Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lean Thinking In Bicycle Production, CycleOps Pro Trainer Recalls, A Competition In The Works...

1. In their book Lean Thinking : Banish Waste & Create Wealth In Your Corporation, authors James P. Womack and Daniel Jones provide a 3-4 page case study on traditional bicycle production and then write on how lean thinking can be applied to make value flow in better ways. It starts off with historic ways of order-taking, design and production and tie together some new techniques to create a lean bicycle production process. You can read most of it here electronically on a Google Books preview.

2. It has been only a few months since Cycleops released their new "Pro" line of bicycle trainers, and there's already a voluntary recall on all of them, as of last week. The problem child on the design seems to be their yellow skewer clamp or lock ring that comes out loose while in operation. Read below :

A better look :

So while you may train indoors like a total badass, you may also go flying out and over your setup due to the vibrational forces involved in hard efforts.

3. If you like digging into old Time Magazine articles, here's one from way back in 1971 on an apparent bicycle shortage in the U.S! Demand was super high, but retailers & bike companies were unable to keep up. I wonder if we can learn anything from history...

4. Weightweenies had a post on a Campagnolo Bora rear wheel damage :

How it happened, from the rider : "I had to brake hard for a crash in front of me and I also had to steer. Because of that my tube came loose from my rim and I hit the asphalt on my rim instead of on my tube. On the photo's you can see that the sides of the rimbed are damaged. The damage that you see on the photo's is the only damage to the rim. There are no visible cracks or whatsoever. Also the rim is still completly true."

More pictures with interesting comments here.

Its terrible that we keep seeing more of these incidents, particularly when the price of replacement may be a steep cry. Now I had written two similar posts on this issue sometime back so I give them to you for further reading :

1.Tubulur Tires Exploding And Peeling Off
2. Rim Heating During Hard Breaking

5. Most of you may have easily missed this news, so I bring it to you again. At Eurobike 2008 in Friedrichshafen Germany, there was a Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer called Asia Seiko who presented a really lightweight frame, using some interesting frame materials. The buzzwords for the combo makeup is TeXtreme® spread tow fabrics and TeXero® UD tape, developed by a Swedish company called Oxeon. The tape weaving process is patented technology which was discovered back in 1995 by Dr. Nandan Khokar at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. You can read more about this frame here, and about Oxeon's patented taping process here.

If anyone has any more interesting updates about the frame, let me know.

Asia Seiko's one piece Fight Weapon frame, made with 80gsm (areal weight) TeXtreme carbon fabric, claiming to reduce the overall weight and increase stiffness.

6. A Competition In The Works :
Last but certainly not the least, I've been thinking about running a small competition on this blog. I haven't done so yet, so this will mean I'll have to plan something with a small, yet a nice prize for the winner. I have some ideas going in my head to make it a little wild and unique, and it may come online anytime now so keep your eyes open and keep checking the blog.

But here's your chillout tune till then. Ciao!


Anonymous said...

Why does that Asian frame look like a replica of Look.

Ron said...

There may be the thinking in people's minds that glued-on tires are somehow invincible. Sudden braking forces on the rim together with the twist on the tire while turning can could unseat a tire, so there's not much hope in trying to explain the way it happened, but take a lesson home that glue and rubber unfortunately have their shortcomings so base your riding style around that. Meanwhile, what could this rider have done to avoid it? Should he really have run right into the person in front of him without steering? Could he have braked any harder as he rode straight ahead? Somethings to think about...

Xrider said...

Ron, those questions cannot be answered well since there are things we don't know yet. For example, what was the velocity he had. How close was the rider in front of him before he applied the brakes. 100m? 70? 30? I guess you could then come up with a rough figure for braking stop distance assuming he applied the brakes the moment he saw the crash.

Anonymous said...

This begs a question I had for sometime, are disc brakes better at braking power than rim setups?

Anonymous said...

Having a lot of expierance with tubulars from my days as a team mechanic I would like to point out that the likely root cause of this issue was that the rim was not correctly prepped and the tubular was not properly installed.

If you look at the pictures, the rim surface is too smooth, and was not prepped with glue. It also appears that the tublar was also not prepped and did not recieve enough glue either.

I am pretty confident the cause had nothing to do with braking, or the rim heating up, or any other design related issued and was simply basic human error.

- Ryan

Anonymous said...

Crap, sorry about the miss spelled words.
I foolishly replied before my first cup of coffee.
- Ryan

Donald said...

RON-- I don't believe so... I talked with him yesterday and he said his local bike shop was either fixing or sending him a new one.

Ron said...

Ryan : Great links. I'll have to get deeper into this and get back to you. Motorcycle Highside, wow thats something new to me. I asked a friend who's a lot into motorcycles and even he has no idea what that means.

Don : Excellent. Atleast he didn't find it the hard way out.