Ever since the bicycle was invented in the early 1800s, this people transporter on two wheels has had a significant impact on society. It’s estimated there are now around one billion bicycles in the world and, at least according to singer Katie Melua, nine million of those are in Beijing, China!

It’s not disputed that cycling is sitll the principal mode of transport for much of the world’s population.

In 1817 a man named Karl von Drais invented what he called his “hobby horse”, a wooden bicycle with wheels but no pedals or chain. This meant you pushed along with your feet – but it was still faster than walking.

About1840 a Scot named Kirkpatrick Macmillan took the next step by adding pedals. The “Safety Bicycle”, now sporting gears and a chain to drive the rear wheel, became popular around 1885. The introduction not long after of the rubber tire significantly improved rider comfort which aided public acceptance of the new design.

Yet it was only in the 1930s that cycles became a popular form of transport as a result of lower production costs, combined with higher wages.

So it’s natural that the bicycle, having played such a pivotal role in society during the last century, has been – and still is – a popular subject for artists and photographers.

This has resulted in a wonderfully diverse selection of cycling posters and vintage bicycle posters, in the form of art reproductions (as in the examples below), becoming accessible to those for whom originals or limited-edition prints are simply too expensive.
Cycles Gladiator
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London Underground, Bicyclisim

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Thanks to innovative technology and advances in digital printing, it’s now feasible to produce small quantities of art reproductions at affordable prices. And, while costs have dropped for small print runs, the caliber of art prints and posters has gotten better. Sophisticated inkjet printers using a wide array of inks can produce vivid, saturated colors, exceptional detail and subtle tones previously only possible with highly expensive equipment.

This means the average art enthusiast now has access to modern cycling posters and vintage bicycle prints reproduced from original artwork. Reproductions are made on archival quality materials and often include stretched canvas prints, giving an even more authentic look.

Giclée bicycle prints (pronounced “zhee-clay”), a form of inkjet print derived from the French term meaning to spray or squirt, offer additional options. Giclée prints can be made on a variety of paper surfaces, including various textures such as watercolor paper, stretched canvas, or textured vinyl.

When selecting cycling posters or vintage bicycle prints, one has various framing alternatives available that allow one to infuse the artwork with personal taste, ensuring a measure of originality. Selecting a frame that complements not only the print but also the interior design space will add hugely to one’s enjoyment of the artwork.

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