This 1890s Humber was one of the first bikes with pneumatic tires. The improved speed and comfort made long-distance bicycle races feasible.
The Dursley-Pedersen was a radical departure from the traditional diamond frame. This rare 1900s racing machine was one of the lightest bicycles of its time.
The 1900 Labor "Tour de France"
The 1900 Labor "Tour de France" tried to be different from traditional bikes, but it was not a success.
Appelhans Track Bike
Six-day racer Frank Bartell set a motorpaced world speed record on his Appelhans track bike in 1935. Riding behind a souped-up Auburn, he reached 80.5 mph on Lincoln Boulevard in Los Angeles.
The Cervino Derailleur
Gino Bartali rode this bike to a second place in the 1949 Tour de France. The "Cervino" derailleur uses a simple fork to derail the chain, with a separate chain tensioner under the bottom bracket.
Bianchi with Simplex Gearing
Fausto Coppi won the 1949 Tour de France on this thoroughly modern Bianchi with Simplex derailleurs.
This 1965 Cinelli Supercorsa belonged to an amateur racer from Seattle.
Campagnolo Nuovo Record
Eddy Merckx won the 1974 World Championships on this classic machine with Campagnolo Nuovo Record components.
American racer Andy Hampsten rode this Landshark-built Huffy to victory in the 1988 Giro d'Italia through a snowstorm on Gavia Pass.
Lance Armstrong was an early and ardent adopter of carbon fiber. In 2005, he jumped from racing an aerodynamic Trek Madone to the new Trek SSLX. Outfitted with boron-infused carbon fiber for extra stiffness and with grams of weight drilled from nearly every metal surface, this 15.4 lbs machine remains one of the lightest ever raced in the Tour de France.
Ridden by Cadel Evans in the 2011 Tour de France, this BMC became the first bike with electric shifting to win the race. Unlike many of its contemporaries, the TeamMachine SLR01 was built with stiffness and comfort—not aerodynamics—in mind.
Pinarello Dogma 65.1
Chris Froome won the 2013 Tour de France aboard the Pinarello Dogma 65.1. Outfitted with Osymetric chainrings, which increase the effective gear throughout the powerful points of the pedal stroke, Froome's ride weighed in at 6.8 kg, the Tour's official minimum weight limit. Here, Froome races the Pinarello Bolide, a time trial bike with an aerodynamic, fully integrated front end, and hidden brakes.
Next Up: The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles