Cycling Innovations That Failed to Make It Big

Some of these cycling inventions still have us scratching our heads as to why they didn't become more popular. And a few inventions have us wondering why they even made it into the prototype phase to begin with.

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Mavic Mektronic

Decades before SRAM's wireless electronic drivetrain debuted, the French component manufacturer, Mavic, introduced the Mektronic wireless shifting system. Although the front derailleur was cable-actuated, the rear shifting mechanism was controlled wirelessly, with a radio frequency transmitter. Shifting performance was slow and prone to interference, so it occasionally shifted gears without input from the rider.
 


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Banana Hammock

Not to be confused with a swimsuit of a similar name, this banana hammock is literally for storing mid-ride snacks. Since we are staunch advocates of cycling nutrition while riding, we had to think twice about the utility of this accessory.
 


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Cyclomer

Genus: Velo
Species: amphibia
Natural habitat: small bodies of water such as ponds, paved or unpaved roads and similar surfaces
 


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FLIZ (Foot Powered Bicycle)

Why? We don't know. But we do know it's German-engineered, just like Canyon bicycles.
 


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Bird of Prey

If you're asking yourself why this amazing contraption did not make it to mass production, watch the Bird of Prey Bike video. Listen closely for the grunts the rider makes while going over speed bumps.
 


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SRAM Hydraulic Rim Brakes

The SRAM hydro rim brakes were truly amazing to use: They offered precise modulation and felt so smooth and easy when you squeezed the brake levers. They made it into production, and were even spec'd on Mark Cavendish's S-Works Tarmac. However, they occupied a space somewhere between mechanical rim calipers and hydraulic disc brakes, and never really caught on.
 


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Cannondale R4000 Pong

The Cannondale Pong concept bike was designed for optimal cycling aerodynamics. Obviously. But neither aesthetics, nor handling were considered. It's rumored that this bike was only able to be ridden by a pro cycling trials expert, and only for a few meters a go.
 


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Goofybike

A family that rides—and sews—together, stays together, right? If only the inventor could have powered the sewing machine with a crankset instead of a foot pedal, maybe this strange contraption would have caught on.


 

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AirStreamz Cat Ears

Enhancing rider safety is a serious concern. Cat Ears claim to reduce the noise created by your bike helmet ripping through the wind. They also make for a great Bradley Wiggins look-alike costume.



 

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Hobson Easy Seat

Although this bike saddle is advertised as "Doctor recommended," we're not sure we can get (our) behind (on) it.

READ THIS NEXT: The 12 Weirdest Bikes We've Ever Seen

About the Author

Greg Kaplan,

A lifelong endurance sports athlete, Greg raced bikes on the road as a junior prior to changing his athletic focus to rowing. Upon retiring from elite rowing competition, Greg revisited his passion for racing bikes and also added some swimming and running into the mix, competing at the ITU Age Group World Championships on multiple occasions. He and his wife Shannon—also a rower, bike-racer, and triathlete—enjoy traveling, learning about wine and keeping up with their rescue cats when they are not training or racing.
A lifelong endurance sports athlete, Greg raced bikes on the road as a junior prior to changing his athletic focus to rowing. Upon retiring from elite rowing competition, Greg revisited his passion for racing bikes and also added some swimming and running into the mix, competing at the ITU Age Group World Championships on multiple occasions. He and his wife Shannon—also a rower, bike-racer, and triathlete—enjoy traveling, learning about wine and keeping up with their rescue cats when they are not training or racing.

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