Listeners to BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme were invited to vote in an online poll looking at the most significant innovations since 1800.
It was an easy victory for the bicycle which won more than half of the vote.
The transistor came second with 8% of the vote, and the electro-magnetic induction ring - the means to harness electricity - came third.
Despite their ubiquity, computers gained just 6% of the vote and the internet trailed behind with only 4% of all votes cast. There were more than 4,500 votes cast in total.
People chose the bicycle for its simplicity of design, universal use, and because it is an ecologically sound means of transport.
Half voted water treatment and supply systems as the technology to bring most benefit to society.
Another 23% thought that vaccinations deserved the honour.
Each of the technologies were nominated by a different expert, including writer Arthur C Clarke, cloning expert Professor Ian Wilmut, and Professor Heinz Wolf.
Prof Wolff's praise of the bicycle held the most sway with voters which will come as a disappointment to Lord Alec Broers, this year's Reith lecturer.
His series of lectures - Triumph of Technology - prompted the vote.
In the first of his talks, he expressed surprise at the results of a similar survey.
It too ranked the bicycle above scientific breakthroughs such as electricity generation, the jet engine, the discovery of DNA and the invention of vaccinations.
Source: BBC News/ Technology May 05, 2005