>From the photos (now hundreds) that I've seen, I am reminded of perhaps the 1890s - when everyone had the basic concept of the bicycle and chain drive and such down pat, but there were thousands of small attempts to tweak the limits of what was possible, or what simply made better sense to someone's way of thinking. A very exciting time which ultimately lunged design forward to where it stabilized to what we see stabilized as the perfected typical diamond frame design of the 20th century.
As Dale mentioned, how can anyone improve upon the elegant simplicity of a perfectly designed and executed bike like a Baylis, Sachs, Weigle, and others... who I suppose may now be considered the old(er) Masters of their art. The new builders seem to be itching to break out in their own directions, regardless of the potential for losing a fair chunk of actual performance quality.
Not a bad thing, really. Just as the Expressionists were not doing "wrong" in the Paris Salons of a century ago with their dramatic departures from the purely representational art which had long before reached photo-realistic accuracy.
I happen to prefer "Traditional" classic forms of bicycles - along with the proven functional benefits of the designs, of course. But, I can also appreciate some of the interesting twists presented by some of the creative minded new builders. Yes, perhaps completely impractical in a functional utilitarian sense, but it shows that there is some very focused and determined creative though being directed to our favorite subject. So, maybe there is a future for the bicycle - beyond just the latest Carbon Fiber streamlining.
Personally, I would like to see the "City Bike" evolve into something superior to what is currently commercially available... even in Holland, which I see as far too rooted in traditional forms, considering the technology available today. And perhaps this is where some of the young Portland builders may have an effect on future production bikes.
Thanks to all for the Great photos!
BOB HANSON, ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, USA
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