The Chainlink

So I saw this ad for these awesome handlebars, and it got me thinking that it'd be nice to have an ongoing technology thread related to anything bikes or accessories.

Not endorsing at all, but I'm pretty this is going on my xmas wish list.

http://www.fastcodesign.com/1673198/smart-handlebars-give-any-bicyc...

What do you guys think? Worth the price? Worth the risk in a city like Chicago?

What other questions should we be asking as new, smarter technologies spring up that can affect, improve the way we bike?

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What other questions should we be asking as new, smarter technologies spring up that can affect, improve the way we bike?

The important questions is: What is the problem that this new thechnolgy is trying to solve? In this case: What happened to scanning and using arm signals before taking the lane? Does that no longer work?

Those are incredible. I don't understand why bike turn signals aren't a thing yet anyway. Want! But theft would be a concern- I'd almost want them to be removable quickly, somehow able to snap back in to the exact position, so that you could take them in and charge them if you have to park for work.

So cool. I want the black drop bars pictured.
It works, sure, but what happened to arm signal use in cars? Turn signals were invented. I mean that's kinda purist...



Duppie said:

What other questions should we be asking as new, smarter technologies spring up that can affect, improve the way we bike?

The important questions is: What is the problem that this new thechnolgy is trying to solve? In this case: What happened to scanning and using arm signals before taking the lane? Does that no longer work?

So it doesn't solve a problem then?

Mind you, half of my bikes have automatic brake lights. I love the geek-factor of those brake lights, but I would never say that they solve a real problem.

So, do buy those handlebars if you like them. I think they look cool. But don't buy them because the ad-copy says that they solve a real-life problem

Michelle said:

It works, sure, but what happened to arm signal use in cars? Turn signals were invented. I mean that's kinda purist...



Duppie said:

What other questions should we be asking as new, smarter technologies spring up that can affect, improve the way we bike?

The important questions is: What is the problem that this new thechnolgy is trying to solve? In this case: What happened to scanning and using arm signals before taking the lane? Does that no longer work?

Well the current law for bicyclists making the motion to turn is to do so only when you feel it is safe to. If in a crowded area, the road isn't good, the weather is poor and the road is icy, etc., I know I don't always feel safe to take one hand away from my bar.

Please don't reply saying I should get better at biking :)

Plus, an internal GPS sounds pretty great. No need to look up new directions beforehand, would adjust as you experience detours..

And I'd argue that your awesome-sounding brake lights (I want those too!) DO solve a real problem. The problem of car drivers not seeing you or seeing you poorly. Or even fellow cyclists behind you. Just like brake lights on a car, it alerts those around you to your actions.

Duppie said:

So it doesn't solve a problem then?

Mind you, half of my bikes have automatic brake lights. I love the geek-factor of those brake lights, but I would never say that they solve a real problem.

I like the GPS feature. That would solve a real problem for me- finding my bike on Marauders rides.

As Christine said, conditions vs. taking your hand off the bar, but even more important, Visibility.  With all the distractions drivers contend with, do you think they always notice the cyclist signaling?  Further, The amount of time you signal.  A hand signal is usually short, as you are going to keep your hand off the bars for 30 seconds.  With a signal, you can just turn it on, and leave it on, until you safely merge.

Duppie said:

What other questions should we be asking as new, smarter technologies spring up that can affect, improve the way we bike?

The important questions is: What is the problem that this new thechnolgy is trying to solve? In this case: What happened to scanning and using arm signals before taking the lane? Does that no longer work?

Thoughts:

Integrated headlights. My headlights cost more than this bar. If it's bright enough and focused/diffused correctly, why not? Not a game changer, perhaps, but...interesting, especially when first building a bike.

Integrated turn signal/running lights. We all know that there is a serious problem with traffic seeing cyclists in general and running lights on the bars can only help with this problem. Some of us use hand signals when turning/merging but many don't because it's too scary and even those who do only take a second or two to quickly flash a sign before returning their hand to the bar. We're left to hope that traffic (a) saw us signal and (b) doesn't think we're flashing gang signs and run us down on purpose. This could be a game changer and might be worth it's weight in gold - though the Mex-mobile changing color undercarriage light show won't be happening on my bike in this lifetime or the next.

Integrated GPS. Cute trick, if I cared. I don't, mostly. I've already got a computer on the bike that tells me a whole lot more about what's going on than this thing will.

Theft. Shyte, the Morlocks of the world are already stealing bikes left and right and I have to carry a backpack in order to have something to tote all the bits I need to remove every time I park somewhere - what the heck am I going to do when my bars become a primary target? Maybe they could figure out a way to electrify the bars when I'm gone so that they will deliver a knock-out blow to the hairballs.

Reliability. Lots of technology. If it doesn't perform, it sucks. If it doesn't last, it sucks. If it can't be fixed, it sucks. So many eggs in one basket, if one thing fails does everything die?

Weight. We're freaks about weight, loading up all this technology into the bars seems like it might be a little destabilizing.

Power. Where the heck am I going to plug this thing in?

Bar end real estate. I've pretty much always hated the bar end shifters on my road bike so this would give me an excuse to replace them but...ah, crap, it's another hassle. More importantly, what the heck am I going to do with the leather Harley streamers on the MTB? ;)

All-in-all: maybe. Christmas is coming...

http://www.ridehelios.com/

The tacx lumos do something like that.  They replace your bar plugs with a set of lights to light things up in front and red lights, press a button on one side and it'll start blinking like a turn signal for a while.

Mark said:

As Christine said, conditions vs. taking your hand off the bar, but even more important, Visibility.  With all the distractions drivers contend with, do you think they always notice the cyclist signaling?  Further, The amount of time you signal.  A hand signal is usually short, as you are going to keep your hand off the bars for 30 seconds.  With a signal, you can just turn it on, and leave it on, until you safely merge.

Duppie said:

What other questions should we be asking as new, smarter technologies spring up that can affect, improve the way we bike?

The important questions is: What is the problem that this new thechnolgy is trying to solve? In this case: What happened to scanning and using arm signals before taking the lane? Does that no longer work?

These are the lights. You will need a dynamohub and connected frontlight as well.

The actual cost for all this is around $200, and that is if you do it on a budget and build the wheel yourself and install the lights yourself.

I’d say spending  $200 or more on brake lights is not a realistic solution for a lot of riders. By the way the visibility problem is not around brake lights, it is around the fact that a significant number of riders has no rear light at all (and yes, I am aware that IL law does not require a tail light on bicycles). So if visibility is your concern, why not try to first improve the use of rear lights through education and outreach?



Christine said:

Well the current law for bicyclists making the motion to turn is to do so only when you feel it is safe to. If in a crowded area, the road isn't good, the weather is poor and the road is icy, etc., I know I don't always feel safe to take one hand away from my bar.

Please don't reply saying I should get better at biking :)

Plus, an internal GPS sounds pretty great. No need to look up new directions beforehand, would adjust as you experience detours..

And I'd argue that your awesome-sounding brake lights (I want those too!) DO solve a real problem. The problem of car drivers not seeing you or seeing you poorly. Or even fellow cyclists behind you. Just like brake lights on a car, it alerts those around you to your actions.

Duppie said:

So it doesn't solve a problem then?

Mind you, half of my bikes have automatic brake lights. I love the geek-factor of those brake lights, but I would never say that they solve a real problem.

I got the same tail light, a nice bright headlight (same manufacturer - Busch & Muller) and dynamo hub on my new Heritage bike when I had it built last winter.  If it's a workable option for you, this combination is fantastic for visibility, and the headlight is bright enough to light up the road surface so you can see potholes and other hazards - even on the darkest street.

Duppie said:

These are the lights. You will need a dynamohub and connected frontlight as well.

The actual cost for all this is around $200, and that is if you do it on a budget and build the wheel yourself and install the lights yourself.

I’d say spending  $200 or more on brake lights is not a realistic solution for a lot of riders. By the way the visibility problem is not around brake lights, it is around the fact that a significant number of riders has no rear light at all (and yes, I am aware that IL law does not require a tail light on bicycles). So if visibility is your concern, why not try to first improve the use of rear lights through education and outreach?



Duppie said:

I’d say spending  $200 or more on brake lights is not a realistic solution for a lot of riders. By the way the visibility problem is not around brake lights, it is around the fact that a significant number of riders has no rear light at all (and yes, I am aware that IL law does not require a tail light on bicycles). So if visibility is your concern, why not try to first improve the use of rear lights through education and outreach?

I think a CPSC reflector is more than adequate.  Any cars with their headlights on will see it (although there are a distressingly high number of cars with broken headlights out there).

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