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Tag Archives: cycling

Retrofitting A Bike To Become Electric Has Never Been Easier

Rubbee - The Bike Electric Drive

If you want to pedal, but would like the assistance of electricity whenever your own energy starts to lack, you have limited options. You can either get an all-electric bike, which often looks bulky and tends to be heavy. Or you can try to retrofit your current bike with an often inelegant conversion system that requires lots of tools, and once installed, makes everything look very DIY, and weekend-tinkerer-y. The Rubbee fixes all that. It simply attaches to your seat post with a basic clamp, and a motorized rubber wheel then rests atop your own bike’s rear wheel for propulsion. A 20,000 mAh battery provides up to 800W of power, propelling you at up to 25 km/h (15 mph) for one hour. That means it’s got a range of 25km (15 miles) incidentally, just in case your arithmetic isn’t up to snuff. The battery can be recharged in two hours, and is rated for up to 2,000 cycles without loss of range, which is a full charge a day, every day, for 5 years. The entire system weighs 6.5kg (14 lbs) and is controlled via a throttle that must only be installed once. Everything is waterproof, so yeah, you can take it out in the rain as well.

This seems to be a pretty comprehensive solution for anyone looking for some electric boost in their cycling efforts. Of course, it’s not cheap, currently undergoing funding on Kickstarter with a pledge of $1,225 USD getting you your own Rubbee.

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Is A Ridiculous Paper Pulp Bike Helmet Better Than Nothing At All?

paper-pulp-helmet

Keeping the contents of your head on the inside is a priority shared by many cyclists, thus the popularity of the bike helmet. But there’s a situation where helmets are rarely used: bike rental/sharing (like Montreal’s Bixi, NYC’s City Bikes or London’s “Boris Bikes”). Since most people don’t walk around with a helmet, they’re unlikely to have one when they decide to hop on a bike, so they ride without. The Paper Pulp Helmet concept looks to offer an alternative. Made from paper pulp derived from recycled newspapers, the helmet is vaccuum formed and can conceivably be sold for around $1.50, which is cheap enough to be paid for alongside a bike rental. The grooves that you see serve multiple purposes, like allowing for straps to be used, as well as providing aeration to prevent a wearer’s overheating. An organic additive is included in its preparation which makes the helmet waterproof for six hours. And when you’re done, simply toss it in a recycling bin and move on with your day.

Will a paper helmet keep you safe? It allegedly meets “stringent European safety standards”, though even if it doesn’t, some protection is arguably better than none.

And yes, this is only a concept at the moment, with no word on when or if it’ll ever see light of day.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Display An Animation On Your Bike Wheel As You Cycle

monkey-light-pro-4

Whether you have an actual statement to make, or just think they look cool, there’s no denying that the Monkey Light Pro will attract attention.

The Monkey Light Pro has 4 bars of LEDs which are attached together inside your wheel. As your ride the system rotates, and using Persistence Of Visio, creates an image with its 256 full color LEDs. The Monkey Light Pro has sensors to track its speed, heads-up position and rotation direction. This allows the system to create stable, full-wheel images from 10 to 40 mph (15 to 65 km/h).

The images of course can be animated, and the system accepts files of several different formats, from GIFs to FLVs, by way of JPEGs or PNGs. There’s a 7000mAh Lithium Polymer which can give you from 3 to 8 hours of runtime at full brightness or up to 48 hours at reduced brightness (say you’re riding at night). When you order it, the Monkey Light Pro will come pre-loaded with 10 custom animations, but it’s relatively easy to load your own later on. The system will fit wheels of the following sizes: 26″, 27″, 28″, 29″, 700c.

It’s a Kickstarter project for now, and Early Backer prices are sold out. So the cheapest you can get one wheel is $695, and $1,390 for a pair. Yeah… that’s a lot of money to attract attention.

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Concept LED Light Could Light Up Cyclists’ Path Like A Fighter Plane

lumigrids-led-lights-bicycle

Riding your bike at night can be a little tricky, especially without headlights. Regular headlights are great, but the Lumigrid is a conceptual LED light that would kick things up a notch.

It can be difficult for night cyclists to get a good sense of the condition of the terrain ahead, even with a typical bicycle lamp. In many cases, a bicycle lamp will cast shadows on both concave and convex areas of the ground. This can hinder the rider’s judgment of the road surface ahead, and increase the potential for danger.

Lumigrids can project a grid onto the ground. On a flat road surface, the grid will consist of standard squares. On a rough road surface, the grids will deform accordingly. By observing the motion and deformation of the grids, the rider can intuitively understand the landforms ahead. In addition, the luminous grids can make it easier for nearby pedestrians and vehicles to notice the bicycle, reducing the likelihood of collision.

Unfortunately, it is just a concept at the moment, even if it did win Sichaun University a Red Dot Design award in 2012. There doesn’t seem to be any concrete plans for bringing it to market, but given the current state of technology, how hard could it be?

lumigrids-led-lights-bicycle-riding

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Helios Handlebar Brings LEDs, GPS, Navigation And More To Your Bicycle

hipsterbikenew

Handlebars on a bike can be so much more than rests for your hands, a place to affix the brakes, and a way to actually turn the two-wheeled vehicle. With the Helios handlebar, you can add the following features: button-activated rear-facing LED turn blinkers, 500 lumen headlight, smartphone controlled ambient lighting, speed indication and even navigation assistance. The blinker functionality is pretty straightforward, but the others can use some explaining. The speed indication will have the LEDs progressively change colour as you speed up; red for slow and green for fast. The Helios uses the GPS in your phone (paired through Bluetooth 4.0) to not only determine your speed, but also to give you directions; just load up a course and it’ll interface with Google Maps’ cycling directions to light up the appropriate LED as a required turn approaches. How exactly you’re supposed to see the LED on the rear-facing part of the handlebar we’re not entirely sure, but we trust that some thought has been put into that.

Finally, a low power GPS module is integrated into the handlebar itself. Just pop in a prepaid SIM card and you can track your bike from anywhere in the world, which is great if it ever gets stolen.

All this for $200? That’s a bargain if you ask us. Heck, it’s even $149 in Early Bird pricing on the Kickstarter campaign that should get off the ground sometime today.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Recoiling Bicycle Mudguard Works Sort Of Like A Snap Bracelet

Plume-Rollable-Mudguard

Getting mud sprayed all over your back when you’re riding is fun. Ok, no, it’s not. But mudguards are often badly made, unsightly, and people generally tend to avoid them. If they had the Plume, pictured above, they might change their mind. Made from stainless steel and a flexible polymer, the Plume “extends out into a sleek mudguard or recoils back into a tight circle under your seat with the gentle press of a finger, even if you’re in motion.” The action is much like that of the snap bracelets of your youth, and doesn’t require springs, or any special mechanism. It’s $35, currently on pre-order on Kickstarter.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ GearHungry ]

Loopwheels Move The Bicycle’s Suspension Directly Into The Wheel

loopwheels

People are fond of saying that you can’t reinvent the wheel, but if you take a look a the LoopWheel, you realize that’s not entirely true. The device uses a regular, off the shelf tire, rim and hub, but it replaces the common spokes with a flexible carbon-composite system that gives suspension directly to the wheel. By making the new loopy “spokes” flexible, the LoopWheel’s hub is able to go off-center by as much as 45mm (1.7 in.), effectively giving it a suspension with 1.7in of travel. Granted, that’s not mountain bike material, but the LoopWheel isn’t intended as such. Currently only being produced in a 20in. size (a small bicycle wheel size), they’re intended to be used in folding bikes or any other compact bikes that wouldn’t normally be able to fit a regular suspension system.

Like many innovative items, the LoopWheels are on Kickstarter, but they’re fully funded. If you still want to get in on the action, it’ll cost you 490£, or roughly $763.

Hit the jump for a video of the wheels in action, plus links.

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Siva Cycle’s Atom Generator Lets Bikers Generate Power for Their Devices By Cycling

Sweat to Electricity

Gadgets or contraptions that charge up while you use them are fairly uncommon. For example, some treadmills have been hooked up so that they power a small television or radio while a person’s running on it. Another example is Siva Cycle’s Atom generator, which can charge your connected device while you’re pedaling around town.

What sets it apart, though, is that it also charges up an on-board battery which you can detach and then use to charge compatible devices while you’re on the go.

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Can This Bike Really Hit 100mph On Pedal Power Alone?

the-100-mph-bicycle-7597

No, not really. Or not yet, rather. But not for lack of wanting to. It’s made by Tom Donhou from Donhou Bicycles and was on display at the Bespoked Bristol exhibition, which showcases handmade bicycles from around the world. The Good to A Hundred bike by Donhou features “a 104-tooth chainring, with a diameter of nearly 17 inches (for comparison, most road bikes have about 50 teeth in their largest ring).” This could theoretically allow the rider to reach speeds of 100mph, although the bike has only achieved 60mph so far. Speeds of up to 167mph have been achieved by riders before, so it’s not so much the speed which is at issue here, but the fact that this bike is hand-built from common materials. The handlebars have been lowered to position the rider in an impossibly uncomfortable aerodynamic position, and with a bit of luck, Donhou will hit the goal for which the bike is named after sometime soon.

[ Tim Donhou's Page ] VIA [ DudeIWantThat ]