The Local by Fuseproject.

I do have a soft spot for so-called ‘cargo’ bikes. And this is really one of the most interesting takes on this type of bikes I’ve come across lately. It’s actually a pick-up truck version of a bicycle, designed for various uses in your local neighborhood.

It lends itself to a lot more than picking up a crate: bringing your kids to school, shopping, join to the beach with your surfboard, … 

As far as I’m concerned, it’s both beautifully and cleverly designed. Lights and lock are integrated. And I really think the orange left front wheel is a very nice touch. 

Belt-driven e-bike prototype gives me Flyer-doubts…

I have decided not to buy a chain-driven bike anymore. But when it comes to e-bikes, I thought it might well take at least a year before such a bike might show up.

So, just as I had decided to go for Biketec’s S-Flyer, I stumble upon this prototype by Fallbrook Technologies and Gates Carbon Drive Systems

It features Gates brand new CenterTrack Drive, Fallbrook’s continuously variable Nuvinci gearhub and it is powered up by the Bosch e-Bike System. Pretty cool bike!

Want to see the other pictures?

Tout-Terrain: the best bike brand with flying colours.

The brand that impressed me most on Eurobike 2011, is Tout-Terrain. You won’t find their 2012 collection online just yet, but they have some nifty new bikes in store.

The first one is their brand new Chiyoda. It’s an everyday bike with a carbon belt and an Alfine 11.

And it’s got some very nice details. The back light is three leds integrated in the saddle clamp!

The Amber Road is brand new as well. Actually, it’s a 28” interpration of their Metropolitan. Interesting tour bike.

And last but not least: the Silkroad Xplore. The model is not new, but the gears definitely are. Tout-Terrain now offers this bike with the Pinion gears: 18 real ratios with an overall gear range of 636%!

Tout-Terrain builds bikes for today’s riders: people with GPS-es and smart phones. And they offer the world’s best solution to power your electronic stuff while on the road: The Plug II.

 

you will find all my Eurobike 2011 pictures here. Please do like the page. 

Onya Front-end Loader: a cargo bike that takes turns really well.

It’s being built in San Francisco. And from the looks of it, it takes sharp bends really well as the flexible system allows the front-end to ‘go with the flow’.

Onya has a great sense of humor as well. There’s a ‘mule’ and an ‘E.T.’ coming up as well.

Onya’s Mule

Onya’s E.T.

A couple of übercool sneakers for bicycle commuters.

These must be the coolest sneakers I’ve come across lately. DZR shoes, especially for bikers. One can easily cut out part of the sole, attach cleats and off you go for some fashionable clipless pedalling!

Oultier’s super simple commuter shoes do not allow for cleats, but they are waterproof. They’re called ‘supermarine shoes’. The interiors are vegetable-tanned buffalo leather and the midsole cork. But the real technology is in the cotton exterior: it’s a 21st century version of a World War II-era woven cotton used by the Royal Air Force to keep pilots from dying of hypothermia, in the event of a crash-landing over water.

Great stuff by Biologic for bikers with an iPhone.

Biologic has this fantastic new stuff for geeks. They announced their new iPhone app, BikeBrain Lite, which turns your iPhone into a cycle computer: it gives you GPS-mapping, speed, distance, altitude, elapsed time, … And it will be downloadable for free from the Apple App Store.

Next they introduced the ReeCharge Dynamo Kit which allows you to use the power generated by your hub dynoma to charge your iPhone on your bike through the ReeCharge Case and ReeCharge Case Bracket.


The ultimate mountain bike has 18 fully functional gears and a belt drive.

Well, I’m pretty much impressed with Pinion, the company by 2 former Porsche gearbox engineers, who managed to develop an 18 gears gearbox for bikes. It’s a German company and I’ve seen more than one German bicycle brand at Eurobike showing off one or more brand new bikes with the Pinion gearbox.

One of them was Mi-Tech. Pinion had this very impressive bike on display. 18 gears, carbon belt drive, … a very, very nice mountain bike. 

On the demo bicycle, the gears shifted very smoothly. Very much looking forward to reading the first reviews about this particular one.
All the signs are in place: biking is gonna be huge.

If this is not the first bikespeed blogpost you’re reading, you’ll probably have noticed by now that I’m a fan of Rapha. I’m the proud owner of a couple of Rapha baselayers and trousers and they are –albeit pretty expensive– fantastic. Rapha –still– is kind of a niche brand. Levi’s definitely a mainstream brand.

So I was kinda positively surprised to learn that Levi’s will be selling commuter jeans as of this summer. High tech stuff: nanosphere technology and everything.

Coming from a mainstream brand such as Levi’s, this can only mean biking is destined to become huge. ;)

My new favorite bike brand: Berend Industries.

I want this bike. I haven’t figured out yet how I’m going to justify to my wife buying this one after I buy an S-Flyer by Biketech. But I’m sure I’ll think of something. ;-)

After the ‘Fiets en Wandelbeurs' at Amsterdam, I drove over to Laren to meet up with Wim de Jong, CEO of Berend Industries. To test ride his bikes of course.

Boy, I thought the fare was fun. But this outstripped it.

Wim is a great guy who makes great bikes and he let me ride both his Rambler and Butler.

Initially, the Rambler appealed much more to me. But Wim got a point: if you usually ride long distances, 28” wheels are the way to go. With the Big Apples by Schwalbe, they’re actually more like 29” wheels. And they guarantee a very smooth ride.

But after I rode the Butler, my mind is made up: this is the bike I’ll go for. I’ve been test riding my brother’s Easy Rohler by IDworx for a couple of months now, and although it’s kind of a great bike, I’ll give you a hint: I will not buy a bike by IDworx.

Check out my ‘Berend Industries’ set on Flickr.

Another step closer to a carless life (for those of you with too many bikes already).

It won gold at last year’s Eurobike show: the Burley Travoy. According to Burley, the Travoy provides a safe, hassle-free way to haul and transport almost anything, from a week’s worth of groceries, a change of clothes for the office or up to about 30 kg of cargo.

It hitches to the seatpost of a bike, but it can easily be converted to a rolling cart.  Yeah, I want one. Most definitely.

Life at bike speed (during Rapha's festive 500).

Normally, I ride my bike to work and back twice a week. Some people frown meaningfully when I tell them the distance is 58 kilometers one way (that’s the distance between Ghent and Brussels). All I can say is that I love it and that I always prefer 2 hours on my bike over 1 hour in a car (or more depending on the traffic). The other 3 days, I hop on my folding bike, pedal along the river for 10 kilometers to meet up with my carpool buddy, friend and colleague Bart. In the evening, he drops me off at the same spot. However, Bart took this week off and I didn’t. Which brings me to Rapha’s Festive 500. 

How hard can it be to bike 200 more kilometers than usual?

I rode 569.45 kilometers.

Friday, december 23. Well, the weather hasn’t been too commuter-friendly lately. And it has shown no sign of improvements this week. I got so wet I probably never will have to wash again. Too wet to take out my camera anyway.

115.61 km. Proof here.

Bringing the stuff for Duqm.

Monday, december 26. Colette, our eldest daughter works for a dredging company in Duqm. That’s Oman. A colleague of her is leaving tomorrow. He lives in Opwijk. Happily, that’s still Belgium. Our Colette needed some stuff she forgot at home, so I decided to deliver it to her colleague by bike. It was fun, but terribly wet. Like riding through a wet curtain.

97.16 km. Proof here.

Another day at the office.

Tuesday, december 27.

Luckily, it only started raining after I arrived at work. These are the holidays, as you can see. On ‘normal’ days, the traffic on the highway, which I’m crossing here, is at least 3 times as dense. Belgian highway drivers are very prone to causing accidents. They ride aggressively and when they don’t, it simply means they’re texting or twittering behind the wheel. Which makes it no less dangerous. So, regularly, we’re talking serious traffic jams here. It is ‘the’ reason I seriously started disliking cars and made it my mission to get behind the wheel as little as possible.

115.65 km. Proof here.

Wednesday, december 28.

Same trajectory. That’s just the way it is with commuting. In times like these, even in a crowded little country like Belgium, you can get the feeling that you’re quite alone. The picture was shot with my phone. But I can assure you: at times, my commute can be very black. Pitch black.

115.64 km. Proof here and here

A strong tail wind (i.e. in the morning)

Friday, december 30.

I do like going to work by bike. It’s a nice route. Very few cars, beautiful little roads like these. And you get in touch with a phenomenon called ‘seasons’ again. This picture was taken no further than about 15 kilometers from Brussels. It’s what we call a ‘hollow road’. Steep, though.

115.57 km. Proof here and here

Getting the fish.

Saturday, december 31

So, we decided to have fish tonight. I set out on my bike to go and get it.

I’ve hardly had the chance to see this view by daylight lately. It’s the first part of all my commutes. Nice, even under a grey sky.

Got the fish! I wish you all a very healthy 2012. I can tell you: riding your bike helps.

9.81 km. Proof here

Godspeed! Did I say godspeed? I meant to say bikespeed!

Shifting gears with the force of inner intention.

I already mentioned Deeplocal, the Carnegie Mellon University spinoff which developed the helmet that will call an ambulance for you in case of an accident. Well, they’ve done it again. This time, the helmet  incorporates a built-in EEG array that lets you shift gears just by thinking about it.

Apparently, it only requires 10 minutes of training. And you don’t need to worry too much: the brakes are still manually operated. And if you are absolutely focused on shifting gears so you fail to notice the obstacle in front of you, well… Exactly: your helmet will call an ambulance. 

Why can't I get turn-by-turn bicycle navigation for iPhone with GPX-import?

I’ve had my Garmin Edge 705 (which now has been replaced by the Edge 800) for over 3 years now. What I like about it is that it allows me to ride my bike everywhere as if I know my way around. Its battery time is still remarkably good. But I don’t like Garmin’s policy of linking its -pretty expensive- maps to the internal ID of their devices. Basically, that means if you buy a new device, you have to buy the maps all over again as well. Boy, that sucks.

The other thing I don’t like about it, is that it is yet another device. Today, your smartphone is pretty much capable of doing the same thing. And with solutions as B&M’s E-werk or Tout-Terrain’s Plug, you needn’t worry about insufficient battery life ever again.

But why can’t I get turn-by-turn bicycle navigation for iPhone with GPX-import? Sure, Garmin, TomTom and Navigon all offer turn-by-turn navigation for iPhone. Navigon even offers ‘bicycle mode’. But what none of them offers is GPX-import. Which means you have to plan your routes on your iPhone. Boy, that sucks too.

So far, I’ve only discovered a couple of apps which use ‘open cycle maps’, don’t offer turn-by-trun navigation but allow for GPX import: MotionX-GPS and Scout.

Are you aware of a true turn-by-turn bicycle navigation app for iPhone with GPX-import?

Motionx-gps

Scout

Alpha: possibly the most high-tech bike ever.

Alpha: Possibly the Most High-Tech Bike Ever from Core77 on Vimeo.

You should check it out for yourself on Alpha’s website. Engineering students at Upenn, had the idea to “create a bicycle that would push the boundaries of integrated systems”.

It has a fully enclosed drivetrain, an electronic clutch to flip between freewheeling and fixed-gear configurations on the fly, and an onboard computer for tracking cycling stats, all encased within a custom-machined carbon fiber and aluminum frame.

Geez!

The new and impressive folding bike brand daddy is not overly pleased with.

You’ve probably heard about Dahon, the world’s largest manufacturer of folding bicycles with headquarters in Los Angeles. Well, apparently, there’s been some kind of family dispute because the wife and son of founder David T. Hon have launched their own folding bike brand: Tern. Not that daddy likes it, unless a law suit is his idea of a family reunion. Juicy stuff, certainly, but not our business. 

The Eclipse s11i by Tern is. Judging by the specs, a pretty impressive folding bike. Just to name a few: Avid Elixir hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano’s Alfine 11 gear hub, a Biologic FreeDrive chain guard, …

I’ll certainly have a closer look at it at Eurobike 2011 in a couple of weeks. And yes, I’ll report back to you.

But, why did Tern have the front wheel photoshopped out in the picture below?

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