Rear derailleurs are problematic, particularly on mountain bikes. They get bent, they get gunked up, and they’re exposed to the elements. While sealed hub transmissions lack these problems, not all of them have axles that are strong enough for multi-terrain use, they add revolving weight, and that weight is added in the back of the bike – not low and in the middle, where you want it. German company Pinion has developed what it claims is something better … a sealed gearbox located adjacent to the bottom bracket.
Archive for bikes
Bikes and trikes really do come in all shapes and sizes these days, with a new design unveiled seemingly every other day. A perfect illustration of this is the HP Velotechnik Scorpion fs 26 S-Pedelec, which combines a tall tire in back, two smaller tires in front, springs all around, a chassis derived from the automotive industry, a fast pedelec drivetrain, and the ability to fold up and roll out. The speedy recumbent trike recently won a Eurobike Award for a design that aims at a fast, smooth, comfortable and versatile ride.
A bicycle born out of auto industry technology, the Mando Footloose makes claim of using the world’s first chainless series hybrid technology for an e-bike. Like other pedal-assisted electric bikes, the bike combines manual and electric power. Unlike other pedelecs, it eliminates the chain and transforms the cyclist’s motion directly into electricity.
We recently featured the Fliz bike concept, which saw riders hanging from the frame of the bike and scooting along, rather than sitting astride the bike and pedaling as they do with conventional bicycles. This was an attempt to evolve the basic bike format, and the designers of Fliz aren’t alone in their efforts. The Bicymple is, as its name suggests, an attempt to present the bicycle, simplified. And it’s an ambition that, on first glance, looks to have been fulfilled.
Even if you’re not a cyclist, you’re probably aware that a great deal of today’s higher-end bikes have pedals that the rider’s shoes simply click in and out of. These are known as clipless pedal systems, as they’re an alternative to using toe clips and straps. They first gained popularity in the mid-80s and ever since then, bicycle components companies have been trying to make them lighter and simpler. Now, Colorado-based Ultralite Sports is about to release a clipless pedal system that it claims is the lightest in the world – and the pedal itself just looks like a bare spindle.
A team of enthusiasts from a number of Czech companies has designed a flying bicycle with six propellers for lift and stability, and is about to start building the FBike ahead of scheduled test flights in August
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From the Jetsons to Back To The Future, hopping onto or into a personal flying vehicle has been on the engineering “To Do” list for a good many years. We’ve seen a number of noteworthy attempts at defying gravity and taking to the skies here at Gizmag (many of which are featured in this roundup from 2010) and now another possible addition to that growing collection has landed on our desk. Known simply as the Flying Bike (or FBike), this collaborative effort from a bunch of Czech companies and enthusiasts is still very much in the early stages of development, but the proposal is to fit a number of electrically-driven propellers to the custom frame of a two-wheeler that will allow the pilot to rise above the traffic for as long as the
Aston Martin partners with Factor Bikes on “world’s most technologically advanced road bicycle” – Just $39,000
The One-77 is the result of a team-up between Aston Martin and Factor Bikes, the recently-formed subsidiary of motorsports and aerospace outfit bf1systems, which designed the high-tech F001 bicycle several years ago. That bike laid the foundation (and entire house) for the One-77. Aston Martin brings the marketing panache of a high-performance sports car company and the One-77 name, a name that already screams “ultra-exclusive, high-tech vehicle.”
Like the One-77 car, the bike uses loads of carbon fiber to keep weight as low as possible – the frame, fork and handlebars are all made from the lightweight composite material. The bike is outfitted with Shimano Dura-Ace components and rolls on bespoke carbon wheels. An integrated lighting system with high-intensity front LED and red rear LEDs keeps cyclists prepared for dusk. There’s not as much to outfit with fancy materials on a bike as a car, but the One-77 does feature hand-stitched leather handlebars and saddle as a sort of high-end, sporty touch and homage to its supercar namesake.
What really sets the One-77 apart is its advanced computer system, originally developed for the F001. The computer uses a complex array of sensors, including GPS, a rear-wheel speed sensor and a crank position sensor, to take performance analysis well beyond the speed and distance measurements of other systems. It gives cyclists a menu of more than 100 specific measurements, including crank torque, leg power and crank force, all broken down into left and right legs. Other measurements include acceleration, wasted leg power, rate of ascent and rear wheel speed. Of course, traditional measurements like speed, altitude, GPS location and heart rate are also a part of t
The Yikebike is a miniature, electric penny farthing made of carbon fiber capable of 25km/h (15 mph) with a range of 10 km or 20 km if you carry a spare battery
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The Yikebike is the smallest transportation “appliance” we’ve ever ridden – by a mile – nothing else exists that is even close (except perhaps Toyota’s Winglet Prototype and Honda’s U3-X prototypes). Anyway, don’t let the fact that it’s on sale lull you into believing it isn’t revolutionary – it is – and it has been updated for the 2012 year, with numerous small changes making for an improved experience. The wheels are now puncture-proof, the riding position has been altered, and the carbon fibre handle bars have been swapped for alloy.
The changes have cost the Yikebike a smidgen in weight – the Carbon Model now weighs in at 11.5 kg and the Fusion Model at 14.7 kg.
Since the days of $4 gas began, the single-cylinder motorcycles and scooters that dominate international megacities have become increasingly common on American streets. Engineers at Yamaha created the Y125 Moegi concept to capitalize on that trend. They based it on the company’s first motorcycle, the 1955 125-cc YA-1, but they also included some modern touches, in particular an ultralight frame and a new cylinder design that could help make the Moegi one of the lightest and most fuel-efficient motorcycles ever.
The Y125 Moegi, which is 90 percent aluminum, weighs just 176 pounds (50 pounds less than an entry-level Vespa). Engineers molded the aluminum frame using Yamaha’s proprietary “controlled-filling” die-casting process. Controlled filling reduces air bubbles in the finished parts by 20 percent, making it possible to build strong, thin components that are 30 percent lighter.
Like the original YA-1, the Moegi runs on an air-cooled, 125-cc engine, which connects to the bike’s 20-inch rear wheel with a simple belt drive. But engineers replaced the YA-1’s lawnmower-like two-stroke with a low-friction four-stroke. They also incorporated another Yamaha invention: the DiASil cylinder, the world’s first mass-produced all-aluminum, die-cast motorcycle cylinder. The DiASil’s abrasion-resistant aluminum alloy dissipates heat at three times the rate of steel. When the engine isn’t being adequately cooled by the wind (for example, when riding uphill or stuck in traffic), there’s less power loss resulting from increased engine heat.
Yamaha hasn’t announced a horse-power rating for the Moegi engine, but 10 to 15 horsepower would be enough to propel a bike this light to 50 mph. Yamaha engineers have said, however, that the Moegi could achieve 188 mpg, which would make it nearly four times as efficient as a typical motorcycle.
Mileage: Up to 188 mpg
Weight: 176 pounds
If you’ve ever found yourself rolling your suitcase through the airport and wishing your luggage was self-propelled, Portland, Oregon-based BOXX has something they’d like to sell you. The company’s first production electric scooter is just about a meter (39 inches) long and looks like an odd sort of cross between a piece of retro luggage and a giant-sized camera. It promises to move you up to 80 miles (129 km) on a single charge at a top speed of 35 mph (56 km/h) and comes with a price tag starting just under US$4,000.
The cost seems likely to turn off all but a certain type of customer, but nobody ever said being part of the eco-hip elite was cheap. If you want to have that 80-mile range you’ll actually need to upgrade by plunking down an extra $500 for a “Core2″ system, which is essentially an extra battery pack.
The basic unit fully charges in about four hours, but another upgrade is offered for $349 that gets you a 1-hour charger.
If you’re really tight on cash but absolutely plan to be riding this strange contraption around by 2014, you can order now for that future production run and save $255 on the total cost of the bike.