Gates Carbon Drive

Belted Blog

Wright Brothers: From Wheels to Wings

  April 16, 2018

Before Wilbur and Orville Wright revolutionized flight, they honed their mechanical and engineering skills making bicycles. Now a foundation created to honor their legacy has again begun selling bicycles under the Wright brothers' name.


The Wright Brothers Cycle Company is based in Dayton, Ohio, on the same city block where Wilbur and Orville had their original bike shop. The company’s flagship bike, the Van Cleve 1896, features a Gates Carbon Drive belt and is named for the brothers’ first in-house bike, the Van Cleve, introduced in April 1896. Orville and Wilbur were early adopters of the bicycle. They bought their first bikes in 1892 and opened their first shop later that year. Orville liked to race. Wilbur preferred laconic rides that allowed him to view the scenery – and watch birds. Today, the story of their first flight, in 1903, lives on in history books and through The Wright Brothers Family Foundation. And once again through their love of bicycles. Proceeds from the sale of the Van Cleve 1896 support the foundation and its efforts to preserve aviation history through research, scholarships, educational programs, the restoration of historic artifacts and more.