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LED tires, smart bikes, and a competition

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I am getting ready for another busy day of work in China, but before I head down to breakfast I want to quickly pass along a few of the links that have been accumulating in my inbox.

A few readers alerted me to Cyglo tires (pictured here) which have LED lights embedded in the tread or tire wall. A motion sensor within the tire turns on the lights, which can either flash or remain steady.  It is an interesting product, and with the Tron sequel to be released later this year their timing couldn’t be better, but I wonder about the idea of embedded lights in a component that needs to be replaced often with heavy use. Cost and durability of the tires will be the key factors there, and I wonder about recyclability with the extra electronics.

Wired Gadget Lab, The Huffington Post, and Fast Company are just a few of the sites mentioning the Apple patent for a “smart bike”, which Patently Apple posted last week. I know a few people who already use an iphone, with various GPS mapping apps, for some of the functions listed in the patent. It is nice to have one device for that type of data, but durability and weather proofing are the key disadvantages now compared to bike specific products like the ones from Garmin. It is not clear whether Apple would address those types of hardware issues if something like this were to actually move forward, but I don’t think it is likely that they would. If Apple does decide to pursue this idea though, it will be interesting to see how they address the user interface design (an area where many of the cyclo-computer and power meter manufacturers are lacking).

The ThinBike was designed by TreeHugger founder Graham Hill in partnership with Schindelhauer. The bike is a single-speed with handlebars and pedals that fold flat to save space. Learn more about it in this interview and video demo with Graham. You can also see a photo slideshow here.

Finally, I want to mention ‘Bespoke: Creative’, a design event to be held in Brick Lane, London this October. The event is a collaboration between 2Xanadu (a creative media consultant), LUMA (a carbon bicycle manufacturer) and McFaul Studio (a London based Design Agency). The event will feature an exhibition for which they are inviting well known designers to design graphics for the frames of LUMA’s fixed gear bikes. There is also a competition where you can submit an entry following the same brief as the handpicked designers. The winning entries will be featured in the exhibition. In addition the best overall design entered wins the bike it is transferred onto. Find out more and enter the competition at the ‘Bespoke: Creative’ website.

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  1. greenobike August 10, 2010 at 10:53 pm -  Reply

    ThinBike is the same as an old Dahon design. Good idea, but like a lot of bike designs, it’s been done before, and in mass production in this case.

  2. nicolas August 11, 2010 at 3:49 am -  Reply

    Why is there a ghost bike in that dude’s apartment?

  3. Lawrence August 11, 2010 at 4:21 pm -  Reply

    Before Cyglo spend all those money on R&D and paying for the molds, there must have been someone there that asked:

    “Why don’t we put those lights on the wheel instead? …but that would mean I would be out of a job if we do that…..”

  4. chachachad August 16, 2010 at 11:37 am -  Reply

    yep there are companies that have tooled and tested stems that do that. If painting a bike white to show a concept is new then fine but that isn’t new and the reason you don’t see that in mass production is because of liability risk associated with end users actually clamping a QR stem in a manner that it won’t kill them. Ghost bike is right!

  5. rider August 17, 2010 at 4:06 am -  Reply

    I do not agree to Greenobike, because ThinBike a far better looking and mature bike then the Dahon. That’s just a semi folding bike. I like to compare it to the beixo slim. This bike from Holland is on the market for a few years and has the same folding possibilities. Should be on every bike.

  6. Felix August 30, 2010 at 3:49 pm -  Reply

    This is how iBike (a company that makes cheap power meters) uses and waterproofs an iPhone or iPod Touch for use in measuring speed, distance, wattage, etc.:

    It’s a bit expensive at $850 (not including iPhone or iPod Touch) but arguably pretty reasonable compared to other power meters.

    It’ll be interesting to see what additional features Apple would add with their Smart Bike.

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