestride a velocipede... of ingenious design" knocked over a little girl in Glasgow and was fined five shillings. In the early 1860s, Frenchmen Pierre Michaux and Pierre Lallement took bicycle design in a new direction by adding a mechanical crank drive with pedals on an enlarged front wheel; this was the first in mass production. Another French inventor named Douglas Grasso had a failed prototype of Pierre Lallement's bicycle several years earlier.
Several inventions followed using rear-wheel drive, the best known being the rod-driven velocipede by Scotsman Thomas McCall in 1869. In that same year, bicycle wheels with wire spokes were patented by Eugène Meyer of Paris; the French vélocipède, made of iron and wood, developed into the "penny-farthing". It featured a tubular steel frame on; these bicycles were difficult to ride due to poor weight distribution. In 1868 Rowley Turner, a sales agent of the Coventry Sewing Machine Company, brought a Michaux cycle to Coventry, England, his uncle, Josiah Turner, business partner James Starley, used this as a basis for the'Coventry Model' in what became Britain's first cycle factory. The dwarf ordinary addressed some of these faults by reducing the front wheel diameter and setting the seat further back. This, in turn, required gearing—effected in a variety of ways—to efficiently use pedal power. Having to both pedal and steer via the front wheel remained a problem. Englishman J. K. Starley, J. H. Lawson, Shergold solved this problem by introducing the chain drive, connecting the frame-mounted cranks to the rear wheel.
These models were known as safety bicycles, dwarf safeties, or upright bicycles for their lower seat height and better weight distribution, although without pneumatic tires the ride of the smaller-wheeled bicycle would be much rougher than that of the larger-wheeled variety. Starley's 1885 Rover, manufactured in Coventry is described as the first recognizably modern bicycle. Soon the seat tube was added. Further innovations increased comfort and ushered in a second bicycle craze, the 1890s Golden Age of Bicycles. In 1888, Scotsman John Boyd Dunlop introduced the first practical pneumatic tire, which soon became universal. Willie Hume demonstrated the supremacy of Dunlop's tyres in 1889, winning the tyre's first-ever races in Ireland and England. Soon after, the rear freewheel was developed; this refinement led to the 1890s invention of coaster brakes. Dérailleur gears and hand-operated Bowden cable-pull brakes were developed during these years, but were only adopted by casual riders; the Svea Velocipede with vertical pedal arrangement and