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  1. james May 11, 2010 at 12:16 pm -  Reply

    looks like there are still braze-ons for a water bottle on the underside of the downtube. all in all, a very interesting design, although the fork is a little over the top. would like to see this in a more city-oriented design.

    • James T May 11, 2010 at 12:23 pm -  Reply

      Thanks James, I’m glad you spotted those braze-ons. I will update the post.

      Good point about the fork as well. That is a lot of travel for a city bike.

    • Arvind May 11, 2010 at 8:29 pm -  Reply

      When you check out, it tells you to choose between the suspension version and fixed version. Perhaps the fixed version is more city friendly.

  2. Simon May 11, 2010 at 12:35 pm -  Reply

    “The position of the objects lowers the center of gravity, improving the stability of the vehicle”: This is true on a trike but on a bike to improve the stability you have to rise the center of gravity. That’s why tall bikes are more stable than recumbent low racers.
    Also some people cycle with the knees very close so that might be a serious problem.
    I really like the idea though.

    • Richard Masoner May 11, 2010 at 2:14 pm -  Reply

      @Simon, that’s true about low riding ‘bents vs tallbikes, but for two bikes of the same height, the bike with the lower center of mass can be easier to control, especially at very low speeds. In any case, if the designer is concerned about low center of mass, you can’t beat panniers.

      Sliding stuff into the front triangle is a pretty cool idea, though. 1890s touring and military bikes had metal cargo boxes inside the front triangle something like this.

  3. Roland May 11, 2010 at 2:25 pm -  Reply

    Perfect for the dry-weather rider!

    • Alicia May 12, 2010 at 1:33 am -  Reply

      Yes. Where are the fenders?

  4. Ron George May 11, 2010 at 2:35 pm -  Reply

    I have written on stability before. http://cozybeehive.blogspot.com/2009/09/dynamic-stability-of-bicycle-design.html

    Depends what stability we’re talking about. That’s important to define.

    There’s many types of stability in two wheelers -> steering (directional), balance (roll and pitch), aerodynamic etc. Deflection counteracting “positive trail” and restoring side force due to “tire slip” are what constitutes to a decent degree of steering stability. Other factors are wheelbase and forward tire mass bias. The longer it is, the greater the stability and the harder it becomes to negotiate turns.

    Aero stability is when center of pressure on the bike+rider is behind the center of gravity. If its not, the front of the bike will steer with the wind, offcourse and become unstable. In motorcycles, side wind stability is decided by the most forward point of the CoG possible. A high CoG is not always the answer, you do have to look at the big picture. For example, how will a high CoG affect forward pitching, especially if the wheelbase is small? Turns out bicycle stability is not an easy thing to figure out, and there are number of parameters that decide how stable a bike is, and in what area it is stable in.

    After exploring the subject myself, I’m convinced that good designs, especially for performance, shouldn’t incorporate too much stability or handling is sacrificed. You want to be somewhere in between low and high. An extreme design example towards the low end is the F22, which is basically aerodynamically unstable, but in a dogfight, your machine probably won’t stand a chance against it. :)

  5. Andrew May 11, 2010 at 8:44 pm -  Reply

    I think it’s a neat idea, and I actually dig the aesthetic, but there’s no way that I’d trust a laptop in that cage…it’s pretty open. Then again, I keep my laptop in a thin foam sleeve and just toss that into my backpack.

    The idea of a fabric liner (maybe a drybag?) is definitely a good one, and would give the concept much more in the way of legs, I think.

  6. Simon May 12, 2010 at 5:19 am -  Reply

    Just checked on tato’s website: the storage available is 95mm large. So with the frame tubes that’s probably around 115mm.
    As a design student a few years ago I designed something similar: some kind of glove box for bikes located in the main triangle. At that time I tried my prototypes on several bikes with several riders, and It appeared that the maximum width I could use was 85mm, otherwise a good proportion of people knock their knees against the box.
    It also seemed that the harder you push on the pedals, the closer the knees get to each other.
    Ok, I did not tried on tens of people, but 115mm… That’s quite large, no?

  7. Artur L May 12, 2010 at 5:50 am -  Reply

    This is such a bad design I’d have a hard time not slapping the guy who did this for his sheer ignorance of my needs as a bike commuter.

    NO way I’m putting an important, shocksensitive, rather delicate object such as my laptop into that slot. And no, just covering it up with some neoprene or whatever won’t help secure it. On top of that, some of the moves you have to make in daily traffic rock the bike pretty bad and you don’t have to jump off sidewalks for that either.

    Over time the vibrations transmitted from the frame into the electronics will probably wear them down a lot faster than necessary. Even if your harddrive is “shockproof”, which means it will probably survive one or two direct hits to the floor, not consistent vibration – mechanical failure is imminent with this design.

    It looks bad (though that is a matter of personal preference, certainly), it’s also very sensitive to bad weather – and that’s not all about rain. Damp/humid or freezing climates are bad enough which brings the number of days I’d ride that ugly duckling down to like 30 or so here in Sweden. Not enough to warrant a purchase. Perhaps in California?

    Add the stability, frame, general aerodynamic issues that people are debating here (if it were perfect few would raise the objection, I’m sure) and I’m actually pretty amazed the thing made it to production. It’s just a really bad idea that should have never made it off the sketching board.

    This won’t sell because it simply isn’t better than a messenger bag. I can take the sweating, I get that by riding my bike anyway. And there are light enough laptops that won’t give you backaches.

    A tip to the designer: Buy a car, dude.

    • Andrew May 12, 2010 at 1:24 pm -  Reply

      I think you’re being far too hard on the designer. The stability/frame/aerodynamic discussion you’re talking about is an utter non-issue for city riders; it was more idle curiosity and general analysis by bike-dorks like us.

      As for the damp/humid/freezing argument, that just means you’re just not an all-weather cyclist, no slight to the design.

      If you’ve got a messenger bag, just toss that in the triangle and you’re set. There’s probably enough padding that it’s not an issue at that point. Frankly, I find messenger bags terribly uncomfortable in the best of circumstances…it seems like a design motivated largely by fashion.

      • Artur L May 12, 2010 at 3:25 pm -  Reply

        Andrew, I think you might have misunderstood me. I, personally, ride in all sorts of foul weather – I mean’t that the exposed cage (the way it’s designed now) makes transport in said weather impossible, meaning that if I DID for some inexplicable reason buy that bike – there are few enough days in my climate that I could use it.

        As for being hard on design, I think that design, in general, should be scrutinized down to its bones, shook apart and then put together back again as far as critique goes. Most of these experiments with new frames are misled, unfinished and sometime borderline pathetically badly engineered. I think this one is from the latter category.

        And I’m not too sure that stability/aerodynamics can be waved off as a non issue to the everyday commuter (and why should that persona have lower standards anyway?). Just use your track bike to work and you’ll see the difference over the “stable” workhorse choice of everyday. Smooth? Fast? Of course. Not much stopping it, is there? Every piece of malplaced geometry in a frame will work against its user and over the miles just add to things that catch wind and slow you down. Unless you lead the thing walking beside it to work, it IS an issue. However small.

        Sometimes I might be able to, in fact as you suggest, put the messenger back inside the cage – sometimes, when it’s filled to the brim – and usually it is, there’s no way I could place it inside 95mm. Never mind the fact that it will stick out from the barebones cage here and there, making me waste time adjusting whatever loose parts might be dangling.

        Moreover, I think the knee clearance will be an issue, as suggested above. If there’s anywhere on a bike that you don’t want extra junk it’s right underneath you. Why not construct the cage in a subtle V-form, pointy end towards the rider. If, as you say, aerodynamics “is an utter non-issue” (bah) then surely the extra space created towards the front isn’t a big deal?

        And you’re probably mistaken on the fact that the padding in your messenger bag (if, indeed you use one for your laptop) is enough to dampen the vibrations from the frame. It will go some way towards easing hits but they will still transfer a lot more shocks to your gear than had it been safely stored on your back – excellent shock absorption in itself.

        So no. The design is in no significant way an improvement over a messenger bag and my crystal ball says “fail”. There are a number of well designed messenger bags, though I’m inclined to agree that most of them are pretty substandard and more design flare than function. I found that some of the Osprey bags are pretty nice (and well padded) for hauling your tech gear around.

  8. jamesmallon May 12, 2010 at 8:08 pm -  Reply

    An expensive solution that could have been solved by a frame bag, for the most part…

  9. olivia May 16, 2010 at 8:13 am -  Reply

    This bike is a good idea but not finished yet.
    People in my school did better to transport their big portfolio or anything else whit wire and string

    • Todd Edelman May 20, 2010 at 10:31 pm -  Reply

      Olivia, what if you want to wear a long dress or skirt with this bike? (Sorry to make any assumptions :-) ).

      • olivia June 13, 2010 at 10:56 am -  Reply

        I’ll raise my long dress or skirt at the top of my knees ;)

        • Todd Edelman June 13, 2010 at 2:10 pm -  Reply

          … good thing, because that drivetrain would rip it right off, probably revealing more than your knees…

          • olivia June 13, 2010 at 3:08 pm -  Reply

            we are living dangerously!

  10. ConorC May 19, 2010 at 8:48 am -  Reply

    Landing of the corner of the laptop might hurt!

  11. Todd Edelman May 20, 2010 at 10:34 pm -  Reply

    Front baskets with reasonable weight are not a problem if they are attached to the frame, and this is best complemented by a center stand. Isn’t this something one would learn in Design 101?

  12. ConorC June 13, 2010 at 3:37 pm -  Reply

    I genuinely appreciate this design for provoking viewers to look at storage on bikes differently. And I like the idea of keeping a laptop bag securely within reach rather than on a pannier on the rear wheel. But the solution is over complicated.

    Alternatives include:
    1). Standard step through frame with clip on split-crossbar rack for laptop bag. Maybe different widths are available to suit storage vs cycling style.
    2). Frame bag that clips on to regular crossbar. And you just pedal slightly to one side…
    3). Offset crossbar, why does laptop bag have to be supported/restricted by split cross-bar? Just set single crossbar to one side and clip bag on inner side so rider can center themselves.
    4). Regular bike but with offset seatpost moving saddle an inch or two to one side so a regular frame bag on a regular crossbar centers between riders legs. Does that make sense?

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