Posts in the category Concept

Eurobike Round Up: The Beautiful, the Odd, and the Curious

odd curious beautiful bikes (34)

Eurobike is an interesting place, chock full of nearly everything you could imagine that is related to the bicycle even in the smallest ways. Among the numerous hangers, biergartens, sausage stands, and fashion shows, there are also quite a few one-off displays and oddities to lasso your attention and draw you in.

Explore some of the more beautiful, odd, and curious next…

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Fontus Condensor Creates Fresh Water Out of Thin Air, Fits on a Bicycle

Fontus water condensor pulls water from the air to create potable drinking water

Developed to help create fresh, potable water in areas where groundwater supplies are limited, the Fontus literally pulls moisture from the air to create up to half a liter per hour.

The condenser is solar powered, allowing a cooling unit to cool hot air, which helps separate the water from the air molecules. Putting it on a bike was a natural choice for designer Kristof Retezár since it’s the most common vehicle in the world and moves fast enough to force air into the upper chamber and across the condensor. From there, the water drips through a tube into the attached bottle.

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Beautiful Vandeyk x Crema Cycles VDX Collabo Dives into Cyclocross

VanDeyk VDX Rear

German builder Vandeyk has once again created a masterpiece of rolling art. The newest VDX is built in a partnership with Crema Cycles, and made out of a mix of Columbus Spirit and True Temper OX Platinum tubing. Paired with an ENVE fork, the VDX is the painted in the notable Vandeyk style, using high-grade liquid paints. They’re well known for creating absolutely stunning rides, such as the Machine for Riding and the Rapha Continental team bikes, that could hold their place in a museum.

But they’re are also meant to be ridden, with the VDX taking design input from former pro-crosser Ken Bloomer. If you’re not afraid to get something so pretty dirty, look past the break for pricing and more glamour shots…

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BeBop Launches Wearable Smart Sensors, Coming to Cycling Clothing Near You?

BeBop Wearable Sensor & Controller with Smartphone

Sometimes it takes someone from outside an industry to come up with something revolutionary. When it comes to wearable data collection, BeBop’s entry into the world of flexible smart sensors stems from their experience with musical instruments. Keith McMillen is the founder of KMI, an instrument company out of Berkeley, CA that specializes in MIDI controllers and keyboards that have already been using a similar fabric sensor for years.

“BeBop is a natural step for KMI, where we have diligently tuned fabrics, geometries, and production processes allowing us to ship over 1 million sensors to some of the most demanding musicians in the world,” said Keith McMillen, Founder, KMI and BeBop Sensors. “All musical instruments are essentially sensors with forms of acoustic processing attached.  The same care and creativity used to build our instruments will serve well for our non-musical customers as we expand into the wearables market.”

Now with over 1 million of the sensors in current use, Keith is taking his sensor and eyeing a new market – anything that can be worn. Unlike any of the sensors currently on the market, the BeBop sensor uses a proprietary and patented monolithic design that is capable of measuring all components of movement including bend, location, motion, rotation, angle, torque. In addition to monitoring various physical vitals the sensors can also be used as wearable controllers for smart phones. Answer calls, change tracks, volume, etc. all while the phone remains in your pocket.

Obviously the sensor is just the beginning as it will take clothing manufacturers integrating it into their products for it to be really useful. But what are the possibilities? Try on a few after the break…

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IB14: Null Winds Reinvents the Aero Spoke

Null Winds AeroTaper aero bicycle spoke

Earlier this year, Null Winds introduced their upper wheel fairing concept to block wind from the top section of spokes that typically push into the wind, creating multiples of drag compared to other parts of the bike. Aesthetically that device left quite a bit to be desired, but it looks like their new AeroTaper spoke could be just the solution.

The design works like this: A round spoke profile is used closer to the hub where the spoke is moving slower in relation to the wind. Because they’re round, they don’t impose as much penalty in a cross wind and have minimal aerodynamic penalty for the headwind. Closer to the rim, where the spokes are moving relatively faster, it flattens out to create an aero shape where they need to slice through a head wind better. Thus, an optimized cross sectional profile.

It’s not dissimilar to the idea of deep section aero rims, and you’ve got plenty of choices in rim depths to suit conditions. Likewise, Null Winds founder Garth Magee says they’ll have different taper depths to suit varying degrees of cross winds. No, you won’t rebuild your wheel every time. Rather, you’ll have a rim that you really like and have several different wheels built with different AeroTaper spokes and choose according to the day’s conditions.

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The Hoverboard Gets Real!

We’re not even trying to make up some reason why this is related to bikes, but it’s just too damn cool not to post. Yes, it’s a real, live, working hover board, and it’s already blown past its funding goal on Kickstarter by about 50%, and it’s just getting started.

Check the video, then float past the break for a bit of the science…

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Found: Overlap Bikes Belts Out Clean, Quiet Road, Urban & Fixie Bikes

overlap-bikes-pura-gulf-racing-belt-drive-fixed-gear

The startup of small bike brands is alive and well in Europe. The latest is Overlap Bikes from Portugal, bringing us single speeds, fixies and internally geared bikes. Their unique approach is that they are only using Gates Carbon Drive belts for the drivetrain, citing the cleaner and quieter operation. Starting with just two stock models with options, they have already ventured into some very neat special editions…

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EB14: Varibike Goes Off-Road, Mountain Bike with Your Feet, Your Hand, or Both

Varibike offroad mtb hand cycle  (2)

In spite of appearances, the fork on this bike is not backwards. This is a Varibike – the bike you can pedal with both your hands and your feet. The German company has been around for a few years now and is expanding their line of bizarre looking bikes. Why all the extra equipment? Studies have shown that the system allows riders to put out up to 31% more power while increasing endurance. It also allows rider to get a better workout in a shorter period of time, which is beneficial if fitness is your main goal for cycling.

Having offered a few pavement oriented bikes in the past, Varibike is now expanding into offroad riding as well as more performance based pedaling. Connect the dots on the drivetrain next…

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Efneo Launches x3 Gearbox Crank & Ultra Silent, Ultra Quick Rear Hub

The Efneo x3 internally geared crankset

Efneo, a Polish company run by a family, is bringing bicycle components to market to make a cyclists life easier. We covered their idea of an internally geared crank two years back, and they are now gearing up to start taking pre-orders for the x3 gearbox crank and the Active silent hub. While an internally geared crank and a silent hub are not new ideas, Efneo hopes to bring them to market for all types of bikes, and with the help of crowdsourcing.

The x3 crank is an internally geared, shiftable crankset that can be installed on any bike. While the idea is not new, as it has been seen in Hammerschmidt, Schlumpf and the Metropolis Patterson, the x3 is the first one to incorporate 3 speeds, not just two. Similar to other systems, the benefits are touted as being able to offer instant gear changes, being able to shift without pedaling and cleaning up the drivetrain so there is less maintenance. Offering a range similar to a 28/40/50 crank is impressive, and it seems to be able to mount without any strange parts or adapters.

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