Monday, November 3, 2014

Innovations (?) from Eurobike 2014

I was reading about some of the new innovations introduced at Eurobike 2014 on BikeRadar. As I've come to expect, there are plenty of things that struck me as completely pointless, unnecessarily complex, and overall contrary to the very things that make bicycles great. Here is a sample -- for more, follow the link back to BikeRadar.

The Haibike Sduro electric mountain bike was one of many electric bikes on display. This one also has an electronically controlled "intelligent" suspension.
At what point does a bicycle cease to be a bicycle? If you ask me, it happens the minute you strap a motor or engine onto it. In this case, a 250w Yamaha electric motor that doesn't just assist pedaling, but will propel the bike completely on its own.
The Diavelo is supposed to be the commuting bike of the future. Note the huge e-display built into the handlebars, with full smartphone integration. Note also the complete lack of fenders or racks (or the means to add them). Why do bicycle designers keep insisting on creating fashionable "commuting" bicycles that lack the basic necessities of commuting?
Shaft-driven bicycles go back to at least the 1890s, in the days before chains became reliable and common. Nowadays shafts are the standard drive choice for cars, so of course they must be superior -- which is why bike designers keep bringing them back as though they must be something "new" and "improved." They are neither. The fact is that chains became the drive of choice on bicycles because they are light, simple, reliable, and the most efficient means of transferring power from the crank to the wheel. Belts can match chains for efficiency, but have other issues that make them (in my opinion) less than ideal.
Considering that rain is often accompanied by wind, not to mention that a moving bicycle generates its own wind, the Dryve rain cover has disaster written all over it.
There wasn't much info about this one, but I'm guessing it's another e-bike. In addition to an incredibly clunky, ugly frame, it has what looks like an upside-down suspension fork, and maybe a single sided rear stay.
The nose-less saddle. I'm sure the claims are that it's more comfortable than a "normal" saddle. Again, nothing new. Nose-less saddles have been around for a while -- ever wonder why they never caught on? For one thing, it's harder to control a bike bike with such a saddle.
Even the folks at BikeRadar wondered what was the point of these covers over the disc brakes. I'm still convinced that heat can be a potential problem for discs. A covering like this might protect somebody from being injured by the super hot disc -- then again, such a covering also would interfere with the cooling of a brake disc.

Fat bike for kids. Ummmm, Okay.
At first glance, this doesn't look to be much different from your garden variety urban fixie, until you look closely to see that it has a flocked finish -- that's right -- it's "fuzzy." Other than having some kind of weird "fuzzy" fetish, I can't figure out why someone would want this.
A carbon fiber backpack. Why?
There you have it -- a small sampling of the "innovations" spotted at Eurobike '14. I can't wait, can you?


  1. Actually, BikeRadar calls it "weird and wonderful", not innovation. And you seem to be using innovation incorrectly. Innovation requires impact, impact requires time. Something that has just been launched cannot be innovative. Only time will tell.

    1. I'm actually using "innovation" facetiously.