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 Passions
NEWS FLASH – The outright world speed sailing record was smashed this afternoon (November 24) by Paul Larsen in the Vestas Sailrocket 2 with the astonishing time of 65.45 knots. It’s the third time in eight days that Larsen has piloted the Vestas Sailrocket to a new outright world record, raising the bar from 55.65 knots to 65.45 knots. It has been a spectacular week for sailing in general, with more than a dozen world speed sailing records broken at two different venues in Namibia. The outright speed sailing records for both 500 meters (initially 59.23 then 59.38 and now 65.45 kts) and one nautical mile (55.32 kts) were set in Walvis Bay by Australian Paul Larsen and the British-designed, inclined-rig hydrofoil Vestas SailRocket 2. Simultaneously, 600 km away, the annual Luderitz Speed Challenge has seen nine world outright speed records for sailboards established in just a week, including surpassing 50 knots (92.6 km/h) and 60 mph (52.14 kts) on a sailboard. The breaking of world records is almost certain to continue over the coming weeks, with Larsen focussed on breaking the 60 knot (111.12 km/h – 69.05 mph) barrier and the now legendary Luderitz Speed Challenge continuing until December 16, with kiteboarders joining the event on December 3.
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
You can buy various forms of sheltered hammocks. Some are completely open, leaving you to sleep under the stars. Some have mosquito netting to protect you from pests. Some have waterproof protection for use in foul weather. Some have added insulation on the underside to keep you warm in winter or cooler spring weather. The Exped Ergo Combi has it all. It packs every type of protection that you could possibly want in the outdoors – save maybe for carnivore repellant – into a package in which you’ll never have to worry about hard, cold dirt or poking sticks and rocks.
One of the problems of using GPS chartplotters on a sailboat is that it is extremely difficult to calculate accurate arrival times given the amount of tacking often involved. Now there’s a purpose-built Sailing GPS that not only accounts for the tacking that sailboats do, but can can tell you the optimal tacking angles and your Tacking Time to Destination (TTD).