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7 Comments

  1. Ron George July 1, 2012 at 11:27 pm -  Reply

    Interesting concept. Why are hub motors restricted in Australia?

  2. Ballo July 2, 2012 at 4:50 am -  Reply

    I think hub motors restrictions are a remnant of an outdated ban on petrol “pocket bikes” – unregestered mini motorcycles.
    The recreational cycling organisations had been pushing for a switch to the Euro model of ‘Assist Only’ but seem to have settled for a combination of that with speed restriction and an increase in power to 250w (some states were previously at 200w max)

    Back to the bike -
    I’m intrigued by the steering, as the handlebars appear to be well behind the headtube axis. I know many recumbents are arranged like this but am interested in how that tiller effect would work on a standard bicycle.

    Also, the length of the headtube, and the chainstay assembly look suspect for stiffness and durability given the leverage on them. Has any prototyping or FEA been done? The forms shown are possible but I’d be expecting a significant weight penalty for the sake of style.

    All that aside I do appreciate the concept, particularly the swivel fold and the rack remaining upright during folding and storage. The central and low location of battery and motor mass is also a good idea that I hope continues to be picked up.

  3. Richard July 2, 2012 at 10:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi thanks for the feedback, yes the restrictions in Australia are somewhat limiting in terms of performance, however there are talks in motion of potentially increasing the allowed power output, without having to register & license etc

    In regards to the construction questions – admittedly I am not an engineer, so there may be potential issues that would hinder this particular concept.
    The handle bar arrangement is pretty much based on the classic dutch style commuter bicycles, so in theory it should work! re: chainstay assembly stiffness, if it was to be produced it would definately need some construction r&d carried out, however, the main idea of the concept for me was to encourage the use of bicycles & electric power as a viable alternative to cars, and to package this alternative in a way that seperates it from the masses of race style bikes out there. Ultimately this is aimed at a different market, the ‘non enthusiasts’, people who don’t currently ride bikes, but could be enticed by a product that is more functional and would make their daily commute easier

    • Nick F July 3, 2012 at 11:32 pm -  Reply

      Nice Style.

      Like Ballo said, with the hand position so far behind the head tube, there will be a reasonable amount of “tiller effect” going on, where your hand position swings more side to side when turning than seems comfortable. It doesn’t result in an unrideable bicycle – it just is… less than great. (Reverse your stem on a bike and ride it around for a while to try it out yourself. )

      Your handlebars are shaped in a dutch style, but the stem is coming towards the rider – on a dutch bike, it is usually either pure vertical or bent forward to some extent. Recumbents can get by with the tiller effect because they aren’t putting nearly as much weight on their handlebars as an upright cyclist – and they often use a different hand orientation as well.

      I think the folding joints on this bike would probably be quite difficult to execute in general… but the largest issue is that as you’ve drawn the foldup routine, the front and rear wheels will collide with each other unless the bottom-bracket pivot joint also expands outward as it pivots, allowing the wheels to no longer be in the same plane. It’s a solvable problem, but probably the crux of taking this design to the next level.

      Overall, it reminds me of a IF Mode, reimagined as an e-bike. The IF Mode certainly has an equally ambitious folding scheme, and a similar level of ridiculously custom components. The biggest issue is that the IF Mode is pushing 40lbs without any electric element…. and the extra 10-20lbs of battery and motor would push it solidly into E-scooter “leave outside” territory. And at that point…. who cares about folding?

      Hopefully carbon fiber will be coming to E-bikes soon.

  4. Richard July 5, 2012 at 10:54 pm -  Reply

    Nick F – Yes good point about the handlebars! re: the folding system – the idea is that the rotating mechanism would be at an angle, meaning that in normal riding positions the wheels would be aligned, but when it is rotated around, the back wheel would sit alongside the front at a bit of an angle. This would be a slight issue when wheeling it around in folded mode, but that is only anticipated to be a small amount of the time anyway

    Also – I think people are getting a bit carried away with thinking this is supposed to be production ready – this is defintaely not the case! Like I mentioned before it is an attempt to promote the ‘idea and potential’ of electric bikes, and to highlight the systems which ‘could’ be used on them in the future!

    • Ballo :) July 6, 2012 at 8:16 am -  Reply

      You’re on a blog for people who are incredibly enthusiastic about bikes and design.. a combination sure to result in logical conflicts and headaches. I think most respondents here will take the presented designs very seriously, unless they come via yankodesign :P

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