The Cycle Revolution is here!

Cycle Revolution

18 November 2015 – 30 June 2016

Design Museum, Shad Thames, London, SE1 2YD

Find out more about the exhibition here

For every cycling enthusiast with a love of good design, the Design Museum’s Cycle Revolution exhibition is here! The last as their Shad Thames digs before they rehome in a larger, Kensington location, the exhibition promises famous bikes, the latest cycling innovations and powerful storytelling from amateur riders to decorated cyclists.

The exhibition takes on the perspective of four cycling ‘tribes’, each with its own advocate:

High Performers reach Olympic speeds, taking in track and road racing, and are led by Olympic and World Champion, Sir Chris Hoy.

Thrill Seekers take on all terrains on mountain bike and BMX, and are led by three-time winner of the UCI BMX World Championships Shanaze Reade.

Urban Riders pedal the city and are led by Lucy Granville, winner of the Design Museum’s global search to find the ultimate urban rider. Entries came in from Bangalore, Sao Paulo and Gothenburg, but Lucy is a Londoner who has been traversing the capital since birth, and says ‘My bike is my freedom pass. Riding is liberation, and sanity.’

Cargo Bikers work on two wheels and are represented by the designer of ‘the Bringley’, Lawrence Brand, who road-1)tested his prototype cargo bike by riding it alone and unsupported for 5,000km through Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and on to the Chinese border, before setting up Porterlight Bicycles.

Highlights of the bikes on display include: Sir Bradley Wiggins’s 2015 Hour Record bike and 2014 World Championship Time Trial bike; a number of Team Sky’s Pinarellos from the 2015 Tour de France, as well as kit and equipment from the team’s 2015 Tour de France win; Sir Chris Hoy’s Great Britain Cycling Team London 2012 Olympic Track bike; the Lotus Type 108 ridden by Chris Boardman at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games; Eddy Merckx’s 1972 1984 Hour Record bike; Francesco Moser’s 1984 Hour Record bike, loaned for the exhibition from the personal collection of Sir Bradley Wiggins; the earliest prototype Brompton in existence; a 1978 Breezer Series 1; and, of course, a 1969 Raleigh Chopper.

The exhibition recreates a bike builder’s workshop – showing the tools, materials and skills that combine to create a bespoke machine. Six independent British bike builders - Donhou Bicycles, Toad Custom Cycles, Hartley Cycles, Robin Mather Cycles, Mercian Cycles and Shand Cycles - are profiled through specially commissioned films, as well as bikes – some of which are being created specifically for the exhibition.

The final section of the exhibition, devoted to the future of cycling, looks at how designers, architects and urban planners in cities across the world have responded to the popularity of cycling and the demands it makes on the urban environment – from the Bjarke Ingels’ residential complex where you can cycle right to your front door to the Kolelinia Halfbike II, a compact vehicle which the user pedals standing upright.

The exhibition closes with a film of newly recorded interviews with high profile cyclists including Lord Norman Foster and Sir Paul Smith discussing their passion for cycling and hopes for its future.

Cycle Revolution breaks out of the gallery to take over the Design Museum. ‘Donky’ bike designer Ben Wilson has been commissioned to create a bike frame sculpture for the museum’s atrium, and public events are running throughout the exhibition.

Paying tribute to the many varied bicycles and riders that have gone before, the Design Museum is partnering with the Veteran-Cycle Club to launch the exhibition with a period cavalcade of bicycles that will be ridden from the historic Herne Hill Velodrome to the museum on Saturday 24 October 2015. The ride will feature over fifty riders in the appropriate period dress riding in historical order on bikes ranging from the earliest nineteenth-century Dandy Charger up to the very latest in lightweight machines.

We went along for their opening night and it’s a truly wonderful exhibition, pairing cycling geekdom and design chic just perfectly. Make sure you pop along and use #cyclerevolution to Tweet us and let us know your thoughts!