The world needs a bicycle for the current age. I see many new ideas on kickstarter and news outlets presenting new bikes with all sorts of features. Most take one idea and built a bike around it. Some take more ideas but none actually solve my day-today problems with bikes:
- They get stolen
- They need regular maintenance on the drive train
- Lighting breaks easily
- Not robust enough
- Traffic lights cost a lot of energy
- Charging is a hassle
On top of that, I'd like some tech bolted on top of my bike:
- Safe & usable mapping system
- Citylight & countrylight
- Electronic lock
- Electronic tracker (when stolen)
Lastly, it should use mostly standard parts.
What's more, I think things likes mapping and camera should be integrated via the user's phone. Why spend money on a camera assembly when you can drop in a 240GB SSD, a small power supply, and use the phone to log video and display a map?
Chains and belts, caliper brakes, shocks, are all maintenance pain. Cam shafts are cheap to maintain but require a bike that is built around a shaft drive - they're not compatible with a standard frame setup.
Put all the electronics in a detachable pod on the handlebars. Light, horn, camera - all there. You can easily pop it off and take it with you.
Edit: if I were crazy enough for a hardware Kickstarter, an all-singing electronics pod would be it. A long-necked bike light with yellow leds down the side for side visibility and a pair of buttons for horns - a quiet pedestrian chime and an earsplitting horn guaranteed to cause hearing damage if used carelessly.
The electronics are dispersed over the whole bike. frontlight, backlight, camera's (I'm thinking 3 or 4), integrated mapping,, electronic lock, possible electric steering make it impossible to put all tech into a detachable unit. It's simply out of the question for a well-designed bicycle. I can see it adding some value for current bicycles though.
For the frame I probably want aluminium, because it's cheap and light enough. Shocks are not needed as my country has excellent biking paths. For most other countries shocks don't add too much value, especially not when using the bike in an urban environment. Then they are just maintenance-prone weight-gainers.
Shaft-driven bicycles have been a solved problem since the late 1800s.  But I’m too lazy to do the conversion needed to determine if 125 1898 dollars is expensive. Bikes in the 1800s were priced more akin to modern cars than modern bikes stamped out in an Asian factory. But it’s been done, and by what was a major brand at the time. I’ve ridden them, they’re heavy (like every other bike back then), but nice to ride. I don’t see why it couldn’t be coupled to a modern set of enclosed planetary gears.
Lights: I bought a $15 set of lights off eBay ~3 years ago. The alkaline AAA batteries need replacing a few times a year, nobody can be bothered stealing them because they don't look expensive.
Why all the cameras?
Why an electronic lock?
As for locking both wheels, in my experience changing from QR dropouts to something that requires a simple tool for taking wheels off solves that problem. The tools on my bikes are small enough that I Gorilla tape them to the underside of the seat on each bike.
As for shocks being maintenance-prone: my daily commute is on a bike with Suntour shocks from 2002. They've never had maintenance. Basically everything else on the bike has been replaced except for shocks and frame.
I'm intrigued about that chain drive though..
> "They need regular maintenance on the drive train"
Regular maintenance is not needed daily; lights don't break daily. Charging a light is not a "problem". Buy a few lights and then charge them all at once in one weekly charging session or something.
"Not robust enough"... for what activity are they not robust enough?
"Safe & usable mapping system"... Cyclists shouldn't be looking at maps while riding. Stop and use your phone if you get lost. Also.. most cyclists don't need maps unless they're tourists, who will happily stop and use phone because tourists ride slowly and stop frequently.
Sounds like you're over cycling. Get yourself a motorbike or car or electric bike!
Regular maintenance on the chain and gears should be done twice a week in fall conditions. In winter, this is true too but since we salt the roads, you must also clean chains at least weekly. Less maintenance simply wears of the chains much quicker. I think I replace them around 3-4K KM, but I have no exact numbers here.
Lights break about every month when commuting daily. Batteries go empty, cheap lights break because bumps, charging them is a hassle.
I'd like to throw my bike from 2 meters down and know it's not broken anywhere. In the city, people fight for parking spots and play rough with others peoples bikes.
I want a mapping system which is safe and usable. I know it can be done, but is has not yet been done. I'm thinking integrated sounds & lights in the steering wheel. I have seen some interesting kickstarter projects trying to solve this problem.
Better make the hi-tech stuff invisible, hide it in the bicycle frame - putting motors, akku packs, cameras inside the frame is doable. Some spend 5k to 10k for a new bike, so there is a market.
Only smaller volumn hand made premium bikes are made locally.
Also bikes get imported from low cost countries with cheap labor like East Europe and China since at least 1990.
Perhaps it is simply a symptom of human psychology and entitlement/power.
This varies a lot from place to place. In San Diego County, cyclists would yell at me "Excuse me!" And you knew they really meant "Bitch, get the fuck out my way." While they were on the sidewalk instead of in the bike lane right next to it.
Then I went to Fresno and it was an extremely different climate. People would warmly say "Hi." And some of the cyclists would go around instead of yelling at you and acting like the pedestrian was in the wrong for being on a sidewalk.
Then I left California entirely and although I am supposedly in a bad part of town, people are so much nicer here that I am having trouble adjusting. I think the insane housing costs in California are so eroding quality of life for many people that it is literally making them crazy. The social fabric there seems pretty messed up, and it is worse in some places than others.
Stanford seems to be particularly bad about this and I really don't understand why. The only bicycle "bump" incidents I have ever had were at Stanford.
One dude had the misfortune to bump me near my wallet. My city-bred reflex reaction (which even surprised me with how fast it was) knocked him right off the bicycle. Of course, he was pissed at me for clocking him. Umm, yo, douchebag, people will leave you alone if you don't bump into them.
So you lashed out at someone because they accidentally bumped into you and they are the douchebag?
Yes, definitely the cyclist is the douchebag.
A cyclist is often traveling much faster than a pedestrian and can easily injure someone. The burden of proper behavior, especially in a mixed cyclist/pedestrian environment, must fall mainly to the cyclist.
Usually a "clocking" is because a cyclist is behaving recklessly. People often want to dismiss something as "an accident" when instead it was easily foreseen "negligence".
I recommend you stay out of cities, though.
It works well and might one day capture an accident. I just need to remember to charge it. I wear it even when it is not charged because it seems cars are more cautious around me when they see the camera poking off the top of my helmet.
Here's a nice alternative design in Vancouver that takes about the same amount of road space: https://goo.gl/maps/mYbHusprLmy
It looks like it might be discontinued, but there are other similar models available:
If you try this a good helmet mount is important. This one works well for my hardshell helmet: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008BNEXH4
Taking video to the police of centimetre close passes (1m is legislated) in Australia just yields "your camera is not calibrated to measure distance so we cannot accept this", and stonewalling.
But if the cyclist has video footage of the vehicle involved in the offense, and footage of the diver of the vehicle, then I don't see a reason a citation couldn't be issued if the cyclist was willing to testify as a witness/victim during the trial.
What was the outcome of this? I think you assumed right of way a bit too much in this instance and went flying through without slowing down. Car was moving very slowly and you still hit it!!
This is exactly where a lot of tension between cyclists and cars comes from. Cyclists have much better visibility and should avoid accidents like this.
You hit the car, the car didn't hit you.
Also, bicycles at that speed can stop very short if brakes in good order. You didn't brake! Sorry... I don't mean to be rude. But I ride in the city, and there's no way I'd speed across an intersection without making sure it was clear.
Lucky you're living in Amsterdam because in Australia you would be paying for damage to the car!
Cars turning right are obligated to yield to others going straight in this instance. The van turned into what looks pretty clearly to be a bike lane.
Practically speaking, I totally agree with you though. Bikers need to be way more defensive.
I'm not sure why the blackbox style of camera hasn't caught on more. (like eg http://www.rideye.com/, but I'm sure there are others).
My rides are commonly 100miles plus at a time - slowly -
and often overnight. Not only is that too long for the camera at decent resolution, it's too long for batteries; last time I tried that, a GoPro with a 32Gb card that might've taken 8h of video died after 4h. A 5 min rolling window of decent resolution footage is all I want for crashes or highlights.
But more than this, it'd be nice to have some standardisation on bike accessories running off a single power bus, not their individual batteries. My dynamo gear is great (I use a SON hub, Edelux 2, and a Secula rear) but why was this not semi-standard; I'm in northern europe and lights are needed most of the year. And once the cabling is there, why aren't bike gadgets aimed at bus power rather than more and more batteries?
Based on the information provided, it is NOT plug-and-play; you must manually adjust voltage and current for your device, and if it's not amenable to voltage sags/stoppages, you have to add a buffer battery.
I understand most commutes are under 3 miles but I think many serious club riders would ride between 50-100 miles in a single ride most weekends (might be stops for coffee and cake along the way :).
Sadly, we get close passed and threatened every week it seems.
From Strava (which would probably show more serious cyclists) UK ride figures for 2015: http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/strava-reveals-average-brit...
That gives the impression that 2 hour plus rides are not that uncommon although, that will be skewed by the kind of rider who records their journeys.
"The average length of a cycle trip was three and a half miles, while the average length of a car trip was about eight and a half miles"
Most people aren't club riders.
I know, I ride more than 100 miles a week.
Another thing that would be handy would be the ability to quickly transfer video to my phone via Wi-Fi.
For SD-cards, many Android smartphones can be used to read it. Unfortunately iPhone has no SD slot.