Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Future of Cycling?

I have seen the future of cycling. And I don't know if I should laugh or cry.

I just saw this video today from Oakley's Future Sport Project where Cadel Evans and an Australian design team (4Design) present the handlebar of the future. It's like some kind of carbon fiber x-wing fighter with a built-in monitor that rivals the screen size on my laptop.

Evans says at the start "I like design and sport together because in the end of the day it's always your performance, it's judged on one thing, and that's the results you get. I like that regard because that always keeps design practical and keeps it real." Frankly, I'm not seeing the "real" or "practical" in this bizarre handlebar.

That huge monitor sticking out front has an OLED screen that displays all the usual computer data like speed, cadence, heart rate, etc., in addition to terrain mapping, GPS, altitude, and even G-forces (?!). Power meter data wasn't mentioned, but maybe that was an oversight. You can't ride a bike today without power meter data! Can't be done!

Those goofy x-braces extending down to the bar ends are there to add extra stiffness while still keeping the bar as light as possible. The extra "wings" sticking up from the middle had me puzzled for a bit, but I've come to figure out that those are forearm supports to help the rider get into a "time trial tuck position and ride off the front for 200ks solo" (but without the benefit of having some control levers out there -- shifting and stopping must be done with mind control). 

Did I mention the G-force gauge? Yes? Well how about built in lights and video cameras?! Sweet.

The handlebar has all kinds of built-in wiring for electronic shifting -- though I don't see any brake levers on there, and don't know how somebody would mount some. I guess in the "future" we won't need to stop.

Clearly, the bars are just some kind of "concept" and we shouldn't expect to see them in our local bike shops any time soon -- so maybe I shouldn't be so hard on them. Then again, what does Cadel say?

"It feels like working in science fiction, but science fiction does eventually become reality, so why not?"
Welcome to the future.


  1. Help is at hand:

    (Damn, the price has gone up!)

  2. I think they might be Joker brand judging my Evans' rictus grin.

  3. I am getting tired and bored of decades of "Art School" bicycle images.

    1. there is something almost masturbatory about them. Art school design for the sake of art school design.