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Bicycle Tech Drivetrain Advances Showcased

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the penny-farthing dept.

Entertainment 412

whoda writes "For many years, bicycles have had very few advancements in drivetrain technology. This is finally changing. The newly formed g-Boxx Standard has been incorporated into the new Nicolai Nucleon TFR bicycle frame. This bike uses an internally geared 14 speed planetary gear system, mounted in the center of the bicycle, to drive the rear wheel using a conventional chain. The design allows the chain to run inside of the frame. This removes many fragile components from the bicycle, and allows a more rigid frame structure to be made. Evil Bikes have also shown a protoype Evil 2013i hardtail which also incorporates this new standard - I've found the toy I want for the holidays."

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412 comments

Captain's Log: My Anus is too Fucking Tight (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483808)

One day Captain Kirk was maiming his cock with a horseshoe when suddenly Mr. Spock ran up to him and shoved his pointy ear up his butt. "What is this for!" the fag captain said. "FAGS FOR YOU AALL!L!!!" the ancient alien howled as suddenly he farted and Captain Kirk twirled around in a daze and his foreskin twisted and his kidney stones turned into wooden beads. He pulled out his pistol and shot lasers at his chastity belt and suddenly he hurdled his dick into Captain Kirk"s bellybutton and it tore his flesh while Spock fucked his stomach. Kirk hollered out loud and Mr. Spock threw his shoes to the floor and wrinkled his penis until Kirk bellowed out to make it stop. A maelstom of shit whizzed around the ship and suddenly a giant fag appeared out side and the U.S.S. Enterprise went up his butt. "Oh what the hell have you gotten us into NOW!" Captain Kirk said as he oozed a condom back on his dick and put his panties back on. "OOH!H!!!!!!" Mr. Spock started fucking him again and shoved his phazer up his butt. He dissolved his glands and exploded his turds and finally a queer klingon hurdled through the door and smashed Kirk with his butt hairs. A maniac sucked his dick and suddenly Mr. Spock fagged Kirk so hard that his intestines burst open and he died.

Re:Captain's Log: My Anus is too Fucking Tight (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483901)

um, yeah, okay.... is that what they call a "slash" story?

Internally Geared (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483812)

Internal gearing in bicycles is not, new, it just never catches on.

Re:Internally Geared (1)

UniverseIsADoughnut (170909) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483911)

you are correct, they are nothing new at all. They have only seen use in plane jane bike like you rent at the beach and so forth. The design is heavy and not very versital. Same as bikes with automatic gearboxes, they just arn't going to take off

Re:Internally Geared (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7484049)

Your's is a wrong statement, these bikes are raced worldwide, by professional's. Look at the Nucleon ST, the previous version of this bike.

Re:Internally Geared (1)

narkotix (576944) | more than 10 years ago | (#7484057)

exactly right
they have put so much research into stock standard gearing that there isnt really much of a need for it. I guess the only advantage tho of internal gearing would be less wear and tear but in that it would be a real bastard to service and clean if grit got in unlike any of the normal gearings on bikes nowadays. The greatest advance in the modern age of bikes has been the use of disc brakes instead of vbrakes (for certain styles of riding - mountain riding where normal vbrakes wouldnt function because of the rider going thru water).
for now tho ill stick to my shimano XT's :-D

Hmm... (0)

ChrisZuma (719884) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483813)

What if the chain falls off though? if it is inside the frame, you'd be kinda screwed.

Pretty sweet though, now i don't have to worry about always getting my damn shoelaces stuck on the gear

Re:Hmm... (1)

arevos (659374) | more than 10 years ago | (#7484089)

Pretty sweet though, now i don't have to worry about always getting my damn shoelaces stuck on the gear

Yep! That's so annoying! It catches, and suddenly your foot is stuck to the pedal and the pedal can't turn round anymore, so you kinda just fall over :/

I don't know... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483825)

This just means now that if something breaks down, it would be hard as heck to get at it. Parts inside the frame? Kind of hard to do trailside maintainence on that! (Especially since it's not from a well known component manufacturer.

I'll wait until I see it on the World Cup circuit before trying it myself...

Re:I don't know... (4, Informative)

Gudlyf (544445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483945)

Well, according to the site, the maintenance should be limited. Specifically for the EVIL transmission bike without primary drive and open secondary drive:

Benefits

  • low maintenance transmission
  • low unsprung weight
  • freedom to design specific front and rear sections of the frame
  • light weight
  • use of simple rear hub possible
  • good wheel travel
  • changing of gears is possible without pedaling (my favorite)
  • platform compatible

Limitations

  • need for chain tension device
  • secondary drive chain is open to outside influences
  • small amount of chain growth

Re:I don't know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7484032)

The previous version, the Nucleon ST is raced on World Cup courses, as will the TFR.

Followup Articles (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483829)

Google News has a bunch of good news links related to this story.

Check Them Out [google.com].

Still using chains? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483830)

How about shaft drive [chainless.com]?

WARNING! DO NOT CLICK! PENISES WITHIN! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483840)

Do not click that link. The "shaft drive" he refers to is an unusually large penis going inside some man's gaping asshole.

Disgusting!

INCORRECT POST MODERATED (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483859)

Whoever modded this post down is confused. I was referring to the parent, not my post. Unless you like big penises, I suggest you fix your moderation ASAP.

Re:Still using chains? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7484058)

nice...but a 16kg bike??..combine it with that planetary gear and lighten it up a lot(carbon fibre?) and you really got something. has any one tried one of those variable width pulley things?..like on a snow-mobile or motor scooter? it could automatically adjust depending on the torque applied and the speed of the bike.

Cowboy neal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483831)

Imagine him on one of these.... they don't look strong enough, to me..

Muckety muck. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483836)

Look at that photo carefully. Notice that part of the chain is exposed. Now just were do you think all the road dirt and other muck is going to end up?

Re:Muckety muck. (1)

Gudlyf (544445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7484029)

"Look at that photo carefully. Notice that part of the chain is exposed. Now just were do you think all the road dirt and other muck is going to end up?"

Um, perhaps on the frame encasing the majority of the chain? Man, is that a minor pesimistic gripe.

Re:Muckety muck. (1)

Tongo (644233) | more than 10 years ago | (#7484087)

Have you ever taken any type of vehicle (bike, car, truck, feet) off road with a small hole in it? It seems that most of the dirt and grime ends up going through the hole and into whatever your are in (be it vehicle cab or inside my shoe).

No doubt it has been thought of.. (0, Redundant)

annisette (682090) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483837)

but I wonder what stops developing a bike with a shaft drive instead of chain?

Re:No doubt it has been thought of.. (1)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 10 years ago | (#7484008)

Lost energy from increased mass.

Re:No doubt it has been thought of.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7484111)

Clearly, you've never encountered a titanium tube.

A tube with gears on either side, and a nice aluminium housing, and you've just made your drivetrain more than 50% lighter (versus steel chain and sprockets), with probably a much smaller moment of inertia.

Friction--that might be a problem, I'd actually have to make it, and care to test it.

Fantastic! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483839)

This makes my dick itch.

Re:Fantastic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483879)

You need to see a doctor.

How much (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483841)

ram does it have?

Re:How much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7484061)

Does it run Linux?

good idea but (5, Insightful)

zymano (581466) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483843)

Sounds good for mountain bikes that need to protect the chain and sprockets but might add some unnecessary weight to roadbikes.

RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483845)

In an effort to simplify this derailleur based drivetrain system, engineers invented a hub based drivetrain, whereby the rear hub contains a planetary style internal transmission system. In this case, the cassette, front chain ring assembly and both front and rear derailleurs are not necessary, thus providing for a more simplified gear change mechanism.

You can check for more obscure and otherwise different gear change systems in the history link.

Transmission bikes on the other hand contain a transmission mounted inside the main frame - the classic bottom bracket housing is replaced by an integrated transmission. Similar to previously described gear change mechanisms, a chain or belt drive system is used to provide power to the rear wheel. In this case, the chain (or belt drive) does not have any shifting duties.

I'm not sold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483848)

this chain won't break or bounce off in the field and be a pain to fix. What about lubing, inspecting for stretch and replacing. How long does this gear system last and who much are parts. I need to dig in and see a lot more info than what I've found so far.

Re:I'm not sold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483858)

oops. add lots of ?'s after all those sentance fragments

Re:I'm not sold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483907)

sentance

I warned you before about this, AC. The word is "sentEnce".

Re:I'm not sold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483881)

Stretch: a very high proportion of the stretch in the traditional derailleur systems comes from pulling the chain off one cog and forcing it onto another. If you have the chain always connected to the same cogs (both front and rear), you'll find that there's a greatly reduced amount of wear.

In addition, there's a fair amount of slack in a chain in a derailleur system -- there has to be, in order to allow it to move from one cog to another. If the chain doesn't have to move, you can get rid of a lot of that slack ... so there's much less chance of it coming off in the field. (Not no chance, mind you, but less.)

As for lubing, yes, that's going to still be an issue. And how long it lasts, and how much parts cost, are other questions that do need to be answered. But you can get a reasonable estimate by looking at the old three-speed hub systems; they tended to last a very long time without a great deal of maintenance. Me? I'm attached to my 18 speed (derailleur based) hybrid, so I'm not likely to switch to one of these for a long time yet (by which time all of these questions will have been answered quite adequately, I'm sure.)

Re:I'm not sold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483903)

Chains do not stretch a mechanically meaningful amount. The bearing surfaces wear, resulting in chain lengthening. but stretch is insignificantly small.

Interesting spec on the Nucleon web site (3, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483852)

>16-19kg (35-40lbs) for a complete bike

Comment would be superfluous.

Re:Interesting spec on the Nucleon web site (1)

tau_bada (465512) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483880)

Maybe MTB downhill racing owners of those bikes will be a bit bit more interesting now, I always get waxed when my kids are in the attached Burley trailer, as it currently stands.

Of course it would be. (1)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483884)

The fact that something encased like this [pinkbike.com] would be perfect for downhilling, where weight isn't a big deal, is something that goes without saying.

Or were you implying that this advance would be useless for touring and road biking?

Re:Interesting spec on the Nucleon web site (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483885)

It is meant as a downhill bike... 35-40 pounds is average for them... The bikes need to be tough, weight isn't important.

I wonder what the chain-slap would sound like with the chain enclosed in the swing-arm?

Re:Interesting spec on the Nucleon web site (0)

paradesign (561561) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483906)

I think that if you cant ride your bike up the hill, you shouldnt be allowed to ride down it. Thats why my bike weighs a hair over 23 lbs. Its as light as my pocket book will allow. Id love to pass someone trying to crosscountry on his bike, LOL!!!

And then id laugh even more as i lapped them while they were tryinr to get therir chain back on after fixing a flat. but i wouldnt be suprised if this thing came with solid tires too.

with all it's bloat its like the bike that Microsoft would build.

Re:Interesting spec on the Nucleon web site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483940)

lol! you are teh genius. you are what makes slashdot what it is, and i look forward to future posts.

This is a downhill bike. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483921)

And when going downhill, more weight is a good thing. Why do you think downhill skiers attach weights to their bodies?

Re:This is a downhill bike. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483956)

To get bigger penises?

Re:Interesting spec on the Nucleon web site (0, Troll)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7484042)

40lbs is light for that class of bike. For the last 3 years, I've been riding a Norco VPS-3, which comes in at around 37lbs, and is meant for a significant amount of abuse. It's not the sort of thing that you ride around town, though. Competitive downhill bikes often come in around 45 - 50lbs.

Planetary gear systems on bikes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483854)

...are what, thirty-plus years old now? As are enclosed chain cages. This is just shuffling parts around in the ages old quest to dethrone the externally derailed bicycle.

Stoopid (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483864)

The Q looks horrific, the weight is high, the chain is still exposed, there's no easy way to clean the frame out when it gets filled with the muck and water that the chain will inevitably drag in, the lanetary gearing is less efficient than a pure chain drive. Yeah, I can really see why you'd want that setup: to look like an idiot with a fat wallet and a small brain. Oh, and prepare to be savaged by rec.bicycles.tech, where the posters actually know a bit about the technical issues.

Re:Stoopid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483878)

Fortunately no one's read usenet since 1994

Re:Stoopid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483949)

They have if the definition of "reading" includes looking at pr0n.

Re:Stoopid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483889)

But it's more complicated and expensive... it must be better!

Re:Stoopid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483891)

what about that bike i always see on the Informercial that shifts automatically by the same principal as this bike? Do i smell a law suite?

Q Factor (1)

DavidNWelton (142216) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483977)

That brings back memories of my Bridgestone MB-1...ahh, those were the days. I still hadn't caught on to computers, and bicycles were my great love. To tell the truth, I do live in Italy now, and ride a sweet custom Morello steel ride with campy parts, although I spend too much time with the computers and not enough out riding...

Bridgestones were nice bikes. High quality, low on buzzword crap. Light, fast, strong. I miss the days befor suspension and "gnarly d00dz extreme sportz" got ahold of mountain biking. Just a bunch of guys out riding on cool trails... sigh.

Re:Q Factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7484077)

I still have two MB-6's and an MB-5.... also have a CB-5 but that was a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike... Bridgestone did have some damn nice bikes

Here is more info - rad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483871)

I remember a friend of mine was dreaming up a design for something like this but I never though that would materialize.... Full info and photos on that pinkbike website on that bike along with an mp3 interview with the creator. here's the link http://www.pinkbike.com/modules/news/?op=articlevi ew&id=1755 [pinkbike.com]

creators' newclear power plan showcased (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483872)

that's right, this stuff is unbreakable & wwworks on/in several (more than 3) dimensions.

'big science' will have to 'discover' it's conscience before it can tap into this stuff.

Two programs got the nod, so far. The top priority is planet/population rescue. Other goals mandated include the permanent disempowerment of unprecedented evile, & assurance that the planet/population is around to enjoy the gnu millennium of open/honest communications/commerce. Your grandchildren will survive to produce additional uses for the powers that are rescuing us from the greed/fear/ego based life0cide, as the lights come up...

from a post previously titled:

mynuts won: gnu millennium spells doom for stock markup fraud FUDgePeddlers, aka corepirate nazis, aka the walking dead.

that's right. J. Public et AL has yet to become involved in open/honest 'net communications/commerce in a meaningful way. that's mostly due to the MiSinformation suppLIEd buy phonIE ?pr? ?firm?/stock markup FraUD execrable, etc...

truth is, there's no better/more affordable/effective way that we know of, for J. to reach other J.'s &/or their respective markets.

the recipe is:

consult with/trust in yOUR creator. vote with yOUR wallet. more breathing. seek others of non-agressive intentions/behaviours. that's the spirit.

use key words/indexing to identify yourself/your products.

the overbullowned greed/fear based phonIE marketeers are self eliminating by their owned greed/fear/ego based evile MiSintentions. they must deny the existence of the power that is dissolving their ability to continue their self-centered evile behaviours.

as the lights continue to come up, you'll see what we mean. meanwhile, there are plenty of challenges, not the least of which is the planet/population rescue (from the corepirate nazi/walking dead contingent) initiative.

EVERYTHING is going to change, despite the lameNT of the evile wons. you can bet your .asp on that. when the lights come up, there'll be no going back, & no where to hide.

we weren't planted here to facilitate/perpetuate the excesses of a handful of Godless felons. you already know that? yOUR ONLY purpose here is to help one another. any other pretense is totally false.

pay attention (to yOUR environment, for example). that's quite affordable, & leads to insights on preserving life as it should/could/will be again. everything's ALL about yOUR motives.

take care, we're here for you.

Why not a shaft drive? (2, Interesting)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483896)

Driven through a continuously variable transmission, like those used in many motorcycles. They are more reliable, less prone to breakage than a chain.

I remember seeing bikes with elliptical gears in an old popular mechanics they claimed match the power transfer curve of the human body, that would lower the gear ratio at the point you have less energy to push. They said it was about 20% more efficient or something like that, but I never saw it catch on much. Maybe the patent fees were too high.

Re:Why not a shaft drive? (3, Informative)

voodoo1man (594237) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483912)

I believe those were introduced by Shimano as the "Biospace" (or at least Bio-something) brand chainrings. Didn't catch on much because most people found the pedalling to feel jerky, or so I heard. I've also heard that they're still sold.

Re:Why not a shaft drive? (2, Informative)

Jack Auf (323064) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483994)

You're thinking of Shimano BioPace chainrings. I still have a set on an old mountain/messenger bike and they rock for high RPM grinding on the pedals up the steeps, but you do notice them on the street. But then they weren't designed for street AFAIK.

Re:Why not a shaft drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7484092)

Unfortunately, they were designed for road bikes. The quickest way to destroy a great spin was to hop on Biopace chainrings. People still blame their nagging knee troubles on them.

Elliptical chainrings (2, Informative)

dan_b (982) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483995)

Biopace. Some people liked it, others didn't. These days everyone's using clipless pedals anyway, making for much smoother power transmission all the way around and elliptical chainrings yet less sensible.

Re:Why not a shaft drive? (1)

CharlieG (34950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7484086)

Close - Biopace. Now thing about your deraileurs - the back is moving back and forth keeping tension, and the front has to be setup to clear the high spots, but still work on the low...

Re:Why not a shaft drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483957)

What you are referring to was marketed as "BioPace" chainrings. Shimano sold this crap for a couple of years, and not it was not the patent fee that killed it. It died because it was simply bullshit science and did not work. If anything, it destroyed proper spin for most people. This contraption above is doomed also, being nothing more than a needlessly complex solution to a non-problem.

Nicolai bikes are raced... (3, Insightful)

whoda (569082) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483897)

They are raced on some of the most demanding downhill courses in the world.
They are strong and have an excellent reputation by hardcore mountain bikers.And 40 pounds for a complete bike of this type is fairly light to be honest.

There are videos available from the main Nicolai Home Page [nicolai.net]

first off.. weight is less of a problem since... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483898)

this entire standard is designed for the freeride/downhill segment of MTB owners that require a *lot* of travel out of a full suspension rig without the detractions that come with using a standard shifting system (shimano style derailleurs tend to get ripped off at 60mph when they come in contact with a rock) also having the bike shift itself when the suspension compresses would be considered a downfall.. trust me.. i used to race DH.

Alex 'Psycho' P.

Yeah but does it run Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483899)

Source?!?!?

Re:Yeah but does it run Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483915)

I dunno if it runs Linux, but with a weight of 35-40 lbs, the cyclocomputer presumably uses valves for the logic circuitry and magnetic core for memory.

trailside repair (1)

Stinking Pig (45860) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483922)

want to try fixing that with the tools in your underseat bag on the side of a singletrack about ten miles from your car?

I don't think so.

Re:trailside repair (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7484022)

Ever try fixing a fucked up rear deraileur on the side of a trail? Or, a twisted chain? I've lost several races due to drivetrain failures.

for the same weight as the drivetrain... (4, Interesting)

avi33 (116048) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483926)

You could simply ride fifteen pounds of funk [usrnull.com].

One gear -> stronger legs, more distributed workout, less to maintain, fewer parts to fail, just mo' fun

Every once in a while someone spends a crapload of money trying to change the fundamentals of the bicycle, but really, other than the derailleur, not much has changed in over 100 years.

Re:for the same weight as the drivetrain... (1)

biff-mo (681452) | more than 10 years ago | (#7484059)

Nice fixie. I just finished my fix [blog-city.com] about 6 weeks ago.
Since the pics, I've flipped and chopped the handlebars for skidtastic fun.

Not quite 15lbs, but close at 18.

Here is the company developing the new drive train (1)

Spruce28 (704319) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483927)

http://www.g-boxx.org/_2-english/_2-index-engl.htm l I would love one of these!

Aaaww please not again (4, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483939)

Okay, I admit the chain-inside-the-frame thing is cool : less crap on the legs, cleaner, well lubed chain, etc... But somehow, there has been a notion that current bike drivetrains (i.e. chain+derailleur) are inadequats. There are continuously people who dream of making CVTs for bikes, or non-rotating drivetrains or whatever, to replace the "old" chain-and-derailleur. Well here are some facts :

- A chain/derailleur system is the only system that offers that many speeds under 2Kg

- Bicyclists don't need Continuously Variable Transmissions : human legs are incredibly efficient over a range of speeds from 0 to 13/140 RPM

- A bicycle is virtually the only vehicle where a chain drive is useful and needed, because the "engine" (you) is slower than the wheel, which is unique amongst all vehicles. This is also why any other kind of transmission will fail miserably compared to a chain drive in terms of efficiency (a chain drive routinely gets over 97% efficiency, and you need that with the 75W-100W power you get out of an average rider).

- A cyclist who's moderately used to shifting well will *not* feel impaired by derailleur actions.

- A chain + derailleur system is maintainable on the road. Just try to service a geared hub on the road ...

- Geared hubs are great for compacity and easy maintaining. However, their efficiency sucks. For example, a 7-speed Sachs hub can go down to 90% efficiency. That's a lot of power loss with under 100W of input power.

For more bicycling myth debunking, read the rec.bicycles.tech newsgroup and the Bicycle Science list.

I do over 10000Km/year and, apart from chain cleaning and re-lubing, I think the derailleur system is very adequate.

Re:Aaaww please not again (2, Interesting)

taj (32429) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483972)

"- Bicyclists don't need Continuously Variable Transmissions : human legs are incredibly efficient over a range of speeds from 0 to 13/140 RPM"

As a retro biker that does it smart going on 40 I suggest you rethink this.

Hold on their young one. Any 17 year old can do 0-140 rpm but as the joints get older, you need to keep the rpms higher and the impact lower. 90rpm would be about right for all times.

You can crank for 30 years at 5 rpm but I'd rather let the gears do the work and sleep at night without arthritic knee pains.

Re:Aaaww please not again (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7484003)

Hold on their young one. Any 17 year old can do 0-140 rpm but as the joints get older, you need to keep the rpms higher and the impact lower. 90rpm would be about right for all times.

I never said you should ride at 5rpm or 120rpm all the time, I said human legs can provide torque or speed with (almost) equal efficiency even when you force them to pedal way outside their "preferred" cadence.

Of course, when you're not accelerating or climbing something steep, you use the gears to find that comfortable cadence and stay there, but when you do accelerate or climb, your legs can soak up a speed or torque difference an ICE engine couldn't cope with.

Re:Aaaww please not again (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483978)

I think the main reason is for those hard core mountain bikers. As an avid cyclist myself, I always lub up the chain before bicycling, and clean it after every 5 rides.

Re:Aaaww please not again (1)

giminy (94188) | more than 10 years ago | (#7484000)

Right on. Internal speedhubs are really only used on downhill bikes, due to their inefficiency and weight.

I doubt we'll ever see anything like this in the Tour de France...so road bikes will be safe from this rather bizarre looking maintenance nightmare.

On a downhill bike, derailleurs get ripped off.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7483948)

Reading these comments, it looks like 99% of the detractors of this concept fail to understand that the biggest plague of the downhill racer is the rear derailleur - it hangs in a VERY exposed position and is extremely easy to rip off. When you lose your rear derailleur in a DH race, your chances of making the podium are slim. Believe me, it happens a LOT, and it gets expensive and very annoying.

Another thing people fail to realize is that this concept is about DH bikes, not about cross-country bikes. It may weigh a lot, but a 40-pound DH bike is pretty light.

Too many opinions, not enough brain power to go around, if you ask me. If you ride a 23 pound XC-racer, you might as well comment on the suitability of an 8" travel, 12 pound, dual crown suspension fork for your riding style.

Re:On a downhill bike, derailleurs get ripped off. (2, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483981)

When you lose your rear derailleur in a DH race, your chances of making the podium are slim. Believe me, it happens a LOT, and it gets expensive and very annoying.

All the good downhillers I know in my neck of the wood have short-tail road derailleurs that don't hang down as much, a big bash-plate around the derailleur and chainstay, and anti-derailling/chainslap/chainsuck rollers on top and bottom of the chainwheel. None of them seem to lose derailleurs a lot ...

yeah, a road der. is the best "band-aid".... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7484065)

short cage roadie derailleurs are nice, and they're a little cheaper too.

But they don't solve the problem. If you don't know DH'ers who lose derailleurs frequently, there must not be many rocks around there! Or maybe they're just not riding hard......:p The chainguide that protects the chainring doesn't do squat for the derailleur, unfortunately.

I race Expert DH and go thru one road derailluer every month or so. Some people [generally the REALLY fast guys] go thru one every weekend in really rocky areas.

Re:On a downhill bike, derailleurs get ripped off. (1)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483992)

the biggest plague of the downhill racer is the rear derailleur - it hangs in a VERY exposed position and is extremely easy to rip off.

Maybe somebody should invent a derailleur cage or something to protect the mechanism from getting ripped off by rocks/stumps/whatever.

I think a previous poster said something about a chain driven bike being 97% efficient. Hard to beat that, so why not just protect the already super-efficient mechanism?

Re:On a downhill bike, derailleurs get ripped off. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7484023)

I think a previous poster said something about a chain driven bike being 97% efficient. Hard to beat that, so why not just protect the already super-efficient mechanism?

People who go down hills don't have pedalling efficiency as a prime requirement for their bikes, since gravity does the work for them most of the time.

actually I'd put a high premium on efficiency... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7484076)

in DH racing pedaling efficiency is pretty important. Not nearly to the degree it is in road or XC obviously.

I'd have to say that the efficiency is the only real downside of that system. It may weigh a lot, but it puts the weight really low in the frame (low COG makes the bike corner great) and takes a little weight off the rear wheel (reduces unsprung weight).

Re:On a downhill bike, derailleurs get ripped off. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7484096)

Nobody ever stole mine...

Drivetrain efficiency (5, Insightful)

Joao (155665) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483964)

I spend a lot of time on high-performance Human Powered Vehicles (HPVs), and efficiency is a big thing among high-speed bikes. The main problem with these internally geared drivetrains is that they are not very efficient at all. They rob you one heck of a lot more power than chains and derailers. The regular chain and derailer design is something in the neighborhood of 97-98% efficient, while these geared drivetrains are about 70% or less.

The main advantage of the internal gears is for downhill mountain bikes. Drivetrain efficiency is not as much of an issue since gravity is doing most of the work, and there is no risk of losing your chain in mid air at 40mph.

Joao "member of far too many HPV and bicycle clubs and associations" de Souza

The three main concerns for competitive bicycles (2, Insightful)

Jack Auf (323064) | more than 10 years ago | (#7483979)

The three top priorities for racing bikes are weight, weight and weight. Speaking as a lifelong rider, racer and former messenger, stuff like this never works out too well in practice. Anyone tried the electronic shifting systems? They (mostly) suck.

There have been may refinements, but as the article post says "few advancements in drivetrain technology" because what we have currently is very lightweight, works extremely well, is very reliable, and is easy to service.

This will catch on...sort of (1)

fyzix (145239) | more than 10 years ago | (#7484005)

As a single track rider, I believe this will catch on. However, this is not going to be the type of technology that average joe will need/want on a bike. This type of system will be very costly on weight, which is a huge issue in most varieties of biking. On the flip-side, downhill bikes generally outweight single track bikes by 10-15 lbs. This being the case, a couple more pounds will not have a great impact on this particular breed of the sport. I think this will catch on at the high end of downhill and dual-slalom area of biking, but not anywhere else until the weight can be drastially cut.

I needed this 25 years ago! (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 10 years ago | (#7484014)

The design allows the chain to run inside of the frame. This removes many fragile components from the bicycle, and allows a more rigid frame structure to be made.
Where was this 25 years ago when I needed it? I was always getting my bell-bottoms caught in the chain of my bicycle!

(in my defense: I was 9 at the time, so I wore what mom bought me, and she was not alone (by any stretch of the imagination) in thinking that bell-bottoms were cool. I didn't really care, but I did hate how they always got caught in my chain, pretty much guaranteeing that all my bell-bottoms had nice greasy chain marks all over the bottom :) )

Rubber bands, man (1)

curtlewis (662976) | more than 10 years ago | (#7484100)

During my bicycling and bell bottom years (we're talking paleolithic era more or less), I put large rubber bands around my ankles after wrapping the bell bottoms around my leg. This effectively made them straight legs while I was on the bike and kept em outta the way.

Drawbacks:
You kinds looked like a dork. But then just wearing bell bottoms... I just made sure I removed them the moment I got off the bike. That pretty much avoided the dork effect.

If the rubber band wasn't quite big enough, it worked like a torniquet, at least leaving a small canyon running around your leg if not severely lessing the blood flow. Rubber bands are cheap and available in many sizes. After a small amount of experimentation, I found suitable ones for the job.

Nothing will tempt me away from my Gilera DNA (1)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#7484035)

A scooter that looks and rides like a real motorbike :-)

DNA's are fantastic :-) [motobykz.co.uk]

Simon.
Escaping the tyranny of London Underground :-)))

Re:Nothing will tempt me away from my Gilera DNA (1)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 10 years ago | (#7484107)

Ok, if I saw someone smugly zipping down the road on their sweet new crotch rocket, then they got to a hill, stood up, and started pedaling like mad, I would die laughing.

Re:Nothing will tempt me away from my Gilera DNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7484117)

Ok so I noticed it's not actually a moped. But then, why is it in this discussion? OFFTOPIC. ;-)

Re:Nothing will tempt me away from my Gilera DNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7484113)

Why not just get a real motorbike?

Andrew Dice Clay says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7484110)

"A girl sits home on a Saturday, she could slit her wrists, a guy sits home on a Saturday he could jerkoff all over himself it's a great night"
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