Sunday, January 31, 2010

Theft-proof, puncture-free, and slightly implausible

I'm still stumped. I have no idea how this bike would actually work. Sure, maybe the wheels work on bearings and the brake cables are contained inside the frame, with the brake pads nestled in where the frame wraps around the tires. And I will assume that it's a fixie (because I can't imagine how else the drive train would work - and even then I find myself peering at this photo and trying to imagine the workings in there by the pedals). And sure, it is futuristically Tron-like. But... I still don't quite get it. Maybe because I'm not a racer?

I was sent the link to this design concept by a friend. Cool, yes. Pretty, yes. But the designer's statement that these will be commonplace in 20 years... I find that hard to agree with. Looks like design for design's sake, and that doesn't often stand the test of time unless it also improves on the old model: makes it easier or more efficient. Really, I like my gearshifts, the fact that I can do most repairs on my bike myself, on the fly if need be (I can't imagine trying to crack this carbon-fibre frame to try and fix anything).  Mike can handle slush, road salt, grit, potholes, and slipped chains. Although I have to admit, too, that this design has a whole lot fewer moving parts to get coated in grime and grit and start up all kinds of friction problems. Although since those wheels must be rolling on ball bearings or something, I'd hate to think what happens when you get grit into those workings. Seems like this bike would be clean tracks and pristine asphalt or nothing.

But it sure is space-age.

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