Links to pass along

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I am still quite busy catching up from last week, so it will take me a while to get through all of the blog related messages in my Gmail account. For now though, I want to quickly pass along just a few links that were sent by readers while I was away.

Jason sent me this link to a few folding bike concepts on Oobject (I may have already posted this but I can’t remember).

Mick works for Company of Cyclists and sent me a link to their website. They are a non-profit company that promotes cycling by traveling over the UK with a “fleet of around 400 cycles including a Conference Bike, a Zem, assorted Mike Burrows creations, a Maximus PediCab, a Pedersen, a Strida, Bromptons, an A-Bike, various recumbents and wacky bikes such as wobbly wheel bikes and backward pedal bikes.” Check out some of their megabikes here. If you live in the UK and want to try some of these bikes, find out when they will be near you at the Get Cycling Show site.

Fabrizio sent me a link to the Luna Lander, which is pictured here. To be honest, I am quite skeptical of revisions to rotational pedaling systems. In most cases, when someone comes out with a revolutionary new way to propel a bike, the roots of that design can be traced back to something that was tried without great success in the late 1800’s. At first glance, I was about to dismiss this as just another step-powered, lever drive transmission (remember the Alenax Transbar lever drive anyone?), but the “Gravitational Anthropomorphic Power Systems” appears to be something different (still based on a circular pedaling motion). I am still skeptical, but I will explore the site further and read the pdf that explains the idea when I have some time. The animated kinematics which simulate a human skeleton on a regular bike and a GAPS bike while “ignoring the tendon-ligament-muscle structure” are fun to watch, but I am not sure how relevant they really are to real world cycling conditions. The simple hinged rod jointed skeleton on top may look pretty bad on the bike, but keep in mind that he would just collapse walking or even standing without the muscles and tendons that make up the legs (not to mention kneecaps that prevent the joint from working in reverse). Anyway, like I said, I only glanced at the site quickly so I’ll reserve judgment until I explore further. In the mean time, I would love to hear from someone who has actually ridden one of these bikes. Can you feel a difference pedaling uphill? I may be skeptical but I am always curious, so I am interested in hearing more about the Luna Lander from someone who has ridden it.

Finally, to switch gears, I’ll point to the Unpainted Flickr photo pool from Sweatpea Bicycles. The group is intended to show the craft of handmade bikes. Anyone is welcome to post photos of bicycle frames before the paint goes on. Even if you aren’t a framebuilder with pictures to contribute, I think you will enjoy the photostream of bare frames. It’s a shame to cover some of those nice details with paint.

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6 Comments

  1. bikesgonewild January 24, 2008 at 4:11 am -  Reply

    …james, you did post that oobject site…bookmarked & perused regularly…absolutely fascinating place to visit…

    …’company of cyclists’…great concept, good people, extremely frustrating site cuz nothing ‘clicks’ larger…we wanna see !!!…

    …total props to sweetpea bicycles for the flickr photos (clear powdercoat, wow)…man, wish i was going up to portland for the show…

    …’luna lander’…oh, boy, where to start…36 page pdf, charts, graphs, photos & more bloody explanations that serve to over complicate one of the most beautifully efficient & majestic machines ever devised by man…
    …i realize i’m dogmatically opinionated & i’ll defer to your ‘in depth’ perusal, but to me it’s a testament to bio-mechanics, physiology, computer modeling, college thesis’s (thesii?) & way to much red-bull…

    …they make a nice ‘bio-mec’ shovel though (honest, wait & see)…

  2. James January 25, 2008 at 8:22 am -  Reply

    I received the following email from Jean about his positive firsthand experience with the Luna Lander. I appreciated hearing his account so, with his permission, I am posting the message here. By the way, I disagree with Jean about his English being bad; it is much better than my French. Anyway, here is the message:

    Hello everybody,

    First at all I would like apologize for my very bad English.
    I would like to add a comment to your article concerning the Luna lander project.

    I bought one Luna Lander and one other pedal set for my home trainer. I am French, 48 years old, 1.75 meter and 98 kg (I know, it is too much,….) I am a sales manager on chemicals products. All this description to explain the fact I am not the sportive stereotype.
    My dream was to practice bicycle as I was 20 years old, but some heart
    problems made it impossible. After a surgical intervention my heart
    rhythm seemed good and I was trying to find a sport activity but a soft
    one.

    In the Luna Lander concept I immediately detected some think different and able to help me. I am an engineer and the theoretical presentation was interesting, but as you I remained skeptical.

    I meet Fabrizio (now a good friend) and I tested the bike on is shop, it was a big surprise for me.
    During more than a hour, with an without the pedal, with an without the pain.

    Could you imagine, I am able to roll during 40 Km and after that absolutely no pain in my legs, no accumulation of uric acid on my calfs. I repeat I am no a sportive, I am only a scientific and a curious man. This bike or this pedal system is a real innovation. I am not here to make advertisement but I think that it could be a solution to travel without big efforts on a
    pleasant and ecologic vehicle.

    Thanks for your comments and I remain at your disposal for any question you
    may have

    Jean MORO

    • phillip tillotson June 4, 2011 at 2:31 am -  Reply

      Is there any way to contact Jean Moro, or anyone else who might know about getting a Lunalander? thanks

  3. bikesgonewild January 26, 2008 at 3:41 am -  Reply

    …who knows, james, i may have to eat my words but i think i’ll wait until a more serious cyclist gives us a different perspective…

    …as w/ your regard to jean’s english, which is great by the way, i’m not denigrating the man’s athletic prowess…it’s just that certain abilities define other capabilities, if that makes sense…

    …perhaps the ‘gaps’ system can work harmoniously w/ our own very efficient tensegritous structure…it’s still gonna be a hard sell, guaranteed…

  4. Anonymous January 31, 2008 at 7:51 am -  Reply

    Hi,
    With the lunalander pedal all persons can ride, without any type of training, for 50-60 km at a medium speed, on a medium flat plane, of about 20-25 Km/h and prefer(minor heart bpm rate, minor oxigen consuption , no pain) ride an uphill(es.:8%medium-25%max)10km long, with a bicycle that run it.
    All these without any type of pain but also with an impressive state of wellness. No pain (d.o.m.s.) more gain.
    If you have doubts or skepticism about this, and want help to read and discuss the text of G.a.p.s., please send directly to me at this adress(info@lunalander.eu , f.mak1@alice.it) your questions.
    I’ll get, if is possible, just in time, the simplest answer.
    The version of the G.a.p.s. downloadable from the lunalander site is write for a medium level, but non for all.

    p.s.
    A my questions:
    Who are a serious cyclist?
    During the development, a pro cyclist don’t accept a test: ride with his race bicycle a long uphill(9km at a medium 10%) at minimum stability speed (about 3km/h) vs. a normal 100w power person and his bike with the lunalander pedal and very little other…..

    …the efficiency laws are simply but i think not more knows….

    Have a nice day and thanks very much for your interest and attentions.

    P.I. Francesco Cozzo – Author of G.a.p.s. & Inventor of first its apllications.

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