Bicycle / Pedal Power
Innovations / Applications
Here is an interesting collection of new technologies for pedal powered transport that don't fit other categories that we have, but are worth a look. Not all stand the test of time or the market, but that doesn't mean somebody else won't try to reinvent them again.
Air Free Bicycle Tire These airless or air-free tires promise no more flat tires. (Jan 2001)
Specialized tricycle for transporting and filtering water. It is designed
to improve the haulage and safety of water in places where people travel to an
unsafe source for their water needs.
Aviroute Two wheels, powered by a rowing motion. Except for rowing training, we aren't sure of the application. (Sept 2000)
Batteryless Bicycle Flashing Lights A new generation bicycle light system, no battery is needed, no friction on any parts of the bicycle. (Feb 2006)
Bicycle Bus The Dutch company De Café Racer produced an eco-friendly bicycle-bus that is steered by an adult and pedaled by up to 10 children. (Jan 2012)
Bicycle Carrier for Motorcycles (November 2010)
Bicycle Lift (elevator / escalator) The first, and as far as we know still the only, was built in the 1990's to help bicyclists get up a hill in Trondheim, Norway. See also www.utopia-eu.com/reptex/rep51/rep08.htm. (Sept 1998)
Bicycle on Water Jury-rigged a floating bicycle from a mountain bike and an Italian bike kit. It may go into production. (Oct 2013)
Building a Balancing Scooter
Turns out that if you're an average Silicon Valley genius-geek, it's pretty
easy to build your own Segway using wheelchair motors and gyroscopes from model
Cardboard Bike The Alfa weighs 20lbs, yet supports riders up to 24 times its weight. It’s mostly cardboard and 100% recycled materials, yet uses a belt-driven pedal system that makes it maintenance free. And, maybe best of all, it’s project designed to be manufactured at about $9 to $12 per unit (and just $5 for a kids version), making it not only one of the most sustainable bikes you could imagine, but amongst the cheapest, depending on the markup.
Conference Bike A seven seat quadra-cycle. One person steers from the back while everyone else faces the center and is free to pedal or not. Staller Sudio Nederland, Herengracht 100, 1015 BS Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Tel/Fax: +31 20 6249198. Email: info (at) conferencebike.com (January 2003)
"Cycle-Car" The development of an ElectriLite lightweight, two-place, three wheeled hybrid electric/pedal-assisted vehicle for neighborhood and in- town use has been announced by Omni Instruments. For more information request the "ElectriLite Report", Omni Instruments, PO Box 96, Albion, CA 95410 USA. Fax: 707-937-0603. (Nov 1998)
Fiets Cafe A twelve-person pedal powered (bicycle) bar. (ed: Do they mean juice bar?) The driver must stay sober. (Oct 2006)
It has spawned a small industry:
Fit Kit System "Fit Kit" is registered trade mark for a system developed by the New England Bicycle Academy. Bike shops now sometimes loosely apply "fit kit" to a number of different bicycle sizing programs. These range from full adjustable model bikes to protocols of physical measurement that are put in a computer and produce a bike design for the client. But because the output is computer generated it needs to be interpreted by someone who understands the output and bicycling, with reference to the individual and his or her riding style. You can contact the original Fit Kit System at 800-434-8548. Email: fitkit (at) mcn.net (Jan. 1999)
Historic video of unusual bikes in Europe from the late 1930s and early 1940s. (June 2009)
Over Water Craft
Quadra-Byke Kids bike that features a patented axle system that allows the transformation between 2, 3 and 4 wheel formats aimed for children aged 18mths to 6 yrs.
Reciprocal Drive Bike Behzad Kasravi has developed a system for a rotary / reciprocal drive bike. Kasravi lists the advantages as: no 12 or 6 o'clock "dead" points; the length and duration of strokes may be varied at any time to suit the cyclist; the cranks can be of a variable adjustable length for variable mechanical advantage and torque; and, the differential gears will prevent the bicycle from rolling backwards. For more information: BK Design, PO Box 5566, Santa Barbara, CA 93150-5566 USA. (Nov 1997)
Rowbike In part, a rowing machine on two-wheels. (Sept 2004)
SDV Non-linear crank, with elongated vertical motion. (Sept 2006)
Sideways Bike "Forward facing two wheel steering bicycle with non linked steering." It seems to have very limited applications and a few safety issues, not the least of which is the route of the chain. (March 2003)
Single-Wheel Ride Li Yongming, left, and Zheng Jun demonstrate one-wheeled cycles during a promotion in Beijing on Monday. The cycle, designed and built in Xian in China's Shanxi province, sells for 2,888 Chinese yuan ($350). (CNN, 13 Nov 2000)
Surfbike (if you search the web for "surfbike" you will find other dealers.) A pedal powered boat or water bike. The Surfbike is a bicycle for water, designed for people of all ages, both big and small, who love nature and nautical activities. The Surfbike is original, easy to handle, and fast. It is a great way to exercise and it doesn't create air, water, nor noise pollution. (Nov 1997)
Two-Wheel Drive Bicycle Technology
Wind Powered Bicycle Project A way to use wind to power a bicycles (allowing them to sail much in the manner of a windsurfer). It offers the possibility of vastly increased top speeds and load carrying capacities. (Dec 2005)
The International Bicycle Fund is an independent, non-profit organization. Its primary purpose is to promote bicycle transportation. Most IBF projects and activities fall into one of four categories: planning and engineering, safety education, economic development assistance and promoting international understanding. IBF's objective is to create a sustainable, people-friendly environment by creating opportunities of the highest practicable quality for bicycle transportation. IBF is funded by private donation. Contributions are always welcome and are U.S. tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
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