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Bicycle Design on Facebook

Miscellaneous 3 168

I am traveling for work the rest of this week, so it will take a while longer to announce the winner of the design competition. The jury is still discussing the merits of a couple of the finalists’ entries, but we will make a final decision soon. I can’t promise that it will be next week, but it won’t take nearly as long as it took to announce the six finalists. It is a tough decision, but we are working to come to an agreement as fast as we can.

For those of you who are on Facebook, I want to mention the Bicycle Design page that I just set up last night. So far, there is not a lot to it, but I am open to suggestions. For now, if you become a fan you can upload your own images (sketches, renderings, photos, etc), you can start a discussion topic, or you can comment on the Bicycle Design wall. It seems like a good way to help spread the word about the blog, so take a look and become a fan of this site if you are so inclined.

On the subject of Facebook and other social media sites, I want to point out the “Share this” icon at the bottom of each post. If you read something that you want to share, you can click that icon to email the post or share it on Facebook, MySpace, Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, or a variety of other networks. If you enjoy reading a post on this blog, I encourage you to use the “Share this” feature to help spread the word.

Finally, I can’t close out this post without mentioning at least one thing related to the subject of bicycle design. Take a look at Mathew Zurlinden’s Legato GT recumbent bicycle concept, which appeared on the Core77 blog not long ago. Despite what I have said about hubless wheels in the past, I think it is a nice rendering and an interesting form. For some reason, it reminds me of some of Scott Robertson’s futuristic bike concepts.

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  1. erik k January 16, 2009 at 2:09 pm -  Reply

    how would you turn? With the crank affixed directly to the wheel like that, and based off the pivot point of the wheel, turning it would change the distance you distance from the pedals. Simultaneously, stretching and compressing your legs every time the wheel turns one way or the other.

  2. Anonymous January 16, 2009 at 3:48 pm -  Reply

    There is rear wheel steering (you can see the hinge in front of the rear wheel. Having said this I don’t know of anyone who has made rear wheel steering work. I know lots of very smart people who have tried. I know of one design (Flevo) that has an articulating frame which effectively gives you the same benefits. I also know that you shouldn’t pedal it at speeds over 25mph – it tends to induce a crash.

    The benefits of rear wheel steering are a short drivetrain and short steering linkage – at least those are the benefits that attracted me to the idea before giving it up for more productive pursuits. Recently, someone has built a bike that gets the same benefits by turning the rider around backward, viewing the road behind/ahead through a mirror. This bike currently holds the unlimited (non-UCI) hour record of 55 miles.

    Nick Hein
    Morgantown, WV

  3. James January 19, 2009 at 5:05 pm -  Reply

    Nick, good points about rear wheel steering designs in general. If you read the section on rear wheel steering recumbents in “Bicycling Science” by Whitt and Wilson, the authors basically conclude that the only way to realize the theoretical benefits of rear wheel steering (simpler drivetrain, etc) is with a design that positions the rider backward to the direction of travel. Certainly possible as you point out, but obviously that idea provides its own set of problems in any practical application.

    Also, I want to say thanks to everyone who became a fan of the blog on Facebook. Over 150 fans in just a couple of days- that is more than I expected.

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