« Spare Tire...The Interview | Main | A Bike Lock that Bites Back »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Great topic for discussion. Spokeless wheels could be cool if they're stronger and/or more durable than spoked wheels but I'm skeptical too.
My top wish is a truly portable full-sized bicycle for public transit, plane travel, etc.

Some comments re: current options for your wishes:
"An easy to use bike battery charger" is most obviously solved by using dynamo lighting. Brighter than most battery lights (esp when using rechargeables), LED based lights last almost forever, always available, etc. Extra safety lights like these also run on the leg powerhouse. It's the only thing that makes sense if you ride much in the dark. There's also now (or this season?) a USB charger available for running off dynamo!
"Multidirectional lights" are limited only by available power... meaning batteries or dynamo.
"An all wheel drive bicycle" is, in my experience, unnecessary for getting around in snow. I use a regular rear-wheel-drive bicycle year round in Denver. Studs are nice for ice but snow is just fine.


The ink filled bike lock has at least been prototyped, but I think safety concerns means it's never going to be built.


A good topic for discussion though! I'd like to see more smart ways for people to carry things on bikes. Like intelligent racks and ways to attach things you need to carry.

John Romeo Alpha

Mars 3.0 has side-pointing amber lights. But the engineers messed up with tiny little screws to replace batteries. So I'm still looking for a taillight that is bright, has side lights, and recognizes the need to change batteries without fiddling with tiny screws.

Eric Honour

Dynamo lighting seems like a good idea, but as I recall the biggest complaint is that it makes the bike much harder to pedal. Very high-power magnets in the spokes, with a guitar pickup, into a full-wave rectifier and then a capacitor array maybe?

As for all-wheel-drive, it sounds sort of neat in theory but I'd imagine that it would be very difficult to do in a way that is actually an improvement. The front wheel has to turn, and transferring rotation across a rotating axis seems like quite a feat. Unless maybe what we need is a bike that doesn't turn by rotating the front wheel. (My understanding is that most of a turn is generated by leaning, but that you need the wheel to have at least ten or twenty degrees of rotatability in each direction in order to be able to turn at all.)

Maybe if the hub were very wide, say three times as wide as usual, with an extension going out from both sides (like the skewer), with the wheel itself being yankable side to side on cams for steering purposes, and the front cog on the extended skewer?

But then of course you'd also have to be certain that the gears are always the same. So probably the best gearing system would either be singlespeed or would have something akin to an internal-hub gear in the bottom bracket instead of in the hub.

Something I'd find really cool would be if they'd perfect the continuously variable transmission. The Nuvinci sounds nice, but after an initial flurry of OH MAN THAT IS AWESOME people never seem to have gotten around to installing it in anything. (The only production bike that I know of that had it was made under the Cadillac brand name. Yeah, like the cars.) A CVT that is compatible with disc brakes and could be run without a freewheel would be the ideal drive system for commuting in snow and rain, IMO.

Wayne Myer

There is already an all-wheel drive bicycle drivetrain, called the Cristini Drive (http://www.christini.com/). It would appear that they have stopped production for bicycles, but have continued with motorcycles. The "transfer case" for bicycles was quite interesting and, similar to viscous coupling in true AWD systems, it only transferred torque when the front wheel exhibited a lower rate of spin than the rear wheel. If I recall correctly, it could even be disengaged from the handlebars.


Check out Sweetskinz for reflective tires: http://www.sweetskinz.com/


AME makes heated grips:

Wayne Myer

@John Romeo Alpha: Fully agreed about the Mars 3.0. Great general light with enough brightness to alert motorists, but doesn't blind cyclists like the Planet Bike Superflash. I hate it when cyclists use that light!

But who at Blackburn thought that the tiny screws were a good idea?!


Turn indicators!


There are some products out there featuring magnet-powered lights :
- Reelight : http://www.reelight.com/
- a more "basic" one from http://www.freelights.co.uk

If you want to built one yourself there are 2 "instructables" that I know of :
- http://www.instructables.com/id/Magnetic_Induction_Bike_Lights/
- http://www.instructables.com/id/Contactless-dynamo-powering-bike-safety-lights/



Reflective Rubber: See Sweetskinz - Limited sizes and tread patterns, but several colorful patterns.

Cost Efficient Reflective Paint: Cheap reflective paint (like Rustoleum) is just that, CHEAP it doesn't work worth a damn. Plus it's not so much the paint that's expensive, it's the spray equipment and the labor to clean the guns as they tend to gunk up more with particulate matter (like reflective glass beads)and the fact that it's hard to get a good looking finish with the stuff (read sale-able) and have it still be effective. A better solution would be tape based reflective logos and graphics that offer safety and brand exposure (See Velocity LAEK rims)

Easy to Clean Fenders: Bend a wire type bottle brush to fit in the gap between tire and fender. As a preventative there's always Boesheild spray. (Great chain lube) Nobody really wants complicated wheel brows.

Security Bike Frames: "There has got to be a way to incorporate a lock into the frame that basically ruins the bike if someone tries to steal it. This would be a theft deterrent in my eyes." Not really, a person can often get more for parts than a whole bike. Did you stop to think that if the thief fails you're out a bike anyway?
Plus weight, lock failure (for the owner) and frame engineering need to be addressed. Not to mention that you lose a lot of locking options with a bike that is it's own lock.

Lightweight Thief Thwarting Bike Security Chains: Tell you what, you find a metal (or alloy) that's as difficult to cut as your Beast chain for less weight and I'll show you something that's prohibitively expensive to produce or for the average consumer to afford.
Light, Cheap, Strong PICK TWO.

An Ink Infused Bike Lock or Chain: The first time there's an issue with your lock and you're forced to cut (or have someone cut) it you'll regret buying the stinky squid bomb. I really don't see that as much of a crackhead deterrent anyway.

An easy to use bike battery charger: Dynamo hubs and bottles dynamos 'nuff said. Dahon's got something already in the pipe on that.

An all wheel drive bicycle: Christini made an AWD MTB for years. I've got to say this isn't as much of an issue to people who commute in snow, stud up (your tires) or get a Pugsley.

Heated hand grips: AME makes some, but @ $130 I'll use Lobster mitts instead

Multidirectional lights: Oh good lord just go buy a bloody Gold Wing at the rate you're going. They exist, but I haven't found any that I'd actually use.


Wind-powered charger for bicycles, if you want to recharge as you go: http://www.hymini.com/


This is a great rear light that lights up on the side: http://www.cateye.com/en/product_detail/550

It uses 2 AA batteries, and requires no tool for changing batteries.

It is not cheap, but it is very bright and visible.


I would like to see shaft drive tech that can be adapted to current, existing bikes.


Build up an internal geared rear wheel, a new crank for the drive shaft, fit it all to your bike and... there you go, bikes without chains, chain rings and less maintence and mess. the shaft is enclosed in it's own housing, keeping it cleaner and better lubricated.

Would be nice on my steel frame commuter, instead of having to buy a completely new bike thats built out of (yuck!) aluminum.

(aluminum bikes is all dynamic offers).


Re: shaft drive
I've assembled and ridden them and while they might make an OK coffee shop bike I wouldn't own one or ride one for any distance over a mile. The shaft drive is a lot less efficient than a chain system add in the fact that the frame has to be heavier around the driveline to maintain the alignment needed for the bevel gears and the weight of the system itself and you're looking at a heavy bike with no real advantage provided that your chain driven bike is well maintained.

Most of the "advantages" touted by shafties are only advantages compared with open-chain, dérailleur gear systems. Their argument falls apart when you use chain drive driving an internally geared hub using a fully-enclosed chain case, as with old-school English roadsters and many current Dutch bikes.


Yet another needless, in my opinion, engineering invention.

"...because this (threading on pedal) is soooooo hard."


Actually the QR pedal makes more sense on a folder or (reaching here) as an additional theft deterrent. MKS has had a similar technology for years.


1970s bicycle magazine a spokeless wheel is rolling around
lets pretend we are cutting edge


http://www.fibreflare.com/ - rear lights you can see from any direction, and a long way away. I've had one for about 4 months, just bought a second one for my other seat stay.

discount coach

when we come to judge others, it is not by ourselves as we really are that we judge them, but by an image that we have formed of ourselves


Email companies that are producing products in these areas if you want to see stuff happen. While products are sometimes approached in the way you're asking, it's really the designers and marketers that would be going out and looking for what consumers want and need. I get messaged all the time about niche product needs from bicyclists nowadays and it's really helpful to know what people want!

Bike Led  Lights

yeah, the only production bike that I know of that had it was made under the Cadillac brand name.

JD McGovern

Reinforced rims that are compatible with items such as wheel brightz or spoke lights

JD McGovern

Chain-slip guards

JD McGovern

Bike pegs that aren't pegs, just something cool, awesome, and stylish

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Cool Stuff

insert title insert title insert title insert title
Blog powered by Typepad
BikeHacks Flickr Pool

Roy Tanck's Flickr Widget requires Flash Player 9 or better.

Get this widget at roytanck.com
Rent a Bike in Central Park Click Here