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Tag Archives: Bicycle

Halo Belt Makes Sure You Get Spotted So You Won’t Get Run Over

Halo Belt

Every year, over a million people die due to road traffic injuries and related incidents. Millions more figure in motor vehicle accidents that could have been prevented. In many instances, the accidents only happen because someone was being careless or wasn’t paying attention. Other times, it could be due to circumstances, like the road being too dark or the fact that there was blind corner where people thought there was none.

Now the Halo LED Belt might not be able to prevent all of these types of accidents from happening, but they will be able to make people easier to spot, especially those riding along in their bikes or crossing the road on a particularly dark night. Dubbed as the “World’s First LED Safety Belt”, the LED lighting emitted through thermoplastic polyurethane fiber optics on the belt increases a person’s visibility.

The Halo can also be used when you’re changing a tire on the side of the road or when you’re jogging. You can even use it as a fashion accessory and add to your visibility (and outfit!) during raves or parties.

Hit the jump for a video of Halo X, which are actually two Halo belts quicksnapped together.

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LOCAL Bike Was Designed To Handle All Of Your Neighborhood Chores

LOCAL Bike (Image courtesy fuseproject)
By Andrew Liszewski

In the same way a pickup truck probably isn’t going to put you on the podium at Le Mans, don’t expect to be winning any races, or securing the Tour de France’s yellow jersey, with this LOCAL Bike. Like a pickup it stresses function over form, but that’s not to imply it’s an eyesore or anything. In fact, Yves Béhar’s San Francisco-based ‘fuseproject’ has spent months designing and improving the LOCAL to the point where they’re happy to declare it the “perfect Neighborhood bike.”

Local Bike (Image courtesy fuseproject)

Is it ideal for riding off into the sunset on a multiple day bike trip? Certainly not. But as cargo bikes go, it’s designed to hold everything from groceries, to pets, to kids, to even lumber and surfboards while still being light, nimble and maneuverable. The LOCAL’s also got integrated lighting and locking systems so it’s ready for use in a busy urban setting. And even its own sound system, courtesy of a wireless Jambox strapped to the canvas panel located just below the rider. Pricing, availability and all that important stuff that lets you know this will someday be a real product haven’t been announced. So here’s to hoping the LOCAL just isn’t some design exercise.

[ LOCAL Bike ] VIA [ designboom ]

Pedal Powered School Bus – Not So Magic Now Huh Kids?

Pedal Powered School Bus (Images courtesy Bicycle Design)
By Andrew Liszewski

I bet those over-privileged kids who went on all those Magic School Bus adventures wouldn’t be so keen on flying around the universe if Ms. Frizzle had opted for this eco-friendly pedal powered model instead. (That’s right, I read books written for children!) Designed and built in the Netherlands by De Café Racer, the bus-bike can accomodate 10 kids and an adult driver. And I imagine there isn’t a school bus driver on the planet who wouldn’t love a solution like this that puts the kids to work, tiring them out after the first mile. But since kids are notoriously lazy, the bus-bike also has an auxiliary electric motor if the driver’s not so keen on pedaling 10 kids home who refuse to help.

[ Pedal Powered School Bus ] VIA [ Bicycle Design ]

OZAKI iCarry Bike iPhone Amplifier

OZAKI iCarry Bike iPhone Amplifier (Image courtesy OZAKI)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s most definitely not the first passive speaker system for the iPhone that relies on physics to boost the performance of its built-in speaker. But I’m pretty sure it’s the first specifically designed to mount on the handlebars of your bike. The iCarry Bike L from Germany-based OZAKI includes a mounting arm that keeps your iPhone in easy reach when riding, yet fully protected, and a seashell-like bottom that both amplifies the sounds coming from your phone and those going to it. So in theory it should improve its speakerphone performance as well. But for the $50 they’re asking for it (according to The Gadgeteer) you’re probably just better off getting a Bluetooth headset and keeping your iPhone in your pocket.

[ OZAKI iCarry Bike iPhone Amplifier ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

ALPHA Bike Is Switchable Between A Fixie And A Freewheel

ALPHA Bike (Images courtesy University of Pennsylvania)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you like the sleek look and minimal frame design of a fixie bike, but sometimes prefer the benefits of a freewheel model (like brakes, switchable gear ratios etc.) then a team of 5 mechanical engineering students at the University of Pennsylvania have just finished work on your dream ride. The ALPHA incorporates the team’s innovative new free/fixed transmission which they’ve dubbed the ‘SWIFT Drive’, as well as a fully internal drivetrain all operated by an electronically-controlled clutch.

According to the ALPHA’s website the team went above and beyond the call of duty when it came to engineering the bike’s subsystems to maximize strength and performance vs. weight, and as a result it actually weighs less than a regular steel-framed bike but can withstand far more. It doesn’t skimp on technology though to keep the weight down. There’s a dynamo built into the front hub which generates power for the onboard electronics which includes rear LED lighting and a host of sensors which provide real-time performance data to the rider via an LCD display integrated into the handlebars.

Of course since the bike is all custom made from materials like titanium and carbon fiber I’m sure the working model is probably worth tens of thousands of dollars. So let’s hope the team can patent and license their new technologies so the ALPHA can one day become a real, and moderately affordable, product.

[ ALPHA Fixie/Freewheel Bike ] VIA [ Josh Spear ]

LightLane Virtual Bike Lane Makes The Huge Jump From Concept To Prototype

lighlane1

By Evan Ackerman

Back in January, we (and the rest of the internet) posted about LightLane, a concept device that uses lasers to project a virtual bike lane to help keep cars from squishing you flat. Understandably, it was a popular idea with bicyclists everywhere, and the designers have managed to put together a working beta version. As you can see in the video, it works quite well, even in car headlights:

Does this mean it’s going to end up in production? Hopefully yes, since it’s now in “beta phase development,” although there are no details on when it might be available or how much it might end up costing. We’ll keep you updated.

[ LightLane ] VIA [ CoolHunting ]

Maker Faire 2009: Monkeylectric Bike Wheels Now Do Video

monkey

By Evan Ackerman

We first saw Monkeylectric’s persistence of vision LED bicycle wheel system at Yuri’s Night back in 2008. They’ve updated their software and hardware with the m464q wheel display system, which is capable of full motion video at 256 pixels resolution. The wheels have linear LED arrays along all four axes, and if you’re going faster than about 8 mph, the LEDs blur together and thanks to some ingenious computer programming they look like a solid circular screen.

The video system is fully programmable, includes a wireless interface, and costs a couple grand, but there’s also a system that does only simple patterns (like these) for a mere $60.

[ MonkeyLectric ]

Light Lane Makes Every Lane A Bike Lane, May Get You Run Over

lightlane

By Evan Ackerman

Bicyclists and cars don’t have the greatest relationship when it comes to roads. While bicyclists often ignore traffic laws, cars often ignore bicyclists, and everybody gets pissed at everyone else for being selfish jerks. Unfortunately, Light Lane could very well make all that worse… On principle it seems like an okay idea, projecting a virtual bike lane around you to help keep motorists off your ass. But, if you’re trying to make a bike lane where there isn’t a bike lane, I bet the cars trying to get around you aren’t going to be amused, to say the least.

Lane Light is currently just a concept.

[ Dustbowl ] VIA [ DVICE ]

Save Time, Money And The World With The Aquaduct Bike(Trike)

By Jonathan Kimak

This unique bicycle won the 2008 Innovate Or Die contest and was created by five IDEO engineers and designers. The Aquaduct allows a person to carry a large amount of water while filtering it into clean drinking water at the same time.

Since many villages in third world countries rely on water from distant wells or lakes just getting enough water for a family can take all day. And after the transport is over the water could still be unsanitary to drink.

The Aquaduct uses the pedal power to force the water through a filter resulting in clean, ready to drink water by the end of the trip.

Check out the video after the jump.

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