Bicycle Evolution

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by teffo, Oct 30, 2003.

  1. teffo

    teffo New Member

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    I often wondered where we're going with bike tech and evolution of our sport. What's the future to bring in 10 yrs?

    We have hit 10x2 speeds and composite components, and some other advances here and there. Bike weights have come down from ~18lb to ~16.5lb avg (for a good bike), but I cannot see anymore gains there unless strength and durability improves.

    Basically I think the rate of dramatic improvements is diminishing...

    What ya think?

    Teff
     
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  2. stevek

    stevek New Member

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    Direct drive. Do away with all the dam chains and derailleur. Electronic shifting? Suspension on all bikes that can conform to the way you ride?
     
  3. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    Here's one for you: fully recumbent bike with moving very tall hologram to make you look bigger so that the cars and other riders see you easily. I was just looking at this website showing results from some aeronautical facility wind tunnel in Manchester. You have less wind resistance on a fully reclined bike at 40 mph than you do on an upright bike at 20 mph.
     
  4. less'go

    less'go New Member

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    Less wind resistance = you don't work as hard = I like the wind, makes me push harder to go faster!

    sara

     
  5. Alnamvet

    Alnamvet New Member

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    Seems to me that a nmber of brands are marketing single speed mtb's; and at a hefty price too. I believe we are getting so inundated with so much high tech gear, that we are forgetting the simple pleasures of just riding. Imagine, a single speed bike....what on earth would you have to talk about? Certainly not about your titanium cogs, or one of a kind rear derailleur. How about that snazzy $800 triple crank? No, you would just ride, and not have much else to do....what a deal.
     
  6. Hecubus

    Hecubus New Member

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    There will always be improvement and evolution one way or another. Weight will still continue to drop as more advanced materials and build processes are developed. This will probably continue to a point were you just can't (or don't want to) go down anymore but it certainly can still.
    Gearing is another thing that will almost certainly continue to evolve. I don't think until you can have gear jumps it one tooth increments across the whole range of gears will this be satisfied. Getting rid of the exposed and fragile derrailleur is an obvious one. Also as styles of riding continue to evolve so will the technology behind it. Take mountain biking for example. Just a few years ago bikes were mainly cross country oriented and as riding evolved into more aggressive style of riding bikes have drastically changed to long travel full suspension bikes with many significant advances in suspension and shock design as a result.
    Evolution will always be there in one way or another.
     
  7. Scoundrel

    Scoundrel New Member

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    A constantly variable transmission would be nice. ie you always pedal at your most efficient cadence and the gear ratio changes with your speed.
     
  8. less'go

    less'go New Member

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    "A constantly variable transmission would be nice. ie you always pedal at your most efficient cadence and the gear ratio changes with your speed."

    Yes, and I was hoping for pedals with an integrated foot massage function. Do you think I'm dreaming? ;)

    Sara
     
  9. jacobxray

    jacobxray New Member

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    i've always thought this. i can just about see the shape of the cog, but can't fully get my head around the engineering.

    if all the gear was light enough, it could be done by the pedals just fueling a battery and the wheels being turned by a motor, think it would take all the fun/control away though.

    bike brakes are rubbish in general, these could be improved a lot. i have a broken collar bone to prove you'll never out brake a car.

    could harness the arms muscles a bit better, not sure how.

    having said all this, part of the reason to for me to ride is to stay fit. making the bike more efficient just takes away some of the work from me.
     
  10. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott New Member

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    I think there's a lot of improvement coming in the crankarm-pedal connection - a frequent failure point, but it will require abandoning existing componentry.
     
  11. Duckwah

    Duckwah New Member

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    They already have continually variable transmissions on some heavy equipment and trucks.

    Its been known for decades that a recumbent is more aero efficient than a traditional frame but the UCI mandates the current shape and also a lower weight limit on road bikes of 6.7kg

    As for doing any human to electric to wheel drive that would kill the efficiency of the bike and make it worthless,

    The energy transfer from kinetic to stored electrical energy to kinetic energy would be so inefficient you would be lucky to get up any hills at all
     
  12. stevek

    stevek New Member

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    why are they rubbish? the brakes could lock the wheels but that will kill you. the problem is the weight of a bike. it is high off the ground so braking can't be as severe.
     
  13. stevenaleach

    stevenaleach New Member

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    Hmmm... I'd guess that any new gizmo that can be designed to be obsolete within two years will be produced and sold. Preferably with as many parts as possible so that things can wear out and need to be replaced.

    Consider the Segway scooter (Yes, I know it's not a bike... but bear with me). It is a solution to a problem that was already solved. It is designed to be an alternative to the automobile for personal urban transportation. It is a solution to a problem already solved by the bicycle.... Only difference is that a bike is lighter, more efficient, doesn't need to be charged, and doesn't cost $5,000.00 A $10 thrift store bike does everything that the segway does. Want to guess which one will need to be repaired first?

    The road bike is the most efficient form of transportation ever designed. Light weight, effecient range of gears, low rolling resistance tires, rigid frame that doesn't waste energy with flex.

    Now consider that there are FAR more mountain bikes sold every day than road bikes. High rolling resistance tires, High wind resistance riding position, heavier weight, suspension which wastes energy...

    Most mountain bikes are used to ride on the street (well actually no... they are ridden on the sidewalk but that's another rant). A mountain bike is perfectly designed to be inefficient for road use, and yet there are more sold than there are road bikes. There are more ridden on the road (and sidewalk) than there are road bikes.

    If they make it, people will buy it.

    If they make it out of the latest wonder material, be it carbon, titaniam, or some new composite, people will pay an arm and a leg for it.

    What "IT" is doesn't matter.

    How long "IT" will last doesn't matter either... people don't want things that last, everything is designed to be replaced long before it actually NEEDS to be anyway.
     
  14. Hecubus

    Hecubus New Member

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    You are right but you miss some points. While road bikes are more efficient for road use they sacrifice a lot of things for those advantages. They are very uncomfortable in comparison to a mountain bike and the riding positions are not appropriate for everyone since they strain your back more and higher vibration and shock of a road bikes also causes more fatigue in the hands and other places. The skinny tires don't offer as good traction especially when wet or loose stuff is on the ground. Fat mountain bike tires can roll over road obstacles and holes more safely without as much chance of the tire braking or sliding. No matter which way you look at it a road bike's ride is much harsher in comaparison to a MTB. For the average person who just wants a bike to get around a MTB will generally make for a more pleasant, forgiving and safer ride.
     
  15. stevenaleach

    stevenaleach New Member

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    True, a MB would be more comfortable for quick trips around town, especially for someone who only rides rarely. I would think, however, that a Hybred or city bike would offer a better compromise... thinner tires with lower rolling resistance, no suspension, etc.

    I also think that most people with road bikes set their bars too low for most of their riding. I like the bars high enough that I can ride comfortably on the drops rather than spending most of my time on the brake hoods.
     
  16. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    On the contrary, think about it. The less wind resistance is over the entire frontal surface area. With a recumbent, you have reduced your frontal surface area by putting your legs forward and exposing less of your torso. You will need to go much faster for the wind resistance to equalize given that it is being distributed over a smaller frontal surface area. Therefore, you will go faster. On the other hand, your head is still above it all. So because you are rolling faster due to lower wind resistance compared to an upright, the wind in your face is much stronger on a recumbent. Does this change your mind?

    I haven't ridden a recumbent yet either. It would be fun to try. I have my eye on one called the Lightning F-40. I would probably want to rent it first to see before I bought one because they retail for $5,000 to 6,000. I suspect the price would come way down if it ever became popular enough to sell well.
     
  17. less'go

    less'go New Member

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    But my 18 kilo water buffalo isn't a recumbant, it's just a plain old (new) street bike... So I'm fully upright!

    Sara
     
  18. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    What does it do when you get close to a river? lol.

    I have a feeling plain old street bikes will be most popular for many years to come. It seems they are a lot easier to get in and out the door than a recumbent, and they are a more comfortable ride than a road bike, albeit at a slower pace.
     
  19. Xsmoker

    Xsmoker New Member

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    The constantly variable speed bike would use belt drive and a torque converter like that of a snowmobile. The converter is made up of two disks that are dished on the inside. The converter is driven off the crankshaft and the belt rides between the disks. As engine rpms increase the disks close up causing the belt to move to the OD of the converter where the rotational speed is greater, thus propelling the snowmobile faster. On a bicycle the converter could be placed on the rear wheel and work the opposite, opening as rpms increase, allowing the belt to move to the ID of the converter similar to shifting to the smaller cogs.

    That was a mouthful:eek: yawn.......
     
  20. Scoundrel

    Scoundrel New Member

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    I wonder if it could be done at the relatively low speed that a bicycle works on?

    I'd like to have a big flywheel on my bike that i could charge up on flats and down hills then engage it going uphill to drive the back wheel. I don't know how the gyroscope effect would affect handling though :\
     
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