The Browning SmartShift Story

In an unrelated Google search this morning, I found a news article from 2002 about the Browning SmartShift. I’d only heard about SmartShift and don’t know the story, how it worked, if it worked, and if cyclists are still riding it.

The background is intriguing: “a new generation of more comfortable bikes, could bring a return to growth,” and the RD was largely backed by the Browning firearm fortune.

Anyone ever see a SmartShift?



Photo of the day



Bikes give ya nut cancer!

From the bikes in pop culture file, I did a spit take when Earl was riding his bike in the Rob a Stoner Blind episode, towing his brother, and Joy says, ” … bikes give ya nut cancer!”



Geographical Pedaling Sweetness

The Whiteboard | You Have Reached Your Destination

Panasonic's AVIC-S1

The guys over at Synthesis Studios point out that bikers don’t have to settle for bicycle GPS solutions, as discussed last week.

They went full-bling with a Pioneer AVIC-S1, a Windows CE GPS unit with Bluetooth, 320 x 240 resolution, and 2 gigs of map storage.

Take 1 GPS window-mount, add a handful of zip-ties and an empty stem, and you’ve got a pretty effective, sano install.

Can you use it on the roll?

Oooooh yeah :) It’s a hell of a lot of fun, too. The touchscreen is clear and easily visible in daylight, and the interface is forgiving enough that clumsy fingers on the ride are still adequate to navigate the menu system. The voice directions are easily loud enough for use in traffic, and it’s a great conversation starter when I’m drafting someone and my bike announces Please-turn-left-in-500-feet. Now, turn left. It’s also great to take the ETA as a challenge and work to beat it. And for that extra pinch of unnecessary, the bluetooth/handsfree integration works great with my phone, so I can take calls with my phone safely stuck in my backpack.

Handsfree and no-hands at the same time. Sweet.



Mark V in da hugga house

Mark V wrote for us during Interbike and offered his perspective on the culture of the event and the bikes he dug - he’s back writing for us almost daily and starts his hugger tenure with Heart of Bonkness.



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