Propeller Trike v. Crane Bike

Put a trailer on that propeller trike and you’ve got one hell of a Sport Utility Bike pushing 300 rpm at 20 mph with fancy, rave-quality LEDs. Linked from Slashdot to a Popular Mechanics article, the propeller trike qualifies as a freak bike and an guaranteed spot in a future Road Warrior film, but I don’t think it can beat the crane bike, which is well a pedal-powered crane and used by the Red Moon Theater.

crane1.jpg



In the Bike Shop: Mark’s Back

Stopped by the bike shop to check on the Modal and there was Mark! Freshly back from Japan, not limping on a bum knee and with the usual surliness and lots of tales to tell from his tour of Japan.

markv_back.jpg



For kid’s funny exercise

Just in time for the 4th, an email from a Chinese distributor of the QQ bike that says, “Forward and Back by hand. Control direction by feet. To inspire kid’s intelligence and build the bodies from funny exercise.” Well that was fun just posting about it and watching the animation. Also check the video.

DV-400_0.5.gif



A Native Planet’s Race Videos

Last night at the Tuesday Night World Championships in Kent Washington, I noticed a Native Planet Race Team team member kitted up with a helmet cam and corresponding camera near the finish …(one tip: move to the front)



Big Dummy Gets Smarter

Checked in with Surly Bikes yesterday on the Big Dummy and learned from Dave Gray, the Product Design and Development dude, that new factory samples are en route. Those samples should address much of our concerns with Bettie

  • Stand-over height
  • Rohloff’able
  • Whippiness
  • Disc brake compatibility

In my long-term Bettie notes, I’d complained about the stand-over height and whippiness as the two biggest issues. Cargo bikes should drop the top-tube right to the bottom bracket so you can easily step into and out of the bike, especially with a load or kids or both: the latest Big Dummy uses the Instigator’s top-tube design. The whippiness is an obvious problem and inherent to trailers whether attached or not. Any longtail should make that better, and Surly is making it stiff.

Rohloff is a good option, to simplify the drive train. Nuvinci is another.

The disc brake problem came up for us because we’re using Magura’s Gustav for the stopping power on really hilly routes, fully loaded. The Gustav’s need exact tolerances and the Xtracycle just didn’t have them, even after using Magura’s planing tool.

It was great talking to Dave and hearing about the Big Dummy.



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