David B wrote:
USA: Innovative use of materials (ie Cannondale CAAD + Litespeed & Merlin Titanium)
Well before then, although sadly both with engineering flaws which made them less then successful, were the Exxon Graftek (carbon fibre) and Teledyne Titan (Ti, as the name implies).
Interesting history behind the Teledyne is that there is some sort of link to the arms industry.
If I understand it correctly, the reason titanium became usable for bikes is that it was first developed for use in the Blackbird spy plane.
But then weren't the British the first to borrow aerospace technology for bikes? Viscount!