Thursday, March 29, 2012

Specialized Turbo

Specialised has just released information on their new high performance ebike, named Turbo. I've been a big fan of Specialised over the years, mainly because they have had a good focus on design. With the Turbo they have focused their design prowess on making a fast and fun electric bike, touting that it can hold 40km an hour for 1 hour, which is pretty impressive.

Im not super sure who the target consumer for this bike is, especially given the price tag of 5499 Euro's. But there is no doubt that Specialised is perhaps reshaping the vision we have in our head, of what an electric bike should be. In my mind it seems that this bike is for the avid cyclist, who may nock out 50-60km on the road bike in the morning, but then wants to take it easy on the commute to work.

Im sure however that authorities the world over will not be keen to see bikes like this on the roads.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Eco Bike Design Competition

I came across this design competition being run by Salsonica, a company that produces solar panels. The brief is to design a electric assist bike, and a solar shelter to go with it. You can find out more here, ecobikedesign. I like the competition, because I sort of dislike the concept of plugging in electric bikes to the mains energy supply at the end of the day, which may be utilising fossil fuels anyway. Good luck to all those who take part

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Using A Bike To Save Money

This is more of  redirection rather than a blog.  I came across this story at Bike Hacks, where Jay talks about putting together a commuter bike (pictured below), and how he  "could 'earn' $300 in savings if I rode the bicycle to school everyday until the end of the semester". Anyway have a read,

Carbon Minivelo - folding

Here is an interesting carbon folder from Onejintech, the picture is actually of  a prototype.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Obree - Land Speed Record

Obree - simply amazing....

Return of the Flying Scotsman: inside the mind of Graeme Obree from Humans Invent on Vimeo.

I love the comment at bout 2:30  - cant quite understand what he says, something like this "I refuse to own a car - because it will end up in a landfill"..

Anyway - I cant wait to see his bike design for the record attempt.

Here is a vid of John Howard and his record attempt.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Enlightened Cyclist

Bike Snob, has a new book out and took the opportunity to promote it during his keynote speech at the opening meeting of the League of American Bicyclists National Bike Summit.   The Enlightened Cyclist, a comic, but serious, take on bicycle transportation. He said commuting by bike was the "most dynamic aspect of cycling today" and "it's the one aspect of our lives where, on a daily basis, we're exposed to fighting with strangers. And death." (thanks to

100,000 Bikes for World Bicycle Relief

Dedicated to providing access to independence and livelihood through 'The Power of Bicycles,' World Bicycle Relief has donated it's 100,000th bicycle to poverty stricken areas. If you don't know about World Bicycle Relief, check out the short videos below. 

ORTRE Sneak Preview

There's a new ORTRE product on the way, of course its something for "everyday cycling".  You can see its a bike. Beautiful Italian Steel. Stay tuned for more details.

Taipei Cycling

Just back from a trip to Taipei. It's a great city to cycle in, the city limits I guess are mainly flat, so a single speed is a perfect tool, indeed the share bikes shown above, in front of the city hall, would be more than adequate.  The cycle paths around Taipei are also very impressive, and cater not only for commuting, but also more leisure orientated rides.

Below are details of a Sunday afternoon ride I did, 95% was cycle paths.

And here is a map of the cycle path system. Click on it to enlarge.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Liberty or Death: study of cycling helmets

Research at St George's University of London has been conducted on mandatory wearing of cycle helmets implicating that adult cyclists should not be forced to wear bike helmets because they offer little protection against head injuries.
Here is the abstract for the research paper, as found here
Many jurisdictions require cyclists to wear bicycle helmets. The UK is currently not one of these. However, an increasing number of interest groups, including the British Medical Association, want to change the status quo. They argue that mandatory cycle helmet laws will reduce the incidence of head injuries and that this will be both good for cyclists (because they will suffer fewer head injuries) and good for society (because the burden of having to treat cyclists suffering from head injuries will be reduced). In this paper we argue against this position. We suggest that cycle helmets may not be especially effective in reducing head injuries and we suggest that the imposition of such a restrictive law would violate people's freedom and reduce their autonomy. We also argue that those who accept such a restrictive law would be committed to supporting further legislation which would force many other groups – including pedestrians – to take fewer risks with their health. We conclude that cycle helmet legislation should not be enacted in the UK unless, perhaps, it is restricted to children.
I think a lot of the issues with cycling helmets stem from the fact that helmet standards, testing and as a result design do not reflect the real world demands of a helmet. 
British and European standards require helmets to withstand a free-fall drop from 1.5 metres onto a flat and kerb shaped anvil, at an impact speed of about 12 mph. This is equivalent to falling to the ground from a stationary riding position. Cycle helmets are not designed for impacts with moving traffic, or falling from ones bike whilst moving. (bleow is a video of some testing - thanks to Limar
Lets face it, its not likely that in an accident we will fall off our bike and land vertically onto the top of our head / helmet. Most accidents I see involve impacts to the side of the helmet. It is interesting that car companies try to improve the safety of their vehicles with new models, but I don't know whether helmet companies try to do the same. Indeed I don't know of any helmet companies that tout their products as exceeding standards. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Some Tinkering with Illustrator


Saw this happy couple today posing for some photos with two beautiful Mobylette's. I've posted about Mobylette's before here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Water Proofing Your Front Basket

Last Friday I saw this nice cover for a front basket, pretty basic, but very functional. Having never seen something like this before I was surprised to see a similar cover on another bike, on the same day.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Seoul - a great place to cycle

I ventured off to Seoul last week, first time there, and I was really keen to see how cycling friendly it is. Looking around the web prior to going did not give me huge hopes, and upon arrival the temperature of about minus 5 degrees, also didn't boost my hopes.

What I found though was a city with fantastic cycling infrastructure, and also very courteous drivers.

From my research I on the web I found that bike sharing is in its infancy,with test schemes in the outer suburbs. But it does seem that the business district also has a share scheme being established. I would have loved to take a share bike for a spin, but at the moment its really only feasible for locals to utilise the service.

Went to a Japanese style bar, named Ultraman, where cartons of Saki and Shoju were lined up just as neatly as the hire bikes. Not too far from the bar was this very impressive bike storage facility at what I believe to be the offices of a pretty large Korean company

Full shelter, with double decker parking was very impressive. The only thing that I though was lacking was direct entry into the office building, which could easily be achieved.

Cycle lanes were also abundant, even though there weren't that many people riding, but I expect in Summer it is a different story.

 I liked this artwork on the outside of the Hyundai department store which was being renovated. Im not sure why the image of cyclists was chosen, but it does seem that having pictures of bicycles, and cycling, alongside modern progress is pretty common nowadays.

 This is just another bicycle parking facility I saw.

What I liked was that about 10 metres away someone had locked up their bike to a post, clearly because it was just closer to the front door.

One truly great thing was how friendly the train system is for cyclists. At a lot of the stations there were Bike Pullways installed. I guess they are tracks to aid you in taking your bike up and down the stairs. 

Once in the subway, there were signs showing which doorway to stand at to get onto the  correct carriage that has space for bikes. 
Which was mostly made use of by the fixie crowd, a cycling segment that definitely seemed healthy. 

 Whilst fixies are in fashion, one of the coolest bikes I saw was this burger delivery tricycle. And this pair of folders took my eye (below). Sadly I think they weren't actually being used for cycling, but to bring attention to the shop they were parked outside

Anyway - Seoul is definitely a town I must visit in warmer weather when I am sure hundreds of cyclists will be seen on the roads.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cinelli Door Handle

Here is a very cool door handle, Cinelli bars, at Spread in Hong Kong.