Mike Burrows’ latest bike and other links

Miscellaneous 13 70

I posted about Mike Burrows’ Ratracer VLR recumbent early last year. I’ve mentioned him on the blog a few times and have great respect for his work, so I was glad to see an article in the current issue of Velovision magazine that points to Mike’s member page on the British Human Power Club’s website. On that page, you can see a gallery of pictures (from which the one shown here was taken) of his latest version of the Ratracer. As he points out on the page, this is his first completely carbon fiber recumbent. The little pieces of yarn that you see taped all over the bike are there to determine airflow…sort of a poor man’s wind tunnel. Mike talks a bit about that in the Velovision article, which is worth reading if you can get a copy of issue 33.

I think I already mentioned this, but several readers have sent me links to the BauBike, designed by Michael Ubbesen Jakobsen. It has been all over the web lately, but if you haven’t seen it, take a look here, here, or here. This bike definitely looks like it was designed to appeal to those who are not currently into cycling. Just curious what you all think about it.

The magCulture blog featured “The Ride” in a recent post. If you have never seen “The Ride” , take a look. The magazine is beautifully designed and you can download a pdf of the first issue free from their website.

I was surprised to see bikes mentioned recently in the Garden and Gun magazine blog. The post was about beach cruisers by fashion designer Cynthia Rowley.

Speaking of fashion and bikes, Gruppo Bici recently released a new line of panniers and bike bags made of vinyl remnants from well-known fashion lines. D’Abria Versace, a spokesperson for the company, explains:

“Instead of ending up in a landfill as waste, we are able to upcycle vinyls that do not meet the stringent requirements of the designer. Though the materials are two- to three-times the cost of non-designer vinyls, we consider the scenario a win-win.”

Treehugger recently posted an interesting parking pod from Australia. The small, solar powered stations fit into a single parking spot and include lockers, two showers, two changing rooms, and ten bike storage facilities. Pretty interesting.

Lastly, Ecovelo recently pointed out The Guardian’s new bike blog. One of the first posts was a GoCycle review that may interest some of you.

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13 Comments

  1. Yokota Fritz June 22, 2009 at 2:06 pm -  Reply

    Happy Birthday to you!

  2. James June 22, 2009 at 2:16 pm -  Reply

    Thanks, Yokota Fritz! It is a big one for me this year.

  3. James June 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm -  Reply

    …and since YF brought up my birthday, I will link to the bicycle shaped cake that my wife made for me. I thought it was pretty cool.

  4. Ron June 23, 2009 at 12:39 am -  Reply

    Great cake. Happy birthday to you.

    Flowers thanks for some more spam.

  5. Ron June 23, 2009 at 12:45 am -  Reply

    Sitting upright and high on a bike has some subtle advantages you see. Its called field of vision.

    How does Mr. Borrows plan on avoiding hitting a pothole, or running over glass shards or sharp instruments on the road :)

  6. James June 23, 2009 at 7:12 am -  Reply

    Ron, first, thanks for the birthday wishes. I would thank Flowers for the spam too, but I already deleted that comment.

    As you probably already know, Mike Burrows has an interest in many different types of bikes. His designs range from the monocoque Lotus bikes and early carbon fiber Giants to upright composite shoppers to the Windcheetahs and various recumbent designs. I can’t speak for him, but I would assume that the issues you brought up are less of a concern on a speed oriented HPV than they are on a commuter or shopper design or even on a track or TT bike.

    Quite a few people do use recumbents for transportation though, so maybe some of them can chime in on the visibility issue. Can any of you who ride recumbents on a regular basis address Ron’s question about visibility of road hazards? Is that a concern for recumbent riders?

  7. nay_ran_gnu June 23, 2009 at 11:10 am -  Reply

    I ride a Burley Canto, and I put a flag on it. I have seen this on other bikes as well

  8. Anonymous June 24, 2009 at 10:44 am -  Reply

    So you want to know what we think of the baubike? If it's meant to be ridden, the idea as described on their web site of "stepping away from the traditional function-oriented approach to the design process" was pretty dumb. Triangles are structurally superior. The stresses on the joints in that design will crack them after a moderate amount of riding.

  9. Andrew June 24, 2009 at 1:22 pm -  Reply

    A lot of people seem to bring up the structural integrity of the BauBike, but realistically, I doubt if it would be a problem. More likely it just weighs more than it needs to, which is not really a problem for the average rider.

    That said, I think the aesthetic is a little bit goofy, and I'd be much more concerned about scratching the crap out of myself on all those sharp corners. I love the modularity, but I think it should go back to the drawing board when it comes to execution.

  10. A June 25, 2009 at 3:23 pm -  Reply

    That's one cool racing car! I wonder whether the racing seat is that comfortable… hmmm.

  11. fred zeppelin July 1, 2009 at 11:43 am -  Reply

    The biggest thing on the baubike is handling. Looks like that's a zero-offset fork (no rake), which could make handling fun. Or maybe it works just fine, I'd be curious to find out.

  12. Joe July 4, 2009 at 10:19 pm -  Reply

    re: BauBike – "Design" at the sacrifice of ergonomics. That seat position is more appropriate for a unicycle that a bicycle. And adjusting the saddle height will not modify the seat/bb/handle bar position correctly for different sized riders.

  13. Adrian August 12, 2009 at 12:26 pm -  Reply

    Mike Burrows is an excellent engineer, I am glad to see he is still around. Back in the 1970's I used to sell alloy and steel to him, I cannot remmeber whether he was working for himself then or working at Lotus but he is a nice guy to deal with and obsessive about engineering advancement.

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