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Saturday, July 02, 2005


Some more bikes

As everyone who reads my blog knows, I like bikes. I've been noticing lots of interesting bikes out there, as I've noted several times on this blog, and the bikes just keep coming. One of the bike companies I've been looking at is biomega, makers of the puma bike. Well, they seem to be at it again with the newest versions of the Amsterdam, a shaft driven bicycle. Though the frame isn't all that special, it is missing one of the chain stays to make way for the shaft drive. I am intrigued by shaft drives; I like the idea of not having to deal with a chain. This seems to be the perfect bike for the casual city rider.

Shaft drives are nothing new; many companies have been building bikes with them. I've just been noticing the lately. Another manufacturer Dynamic Bicycles make an entire line of shaft drives, including the full suspension y framed mountain bike the Outback. The other frames are close to traditional frames, the chain stays are slightly elevated to make room for the drive. Apparently, a shaft drive with 8-speeds is "comparable to 20 gears on a 24-gear chain bike" and such. I've never been a real gear changing type of rider, preferring to stick with the single speed method of riding, even though my main bike is a twelve speed.

On another note, this trike, called shift, was designed by a professor and two students at Purdue University. This is a learning bicycle; it eliminates the need for a parent to hold the seat as the child learns how to balance on two wheels. The bike has two rear wheels that shift into one as the child gains momentum and subsequently learns to balance. From the photos I've seen, it looks to be a belt driven bike. The frame is shaped like a big red z; it is decidedly cool looking with its clean lines and simple rims. If I were a toddler, I'd want this bike. I want this bike anyway, not that I have balance issues, but this would be so cool looking riding down the street. In thinking about that though, if an adult version were to be made, the rear wheels would have to have some sort of suspension for turning and lean, oh well, I just dig this bike.

NOTE: Upon reexamination of the lower illustration at the site, I realized that the two rear wheels shifted completely together in a V formation, I had thought they didn't get that close, so an adult version would be possible with little change; I think I would put an internal shaft drive just for fun.