Are bikes better designed for chimps than humans?
It took us millions of years of exploiting selective advantage to stand, and a few strokes of a Victorian pencil to be condemned to sit down for all eternity.
Stand-up for power
As bipeds we have evolved to produce maximum power in spinal extension (standing) with an open hip. Hence the most powerful thing we can do is a 2-legged take-off into a vertical jump, where we can produce 32 watts/KG. So why when the Victorian's wanted to turn chemical potential within our muscles into kinetic (forward/horizontal) energy, did they decide to have us sit-down with a closed hip and flexed spine? The answer is very simple - because they just didn't know any better.
The fact is that the shape of the ape spine, with its continuous curve and insertion into the back of the skull, means that a chimp in many ways is better adapted to ride a bicycle than a human! You can imagine this was not what the ISCO audience wanted to hear at the start of a conference dedicated to fitting humans to bicycles!
Survival of The Fitter - A Victorian Contraption v's 250,000 year old genome?
The question is not why humans have evolved so slowly - our modern genome has changed very little in a quarter of a million years. No the central question is why modern bicycle development has been a at a virtual standstill for over a hundred years? An evolutionary psychologist friend of mine suggested that the lack of evolution of the bicycle hinted at a possible 'speciation event'
The Speciation Event!