Greg’s bullet bike

Miscellaneous 3 17

Some of you may remember several months ago when I posted about Greg Kolodziejzyk’s homemade velomobile. His self described goal with the bike was to create the “rocking-est human powered hot rod ever!” Last week, Treehugger posted a picture of the full carbon fiber fairing recumbent that Greg will be using later this month in an attempt to break the 24 hour human powered record (just set recently by Fast Freddy Markham). This bike called “Critical Power” was designed by Ben Eadie using Solid Works software. The design was tested as it progressed in a virtual wind tunnel using COSMOSFloWorks fluid dynamics analysis software. We will see if the design work pays off when “Critical Power” hits the track in a week or so. Greg’s new bullet bike may not be as “rockin” as the yellow one, but it certainly looks fast. Good luck with the record attempt Greg.

As a follow up to yesterday’s post, check out this article on Pez that spotlights the road bikes of several Tour de France contenders. Great shots of some really nice bikes.

3 Comments

  1. Jorgensen July 18, 2006 at 10:50 pm -  Reply

    I would look at it another way, it is true that the UCI equipment rules are time frame limited, but what if one considered it as just part of the design problem, racing sailboat and Formula 1 car designers have many more rules to content with. What if one took the view, “I can create a great frame with only 600 grams spent, now where can I spend the other 400 to get more performance out of the bike? Now that possilbe upcoming Campagnolo electic shifting is not so odd, one might NEED the battery weight. What if the rider just selected the next % in gear change desired, the ECU (electronic control unit)
    moved the mechanisms as required. Or brakes, take an equipment supplier with carbon experience, designs a whole front end, fork, brake, headset, bars, levers “stem” as an integrated unit, I could see better braking, better shock dampening and lighter weight. The rules are not the problem.

    I will admit I was trained as a designer, been thinking that way since age 6, as my father was too.

  2. James July 19, 2006 at 11:58 am -  Reply

    Jorgensen,

    Thanks for the comment, but I believe that you intended to respond to the post below this one. I am not sure how to move a comment, so we can continue the conversation here.

    I understand your point. As a product designer I am constantly challenged to work within given parameters on every project. Still, I believe that some of the UCI restrictions are arbitrary and should be revised. When I mention the idea of dropping restrictions entirely, I am really just exaggerating in an attempt to spark conversation. Some restrictions are required for safety reasons. I wouldn’t want to see racers in a pack with aerobars for instance. Also, I do not want to see full fairing recumbents, like the one in this post, in the tour’s time trials (though some hardcore recumbent enthusiasts would argue that the UCIs recumbent ban 60 years ago is the reason upright bikes still exist today).

    If the UCI could just set guidelines that governed the rider’s general position. Why should details like the frame shape really matter? I feel the same about the weight restriction. The idea that these restrictions level the playing field is simply bull. I haven’t seen any professional teams that are hurting for good equipment. The current restrictions may allow for some great innovations (which can be seen on today’s racing bikes), but they hamper others. Rules and restrictions are necessary for competition, but they have to make sense before I am willing to accept them as positive design constraints.

  3. jorgensen July 22, 2006 at 8:49 pm -  Reply

    Not as savvy as I should be regarding when one clicks through to a link where the comment gets anchored.

    Over the years, the UCI has had to plug what they saw as loopholes in a not very systematic manner.
    If I remember correctly when the Scott “Drop-in” bars got excluded the problem from my view was that they were a patented idea, from the wrong side of the Atlantic to boot. From a safety aspect one could argue that in a shunt they would be a safer element tumbling around.

    In sailing there is a technical committee that has been looked to and ignored on occasion to assist in devising rules. Any rule will typeform to a degree, the trick is what is a desired as a good form.

    The weight minimum I do not see as a bad thing, as stated before, bankable weight savings can be used to improve or add features, for the consumer, they can now put together a bike “underweight”, no problem there.

    In seeing the minor evolution of frame structure forming, it is evident that the UCI while having rules, does not have a defendable reason as to why.

    The UCI asking that the Landis bike be modified during this years Tour, seemed correct by the definition, but curious as to why.

    I would prefer that everyone have to use the same form factor bike for the whole stage race for such competitions as the tour. Aerobars are effective, but the position they mandate is not for general road use, ones control is limited, even with those bikes fitted with alternate brake lever positions.

    Way back, the Tour had every rider use a standard provided bike, a Tour Spec., if you will. Of course mfg. sponsorship of teams would prevent that. Race on Sunday, sell on Monday does apply to the bike industry.

    Recumbents are a whole other world, I like like the thinking that brought that “rulebreaker” into the spotlight and record books for a while.

    What I would not like to see happen is the Colin Chapman view, keep it together until it crosses the finish line victorious and then it falls apart. I think Trek has had too many mishaps, chainstays, steerers, but perhaps that is not fair.

    Well, I thik it is, carbon fibre is a great material, but it is very hard to essay it for soundness after a shunt, it can be done, most recently with infrared and/or sonography, but not cheap, yet anyway.
    Okay, the steerer was aluminum, how about a bigger safety factor? Trek states it was a production fork, now that’s scary to me.

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