Bicycle Drifting! This is COLD.

Arab Bicycle Drift

WOW! I haven't seen anything this cool done on a bicycle since my cousin road a willy on his bike for 4 blocks! And to you bay area "Ghosters", this takes much more effort and imagination that running along side your adult tricycles while they pedal with no one on them!

Japanese Bicycle Drift

This video doesn't really say where this practice originated, but check out the INTERNATIONAL NATURE of this thing! Anyhow, as I go forward with the Marshall Taylor Project, these kinds of Urban Bike culture phenoms, wherever they originate, that will be included within the vision.

Latavian Bicycle Drift


The Little Bicycle Company

WOW! I ran across these bicycles in my search for great bicycle design. The company is called The Little Bike Company and they are based in the U.K. I must say that these bikes for small kids are HOOOTTTTT!

I like these designs for a number of reasons, but the main reason is their SIMPLICITY! I have been telling yall since the beginning that simplicity is where it is at. Gadgets and all that other stuff really takes away from the greatness of the base design.

There is an emerging market that I spoke about some time back in 'Track Bicycles'. These things hearken back to the days of old when the Safety Bicycle was a new thing and the biggest sports stars, like Major Taylor, were men on bicycles! Track Bicycles are some of the most elegant machinery you will ever see folks.

More about that in another post! In other Marshall Taylor News, I am almost done with the design of my new website which will be found, when launched, at Le Major, is French for The Major! This website will be a monster yall! Talk at ya soon.


Modulated Bike: A truly cool practical concept creation

I agree Sameer....I agree!

Article courtesy of: Sameer Kumar

There have been ample instances when I have been really hard on those who have created concept bikes and designed amazingly improbable concept cars. The reason for that is simple and it is the fact that I really do not see how many of these actually ever making it on to the road and in 99% of the cases they indeed are relegated to the drawing board. But this cool new concept bike design from Eric Zhang is an absolute novelty and something I strongly feel has a great future if taken up and fine-tuned by one of the big boys of biking world.

The ‘Modulated Bike’ is practically the best design one can get in terms of a modern city bicycle that acts both as a green, pollution free bike and a transporter which has a wonderful module to stay connected when you are on the move. The bike has basically three modules which can be easily inter-changed for our convenience. We have the communication mode in which you cans stay connected with all your wireless gadgets, you have the transportation mode which allows you to carry stuff in a custom made box which even comes with a freezer and then you have the engine-propelled mode which allows you to attach a fuel-cell powered engine for faster transport.

The modulated is one concept bike which has its wheels in reality and hence I fully expect it to hit the roads some time in the future. Eric Zhang has done an incredibly good job with a fundamentally sound design by adding great improvisation to it.

Designer:Eric Zhang


Things that make you go HMMMMMM?

Things that make you go HMMMM? Check the video out and then the bike designs!

Hubless what?

People, IF you are SO IN LOVE with cycling that you buy Bicycle Furniture..2 words "GET SOME HELP!"

WOW!(And I don't say that in a complimentary way!)

And you thought the Old High Wheels from the late 1800s were DANGEROUS!


Wood Rims

QUIT PLAYIN! The FABRICATOR OF FUNK sent me the link to these Wood Rims by Ghisallo classic wood rims (tubular and clincher). I am sittin here TRIPPIN right now because these things are just so bomb! I have been to Bike Swaps and shows and have seen rims that look like wood, and they look good but these wood rims are the real deal! You see, awhile ago I came to the conclusion that I didn't have to design EVERY component on my bikes and because of this conclusion I have come across a whole lot of 'Specialists' all across the world who focus on one component of bicycle and leave the rest to others.

I must say that I can most certainly imagine some luxury wood rims on some of my designs. Here are just a few of the specialists I have come across during my journey to discover THE FUNK in bicycle designs:

- CDS Components: This is the company of the man you all know as 'The Fabricator of Funk' and the one who is set to build the hottest bicycles on the planet! Sorry I can't give his name right now but a brotha like me gotta keep him under wraps for now.

- Sweet Skinz: Maker of the HOTTESSSTTT tire patterns on the planet today. DANG, the name is even hot.

- Bike Dubz: Maker of urban style spinners and rims for bicycles.

- Scraper Bikes: Simply put, bicycle wheel ARTIST who believe in and promote the individuality of each rider. They have a design called 'Peaches & Creme'...come on man....QUIT PLAYIN! Youtube video with over 2.5 million hits...they got me saying, as on the video "I'm cruising on my Scraper Bike..I'm cruising on my Scraper Bike."

- Wil Min: This is SUPER UNDERCOVER because this person has the MOST AWESOME color coordinating mind on the planet, has kicked out over 100 original tire color coordinated patterns, and does it with CRAYONS and MARKERS! You won't find anyone in the world with the gift this person has.


I am....well...speechless

Designers, Mechanics, Graphic Artists, whoever even thought to take the time to participate in with these, well....whatever they are..listen to my man Curt Cobain and sing along with him...because, MAN I THINK YOU ALL ARE DUMB and you should to!

Kurt Cobain-Unplugged- DUMB


A Sad Day for Jaguar

I read an article awhile back and the person interviewed was one of my contacts in the industry, one Gary Silva of 3G Bikes. In the article, Gary said someone saw some of his designs and Jaguar signed him to some sort of deal to design bikes for them. Since that time, I have been on the hunt to see exactly what Gary came up with. I haven't found any of his designs for Jaguar but I have found a few others. Jag and Hummer are making a serious play in the bike market RIGHT NOW! I will wait and see.

After my experience with Cadillac Bicycles, I was hoping for the best and expecting the worst. As you all know, I was severely disappointed with whoever Cadillac licensed their name to for the purpose of manufacturing Cadillac Bikes. They are a JOKE! The designs are below average and Cadillac is letting their licensee sell them in a 'Big Box' price point of $100-$200. WOW! I am sad to inform you that Jaguar appears to have done the same thing. They have lent their INCREDIBLE BRAND NAME to some very poor, cookie-cutter designed, mass manufactured bikes.

First, I want to say to those who licensed their brand names, Cadillac and Jaguar, it isn't too late to pull your brand back from the cliff that Schwinn went over not so long ago. In the 1990s, Schwinn, probably the greatest brand of bicycle ever, put their product in Big Box Retailers and although they sell alot of bicycles their, they killed the brand value and Independent Bicycle Dealers stopped selling Schwinn.
Schwinn's brand is so pathetic now that serious bicyclist won't even look at it to ride.

Back to the issue at hand, a brand like Jaguar, which is a premium priced car, should NOT be lending their brand for such a pitiful effort at design. I believe they shouldn't dabble in the Performance and Premium priced bicycles because they will never be the best in the world at it, as they were at one time in the automobile markets, but I do believe they could make some noise in the $599-$1,499 price point! To do so, they have got to get someone to design their product that has vision, someone who understands that with a brand name like Jaguar, you don't put yourself in the same price point as the Wal-Mart House Brand, 'Next'. Jag, why lend your name to Schwinn? They couldn't even build or preserve their own brand and you expect them to build yours?

Jag, YES you will sell less units in a higher price point, YES you will have to develop (if you haven't already) IDP Relationships, but it will bring your brand back for the cliff it is headed for in the bicycle market. I know a designer that will present you some renderings that will make you next SNAP! I also know a Fabricator that can take these renderings and put them WAY OUT THERE IN HIGH EARTH ORBIT! Come on in out of the rain Jaguar or risk going the way of Schwinn, IN THE TANK with nowhere to come back from.

I put the below picture of the Jaguar Motorcycle in here to just say "THAT IS HORRIBLE!" Jag, call the Tuttles at Orange County Choppers to design you a motorcycle! I don't even design motorcycles and I could do better than this...what a joke.


My Thoughts on LOWRIDER Bicycles

During my search for the great bicycle design, I came across MANY lowrider bikes and after much thought, I have finally decided to address the issue. I have gotten a few emails asking my thoughts, one from a guy with a bicycle company that was looking to expand his product line. Wwhat I told the company owner was this; "Don't sell anything that you aren't an expert on, can't build, is SO NICHE, and requires a certain race of people to make the product line viable. In fairness, most of the pictures in this post consist of 'Show Bikes' but there is some of ones people ride everday also.

Lowrider bicycles, in my opinion are too niche to EVER be mainstream and unfortunatley, when people see these bicycles, they think of Mexicans. That isn't racial, it is just the truth! Like african americans, as latinos start to understand their buying power as a race and demand better housing, civil rights, fair wages and the like, their standard of living will go up as a people, and the old ways, like with black folks will fade into the past. I am ceratin spanish, no matter how well they are doing, will continue from generation to generation.

Back to the lowrider bike issue, it is RARE to even see a latino kid on these bicycles, here in Denver and believe me, we have a VERY LARGE latino population and they are at least 50% of the homeowners in the area where I live and I can't even remember the last time I saw a lowrider bike. I said all of that to say this, this market is WAY TO NICHE to ever flourish in the mainstream. ALL OF THE LATINO KIDS AND TEENS where I live ride regular bikes (although ugly ones) and truthfully, they could buy a lowrider bicycle for about the same cost as some of the bikes I see them on....what does that say? And what does that say about the mainstream viability of this niche market?

To those of you who build them, GREAT! Keep on doing your thing cause I ain't hatin on you, but it is a tough sell where 'Cross over appeal' is concerned when anyone, no matter what race, looks at a product and says "You know a ***** person designed that." Offended yet, OH BABY I GOT MORE! When you see, or hear of 'Bling-Bling' Jewelry, what color man do you think of? A Black man! Don't lie, that's who I think of and I AM BLACK! For those of you who live here in Colorado, when someone mention the city of Boulder, Colorado, what type of people do you think of? WHITE PEOPLE!

It's true so get mad if you want. Anyway, I think low rider bikes, for the most part look, well, OVERDONE!

Out of the hundreds and hundreds I have looked at, the one pictured below is the ONLY ONE I have ever seen that I kinda think is ok. Even this one....white wall tires.....PLAYED OUT! I vomit ever time I see a bicycle with WHITE WALL TIRES! YUK!


Questions and Answers

As has become my custom here on this bike blog, I will answers some questions that my readers have posed to me. Please understand that I am not trying to be rude or arrogant, but why ask me a question if you do not want the answers people? HERE WE GO;

"If you want your blog to be successful, why aren't you posting everyday?"


What is your definition of success and are you comparing this to other blogs? Listen Matt, my definition of success is doing what I want to do on my blog the way I want to do it. If you even do a light search across the 3 big search engines, you will find that all of those other bloggers are posting the same stuff and their is VERY LITTLE originality! Outside of Urban Velo and Bicycle Design Blogspot, everyone else is, well, the same! I am not trying to be different for the sake of being different, but because I am myself, an original in my own right, my blog has to reflect who I am.


"You seem to be all over the place with your posts, I thought this was a bike design blog?"


I have alot of differing interests! But I encourage you to at least go to the bottom of my blog, read past title posts and I know you will find a consistent theme.


"Why don't you have a widget for readers to subscribe?"

I want people to come back to my blog because they want to! I am not going to send someone my posts if they aren't in the mood to read them. Don't you get enough junk in your inbox? Besides, the truth is people put this widget on their sites to show off how many subscribers they have and it has no practical purpose other than that! Yes you could argue it is important for traffic, yes you can argue it shows you have a following...but I am only interested in people who have the love and conviction to visit my site because they like what I do, not because they came across it, subscribed and have to be reminded to read!

"What do you have against products that are already on the market?"

NOTHING! As a recreational bicycle designer myself, I am just sad that the folks who ride these bikes are settling for what is there instead of demanding something better. If folks didn't demand WHAT THEY BELIEVE to be better during this last Presidentional Election, would Obama have won the presidency?

"I like the bikes I saw at Target and think they are nice!"

Joel my friend, you do because you just don't know any better! Poor guy.


"You suck!"

Indeed I may, indeed I may! But I am going to suck SOOO BAADDD that you are going to run out to the store in the future, see my FUNK and give me your $$$- Count on it!



Monkey Lectric is doing big things for bikes people. I posted a few times about a company called Scaper bikes a few times and if you go 2 posts down from this one you can view a youtube video that was a HUGE viral marketing success from Scraper. Scraper Bikes and Monkey Lectric are 2 opposite ends of the creative spectrum. Why do I say that? Scraper Bikes is:

- Very low tech yet SUPER CREATIVE! An example of what ANYONE can do if they just FREE THEIR MINDS and use what is available to them instead of believing they have to have alot of money to launch something big.

- Monkey Lectric id VERY HIGH TECH and also SUPER CREATIVE. By the technology they are demonstrating, it had to cost A MINT to develop this concept and I am sure they are wise enough to apply for at least a Design Patent. Bicycle lights aren't a new concept by any stretch of the imagination but what they are doing is FREAKISH and original.

- Scraper is something for the average person who wants to personalize their rims while Monkey is something you got to spend some CREAM on.

- 'Scraper Bikes by Day' 'Monkey Lectric by night'.

All in all, their are huge opportunities for bike companies who are original and have a love for what they are doing. Major Taylor was a bicycle racer and VERY ORIGINAL in his day! Enjoy!



What has this got to do with bicycle design? Hmmmm...Nothing, but this is Wolverine from the movie x-men...I MEAN ITS' Wolverine yall! The name Wolverine sounds like an interesting concept for a bicycle design don't ya think? Look at his hair...I could do something with that!!!!!!Hello head tubing. Enjoy.


American Wheelman

Sorry I have been away for a minute yall. But I am still working on giving this blog a new look. I have searched through literally HUNDREDS of template and I like the 'Newspaper Look' you now see! I came across a cycling club called American Wheelman. As you remember from a prior post, this organization is the descendant of the League of American Wheelman which regulated the sport of Bicycle Racing in its' heydat of the late 1890s. They gave up control of the league when a rival league was formed by disgruntled racers headed up by bicycle racer Floyd McFarland, who also happened to be Major Taylor's fiercest rival on the bicycle track. Below are vintage pictures from back in the day and, of course, with comments from your fearless blogger- ME!

Now this design is HOOOOTTTTT! High arching tubing.....R U KIDDING ME?

A mix of early bicycle models!

Little girl on an early tricycle model- Chillin!

She straight ganstar ain't she?

FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD! Ain't this a Munchskin from the Wizard of Oz?

Dang girl- That corsett looks like it is SQUASHING YOU- BREATHE HONEY!




Remember my friends-DANCE YOUR OWN DANCE!


In the Beginning...

1880- Dicycle

HOT Name..but..the look...uuuhhhh

Achieved popularity by replacing two-wheeled models with three-wheelers. The most successful dicycle was invented by the Englishman E.C.F. Otto during the heyday of the ordinary cycle in 1880. Its two large wheels placed side by side were driven by a left and right pedal. The vehicle enabled smooth turning by relaxing the pedal on the side of the turn so that the wheel on the other side spun faster. Compared to the ordinary cycle which placed the rider high in the air, the dicycle offered a more stable feeling, placing the rider between the right and left wheels. This high degree of safety made it a hot topic as the vehicle of the times. Upon the introduction of the dicycle, the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) in England almost immediately produced 1,000 of these vehicles.

And you ride something similar to this TODAY!

With equal-sized wheels, this was the prototype of the modern-day bicycle. John Kemp Starley, a nephew of James Starley, the man who built the Ariel in 1870 and subsequently designed a number of safety bicycles, built the Rover with equal-sized wheels. This bicycle improved the performance of racing ordinaries which had reached their limit in the quest for speed in 1884. The saddle, handlebars, and crank axle were well balanced and logically placed, and this established the shape of the bicycle as we know it today. Two or three years thereafter, the bicycle's components such as the frame material, tires, variable speed gears, saddle, and chain were rapidly made practical.

Lawson Model-1879

Is it time to update my 'Top 5 Design Funk Hall of Fame OOOHHHHHMYYYY!
First leg-powered bicycle driven by a chain to the rear wheel. In 1879, an Englishman by the name of Harry John Lawson produced the first bicycle driven by a chain to the rear wheel. He positioned the pedals in between the front and rear wheels, and had the pedaling motion conducted to the rear wheel via a chain. It was not until five years later in 1884 that a model, named the Lawson Bicyclette, appeared which could withstand the rigors of actual use


JK Starley-High Wheel to 1st Safety Bicycle

James Starley (1831-1881) was an inventor and manufacturer who is widely considered to be the father of the bicycle industry. His inventions and refinements made the bicycle practical for widespread use. Starley also contributed to the improvement of the sewing machine.
James Starley was born April 21, 1831, into an agricultural family. His father, Daniel Starley, was a farmer in Albourne, Sussex, England. When he was nine years old, Starley began working on the family farm, but, dissatisfied with farming, he set off on foot for London in 1846. There, he found work as a gardener and put his spare time to use cranking out inventions, including the adjustable candlestick, a one-stringed window blind, and a mechanical bassinet. He married Jane Todd on September 22, 1853, and had three sons, James, John Marshall, and William.
Sewing Machine Advances and Bicycle Prototypes

Around 1855 Starley got a job with Newton Wilson in London, where he worked on sewing machines. Within a few years, he moved to Coventry to work as foreman of the Coventry Sewing Machine Company. Starley spent the next dozen or so years working out improvements to the early sewing machine, including his own invention, "The European." His inventions, many of which were patented, survive in the workings of modern sewing machines.
In 1868 Starley saw his first bicycle, a French velocipede. Bicycles had been around since 1818, but the earliest two-wheeled, rider-propelled machines were rudimentary, requiring the rider to use his own feet to move the wooden monster along.

The bicycle Starley encountered had cranks attached to the front wheel, which the rider could use to propel the machine. These early bicycles weighed as much as 160 pounds and had solid rubber tires and ball bearings. Foreshadowing their future success in bicycle design, development, and sales (of which the Coventry region would eventually become a national leader), the Coventry Sewing Machine Company became theCoventry Machinists' Company in 1869 after worker Rowley B. Turner convinced management to produce bicycles. The company manufactured 400 bicycles for sale in France, but the outbreak of the Franco-German War made such export impossible, and so it turned to England for its market.

Thus, Starley shifted his creative inventing energy from sewing machines to bicycles, seeking to improve the machines, first aiming to reduce the massive weight and clumsiness of the velocipedes, which had earned the nickname of "boneshakers." Within a few years, Starley had invented the "C Spring and Step Machine," or the Coventry Model, and secured his place as the father of the modern bicycle.

The Coventry bicycle featured a curved spring seat, a mounting step, and a small hind wheel. Next, Starley developed a bicycle with a smaller still rear wheel and large front wheel, both fashioned from iron and wire spokes. This creation was tagged the "penny-farthing," after England's smallest and largest copper coins. Its major improvement was a gear that turned the wheel twice for every revolution of the pedals, cutting the riders' work in half.
Bike Advances and the Masterpiece Improving further on his initial designs, Starley invented the Ariel bicycle. After leaving the Coventry Machinists' Company in 1870, he went into business for himself and began producing his Europa sewing machines and Ariel bicycles. Historians consider the Ariel, a lightweight all-metal bicycle first sold in 1871, to be the first true bicycle.

It was the first self-propelled two-wheeler to use pivot-center steering, which gave the bicycle the ability to turn, a leap in technology from the forward and reverse movements that limited the earlier wooden machines. Next, Starley introduced what was to be his most significant contribution to bicycle advancement. His Tangent bicycle, introduced in 1874, was the first to feature alternating spokes. Starley's original wheels arranged the spokes in a straight line. Alternating spokes connected the spokes to the hub at an angle, easing the stress on individual spokes and making the wheels far stronger than earlier models. Starley's tensioned spoke wheels are found, virtually unmodified to this day, on nearly every contemporary bicycle.


Derringer Cycles

These motorbikes hail from the earliest days of BICYCLE RACING right around the turn of the 20th Century (replicas obviously). Their predecessors were used to pace Major Taylor in his quest to set world records. These particular models were the earliest ancestors of the modern day motorcycles.
Let's reason together...these are nice!
Modeled after 1920s Track Motor Bikes


Some Fool cried about the $3,500 price tag..they would rather ride on something that 10 million other people have...COME ON MAN!


Major Taylor Jersey

Major Taylor Statue

It seems as if people are popping up all over the place producing Major Taylor Racing jerseys. What is interesting is that Nike (see pictures in post dated 12/01/2008) is doing sneakers packs and several different organizations are selling and distributing jerseys baring his likeness on them. As Paul Harvey says on the Radio "Now......the rest of the story." I read a book called 'Major' awhile back and the author of that book stated that he received input from Major Taylor's descendants and many big name celebrities have approached them about using Major's name.

The author went on to say, although he didn't quote any of Marshall Taylor's descendant's, that the likes of Whoopi Golberg, Spike Lee, and others have 'wanted what was theirs' and they said no! So I would be interested to know if Nike, or any of the other companies selling products with Taylor's likeness on them have paid any royalties to the family.

This keeps twisting and turning! A lady from Hawaii is actually waiting on Trademark Approval from the U.S. Patent Office for the express purpose of using Taylor's image and likeness on black and white photos (busts only) to put on jerseys. I wonder if her attorney told her that Taylor's name, image and likeness is probably public domain, or if the attorney just grabbed this ladies $$$ and filled her application...does the attorney even know?

Recently, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s estate went after all of those selling merchandise with Dr. King's and Barack Obama's likeness on them for the express purpose of collecting licensing royalties. I do believe that the difference is (and someone email me the correction if I am in error supported by case law) that Dr. King has been dead 40 years and Marshall Major Taylor has been dead for about 76 years. A celebrities name and likeness become public domain 70 years after their death. The twist is this law was signed in the early 1980s and I do not know how that would effect royalty payments and whether the law is retroactive. For instance, anybody can use 18th Century composer's music without paying a Royalty. Let me know!