Innovative Loopwheel has integrated suspension for a smoother ride

Disclaimer: I own a Dahon and found it because of that

via Treehugger

Loopwheels

© Loopwheels

Bike riders will know that riding on bumpy roads with potholes or going up a curb will cause some discomfort — ditto for wheelchair owners and folding bike afficionados. But that may change with Loopwheels, an innovative, shock-absorbing wheel that has a looping suspension springs integrated within the wheel itself. The result: a smoother ride with less vibration, with less road noise. Check out the video:

© Loopwheels
© Loopwheels
© Loopwheels

Loopwheels also use a proprietary construction material to increase durability and reliability. Working with a local bow-makers, British designer and inventor Sam Pearce went through 70 versions before finally getting it just right. According to the website:

Loopwheel springs are made from a carbon composite material, carefully developed and tested to give optimum compression and lateral stability as well as strength and durability. Specially-designed connectors attach the springs to the hub and rim. There are three springs in each wheel, which work together as a self-correcting system. The spring configuration allows for the torque to be transferred smoothly between the hub and the rim.

© Loopwheels
© Loopwheels

Loopwheels look sleek and modern too, and were recently shortlisted for this year’s Design of the Year award from the London Design Museum. Pearce explains how he got the idea for Loopwheels:

In 2007 my idea of a wheel with tangential suspension was born when I was sitting at Eindhoven airport waiting for a flight. I saw a mother pushing her child in a buggy. The front wheels hit a slight kerb and the child jolted forward because of the impact. I asked myself why a wheel couldn’t have suspension inside it, so it would soften an impact from any direction. I sketched the idea in my notebook, got on my flight, and didn’t think much more about it for a couple of years.

© Loopwheels

But the idea kept resurfacing, and Pearce eventually developed it into the Loopwheel. Pearce has dubbed this new way of approaching the wheel "tangential suspension," and currently, the company makes a small, 20-inch version that is perfect for folding bikes. However, they just recently succeeded in gaining Kickstarter crowdfunding for wheels that will be made for wheelchairs, and according to Wired, the company intends to make Loopwheels for mountain bikes next. Pricing for a three-speed Loopwheel starts at USD $462, and the Loopwheels folding bike at $1,493. For more information, check out Loopwheels.

Is a Cargo Bike In My Future

I was reading the following article earlier today and wondered if just like families I might find a cargo bike in my future.  Head over to read the article on the NYTimes, see some of it below.

Dave Hoverman and his wife, Abby Smith, in Berkeley, Calif., with their cargo bike, which can hold all four children.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times

When Dave Hoverman, 38, a business strategy consultant in Berkeley, Calif., goes to Costco on the weekends, he ditches his Audi Q7 and instead loads his four children into a Cetma cargo bike with a trailer hitched to the rear.

“We do all sorts of errands on the bike,” Mr. Hoverman said. “We try not to get in the car all weekend.”

Mr. Hoverman is among a growing contingent of eco-minded and health-conscious urban parents who are leaving their car keys at home and relying on high-capacity cargo bikes for family transportation.

Cargo bikes initially catered to the “hard-core D.I.Y. crowd — people who wanted to carry around really large objects like surfboards or big speakers or kayaks,” said Evan Lovett-Harris, the marketing director for Xtracycle, a company in Oakland, Calif., that introduced its first family-oriented cargo model, the EdgeRunner, in 2012. Cargo bikes, he said, now account for the largest proportion of the company’s sales.

“When we first started selling these bikes 15 years ago, we were the total freako weirdos,” said Ross Evans, the company’s founder. “Back then, a basket on your handlebars was considered fringe.”

These days, cargo bikes are no longer a novelty: They are cropping up not just in the expected West Coast enclaves like Seattle, Portland and the Bay Area, but in cities like New Haven, Tucson and Dallas. “It used to be that if I saw somebody in Boston on a cargo bike, I probably knew them and probably helped them buy their bicycle,” said Nathan Vierling-Claassen, who has ridden a cargo bike since 2008. “Now that’s no longer the case.”

Cargo bikes are also popular in Washington. Jon Renaut, 37, a software engineer at the Department of Homeland Security, said that he is one of more than a dozen parents at his children’s elementary school who commute to school and work by cargo bike. “There have been only two days this whole school year — when it was really, really snowy out — that we left the bike at home,” Mr. Renaut said. What helps keep his 4- and 6-year-old daughters warm, he said, is to have them face backward while riding.

The popularity of cargo bikes has given rise to more variety. Cargo bikes come in two main types: longtails, which look like a regular bike with a large rack extended over the rear wheel, and the Dutch-style bakfiets, which has a cargo box mounted in front of the handlebars. While longtails are considerably cheaper (a Yuba Mundo starts at $1,300), bakfiets (which start at about $3,000) can generally hold more.

“The thing I love about cargo bikes these days is that there is such an amazing selection,” said Shane MacRhodes, 43, who manages a school transportation program in Eugene, Ore. “People are finding bikes that really fit their lifestyle. Some people like the sturdiness of a Yuba Mundo, and some people like the sporty zippy ones. It’s almost like the S.U.V. versus the sports wagon.”

Prepare Your Motorcycle For Winter

Hey, it is a bike too.

Winter is coming, and preparation is particularly important when it comes to making sure your motorcycle is ready for the coming cold.

Before you put your pride and joy away until warmer days, there are some initial measures you should take to ensure you don’t face nasty surprises when you go for that first ride of the new season. Checking oil, antifreeze, gas, spark plugs, and lube will go a long way towards preparing your ride for storage. Don’t forget, also, to clean your batteries’ posts and charge your batteries before storage. Some people like to leave their batteries constantly charging during storage, which is fine; just don’t forget to use a battery tender to prevent overcharging. Check tire pressure and place your bike on a stand to keep the tires off the ground. If you don’t have a stand, remember to rotate the tires every few weeks.

When it comes time to store your bike, put an exhaust plug in your exhaust pipe to keep mice and other rodents away, and make sure to use a protective, mildew-resistant cover. Always store a bike indoors if possible. If you don’t have a garage or a friend with one, consider asking around about month-by-month storage options.

If you’re the type of person who likes to brave the elements on your motorcycle, the following guide will also provide a checklist you should follow before you ride off into the cold. Whether you’re storing or riding this winter, you can’t afford not to read this infographic!

MotorcycleWinterization

This sleek electric bike is wonderful and could be real, if you vote for it

A clever concept with smart lights and a built-in lock

Originally posted on the Verge.  VOTE FOR IT

A team of designers in Seattle are building a bike that could be your new best option for navigating busy city streets. Called the Denny, the bike concept includes a number of clever features that make it a bit more useful than your average two-wheeler. Not only does it have a removable electric motor to give you a bit of a boost, as well as automatic gear shifting, but its detachable handlebar doubles as a lock, so you never have to worry about bringing one along.

The bike also includes a surprisingly robust lighting set-up: there are integrated turn signals and head and brake lights, as well as smart, reactive lights that turn on based on the lighting outside. "The Denny bike is about returning the rider (and ourselves) to those early days of carefree riding," explain the creators, "when cycling was just about ‘get up and go’ freedom; the reason we all fell in love with bikes in the first place."

Oregon Manifest TEAGUE X Sizemore Bicycle from TEAGUE on Vimeo.

Whether or not the bike ever makes it to production remains to be seen. Right now it’s just a prototype, and the Denny is one of five entries in the Oregon Manifest bike design project, which tasks designers from cities across the US to build their own take on a bike of the future. A concept out of New York features a built-in USB charging station, for instance, while a prototype from Portland has a 3D printed titanium frame. You can vote on your favorite, and the winning design will be manufactured by Fuji Bikes, for an expected retail debut in 2015.

WHY IT MAKES SENSE TO BIKE WITHOUT A HELMET

It is an interesting article and worth the time and thought.  I have read a lot of the linked material over time first and I like how he put this together.  You can click on Helmets in my tags and get a sense of these.  Today, the fact that we make decisions on public policy and relationships based on intuition to be so far beyond a day when we have a discussion.

As I was cycling home the other night I came across a few of my fellow students from … Several of them asked me: Where is your bike helmet?

I get this question a lot. I have made a careful and conscientious choice to not wear a helmet when I’m cycling in urban areas because I strongly believe that it will help improve the overall safety of cycling in the long run.

It’s an unintuitive position to take. People have tried to reason with me that because I’ve spent so much money and time developing my brain, and the cost of an injury would be so devastating, it’s clearly more important to wear a helmet. But if we start looking into the research, there’s a strong argument to be made that wearing a bike helmet may actually increase your risk of injury, and increase the risk of injury of all the cyclists around you.

Jens gets selected to start his 17th Tour de France

jens-voigt-start-17

Originally posted on Bicycling.com

I will miss him when he goes, because he gets me out there every year.

 

What do you know? All of my “most definitely, probably not” ideas regarding racing another Tour de France just went out the window this week when news came that, once again, I have been selected for our Tour de France team! And let me tell you, although for many years riding the Tour was a given, this year I really didn’t know until the last minute.
At the start of the season I just didn’t think there was any chance that I would do the Tour for my Trek Factory Racing team. All year long I just haven’t performed like I wanted to do. And I didn’t perform how I think I was supposed to. In races where I usually perform well, like in the Tour of California, I just really struggled. I was only able to make one breakaway in the final day. That’s all!
But I did start feeling better after California. I saw my power coming back and I started being able to stay with the leaders on hard stages longer and longer into each race. And then in the Dauphine I was much better. I was able to make it into three breakaways during the week. And the Dauphine is a good gage for the Tour de France. We often say, the Dauphine is like a week in the Tour de France. So making breakaways there gave me confidence. On one break, Stage 6, we even stayed away to the finish and I had a chance for a stage win.
That said, five years ago, I would have won that stage with a smile on my face. But this year I could only get sixth. This year, I raced like I wanted, but my body just can’t do the things it used to do. I still can make the breaks and I knew when and where I needed to be in the finish. But it wasn’t good enough. The body just doesn’t follow the plan like I want it to do any more! But still I showed enough to get one of the final spots on Trek’s Tour de France team.
I think my past also argued strongly for me because, well, it really helped that I have just always been good in July. For 16 years now, I don’t disappoint. I can do the job my team needs me to do and more. I’ve proven my reliability. I’m always there. And that was a factor again this year.
In the months building up to the Tour, I was always there. I’m never sick. I’m never injured. I don’t need a special bike. I don’t have a problem because my diamond earring is missing. I’m just the perfect soldier. I just get on my bike and say “Yes Sir!”

You can’t have a team just of primadonnas and superstars you know! You have to have somebody that can do the job before the TV cameras are rolling. And that’s my job. I’m the guy that covers the first break. I’m the guy that brings rain jackets up. I’m the guy that brings rain jackets back. I’m the guy that rides tempo. You name it. I do it. I’m the utility man. I’m the Leatherman tool!
One of my special roles this year will be taking Danny van Poppel under my wing a little bit. He’s a young rider with a lot of talent and we’ve been racing together a lot this year. I can help him a lot with things like placement, showing him when he can relax in the pack or to tell him, “Hey Danny, there are only 20-kilometers to go. We need to move up now. We need to be in the top 30 now because the race is going to get so fast in a couple of kilometers that it is not going to be possible to move up any more!”
So here I go again. Soon enough I’ll be packing up and getting ready for my annual summer vacation in France once again. This will be my 17th Tour de France, and as many of you know, I will then hold the record for the most Tours de France with guys like George Hincapie and my old teammate Stuart O’Grady. Now I’ve always said that record for Tour de France participations never really meant much to me. I’d rather have the record for the most stage wins!
Of course I am excited, and just basically honored to be there again this year. I feel really honored that my team still trusts me and has confidence that I can do the job they expect of me. But also I am frightened. I know how hard the Tour is. I know how many crazy finishes we have. I know how many crazy downhills there are. I know how much suffering I am going to do on those super-hard climbs in the Pyrenees and the Alps.
After doing the Tour for 16 years now I just have a deep respect for the challenge that is ahead of me. You know I calculated it the other day. I will have done nearly 340 days of racing in the Tour de France. That is like racing a Tour de France stage every day for an entire year of my life. All I can say is that I really must a passion for this job. That or I am just plain stupid!