Technology: Reinventing The Wheel

Recent advances make bicycles faster, safer and simpler to ride

When it comes to planet-friendly modes of transportation, it is hard to beat a bicycle. Biking uses no fossil fuels, does not pollute the atmosphere and is a great form of exercise for this fitness-crazed era. But in the age of high tech, bicycles have long seemed old-fashioned, a classical conveyance stuck with a century-old design: two equal-size wheels, a welded steel frame, manual gear shifting, pedals and a chain. While cars have loaded up with electronic gadgetry, bicycles have watched the wheels of progress roll by.

Until now. Computer-aided design and aerospace technology have helped create a new breed of...

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