Got half an hour to kill? You could do a lot worse than spend a chunk of your lunch break watching this series of five short films from the Open University on bike design.
Called ‘Design Behind the Bike’ and produced by Anthony McCrossan and Cyclevox, it features bike designers and other experts discussing that place where technology, sport and aesthetics all intersect to produce today’s bikes.
Among the luminaries interviewed are five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault, commentator Phil Liggett, former pro Roger Hammond and product managers and designers including Geoff Giddings of Raleigh, Brian Naronha from Reynolds, Rapha’s James Fairbank, Ben Spurrier of Condor, Brieuc Cretoux from Mavic and Genesis duo Albert Stewart and Phil Hammill.
The series is a sequel to the 2012 Open University collection called the Science Behind the Bike and uses a similar format to take the viewer through the interplay between design, science and technology.
“This time the Cyclevox team travelled more extensively,” Anthony McCrossan told road.cc. “We met Bernard Hinault at the Tour de France to talk about the dawn of carbon fibre, we traced the history of Reynolds tubing, the progression of household names like Raleigh and Condor and visited Mavic and other manufacturers.
“It was fantastic to get the views of ex pros like Roger Hammond and John Herety, as well as spending an enthralling few hours with Phil Liggett recalling his memories of bikes changing during his time on the Tour de France.
“It took a few months to film and produce the series, over 30 people to make it all happen, but we are really proud of the end product. The last series was the largest global download on iTunesU for a period of time and we hope to see this series get just as much interest.”
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.