A Pro-E video and assorted links

MTB 8 7

It is another hectic week for me, so I don’t have time to collect my thoughts and write the post that I would like to write. Instead, I will quickly pass along a collection of links that have come to my attention recently.

Richard, aka Yokota Fritz from Cyclelicious, sent me a link to a Pro Engineer promotional video that uses the mechanical design of a Santa Cruz bicycle to demonstrate the software. The full video is 25 minutes long, but I thought it was pretty interesting.

Kinya sent me a link to this page. He explained that, “in Japan, until recently it was against the law for a bicycle to have more than 2 persons (usually a parent and a child) on it, but that has changed and now it is legal for a parent to have 2 children on a bike.” The bikes in the link all address that ion some way, but Kinya feels like they are “lacking in aesthetic qualities” and could be improved from a design standpoint. He thinks the Danish Nihola is a good design, but that it wouldn’t be very practical in urban Japan where storage space is a big issue. Does anyone have any ideas for a compact (maybe folding) bike that can hold an adult and two kids?

Mike forwarded a link to the site for this lever driven bike, which immediately reminded me of the old Alenax bikes. It is also reminiscent of the Lunar Lander design, which I have previously written about on the blog. I have expressed my opinion about lever driven transmissions in the past, so I won’t rehash that here. I did, however, think that it was interesting to see “Bicycling Science” author David Gordon Wilson riding this one on the webpage.

Juan sent me a link to Jud Turner’s Bio-Cycle sculpture, which I also spotted recently on designboom.

Brinkman sent a link recently to an interesting lean steer trike built by Sean Kerrel.

These Spoke POV custom wheel lights are sort of old news, but I spotted them again recently on Cool Hunting. Here is another recent bike related post from that site.

Some of you may have seen the news a couple of weeks ago that Cannondale will no longer be manufacturing any more frames in the US. The plan is to make the Bethel, Connecticut factory into an “Innovation Center” which you can read about in the press release from Dorel.

Finally, I will close with a creativextreme post, which features questions, comments, and a few bike design ideas from a group of 3rd graders. Good stuff from a blog that I think is always worth checking out.

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8 Comments

  1. -p April 15, 2009 at 10:09 am -  Reply

    SolidWorks (main competitor of ProE) recently used a video featuring Trek engineers as a marketing tool.

  2. a April 15, 2009 at 11:32 am -  Reply

    I lived in Japan in the late 80s, and any law prohibiting a bike with more than two riders was observed mostly in the breech. In the rain. While the parent held an umbrella in one hand.

    Although the vast majority of commuter bikes in Japan have a conventional diamond-frame layout, the market seems to be large enough that less common designs (cargo trikes, 2f1r trikes, etc) have a chance to carve out a viable share of the market. I could imagine a longjohn becoming popular there, since the kids would be low to the ground and the parent could keep an eye on them. If someone could produce with a convertible longjohn, even better.

    Commuter bikes generally get left out in the elements, so storage space isn’t a big issue.

  3. Anonymous April 15, 2009 at 9:21 pm -  Reply

    I couldn’t find the link to the lever driven bike mentioned.
    I have worked on one Alenax bike which was regularly serviced by our shop for shifter cable breakage. All the mechanics hated it, but the customer was very nice and really loved the bike. It was difficult to work on, but with the popularity of stair climbing machines, it would seem that there could be some crossover to the bike market.
    The alenax has also been described derisively as a rowing type machine, but the fastest time in the 2003 Paris-Brest-Paris was turned in by a rider on a Thijs rowing bike.

  4. Anonymous April 16, 2009 at 10:21 am -  Reply

    You are right. It would be instructive to know the comments of Gordon Wilson about these new pedalling solutions. We are not “experts” and we would like to know their precious thoughts on these systems.
    For example look at this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOyrm4tl2ck
    Can anyone help me to understand the principle of functioning of this system?

  5. James April 16, 2009 at 11:14 am -  Reply

    Oops, thanks Anon 10:21. I did accidentally leave off the link. I can’t update the post at the moment, but I will tonight. For now though, the link that I meant to put in is here.

  6. James April 16, 2009 at 11:20 am -  Reply

    ..and Matt, agreed that is a good looking bike that carries three children. Thank you for sharing the link.

  7. pierats April 21, 2009 at 12:14 am -  Reply

    It’s sad to see that Cannondale is no longer going to be manufacturing their frames in the USA. That was a big market differentiation.

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