Amazeum to host bicycle history and science exhibit

Photo: Carnegie Science Center

The Amazeum will soon host an exhibit that explores the history and science of bicycles.

“Gear Up: The Science of Bikes” opens Friday, Sept. 24 and runs through Jan. 10, 2022.

The exhibit is organized by the Carnegie Science Center and highlights the ways in which the bicycle is an elegant example of basic science principles and material science. Visitors will learn how bikes work, the history and evolution of the bike, the science and technology behind the machine, and how bikes have impacted culture. The exhibition is designed to appeal to all ages and diverse interests, from STEM to design to history to art.

Carnegie Science Center

The exhibit includes 10 bikes that exemplify the following categories:

  • Origins – Ancestors of the modern bicycle, such as the Penny Farthing.
  • Classics (1930s – 1970s) – From streamlined bikes such as the Black Phantom to Boomers’ Big Wheels and Schwinn Sting-Rays.
  • Sport Bikes (1970s – Present) – Multi-speed cycles from pro competition to everyday use.
  • Oddities and Offshoots – Bicycles customized in endless ways – from Tall Bikes to unicycles to clown bikes.

A dozen interactive exhibits are also included, such as:

  • Hit the Brakes! – Visitors put on the brakes on this spinning disk, using three different pads to
    see how materials affect friction.
  • Bike Body Xylophone – A series of tubes of different materials is ‘played’ by the visitor to explore why bikes can be made from different alloys.
  • Gear Table – For younger visitors, a simple table of magnetic gears allows them to experiment with simple interlocking mechanisms of their own making.

Carnegie Science Center

The exhibit is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1-5 p.m. Admission to the Amazeum is $10 per person, and includes access to the bicycle exhibit. Children under 2 years old and Amazeum Members are admitted free. Museum officials request all guests ages 2 and older to wear masks during their visit.

For information, visit

» Reserve tickets here