It has been a crazy week for me so far and I don’t foresee a slow down in the next couple of days. I will be leaving for a 2 week long business trip next week, so I have a lot to do in the office and at home before I hit the road (or I guess I should say hit the air since I will be flying). I had a different post planned, but I have too much on my mind to collect my thoughts. Instead I will pass along a few good links that have recently come to my attention.
A friend who lives in Taiwan pointed me to this article about the new Sanyo Eneloop bicycle. The two wheel drive electric bike, which I assume will only be available in Japan, sounds pretty interesting; the front wheel is powered by the motor and the rear wheel by the rider. Sanyo claims that the 1:2 assist ratio makes riding the bike easier. As the Akihabara News article points out, the bike can be about 70% power assisted and 30% rider powered. The most important feature, which they point out, is the self-charging (Loop Charge Function) Eneloop battery. It apparently provides a cruising range of 100km in automatic mode. I am not sure how this self charging battery works, but I would love to hear more from anyone who is knowledgeable on the subject.
The Core 77 blog posted an interesting Q&A with Aaron Hayes, founder of Courage Bicycle Manufacturing. Hayes is an industrial designer, formerly with Ziba, who left the world of product design consulting to start his own framebuilding company. He talks about his reasons for the switch in the post. I thought it was pretty interesting and I think you will too.
Bike Radar had a good article about aerodynamic equipment recently. It is hard to account for all variables when testing the effects of equipment and positioning in real world conditions, but I found the article to be quite interesting. Thanks to Jim for the tip on that one.
I noticed mentions of bikes on a couple of design sites this week. Cool Hunting posted about the Light and Motion Seca 700 light. Wallpaper mentioned a bike designed by Georg Jensen (the company that bears his name, not Mr. Jensen himself, who died in 1935). The bike looks nice and simple, but I see similar looking bikes pretty often. The price of 2,800 pounds is pretty steep for a simple fixie or singlespeed commuter. I suspect that this designer bike will more likely be sold as an expensive collector’s piece rather than as a bike intended to be used everyday.
I mentioned earlier in the post that I will be out of town next week. That means I will be reviewing the commuter bike competition entries at night in my hotel room. The rest of the jury and I will discuss all the entries to pick a winner, but I am not sure yet when I will be able to make that announcement and post the chosen design. My travel schedule over the next couple weeks is promising to make that a bit difficult for me, but I will do my best to post the winner as quickly as I can. Anyway, to those of you still working on your entries, get them in soon (you have a bit over 48 hours from now). I have enjoyed seeing the ones that have been submitted so far and I look forward to reviewing them all next week.
Photo credit: Akihabara News