This article first appeared on BikeRadar.
As a company, Shimano has deep roots in Sakai, an industrial city with centuries of experience in metalworking.
This expertise made the region a center for the development of weapons such as swords and firearms. Later, these same skills were put to use to produce many of Japan’s first bicycles.
What do guns and knives have to do with cycling innovation? A shared history of craftsmen skilled in metal work
Sakai, part of the larger metropolis of Osaka, is the headquarters of Shimano and is also home to the Bicycle Museum Cycle Center.
Funded by Shimano, this museum holds 200 years of cycling innovation. From the examples of the first Drasines, to penny-farthings and onto modern bicycles, including some that have won world championships, grand tours and circumnavigated the globe.
One more example of how nothing is new in cycling technology, early inventors were quick to experiment with suspension
Take a tour of this gallery for a look at some of the most interesting bicycles from two centuries of innovation and experimentation.