Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Di2 to SEIS, Heklucht Pump, Dimpled Water Bottle & What Species of Cyclist Are You....

Its buzzing here with new cycling shorts!!!

A technical R&D article published earlier this month in the international Sports Technology Journal discusses the engineering considerations, design tools and developmental processes of a new front suspension system developed by RockShox (now with SRAM). It has been authored by Jeff Baltes, a senior design engineer at SRAM. This should be a nice paper to read because extreme freeriding requires extremely durable frames and suspension systems with front and rear travel of 160mm or more, and this study describes the design process and testing of such a suspension system called Totem fork.

According to the paper abstract : "For the benefit of engineers working outside the bicycle industry, this paper describes some engineering considerations related to the development of a new model full suspension bicycle fork. The impact of market forces on the development process is considered, and a description of various design tools currently in use is provided. A detailed model of a new fork travel adjustment feature is included, along with simulation results (FEM) produced by this model. The paper also includes an overview of the laboratory testing resources that are used to ensure the robustness of contemporary bicycle components."

I'll keep an eye out for more details about the paper. Alternatively, you can inform me by email if you happen to get a copy!

UPDATE : I was able to get a copy of this paper from Corporate Communications Manager Alina Boey. I have uploaded it for you to download and read. Click here to download the PDF file.

2. How difficult is it to get a patent on a new bicycle design? This article from The Telegram (Torrington, WY) about a retired farmer-turned-inventor's efforts will give you an idea. My advice is : If you have an idea about something related to bicycles, it better be good and novel because the general rule of thumb is that everything you see in a typical bicycle has already been invented twice!

3. Shimano's new Di2 has officially launched in Europe. Well, no big deal except that it is no longer called Di2, but SEIS : Shimano Electronic Intelligence System! Sounds like some cybernetic organism to me (ala Terminator 2).

4. If you're going to be at Interbike this year, be sure to check out Booth# 1459, the site for the Go-One pedal powered mobile. What a classy transportation idea!!! In an ideal world, I would certainly get myself a velocipede than put money into a motorcar! No need of insurance, no need of gas, no oil changes... I bet you'll get your return on investment pretty soon.

If you won't be able to make it to Interbike, you can now also testride Go-One in Maywood, NJ.

The design was inspired by Michael Goretzky, who was also behind the concept and success of Daimler Crysler's European SMART Car. Click here for more pictures of Go-One.

5. HEKLUCHT PUMP : I have a very small list of great ideas put to practice. One in that list will surely be this, something that appeared a while back - a bike stand that doubles as a frame pump!

Designed by Studio HiMom, the product has been conceived for an art project in Ypenburg (a newly build neighbourhood in the Netherlands). Eight products will be placed in front of eight houses. The goal of the project is to stimulate an interaction between neighbours, while pumping up the tyres of their bicycles. The hurdle is made out of polished stainless steel. Read more here.

6. Obesity and high oil prices are good news for the world's biggest bikemaker, Giant Bicycles - states the Economist. Giant's stocks have held up fairly well and since 2004, wholesale prices of bikes have gone up by 23% in Europe, 45% in America and almost 50% in Asia, even as thousands of low-cost factories in China, including some run by Giant, churn out boatloads of cheap bikes. Be sure to read the article, because there is a small mention of an upcoming Giant frame design with built-in lightweight shock absorbers. Did I tell you that I like secrets?

7. Gavin Smith's bicycle design for people with disabilities.

The idea is to give physically challenged people the confidence to ride independently. Read more here.

8. Rocket Science Sports, apart from fancy skin suits and bags, also make and sell aerodynamic bottles with dimples on them. Don't forget : water is only aerodynamic as the vessel its contained in.

From the mouth of the horse itself :

I think none of those figures would be something I'd be overly concerned about, but hey, like they say 'Every Second Counts...' , right?

9. Have you ever thought about what species of 'Cyclist' you might come under? Here's a tongue in cheek overview of the cycling kingdom from Solon Bicycles of Ohio.

At this point, I'm mostly gravitating towards Novus Racerus Infestus with a slight leaning for Gearheadicus Stubbornous Erectus since people also get old with time and start doubting everything. :)

Furthermore, with all the rumors perpetrated by some doofus about how relentless, high-mileage cycling on paper thin saddles can rob one of their person-hood, there should be a mutant species included somewhere in this list named something like :

"Too-Much-Time-On-The-Handus Dysfunctional Erectus".

10. That's all the buzz for today. Don't leave without Blur's Coffee & TV!

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