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.