Don’t Call It A Tow Rope, It’s The Bicyclebungee!

Having second thoughts about getting married? Are your kids driving you nuts? Do you find your riding buddy incredibly obnoxious? Well, don’t despair — make it look like a bizarre cycling accident with the Bicyclebungee!

Alright, that’s not really the late-night infomercial pitch for the Bicyclebungee, but it could be. The Bicyclebungee is designed to allow a stronger rider not to get totally annoyed with a slower rider and vice versa. It acts as a high-tech tow-cord, equalizing the effort of the two riders, in theory.

As both cyclists head off in single file the leading rider will start to pedal more powerfully and the bungee cord will gradually extends out of its casing as it unwinds from the spool. As the ride progresses, the assistance-force from the front rider will accumulate in the retracting spring inside the bobbin and the bungee cord. This energy is then released as a smooth, steady pull on the following bicycle.

This seems like a good idea for flat bike paths and carriage paths — very controlled environments, but in the above video, we see a couple out doing some light mountain biking, the manufacturer actually recommends this entirely insane practice:

On a single mountainbike track the Bicyclebungee’s good length of available cord lets the riders keep a good distance apart so the towed rider can choose their own line, or stop with enough time to warn the front rider.

“Hey stronger rider, just a quick heads up, I AM GOING TO CRASH NOW.”

“Yo slower rider back there, I am about to jack on my brakes to avoid hitting this…cocker Spaniel!”

Bicyclebungee also says riders can disconnect and reconnect the apparatus while riding…

To disconnect the bikes the hook on the handlebars of the following bike can be quickly and easily released during the ride without stopping. The cord retracts immediately and completely into the Bicyclebungee housing.

You can reconnect when stopped or when riding. Either rider can take hold of the hook and clip it onto the following bike’s handlebars again.

The victims, um, I mean target consumers of this product will likely be inexperienced cyclists who may not be comfortable even riding with one hand off the bar, never mind attaching and reattaching  a bungee cord to a bike while rolling. The image of the carnage that would ensue from this process going awry is haunting me in advance — oh God…there’s so much blood.

Bicyclebungee better have some good lawyers.

The above video describes installation of the Bicyclebungee. It is cute that the term “saddle post” is used.

Of course I’m the ass, because it is a saddle post. No self-respecting cyclist would call a saddle a “seat,” so it only makes sense that we should call a seatpost a saddlepost.

Or, we could all start referring to  saddles as “chairs,” and calling seatposts “chair-poles.”

It’s also cool that they got the robot voice-over guy from those Xtranormal videos to narrate. I love that robo-kiwi.

“Using the gears, the riders can work at whatever effort level they choose as the gradual transfer of force continues to the bicycle being towed. The result is a smoother and more comfortable towing arrangement for both riders.”

All I know is that Matt Hoffman’s world recording setting highest air attempts would have been a whole lot safer if he’d been using a Bicyclebungee to get dragged behind that motorcycle at 50 mph instead of a simple tow rope.

Comments

jamie - 01/03/11 - 12:51pm

It would work better if they attached it to the front hub.
Then it would get tangled in the front spokes thus rendering it completely un-usable thus saving you the humiliation of being pulled along by an impatient moron who doesn’t want to wait for you but wants to take you on hills that are too big for you.

Uri - 01/03/11 - 12:57pm

This will revolution the madison. How many of these things can be daisy-chained together?

Charlie - 01/03/11 - 1:06pm

They’re selling this for $300? You’ve got to be kidding! Adventure Race teams have been doing this type of thing for years. Here’s the homemade version for $20 or less. Get a small retractable dog leash. Attach to the saddle with zip ties. Tie a loop of surgical tubing to the end. The person being towed holds the loop with a few fingers and just lets go when needed. No need for a hook, safer, and 93% cheaper!

alex - 01/03/11 - 1:54pm

this is actually a joke……….is it ???

tyler - 01/03/11 - 1:55pm

It’s pretty common in adventure racing to have a setup like this. Competitive teams have been building their own tow ropes for a while. I’ve never seen a purpose build one like this. It looks cleaner than duct-tape, surgical tubing and a retractable dog leash :-)

tutu - 01/03/11 - 5:49pm

hahaha, I thought the title read “Bicyclebungle”….or maybe they should call it “Bikebitch” by Lame-O, the same company that brought you the amazing “Bag o’ Glass”!

Varaxis - 01/03/11 - 6:39pm

A little early for April 1. This is just too LOL.

dan - 01/04/11 - 1:46am

The guy in the video has the worst riding style and position. Not ideal to be demonstrating this device! This is being marketed quite heavily in Christchurch, New Zealand where it is filmed. I’m all for NZ innovation and all, but feel they are being misleading as to how safe and practical it is. What an embarrassment.

Ezekiel B. Ellis - 05/14/13 - 4:06am

The video posted shows a bad habit of a rider. This such videos should have parental guidance to not reproduce and show of with children under the legal age. But I just say, you must have tremendous skills of doing these things. Thank you!

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