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BikeE? (was: So we were drooling over the 09 Kona catalog as I stoppedby the LBS for coffee)



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 4th 08, 03:30 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
Tom Sherman[_2_]
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Posts: 9,890
Default BikeE? (was: So we were drooling over the 09 Kona catalog as I stoppedby the LBS for coffee)

Chalo Colina wrote:
[...]
What a non-cyclist considers fun and functional in a bike is likely to
prove a whole lot less than fun or functional, to say nothing of
reliable, for an actual cyclist. When the industry listens to non-
cyclists, we get things like Autobike/Landrider, "Spongy Wonder"
seats, BikeEs, and other anti-functional abortions.

What is wrong with the BikeE [1] that a few minor tweaks could not have
fixed?

[1] The bikes that is, not the deceptive advertising nor the way the
management handled going out of business.

--
Tom Sherman - Holstein-Friesland Bovinia
“Mary had a little lamb / And when she saw it sicken /
She shipped it off to Packingtown / And now it’s labeled chicken.”
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  #2  
Old September 4th 08, 04:40 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
Chalo
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Posts: 4,943
Default BikeE? (was: So we were drooling over the 09 Kona catalog as Istopped by the LBS for coffee)

Tom Sherman wrote:

Chalo Colina wrote:
[...]
What a non-cyclist considers fun and functional in a bike is likely to
prove a whole lot less than fun or functional, to say nothing of
reliable, for an actual cyclist. *When the industry listens to non-
cyclists, we get things like Autobike/Landrider, "Spongy Wonder"
seats, BikeEs, and other anti-functional abortions.


What is wrong with the BikeE [1] that a few minor tweaks could not have
fixed?

[1] The bikes that is, not the deceptive advertising nor the way the
management handled going out of business.


Where do you "tweak" a bike that handles like you're trying to ride it
backwards?

Chalo
  #3  
Old September 4th 08, 04:50 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
A Muzi
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Posts: 4,551
Default BikeE?

Chalo Colina wrote:
[...]
What a non-cyclist considers fun and functional in a bike is likely to
prove a whole lot less than fun or functional, to say nothing of
reliable, for an actual cyclist. When the industry listens to non-
cyclists, we get things like Autobike/Landrider, "Spongy Wonder"
seats, BikeEs, and other anti-functional abortions.


Tom Sherman wrote:
What is wrong with the BikeE [1] that a few minor tweaks could not have
fixed?
[1] The bikes that is, not the deceptive advertising nor the way the
management handled going out of business.


Chalo wrote:
Where do you "tweak" a bike that handles like you're trying to ride it
backwards?


I'm no expert but for starts, the usual chaise lounge format is with 2
rails, one on either side, not one down the middle.
--
Andrew Muzi
www.yellowjersey.org/
Open every day since 1 April, 1971
** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **
  #4  
Old September 4th 08, 04:51 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
Tom Sherman[_2_]
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Posts: 9,890
Default BikeE?

Chalo Colina wrote:
Tom Sherman wrote:
Chalo Colina wrote:
[...]
What a non-cyclist considers fun and functional in a bike is likely to
prove a whole lot less than fun or functional, to say nothing of
reliable, for an actual cyclist. When the industry listens to non-
cyclists, we get things like Autobike/Landrider, "Spongy Wonder"
seats, BikeEs, and other anti-functional abortions.

What is wrong with the BikeE [1] that a few minor tweaks could not have
fixed?

[1] The bikes that is, not the deceptive advertising nor the way the
management handled going out of business.


Where do you "tweak" a bike that handles like you're trying to ride it
backwards?

I found the BikeE (particularly the FX) very easy to ride. The only
exception was the E2 tandem, which was very easy to ride solo, but scary
with a stoker.

I suspect that Chalo's problem with the BikeE was related to being too
heavy and tall. The BikeE's were not designed for 99.9999th percentile
sized people.

--
Tom Sherman - Holstein-Friesland Bovinia
“Mary had a little lamb / And when she saw it sicken /
She shipped it off to Packingtown / And now it’s labeled chicken.”
  #5  
Old September 4th 08, 12:39 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
Jon[_2_]
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Posts: 118
Default BikeE?

"A Muzi" wrote
Chalo wrote:
What a non-cyclist considers fun and functional in a bike is likely to
prove a whole lot less than fun or functional, to say nothing of
reliable, for an actual cyclist.


What is an "actual cyclist"?

How was BikeE design not reliable? (implementation had its
glitches with some recalls for forks and swing arms, etc...)

Tom Sherman wrote:
What is wrong with the BikeE [1] that a few minor tweaks could not have
fixed?


Chalo wrote:
Where do you "tweak" a bike that handles like you're trying to ride it
backwards?


I never experienced a feeling of "handles like you're trying to ride it
backwards" on my BikeE. Nor did apparently and of the dozens
of people from age 7 to 70 who tried mine. All able to ride it
within minutes of starting...

Of my three recumbents, the BikeE has the best low-speed tight
handling characteristics. For me it seems a matter of center of
gravity, wheelbase and lack of heel strike...

I'm no expert but for starts, the usual chaise lounge format is with 2
rails, one on either side, not one down the middle.


The mesh back seat is well proven by bikes from Easy Racers,
RANS, etc.

Jon


  #6  
Old September 4th 08, 07:48 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
Chalo
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Posts: 4,943
Default BikeE?

Jon wrote:

A Muzi wrote


Chalo wrote:
What a non-cyclist considers fun and functional in a bike is likely to
prove a whole lot less than fun or functional, to say nothing of
reliable, for an actual cyclist.


What is an "actual cyclist"?


Someone who actually rides actual bicycles, often and long enough to
have a good sense of what a bike actually does.

How was BikeE design not reliable? *(implementation had its
glitches with some recalls for forks and swing arms, etc...)


It is reliable in that you know with absolute certainty that you are
completely hosed if your hands leave the grips for a fraction of a
second. That much I know from trying to make a BikeE CT my around-
town transportation during my first stay in Seattle.

Tom Sherman wrote:
What is wrong with the BikeE [1] that a few minor tweaks could not have
fixed?

Chalo wrote:
Where do you "tweak" a bike that handles like you're trying to ride it
backwards?


I never experienced *a feeling of "handles like you're trying to ride it
backwards" on my BikeE. *Nor did apparently and of the dozens
of people from age 7 to 70 who tried mine. *All able to ride it
within minutes of starting...


I have built and ridden enough choppers and other improvised vehicles
to make a distinction between a bike that _can_ be ridden and a bike
that rides well. The BikeE can be ridden. So can these bikes:

http://dclxvi.org/chunk/meet/springy/index.html

Of my three recumbents, the BikeE has the best low-speed tight
handling characteristics. *


That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? "Of my three genital
piercings, the Prince Albert is the most comfortable and
convenient."

Chalo
  #7  
Old September 5th 08, 08:25 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
Peter Clinch
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Posts: 4,852
Default BikeE?

Chalo wrote:

It is reliable in that you know with absolute certainty that you are
completely hosed if your hands leave the grips for a fraction of a
second.


That's true of many bicycle designs with no or very limited trail, which
includes a lot of recumbents.

"Doctor! Doctor! It hurts when I do this!"
"Then don't do that."

I have built and ridden enough choppers and other improvised vehicles
to make a distinction between a bike that _can_ be ridden and a bike
that rides well.


Differrent people have different ideas of rides well. The Brompton has
minimal trail and many riders complain it is twitchy. I like it because
I find the steering responsive. One man's meat, etc. That /you/ don't
personally like it doesn't make it an objectively bad machine.

Of my three recumbents, the BikeE has the best low-speed tight
handling characteristics.


That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? "Of my three genital
piercings, the Prince Albert is the most comfortable and
convenient."


Well, no, not really. "Best low speed tight handling" could well mean
"star of the show in dense urban traffic".

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
  #8  
Old September 5th 08, 12:28 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
Jon[_2_]
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Posts: 118
Default BikeE?

"Chalo" wrote
Jon wrote:

Chalo wrote:
to say nothing of reliable, for an actual cyclist.


What is an "actual cyclist"?


Someone who actually rides actual bicycles, often and long enough to
have a good sense of what a bike actually does.


How about more than 15,000 miles of recumbent cycling?
Is that an actual cyclist?

But you tell me, what does a bike "actually do"?

How was BikeE design not reliable? (implementation had its
glitches with some recalls for forks and swing arms, etc...)


It is reliable in that you know with absolute certainty that you are
completely hosed if your hands leave the grips for a fraction of a
second.


How come my son and wife, and many other riders have fallen
for exactly that reason on while riding upright bikes?

That much I know from trying to make a BikeE CT my around-
town transportation during my first stay in Seattle.


I'm certainly willing to believe that for some people, perhaps
many, for some applications, a BikeE CT wouldn't be the best
bike. All bicycle designs represent compromises. Are there
upright bike designs better suited for self supported touring
than others? Are there upright bike designs better suited
for gravel roads or muddy trails than others?

Where do you "tweak" a bike that handles like you're
trying to ride it backwards?


I never experienced a feeling of "handles like you're
trying to ride it backwards" on my BikeE.


Again you offer no meainingful support for the assertion
that the BikeE "handles like you're trying to ride it backwards".
If there were true, how is that so many people found it so
easy to ride mine the first time without any problems?

distinction between a bike that _can_ be ridden and a bike
that rides well.


The BikeE has different handling characteristics than an upright
bike. I can and did ride it well for a number of years as my
only bike. And I still do ride mine. For a jump on and go
bicycle, for short errands, 4-5 miles, it's hard to beat. For
self-supported touring, it's not my first choice, my Tour
Easy is. For 60 mile hilly rides, the BikeE is not my first
choice, my Voale is. But I did self-supported weekend
tours with my BikeE and I road it on many long rides with
upright riding friends.

The BikeE can be ridden. So can these bikes:

http://dclxvi.org/chunk/meet/springy/index.html


Ok, so now I know you're not serious.

Of my three recumbents, the BikeE has the best low-speed tight
handling characteristics.


That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? "Of my three genital
piercings, the Prince Albert is the most comfortable and
convenient."


Once again, a demonstration of your intent to avoid actual
discussion.

You assert the BikeE is an unqualified failed design
inspired by non-cyclists, but the only substantiation you
can offer is that the BikeE cannot be ridden hands free?

Come on. I *like* the BikeE and I can make better
design criticisms than that! Nothing, however, that
makes it not fun, not functional, or not reliable, though.

Jon


  #9  
Old September 5th 08, 06:05 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
Chalo
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Posts: 4,943
Default BikeE?

Jon wrote:

Chalo wrote:

Jon wrote:

Chalowrote:
to say nothing of reliable, for an actual cyclist.


What is an "actual cyclist"?


Someone who actually rides actual bicycles, often and long enough to
have a good sense of what a bike actually does.


How about more than 15,000 miles of recumbent cycling?
Is that an actual cyclist?


No, it's a recumbent cyclist. Just like riding a unicycle 15,000
miles would not give someone much of an appreciation of the handling
qualities of a bicycle, riding a 'bent doesn't by itself give the
rider a sense of the capabilities and characteristics of a normal
bicycle.

'Bents seem to be in a state of development comparable to where normal
bicycles were in the 1870s-- there is no real consensus as to the best
configuration for a 'bent, and nobody has yet succeeded in making one
that clearly demonstrates the inferiority of other basic designs.
Enough time has gone by that the evidence now suggests a two-wheeled
'bent cannot be made as stable, maneuverable, consistent, or precise-
handling as the average normal bike.

But you tell me, what does a bike "actually do"?


In the context I originally used that phrase, it was tautological. A
bike actually does what a bike actually does, which a non-cyclist
doesn't understand because he or she does not ride. When folks who
don't ride set out to design "solutions" to a bike's "problems", their
designs are often nonsensical and usually create new real problems.

In the context you an I are now discussing, a normal bike actually
does some things a 'bent does not. A normal bike, in its design speed
range, automatically does a lot of the work of balancing itself and
its rider without active input on the part of the rider. When 'bent
riders (whose bikes don't do this work) design new bikes, the new
bikes inevitably lack this important self-stabilizing quality which
constitutes the main reason a conventional bicycle layout is
conventional.

How was BikeE design not reliable? (implementation had its
glitches with some recalls for forks and swing arms, etc...)


It is reliable in that you know with absolute certainty that you are
completely hosed if your hands leave the grips for a fraction of a
second.


How come my son and wife, and many other riders have fallen
for exactly that reason on while riding upright bikes?


Clumsiness? Bad bike design? Fork mounted backwards? Who's to
say?

*That much I know from trying to make a BikeE CT my around-
town transportation during my first stay in Seattle.


I'm certainly willing to believe that for some people, perhaps
many, for some applications, a BikeE CT wouldn't be the best
bike. *All bicycle designs represent compromises. *Are there
upright bike designs better suited for self supported touring
than others? *Are there upright bike designs better suited
for gravel roads or muddy trails than others?

Where do you "tweak" a bike that handles like you're
trying to ride it backwards?


I never experienced a feeling of "handles like you're
trying to ride it backwards" on my BikeE.


Again you offer no meainingful support for the assertion
that the BikeE "handles like you're trying to ride it backwards".


The BikeE is violently unstable. Its front end has an intrinsic
tendency to whip to the side and dig in at an oblique angle from the
direction of travel. If this were allowed to happen at speed, it
inevitably would result in a crash. The range of steering angle
within which it does not try to flop the front wheel one way or the
other is so narrow as to be like balancing on a knife edge.
Increasing speed does not have a pronounced stabilizing effect on the
BikeE as it usually does on a poorly configured, unstable but
otherwise normal bike.

Since you may be lacking in recent experience with normal bikes, I'll
point out that a well-configured normal bike is self-stabilizing when
moving in the forward direction, and self-destabilizing when moving
backwards. That is what I mean when I say the BikeE handles like you
are trying to ride it backwards. Nowhere in the riding envelope do
the bike's intrinsic steering characteristics displace the rider's
active intervention in keeping the bike upright.

If there were true, how is that so many people found it so
easy to ride mine the first time without any problems?


I managed to ride a BikeE all over Seattle without crashing it. That
is _not_ the same thing as the BikeE being easy to ride. I have
ridden this bike I made all over Seattle and elsewhere without
crashing it, too-- and anyone who has tried it can tell you it is not
a sweet-handling contraption:

http://datribean.com/chalo/images/x-plain1.jpg

In my opinion, it handles about as well as a BikeE.

I think that folks who have inured themselves to the handling
deficiencies of recumbent bikes, just like those who have gotten used
to chopper bikes, swing bikes, tallbikes, unicycles, etc., tend not to
see their preferred machines as ill-handling or lacking in
capability. They come to judge their rides of choice by a separate
standard, which is appropriate. But judged by empirically observable
criteria (time required to learn, turning radius, no-hands capability,
dynamic stability, ability to maintain a constant radius through a
turn, "stall speed", bump reaction, etc.) there is no real comparison
to be made between novelty machines like choppers, unis, and 'bents
versus normal, technologically mature bikes of conventional layout.

Chalo
  #10  
Old September 5th 08, 08:08 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
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Default BikeE?

On Fri, 5 Sep 2008 10:05:42 -0700 (PDT), Chalo
wrote:

'Bents seem to be in a state of development comparable to where normal
bicycles were in the 1870s-- there is no real consensus as to the best
configuration for a 'bent, and nobody has yet succeeded in making one
that clearly demonstrates the inferiority of other basic designs.


Dear Chalo,

That's an interesting comparison.

Velocipedes were the first bicycles with pedals. They appeared in the
1860s and looked like huge, clumsy modern bicycles with a crank
attached to the front wheel.

By the early 1870s, velocipedes had evolved into highwheelers.

The front wheel grew larger and larger to provide decent gearing, the
rear wheel shrank to allow easy mounting and to save weight, and the
seat moved up higher and higher for comfort and leverage, so the rider
ended up perched close enough to the front axle to tumble forward on
his face if he braked hard or hit a bump.

Safety highwheelers were developed at the same time, since the danger
of a header became obvious as soon people started riding highwheelers.

The safety versions were either dwarf highwheelers with mechanical
gearing to overcome the limits of a small front wheel, normal-size
highwheelers with mechanical gearing tricks to move the rider back
toward the rear wheel, or reversed highwheelers, with the big wheel in
back.

The safety highwheelers were never very popular, even though they were
prized by collectors. The primitive mechanical gearing tended to fail
outright or else wear out quickly, it cost far more than a simple
solid crank, and there was some stigma attached to riding a small
wheel bicycle when real men fearlessly rode 56-inch wheels.

The triumph of the highwheeler around 1880 was clear--it was known as
the ordinary because the brick-simple highwheeler was indeed the
ordinary bicycle, and everything else was just a silly contraption
that was less reliable, more expensive, and so on.

Like recumbents, the safety highwheelers did well in competition,
often winning races. The victories of the safety highwheelers had
about the same effect on their sales as recumbent victories have
today--the Tour de France is not likely to switch to recumbents, no
matter how fast the Varna Diablo II goes.

In 1884, half a dozen or so bizarre versions of the modern safety
bicycle appeared, most of them using chains, sprockets, and steering
borrowed from the thriving tricycle world.

Tricycles were enormously popular back then. Uncle James Starley is
famous because he came up with tangent lacing for highwheelers in the
early 1870s, but most of his production was tricycles, not
highwheelers. (And Starley's tricycles mostly used radial lacing. In
fact, most highwheelers ignored tangent lacing until 1885.)

Why were tricycles so popular?

First, tricycles were much easier to learn to ride. Nowadays, anyone
who tries to ride a highwheeler already has has years of experience
riding safety bicycles. Back then, the typical bicyclist was a grown
man who had never balanced on two wheels or turned a pedal.

Next, tricycles were much safer. They didn't fall over, anyone could
get on or off them, and they didn't go very fast. Just learning to
mount and dismount a highwheeler on flat ground usually involved a
number of falls.

Most of all, tricycles handled hills much better. You could climb
hills with a tricycle and pass highwheelers whose riders had gotten
off and were pushing. Then you could turn around and go back down,
comfortably and safely, while the highwheelers were careening out of
control past you, unable to brake safely and liable to being thrown
over the handlebar if they hit a bump.

That's why so many old books have titles that mention bicycles _and_
tricycles--the tricycles gave bicycles serious competition for just
riding around in the 1880s.

But 1884 was the beginning of the end for tricycles and highwheelers.
A spate of weird-looking two-wheelers with tricycle gearing and chains
and steering erupted--Humber, Marvel, Antelope, Pioneer, BSA, and the
prototype of nephew John Starley's Rover with remote steering, which
was improved in 1885, and soon we had the modern double-diamond safety
bike.

Curiously, nephew John Starley later wrote that he had hill climbing
in mind when he built the Rover, not safety. Looking back, we tend to
emphasize the obvious safety of sitting between two wheels, while our
great grandfathers took the highwheeler's dangers for granted and
cared more about getting up those damned hills.

The safeties quickly evolved to the classic double-diamond, with
inflatable tires appearing in 1889. Again, our modern notions lead us
to the wrong impression. The cushioning advantage of the pneumatic
tire is so obivous to us that we assume that Dunlop was looking for
comfort, but in fact his first experiments were aimed at showing that
an inflated tire rolled faster and farther than a solid rubber tire,
and the early pneumatics were used for racing.

By 1894, a decade after the first horde of chain-driven designs
appeared, the modern bicycle design was practically set in stone:

http://www.nostalgic.net/index.asp?S...2D94pg00%2Ejpg

Page down past the aluminum bicycle ad at the top and look at the
25-lb 1894 Warwick. It's a fixie with wooden rims, balloon tires, and
inch-pitch chain. The big chain disappeared first, the wooden rims
lasted longer, and many riders still use big tires for comfort (and
more riders would use wider tires if the roads were still unpaved).

Caliper brakes, rear hub brakes, hub gears, and derailleurs were all
available before 1900.

It took only ten years for safety bicycles to wipe out the
highwheelers--1894 was last year that highwheelers were produced.
Since then, the safety bicycle hasn't really changed much in 120
years. We have more gears, lighter frames, fewer spokes, thinner
tires, and so on, but 99% of the pedals are still attached to upright
double-diamond designs.

A few illustrations . . .

Velocipedes with two big wheels and front crank:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:T...Velocipede.jpg

Highwheeler with small rear wheel and lamp hanging under front axle:
http://i12.tinypic.com/4tz3tp0.jpg

A dwarf Kangaroo safety highwheeler, with coasting pegs sticking out
front and chain gearing hanging below the axle:
http://tinyurl.com/5ugd6o

The Star safety highwheeler, which put the big wheel in the rear:
http://tinyurl.com/5ugd6o

Starley's first remote steering Rover with a 36-inch front wheel:

http://books.google.com/books?id=VDl...ntcover#PPP237

The more sensible Rover:
http://i13.tinypic.com/4v67a5z.jpg

Again, Chalo makes a good point--the enormously popular upright
bicycle went through its bizarre variations in about ten years and
then settled on the modern bicycle design that hasn't changed much in
over a century, while recumbents have been wavering between various
designs since the 1930s (or earlier) without ever achieving much
popularity.

Cheers,

Carl Fogel
 




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