Computer controlled gears & suspension

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by darryl, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. darryl

    darryl Guest

    <http://www.popularmechanics.com/outdoors/outdoors/1276811.html?imw=Y>

    Portion of article (with pictures) in Popular Mechanics:

    Bikes with brains could well be the future of cycling, with an on-board
    computer controlling front and rear derailleur shifting and also
    suspension firmness. This isn't some pie in the sky idea. The technology
    and the hardware for these systems exist right now. It's called Di2, for
    Digital Integrated Intelligence. The components are made by Shimano, one
    of the biggest names in the cycling business. Designed for the high-end
    comfort bike market, Di2 systems have been installed on some bikes in
    Europe, but haven't yet been seen on bikes in the States. The stumbling
    block is cost. Di2 goodies kick up the price of a comfort bike to about
    the $US1500 level.
    The brain of the Di2 system is a computer that's buried in the bowels of
    Shimano's Flight Deck. The Flight Deck is a nifty handlebar-mounted unit
    that has a display panel and a battery pack that powers the entire
    system. The display shows information on the status of automatic
    shifting, suspension setting, speed and remaining battery power. Three
    buttons are located at the bottom of the Flight Deck. Punch the first
    one--a Mode Selector switch--and the display cycles between time,
    distance, odometer, average speed and maximum speed readouts. A
    Suspension Mode Selector switch lets you choose an automatic suspension
    control or you can manually set hard or soft damping for both front and
    rear. Lastly, a Shift Mode Selector switch gives you the option of a
    manual shifting mode via handlebar-mounted shift buttons that activate
    the electronically controlled derailleurs, or three automatic shift
    modes for slow, normal and fast riding.
    In the automatic modes, the computer selects what it considers to be the
    optimum gear and pedaling cadence, and adjusts the suspension stiffness
    to match the gearing for the best combination of ride comfort and
    power-transfer efficiency. Di2 uses road speed (calculated from signals
    generated by a spoke-mounted magnet passing a sensor) and the gear
    you're in to make its gear-shift decisions. The 16-speed system uses
    eight cogs out back and a double-chainring front derailleur. Overall
    gearing was deemed adequate by Shimano for a comfort bike, although more
    extreme conditions, such as those found in mountain biking, could have
    your muscles screaming for more gears.

    Read the whole article online.
     
    Tags:


  2. ray

    ray Guest

    darryl wrote:
    > <http://www.popularmechanics.com/outdoors/outdoors/1276811.html?imw=Y>
    >
    > Portion of article (with pictures) in Popular Mechanics:
    >
    > Bikes with brains could well be the future of cycling, with an on-board
    > computer controlling front and rear derailleur shifting and also
    > suspension firmness. This isn't some pie in the sky idea. The technology
    > and the hardware for these systems exist right now. It's called Di2, for
    > Digital Integrated Intelligence. The components are made by Shimano, one
    > of the biggest names in the cycling business. Designed for the high-end
    > comfort bike market, Di2 systems have been installed on some bikes in
    > Europe, but haven't yet been seen on bikes in the States. The stumbling
    > block is cost. Di2 goodies kick up the price of a comfort bike to about
    > the $US1500 level.
    > The brain of the Di2 system is a computer that's buried in the bowels of
    > Shimano's Flight Deck. The Flight Deck is a nifty handlebar-mounted unit
    > that has a display panel and a battery pack that powers the entire
    > system. The display shows information on the status of automatic
    > shifting, suspension setting, speed and remaining battery power. Three
    > buttons are located at the bottom of the Flight Deck. Punch the first
    > one--a Mode Selector switch--and the display cycles between time,
    > distance, odometer, average speed and maximum speed readouts. A
    > Suspension Mode Selector switch lets you choose an automatic suspension
    > control or you can manually set hard or soft damping for both front and
    > rear. Lastly, a Shift Mode Selector switch gives you the option of a
    > manual shifting mode via handlebar-mounted shift buttons that activate
    > the electronically controlled derailleurs, or three automatic shift
    > modes for slow, normal and fast riding.
    > In the automatic modes, the computer selects what it considers to be the
    > optimum gear and pedaling cadence, and adjusts the suspension stiffness
    > to match the gearing for the best combination of ride comfort and
    > power-transfer efficiency. Di2 uses road speed (calculated from signals
    > generated by a spoke-mounted magnet passing a sensor) and the gear
    > you're in to make its gear-shift decisions. The 16-speed system uses
    > eight cogs out back and a double-chainring front derailleur. Overall
    > gearing was deemed adequate by Shimano for a comfort bike, although more
    > extreme conditions, such as those found in mountain biking, could have
    > your muscles screaming for more gears.
    >
    > Read the whole article online.

    What happens when your bicycle has a GPF??
     
  3. sinus

    sinus New Member

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    "high end" and "comfort bike" are words that don't belong together.

    Maybe they could add some speakers for when cadence drops: "pedal faster you fat rich ****".
     
  4. darryl

    darryl Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    ray <[email protected]> wrote:

    > darryl wrote:
    > > <http://www.popularmechanics.com/outdoors/outdoors/1276811.html?imw=Y>
    > >
    > > Portion of article (with pictures) in Popular Mechanics:
    > >
    > > Bikes with brains could well be the future of cycling, with an on-board
    > > computer controlling front and rear derailleur shifting and also
    > > suspension firmness. This isn't some pie in the sky idea. The technology
    > > and the hardware for these systems exist right now. It's called Di2, for
    > > Digital Integrated Intelligence. The components are made by Shimano, one


    > What happens when your bicycle has a GPF??


    I don't think Microsoft had anything to do with the software therefore
    it shouldn't be a problem.
     
  5. SuzieB

    SuzieB New Member

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    Just gotta hope you don't suffer the ashphalt screen of death... :eek:
     
  6. gplama

    gplama Well-Known Member

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    Oh good.. that means there wont be a market flooded with bike mechanics who only know how to point and click, then flame the vendor endlessly if they get all confused.

    I wonder if Educom will guarantee a spot on a pro team support crew after '6 weeks of intensive training' or was that 6 weeks of smoke/coffee breaks and Windows vs Linux debates?

    yawn.

    GPL
     
  7. SEGFTG

    SEGFTG New Member

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    Why not just have a bike simulator, god forbid a cyclist may actually want to change gears themselves and enjoy one of lifes purer pursuits...
     
  8. gplama

    gplama Well-Known Member

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    I wouldnt go that far.. I bet not that long ago there were people saying "down tube shifters will never die"...
     
  9. SEGFTG

    SEGFTG New Member

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    I do agree, and I am not a luddite!!!
    I guess in takes cycling into similair areas to other sports where technology has been incorporated, eg: third umpires, computer line calls etc... It will always been debated.

    Still have my faithful old apollo 'racer' with down tube shifters... although the shifters may be removed soon as the call of the SS beckons
     
  10. Marx SS

    Marx SS New Member

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    I reckon it's the same thing going on as what has happened to bread & milk.
    As popularity hits with something - say cycling. There comes a compulsion by maufacturers to offer a wider range of options in the segment which allows them to "value add" on the product which is then is supported by the price it is offered at.
    In short ,its a good way to get the purchaser to pay more for the same product, because it's got a 'vaule add' aspect over the regular item.

    Carbon fibre & tubeless tyres in cycling, I feel, is used this way.
     
  11. gplama

    gplama Well-Known Member

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    never doubt the (placebo) power of CF!!!!
     
  12. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    <rant>

    you mean like the world's obsession with this year's model of:
    car/TV/phone/groupset/frame-material/sexual-orientation/etc ?

    Campag had single pivot calipers on all their range in late 90's then upgraded to dual pivots.
    Now their higher end has 'upgraded' to...
    single pivot rear calipers! something to do with saving weight, modulation, looking sexy, oh and some waffle aboutactually working just fine :rolleyes:

    Even Steel-is-real seems to be making a serious comeback of late
    (of course it never went away. BTW I want my 953???)

    LBSs wedded to particular wholesalers/brands
    "Oh look. a Bianchi/Giant/Specialized/Avanti/BBB shop"

    </rant>

    oh sod it. Is it lunchtime yet?
     
  13. cfsmtb

    cfsmtb New Member

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    <insert name of deity here> what a right load of bollox.

    Will the next beta ver will have a full faring? Will they call it a fecking SmartCar ... ?



    PS, my moniker doesn't translate as "carbon fibre full suspension mountain bike"


    ;)
     
  14. "darryl" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > <http://www.popularmechanics.com/outdoors/outdoors/1276811.html?imw=Y>
    >
    > Bikes with brains could well be the future of cycling, with an on-board
    > computer controlling front and rear derailleur shifting and also
    > suspension firmness. This isn't some pie in the sky idea. The technology
    > and the hardware for these systems exist right now. It's called Di2, for
    > Digital Integrated Intelligence. The components are made by Shimano, one
    > of the biggest names in the cycling business. Designed for the high-end
    > comfort bike market, Di2 systems have been installed on some bikes in
    > Europe, but haven't yet been seen on bikes in the States. The stumbling
    > block is cost. Di2 goodies kick up the price of a comfort bike to about
    > the $US1500 level.


    I've ridden one of these - it was a few years ago at a the 'Connecting
    Cycling' conference in Canberra. Shimano Australia^ had provided the
    bicycle as an example of possibilities for commuting bikes of the future -
    they were already being sold in europe but it seemed very unlikely that they
    would be good for the US or Australian market. Hazy memory tells me it was
    worth over A$3000?
    It was pretty nifty - from my very fuzzy memory* it had an internal gear
    rear hub, and you could set gear changes to automatic or manual. Suspension
    F&R was also automatic and it was all capacitor dyno powered and had neat
    integrated headlights and taillights (integrated into pannier rack/mudguard)
    run from the front hub. The thing was pretty heavy but it was nice and
    cushy, as we rode it around the hotel foyer#.

    *memory is fuzzy as I (and many colleagues) had just consumed several litres
    of beer (each) by the time we encountered this bike at the closing dinner.
    # Hotel staff were not impressed when we tried to ride it up a set of
    carpeted stairs in the hotel foyer
    ^Shimano Australia's rep didn't look very impressed with our attempts to
    wheelie the thing with its automatic gear changing mode on - it would change
    gears on you just as you hoiked the front wheel in the air

    Wish I had photos of our antics (err...not)

    Gemm
     
  15. TimC

    TimC Guest

    On 2006-04-21, cfsmtb (aka Bruce)
    was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    >
    > <insert name of deity here> what a right load of bollox.
    >
    > Will the next beta ver will have a full faring? Will they call it a
    > fecking SmartCar ... ?
    >
    >
    >
    > PS, my moniker doesn't translate as "carbon fibre full suspension
    > mountain bike"


    No, because that would be cffsmtb, which would look just silly :)

    --
    TimC
    The triangle wheel was an improvement upon the square wheel:
    It eliminates one bump. -- unknown
     
  16. darryl

    darryl Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    SEGFTG <[email protected]> wrote:

    > gplama Wrote:
    > > Oh good.. that means there wont be a market flooded with bike mechanics
    > > who only know how to point and click, then flame the vendor endlessly
    > > if they get all confused.
    > >
    > > I wonder if Educom will guarantee a spot on a pro team support crew
    > > after '6 weeks of intensive training' or was that 6 weeks of
    > > smoke/coffee breaks and Windows vs Linux debates?
    > >
    > > yawn.
    > >
    > > GPL

    > Why not just have a bike simulator, god forbid a cyclist may actually
    > want to change gears themselves and enjoy one of lifes purer
    > pursuits...


    I agree.

    Everybody should have Sturmey-Archer three speed gearing and hub brakes.
    That was one of life's real experiences if not one of its pleasures.

    I would simply say it was an improvement on the SS (sorry all you folks
    who think SS are trendy - there is a bloody good reason SS was
    superseded).

    regards,
    Darryl
     
  17. Marx SS

    Marx SS New Member

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    but you can't run a hub brake with vertical drops.
    If I could (at no/v little cost) I would! :p
     
  18. Paulie-AU

    Paulie-AU New Member

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    I rode the shimano bike a few years ago at a dealer evening, very leisure orientated for sure, wheelies were possible but an absolute prick to get happening.

    In DH (world cup...possibly cannondale?) one of the teams developed a system that automatically changed the suspension setting depending on the part of the track. It was banned pretty quickly.

    I have always thought it would be cool to develop a system based on a Rolhoff <sp> 14 speed rear hub and computer for DH that would give you a preprogrammed cadence range at all times. Would be good for racing but admittedly would take some fun out of it.
     
  19. BrettS

    BrettS Guest

    Paulie-AU wrote:

    > I rode the shimano bike a few years ago at a dealer evening, very
    > leisure orientated for sure, wheelies were possible but an absolute
    > prick to get happening.
    >
    > In DH (world cup...possibly cannondale?) one of the teams developed a
    > system that automatically changed the suspension setting depending on
    > the part of the track. It was banned pretty quickly.
    >
    > I have always thought it would be cool to develop a system based on a
    > Rolhoff <sp> 14 speed rear hub and computer for DH that would give you
    > a preprogrammed cadence range at all times. Would be good for racing
    > but admittedly would take some fun out of it.


    I don't know... It might be exciting when you are freewheeling and the
    computer decides to drop the bike down into it's lowest gear cause you
    are pedaling out of the cadence range... ;-)

    --
    BrettS
     
  20. I've been dwelling a bit on just how much "better" are the sloping top tube
    frames compared to the what I regard as the traditional horizontal top tube
    frames? How much is driven by a derivative sort of fashion in bicycle design
    started by the BMX craze. Which completely passed me by.

    I compare developments in bicycles to toothbrush design. If you were to make
    a list or the "advancements" in toothbrush design you would have a list of
    at least 50 points.

    1. Diamond shaped head
    2. indicator coloured bristles
    3. flexible shaft
    4. angled head
    5. different types of bristles in the middle and edges
    6. curved bristle tips
    and so on. How many of them were created for marketing purposes and how many
    actually significantly clean your teeth better?

    Is the list of changes in bicycles more or less marketing driven than a
    genuine technical advancement. I am leaving off the peak performance bikes
    an Olympian would use. I don't doubt the careful tuning done to achieve a
    Gold medal is worthwhile.

    I used to manage quite well with a 5 speed friction shifter on the stem.Not
    so sure I want to go back to it.Shimano Positron didn't impress much. I
    really liked my 6 speed SIS on the downtube. Getting used to rapid fire 7
    speed on a flatbar now. But how much of an improvement is life beyond 7
    speeds?

    Regards Wilfred
     
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