The Bicycle Museum of Bad Ideas

Why a museum of bad ideas? One reason is we learn from our mistakes. Failures tell us limits of what we can and should do. Unfortunately, we like to remember our heroes, but less often our villians. As example, Amherst College and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst graduate thousands of students every year; they live everywhere in the U.S.; and when I ask, most folks have heard of Amherst. Yet almost nobody I ask knows Amherst was the guy who invented the idea of giving smallpox-laden blankets to native Americans. Bad bike parts do not compare to killing people, but there are still things to be learned.

A second reason is it's fun. Sometimes the badness is obvious, and as you look in awe you say "What were they thinking?" Or, as I like to say, they were suffering from a misplaced comma: "What, were they thinking?" Some of these are fun like a knee-slapper. Other times, the badness is subtle and it almost seems it should have worked. These are fun like a puzzle. Occasionally you get a winner that combines the obvious and the subtle, like the Gipiemme Colrut Crank. Wow.

Many ideas are bad only in context. If your goal is to make the lightest bike at any cost, some "bad" ideas work well. The problem is using those ideas on ordinary bikes for ordinary riders. So, some things here are always bad, while others are here because they represent my personal bias about what makes sense. I hope you find humor in those, too.

You can send e-mail to "mobi-0001". The address will change occasionally as the demons of junk mail get the full address.

See also more bicycle pictures.