The Top 10 Bicycle Museums Every Cyclist Should Visit

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Ashley Brown

Bike Destinations, Other

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If you’re passionate about bicycles, the history of cycling, or simply enjoy exploring unique museums, this blog post is for you. We’ve handpicked the top 10 bicycle museums from around the world that you simply must visit. These museums showcase the evolution of bicycles through the ages, from their humble beginnings to the sleek, high-performance machines of today.

So, let’s embark on a whirlwind tour of the best bicycle museums worldwide. Along the way, we’ll share a few fun facts, and useful information to make your visits even more enjoyable. Ready, set, pedal!

National Bicycle Museum, USA

bicyclemuseum.com

Our first stop is the National Bicycle Museum in New Bremen, Ohio. A treasure trove for bicycle enthusiasts, this museum boasts a collection of over 1,000 vintage and historic bicycles. The exhibits here highlight the incredible evolution of cycling in the US, from the olden days of the penny-farthing to the modern marvels of carbon fiber racing bikes.

There’s such an amazing variety of bikes on display at the museum. One of the must-sees is the “boneshaker,” a bicycle with wooden wheels and a frame made of wrought iron. It’s called the boneshaker for a good reason – imagine riding that on a bumpy road!

Fun Fact: Did you know that the first bicycle race in the United States took place in 1869? It was a 50-mile race held in Boston!

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Participate in the annual Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, a week-long cycling event in Ohio
  • Take a ride along the Ohio to Erie Trail, a 326-mile bike route that connects Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland
  • Explore the mountain bike trails in the stunning Hocking Hills State Park, located in southeastern Ohio
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Bicycle Museum of America, USA

usbhof.org/museum

Next up is the Bicycle Museum of America, located in the bike-friendly city of Davis, California. This museum features an impressive array of bicycles, including antique models, racing bikes, and some rare finds from across the globe. One of the highlights of the museum is the collection of high-wheelers, which were popular in the late 19th century.

What’s particularly fascinating is the craftsmanship of the early bicycles on display. You can’t help but appreciate the ingenuity and dedication that went into creating these early machines.

Useful Information: The Bicycle Museum of America is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and children under 12.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Cycle through the UC Davis Arboretum, a 100-acre public garden with diverse plant collections
  • Attend the annual Davis Bike and Brew Fest, which celebrates the city’s vibrant cycling and craft beer scene
  • Take a ride on the Davis Bike Loop, a 12-mile route that passes through parks, greenbelts, and the city’s downtown area
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Velorama National Bicycle Museum, Netherlands

velorama.nl

Our next destination takes us to Nijmegen, the Netherlands, home of the Velorama National Bicycle Museum. With a vast collection of bicycles, cycling memorabilia, and a dedicated library on cycling history, this museum is a must-visit for anyone passionate about the world of two wheels.

You can spend hours exploring the museum, admiring the vintage racing bikes and learning about the Netherlands’ rich cycling culture. The museum’s collection of antique children’s bicycles, complete with miniature handlebars and pedals, is particularly charming.

As the largest bicycle museum in the Netherlands, Velorama offers a vast collection and an outstanding catalog of cycling history.

Fun Fact: The Netherlands has more bicycles than people! With a population of around 17 million, there are an estimated 22.5 million bicycles in the country.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Cycle along the picturesque Waal River and explore the historic city of Nijmegen
  • Join the annual International Four Days Marches Nijmegen, a multi-day walking event with cycling options
  • Visit the nearby Hoge Veluwe National Park and explore its extensive network of cycling paths
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Deutsches Fahrradmuseum, Germany

deutsches-fahrradmuseum.de

Continuing our journey, we head to Bad Brückenau, Germany, where the Deutsches Fahrradmuseum is nestled. This museum showcases the development of bicycles in Germany, from early wooden models to the cutting-edge e-bikes of today. Visitors can also learn about Germany’s rich cycling culture and the country’s contributions to the world of cycling.

If you visit you’ll be struck by the amazing array of bicycles on display, each one telling a unique story. The museum even has a section dedicated to the role of bicycles during World War II, showcasing military bikes used for communication and transportation.

Useful Information: Deutsches Fahrradmuseum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission fees vary depending on age, with discounts available for groups and families.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Ride along the Main River Bicycle Route, which offers scenic views and picturesque towns
  • Participate in the annual Velothon Berlin, a major cycling event in Germany’s capital
  • Visit the historic town of Würzburg, located along the Main River, and explore its beautiful architecture
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Museo del Ciclismo Madonna del Ghisallo, Italy

museodelghisallo.it

Our next stop takes us to the picturesque town of Magreglio, Italy, near the iconic climb of Madonna del Ghisallo. This Italian cycling museum is dedicated to the history of professional cycling, with a particular focus on the Giro d’Italia and the country’s legendary cyclists. The museum also houses a beautiful chapel that serves as a pilgrimage site for cyclists from all over the world.

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to visit the museum you’ll see the breathtaking views of Lake Como from the museum’s terrace, making the experience even more memorable.

Fun Fact: The Madonna del Ghisallo was declared the patroness of cyclists by Pope Pius XII in 1949.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Tackle the iconic Madonna del Ghisallo climb, a famous cycling route frequented by professionals
  • Cycle around Lake Como and enjoy its stunning landscapes and charming villages
  • Visit the nearby city of Milan and explore its rich history, fashion, and culture
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Danish Bicycle Museum, Denmark

cykelmuseum.dk

We now pedal our way to Aarhus, Denmark, where the Danish Bicycle Museum resides. This museum features a diverse collection of bicycles and accessories from various eras, alongside displays on Danish cycling culture and history. One of the standout exhibits is the collection of cargo bikes, which have been widely used in Denmark for decades.

Kids (and anyone who still thinks they’re a kid) will particularly love the museum’s interactive exhibits, which allow visitors to try out vintage bike accessories like old-fashioned bike lights and bells. It’s certainly an engaging experience for visitors of all ages.

Useful Information: The Danish Bicycle Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is free for children under 18 and costs 50 DKK (approximately $7.50) for adults.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Cycle through the charming streets of Aarhus and visit its many parks, museums, and galleries
  • Join the annual Aarhus Bike Week, a week-long cycling event promoting bike culture in the city
  • Visit the iconic ARoS Aarhus Art Museum and explore its unique architecture and contemporary art collection
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Shimano Bicycle Museum, Sakai City, Japan

bikemuse.jp

The Shimano Bicycle Museum, located in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan, is dedicated to showcasing the history and technological advancements of bicycles, with a special focus on the renowned Japanese components manufacturer, Shimano. The museum features a wide range of bicycles from various periods, as well as exhibits highlighting Shimano’s innovations and contributions to the cycling industry.

Fun Fact: Keirin racing originated in Japan in 1948 and became an Olympic sport in 2000.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Explore Sakai City and its surroundings by cycling along the designated cycling course, including the picturesque Sakai Harbor and the serene Hamadera Park
  • Take a leisurely ride along the Sen no Rikyu Bicycle Path, a scenic route that runs through the historic tea fields of Sakai City
  • Attend a Keirin race at one of Japan’s velodromes to experience the excitement of this unique track cycling discipline firsthand
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Cité du Design, France

citedudesign.com

Our next stop is France, home to the Cité du Design. This exhibition is dedicated to the history and development of bicycles in France, featuring a wide range of bicycles from early models to modern racing bikes. The museum also provides insight into the country’s deep cycling heritage and its contributions to the sport.

Fun Fact: The first Tour de France was held in 1903, and the race has since become the most prestigious and challenging event in professional cycling.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Experience the La ViaRhôna, a 815-kilometer (506-mile) cycling route that runs along the Rhône River from the Swiss Alps to the Mediterranean Sea
  • Challenge yourself with a ride up to Fourvière Hill, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of Lyon and its surroundings
  • Go on a guided bike tour of the modern Confluence District, situated at the meeting point of the Rhône and Saône rivers, and showcasing innovative architecture, sustainable development, and vibrant public spaces
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Koers Bike World Museum, Belgium

koersmuseum.be

The museum has an amazing collection of race-worn jerseys and other memorabilia. It also boasts a replica of a classic cobblestone section from the Tour of Flanders which adds an intriguing and immersive touch to the experience.

Useful Information: The Bike World Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is €7 for adults, and children under 12 enter for free.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Take on the challenge of cycling the iconic Flemish cobblestone climbs, such as the Koppenberg and the Paterberg
  • Visit the historic city of Bruges, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its medieval architecture and picturesque canals
  • Participate in the annual Ronde van Vlaanderen Cyclo, an amateur cycling event held on the same route as the professional Tour of Flanders
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Marin Museum of Bicycling, Fairfax, USA

mmbhof.org

The Marin Museum of Bicycling, located in Fairfax, California, is a must-visit destination for mountain biking enthusiasts. The museum celebrates the history and development of mountain biking, with a particular focus on the sport’s origins in Marin County. The collection includes vintage mountain bikes, memorabilia, and exhibits on influential figures in the sport.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Explore the birthplace of mountain biking by taking a ride through the trails of Mount Tamalpais
  • Challenge yourself with a ride on the Tamarancho Trail, a popular single-track loop located in the Marin County Open Space District
  • Take a scenic road ride through the Nicasio Valley Loop, a 40-mile (64-kilometer) route that showcases the beautiful countryside of Marin County
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BONUS: Bicycle Heaven, Pittsburgh, USA

bicycleheaven.org

Bicycle Heaven, situated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the world’s largest bicycle museum and shop. Is it also the best? We’ll leave that for you to decide! The museum features an extensive collection of over 4,000 bicycles, including rare and vintage models, as well as memorabilia and exhibits related to cycling history. The museum is also a working bike shop, offering repairs, parts, and rentals.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Cycle along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, a 33-mile (53-kilometer) multi-use trail that winds through Pittsburgh and offers stunning views of the city’s skyline
  • Embark on a long-distance cycling adventure along the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile (241-kilometer) rail-trail that connects Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland
  • Discover Pittsburgh’s bicycle-friendly neighborhoods, such as Lawrenceville, Shadyside, and Squirrel Hill, by exploring their network of bike lanes

Conclusion

Our journey through the top 10 bicycle museums worldwide has come to an end, but the passion for cycling and its rich history lives on. These museums offer a fascinating glimpse into the world of bicycles, showcasing the innovation, craftsmanship, and determination that have shaped the sport we love today.

Whether you’re an avid cyclist or simply interested in learning more about this captivating mode of transportation, these museums should definitely be on your bucket list. So, get ready to clip in, explore, and embrace the wonderful world of bicycles!

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