Having a large computer mounted to your handlebars is not quite so odd anymore. With powermeters and GPS devices it is not unusual to see maybe more than one gadget. Check out a pic from my recent ride.
(Things are starting to get crowded)
The Cerevellum would like to be the next cool gadget to mount on your handlebars. The gadget is still in the concept stages with a few prototypes already developed. The core feature is a video display from a rear -facing camera mounted on your handlebar ends. The rearview screen is an evolution of the large SUV mounted cameras that allow you to see what is behind without craning your neck. This was a necessary feature for gigantic SUVs and it seems like a natural extension to cycling.
The concept of having a video display showing the view from behind you is nice for many reasons. First off you can throw out those helmet mounted mirrors. They look dorky. Next you have the safety of seeing what is coming up behind you which is very important especially in high-traffic areas. For racing you can look behind to see if you have a gap when attacking or see if the person behind you is suffering so you can go on an attack.
The advantages are great, but compare a $300+ video display that requires you to look down vs. an ever-present $20 helmet mirror, the idea of looking dorky and having a couple of bucks in your pocket is not bad.
The initial prototype took a Nintendo handheld unit with a camera mounted in the ends of the handlebars. The battery life was enough for a two hour ride. The full production concept looks to go beyond the simple functionality of the rearview camera called Hindsight. After all, the Hindsight camera features does take up a portion of real estate on you handlebars, so to make it more viable they feel the need to incorporate more functionality. The functionality will not be built by Cerevellum, but they will create a new standard use of “modules” where functionality can be added or removed by plugging little devices into the bottom of the device. The plan is to allow other companies to build modules that would add functionality to the main unit such as GPS, Powermeter and anything else.
The marriage of the various components looks to be ambitious since you have to ask major industry players to build a new product that would plug into the hindsight base unit. The concept is great, but how do you get Garmin, Polar and others to build these units?
CNet: Crave Post
CSC is putting some of its technology on display at the Tour of California. Several riders will wear an OmniLocation device that can track the racers in real time. As WIRED News reports the device is more than a GPS:
“This is more than just GPS,” says CSC’s Identity Labs chief technologist Dan Munyan. “This is object field tracking. We want to be able to focus on a field of objects in motion, looking not only at where they are on the route, but also where they are relative to each other.
“It’s much cooler than the nüvi in your car telling you when to turn left and right,” he says.
An “eco-friendly” product designer wins an award for a commuter helmet design.
The Helmet uses a less aerodynamic design that will appeal to non-racer types. The commuter would now get a more rounded helmet with integrated lights. Some of the designs on the Zanic site show other ideas such as an integrated visor or other accessories. One feature that helmet designers have not pursued is the idea of integrated accessories. Life would be easier if a light was integrated into the helmet especially now that LED lights have become popular. Just imagine being able to integrate a flashing LED light to the back of your Giro ATMOS. It would increase safety through visibility.
These jets are made for radio controlled airplanes and helicopters. But no one said you can’t strap them onto an old mountain bike? These turbines cost around 3k each. Not a bad price considering a sweet carbon bike will run you about as much. You will leave the competition in your after burners when you show up at the next criterium with these strapped to your road bike. Ale Jet stands no chance against a real jet.
Check out http://www.jetcatusa.com/ for the turbines.
Cyclingnews’ Italia Bici mini site is up and it offers some very cool insights into some Italian bike companies. The most stunning feature is the Pirana bike that was designed and built for Roberto Visentini who won the Giro D’Italia that year. Visentini who was a climber had to contend with powerful passista Francesco Moser and the dominating Bernard Hinault. Battaglin came up with a radical design that helped shave 3 second per kilometer. The radicallly bubbled front wheel was not the only oddity. The bike was one of the first carbon fibre monocoques created. Carbon development was still in it’s infancy for bikes, so the monocoque did not have the same weight savings and was very expensive.
Unfortunately, the Pirana was never pedalled in anger since the race jury deemed that Visentini would have an unfair advantage, so they had to nix the bike.
The article says that both the frame and fork are carbon, but that fork looks like a cromoly Columbus fork to me. Carbon doesn’t usually have a chrome finish. Plus a thin carbon fork circa 1985 would act much like a wet noodle.
The Pirana: Italia Bici
Instructables has a great deal of bike related how-tos. The latest is a way to put LED based images on your wheels. This is the ultimate way for motorists to see you at night, or at least reconsider if they drank too much alcohol from the bar they just left. Motorist will say to themselves “Holy crap, is that Pacman and a ghost on that bike wheel? I better pull over!”
Spoke POV is an easy-to-make electronic kit toy that turns your bicycle wheel into a customized display! The project includes a free schematic design, open source software for uploading and editing stored bitmap images, and a high-quality kit with all the parts necessary to build your own.