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  1. #1
    o.O Seggybop's Avatar
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    Designing a bike for the post-industrial wasteland

    I've been contemplating the future post-Peak Oil, and I've concluded that I need to assemble an awesome indestructible bike that will last forever while the industrial resources to construct such a thing are still accessible. Even if you're a silly person who believes everything's going to keep chugging along happily, please bear with me for this thread.

    I figure I definitely want a titanium frame because it'll have the strength of steel without being affected by rust, and it's also something that likely wouldn't be available anymore in the future. It'll need every mount/eyelet imaginable.

    Beyond that, I don't know. Wheel/tire size? Drivetrain type? handlebar setup? What else?
    mi yu mi yu

  2. #2
    Senior Member Akadis's Avatar
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    I too wonder how life will be in the post oil age. Looking to the past, or pre oil age, there were horses and walking, including slaves and sedan chairs. Raw materials were wood, wrought iron and leather. I wonder what will be available to us when the oil is gone? Will there be carbon fibre and titanium?

    Titanium has excellent properties: no corrosion, no paint, strong and light, but very hard to repair. Steel can be repaired with basic equipment, and will last a lifetime if cared for. Bearings will need to be industrial grade sealed units, and when times are really tough, then iron shafts in wood blocks, well greased with tallow. I would be looking at shaft drive or a fully enclosed chain, or a fixie, al-la penny-farthing. Cables: stainless steel double strength, or stainless rod linkages. Wheels: double strength titanium rims and stainless spokes. Tires: now we have a problem – make the rims adjustable so any available tire will fit, and then look at leather and gutta percha, or whatever new substance is available.

    Sorry, I’m a cynical old bastrad, and I am not making fun of the idea. What I have learned is to get the best available in my circumstances, enjoy it and use it well. Make a Rolls Royce bike if possible and enjoy it even more, but the bottom line for me is to adapt and move with the times, making the most of whatever is available.

  3. #3
    we are 138 Philatio's Avatar
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    I think the best setup would be something like a cross/touring bike that you could reasonably take on or off road and still be fine. Basically clearance for wide tires, cantilever brakes, the capacity to carry everything you own, internal hub or maybe fg/ss. I could see SS being more practical, as it's easier to shoot people trying to steal your **** while you're coasting.

    As far as all the other stuff, I see it being much more viable to stock up on a ton of **** rather than trying to find something that will never break or wear out.

  4. #4
    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seggybop
    I've been contemplating the future post-Peak Oil, and I've concluded that I need to assemble an awesome indestructible bike that will last forever while the industrial resources to construct such a thing are still accessible. Even if you're a silly person who believes everything's going to keep chugging along happily, please bear with me for this thread.

    Speaking of silly, this thread is a top nominee
    Comedian Bill Hicks once said, "Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy a jet ski, and you never see an unhappy person riding a jet ski."

  5. #5
    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    Whatcha worried about. You can make perfectly usable bikes with bamboo and reeds. They will be more easily serviced in the bleak future than your NASA relic.

  6. #6
    darling no baka landstander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FXjohn
    Speaking of silly, this thread is a top nominee
    +1
    Dragon... ATTACK!

  7. #7
    Enamoured of bicycles Bizikleto's Avatar
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    Man, bikes are the only real way of extending the use of natural resources beyond the present expectations, by means of reducing fuel demand, but nothing else. In that post-oil era that you picture out, even your Frankenstein bike will eventually subside to decay and destruction. And wihout the level and kind of standardized production that we have nowadays, forget about spare parts and replacements. And then we'd come down to the same kind of rig chunks that our ancestors used, which proved to be unviable on a normal day to day use basis, which led them to searching for other effortless means of transportation... which led to the mess we have today. In those post-oil times, there'd better be any other ways of massive production of energy, be it cold fusion or whatever. Or rather... we'd better change our way of thinking and behaving altogether.
    Doubt is usually the beginning of wisdom. Scott Peck.
    There is no bigger signal of ignorance than that of believing impossible the unexplainable. S. Bilard

  8. #8
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    I bet you don't need to be reminded that Jerico is on tonight.

  9. #9
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    You should design it out of bamboo.
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  10. #10
    GATC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seggybop
    Beyond that, I don't know. Wheel/tire size? Drivetrain type? handlebar setup? What else?
    The handlebar will need a machine *** mount, but at some point there will be no more bullets, and then you will need a jousting lance eyelet on the frame.

  11. #11
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Make the top tube out of cast iron with a 1" bore. Black powder will be with us in the Post-Industrial era.
    This space open

  12. #12
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    I'm betting on biodiesel to save us, so I just keep riding my same old bike.
    The United States of America is the only democratic nation in the world to deny citizens living in the nation's capital representation in the national legislature. District residents have no vote in either the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives. www.dcvote.org

  13. #13
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seggybop
    I've been contemplating the future post-Peak Oil, and I've concluded that I need to assemble an awesome indestructible bike that will last forever while the industrial resources to construct such a thing are still accessible. Even if you're a silly person who believes everything's going to keep chugging along happily, please bear with me for this thread...
    Beyond that, I don't know. Wheel/tire size? Drivetrain type? handlebar setup? What else?
    Check with Mel. He's full of ideas just like you.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    There will never be post post-Peak Oil. Oil is not produced from dead dinosaurs; it is produced in the hot mantel from high temperatures and pressures and forced up where we collect it. Old oil fields thought to have been pumped dry have oil in them again and there is plenty of oil in hard to reach places or places where the liberals don’t want oil wells sunk into the ground, which is everywhere. Noticed how oil prices have dropped drastically in the last few weeks? That's because some countries have started building synthetic fuel plants to produce an exceptionally clean burning fuel made from a blend of coal and other propriety additives. This fuel will be available for $2 a gallon at the pump, it will not leave carbon deposits on the engine parts or in the oil, and will produce more energy per gallon than petroleum derived fuels. If your fuel mileage is 20 MPG on petroleum-derived fuels your mileage on coal-derived fuels will be 26 MPG. Synthetic fuel at $2 a gallon is a better deal than gasoline at $1.50 a gallon, as it burns cleaner reducing engine damage due to carbon deposits, reduced lubricating oil service requirements, and reduced fuel consumption.

  15. #15
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4zou
    There will never be post post-Peak Oil. Oil is not produced from dead dinosaurs; it is produced in the hot mantel from high temperatures and pressures and forced up where we collect it. Old oil fields thought to have been pumped dry have oil in them again and there is plenty of oil in hard to reach places or places where the liberals donít want oil wells sunk into the ground, which is everywhere. Noticed how oil prices have dropped drastically in the last few weeks? That's because some countries have started building synthetic fuel plants to produce an exceptionally clean burning fuel made from a blend of coal and other propriety additives. This fuel will be available for $2 a gallon at the pump, it will not leave carbon deposits on the engine parts or in the oil, and will produce more energy per gallon than petroleum derived fuels. If your fuel mileage is 20 MPG on petroleum-derived fuels your mileage on coal-derived fuels will be 26 MPG. Synthetic fuel at $2 a gallon is a better deal than gasoline at $1.50 a gallon, as it burns cleaner reducing engine damage due to carbon deposits, reduced lubricating oil service requirements, and reduced fuel consumption.
    Are you referring to DME or syngas? In either case, neither one is a direct replacement for gasolene. Neither of them has an octane rating close to gas. DME is only suitable for use in diesel engines, and even then it needs a lubricant additive. It is more suited to replacing propane and other cooking fuels, though you could use it to generate electricity.

    Syngas can be derived from a few different sources, including coal, municipal waste and natural gas. However, it has only half the energy density of natural gas. Again, it is better suited to generating electricity rather than directly powering cars.

    An article on DME

    Wiki entry on syngas
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  16. #16
    Opt-in Member GreenGrasshoppr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4zou
    There will never be post post-Peak Oil. Oil is not produced from dead dinosaurs; it is produced in the hot mantel from high temperatures and pressures and forced up where we collect it. Old oil fields thought to have been pumped dry have oil in them again and there is plenty of oil in hard to reach places or places where the liberals donít want oil wells sunk into the ground, which is everywhere. Noticed how oil prices have dropped drastically in the last few weeks? That's because some countries have started building synthetic fuel plants to produce an exceptionally clean burning fuel made from a blend of coal and other propriety additives. This fuel will be available for $2 a gallon at the pump, it will not leave carbon deposits on the engine parts or in the oil, and will produce more energy per gallon than petroleum derived fuels. If your fuel mileage is 20 MPG on petroleum-derived fuels your mileage on coal-derived fuels will be 26 MPG. Synthetic fuel at $2 a gallon is a better deal than gasoline at $1.50 a gallon, as it burns cleaner reducing engine damage due to carbon deposits, reduced lubricating oil service requirements, and reduced fuel consumption.
    We might never run out of oil, but we might run out of cheap oil.

    Expect the price of locally unavailable stuff to go way up.

    For ground based personal transportation, the worst that we can expect is people switching to alcohol engine driven aerodynamic trikes, for example like those that people build for the Shell Eco Marathon.

  17. #17
    Life is short Ride hard
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    I will ride a fixed gear bike while dressed Mad Max style
    The Ferrari ('05 Bianchi Forza) had a flat (Stupid Glass) the Japanese wagon ('77 Nishiki with Arkel Utility Basket) was in the body shop (On my bench being repainted...repent ye rust)
    so I took the SUV ( Cannondale V2000 Active 100SL)

  18. #18
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    For ground based personal transportation, the worst that we can expect is people switching to alcohol engine driven aerodynamic trikes, for example like those that people build for the Shell Eco Marathon.
    I think, given the inefficiency of producing bio-alcohol, biodiesel or vegetable oil are much more likely candidates for powering the small trikes (or public buses, etc.).

    Everybody ought to keep in mind, though, that despite any shortages of oil, there's enough coal to last quite a while and fuel for nuclear fission power plants is really going to last a long time.
    Some awesome folks who are working to give Haitians the ability to manage their safety and their lives:
    Haiti Partners

  19. #19
    Dog is my copilot. GGDub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4zou
    There will never be post post-Peak Oil. Oil is not produced from dead dinosaurs; it is produced in the hot mantel from high temperatures and pressures and forced up where we collect it. Old oil fields thought to have been pumped dry have oil in them again and there is plenty of oil in hard to reach places or places where the liberals donít want oil wells sunk into the ground, which is everywhere. Noticed how oil prices have dropped drastically in the last few weeks? That's because some countries have started building synthetic fuel plants to produce an exceptionally clean burning fuel made from a blend of coal and other propriety additives. This fuel will be available for $2 a gallon at the pump, it will not leave carbon deposits on the engine parts or in the oil, and will produce more energy per gallon than petroleum derived fuels. If your fuel mileage is 20 MPG on petroleum-derived fuels your mileage on coal-derived fuels will be 26 MPG. Synthetic fuel at $2 a gallon is a better deal than gasoline at $1.50 a gallon, as it burns cleaner reducing engine damage due to carbon deposits, reduced lubricating oil service requirements, and reduced fuel consumption.

    LOL, keep smoking what you're smoking man. Oil comes from organic-rich source rocks that when subject to extreme heat and pressure due to burial or subduction, the kerogen is "cracked" and oil and natural gas are formed. It then migrates due to differential pressure, and sometimes with luck it ends up in a reservoir rock with enough porosity and permeability that make it economical to produce. It also needs a trap to keep it there. New technologies are what's making old oil fields produce again (CO2 flooding, water flooding etc) because its impossible to get all the oil out in the first place because of loss of pressure, capillary effects of the matrix porosity. It has nothing to do with "recharging" of the reservoir by oil coming from the mantel. Please don't post anymore about something you obviously have no freakin clue about.
    Rubber Side Down

  20. #20
    Senior Member fender1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4zou
    There will never be post post-Peak Oil. Oil is not produced from dead dinosaurs; it is produced in the hot mantel from high temperatures and pressures and forced up where we collect it. Old oil fields thought to have been pumped dry have oil in them again and there is plenty of oil in hard to reach places or places where the liberals donít want oil wells sunk into the ground, which is everywhere. Noticed how oil prices have dropped drastically in the last few weeks? That's because some countries have started building synthetic fuel plants to produce an exceptionally clean burning fuel made from a blend of coal and other propriety additives. This fuel will be available for $2 a gallon at the pump, it will not leave carbon deposits on the engine parts or in the oil, and will produce more energy per gallon than petroleum derived fuels. If your fuel mileage is 20 MPG on petroleum-derived fuels your mileage on coal-derived fuels will be 26 MPG. Synthetic fuel at $2 a gallon is a better deal than gasoline at $1.50 a gallon, as it burns cleaner reducing engine damage due to carbon deposits, reduced lubricating oil service requirements, and reduced fuel consumption.
    Above= Graduate of the Sean Hannity/Rush Limbaugh School of Geology.

  21. #21
    |+|+|+|+|+|+| * jack *'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seggybop
    Beyond that, I don't know. What else?
    stock up on tubes and tires.

  22. #22
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Look at the bikes that Black Label, C.H.U.N.K. 666, and Dead Baby put together. These are already some post-apocalyptic looking rides built largely from junker materials, and they joust on these beasts!
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  23. #23
    meep! legot73's Avatar
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    As with all "which bike" questions, it depends. Where do you anticipate going in this post-apocolyptic world? What do you plan on transporting? More importantly, what do you plan on eating to power it?

    If you truly want to prep for the apocolypse, I'd put the wheels a bit lower on the list, and focus on making and successfully using a slingshot (not the Dennis the Menace type, a real one), out of any fiber you can find, growing vegetables without your hose, learning what plants are edible and how to trap/hund and prepare small game, and building strong relationships with other people you plan to survive with.

    IMO, the the only things worth stockpiling that will make a real difference are books.

    You'll be too busy to ride, anyway.
    Nothing says "in good times and in bad" like a good pair of fenders

  24. #24
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4zou
    There will never be post post-Peak Oil. Oil is not produced from dead dinosaurs; it is produced in the hot mantel from high temperatures and pressures and forced up where we collect it. Old oil fields thought to have been pumped dry have oil in them again and there is plenty of oil in hard to reach places or places where the liberals don’t want oil wells sunk into the ground, which is everywhere. Noticed how oil prices have dropped drastically in the last few weeks? That's because some countries have started building synthetic fuel plants to produce an exceptionally clean burning fuel made from a blend of coal and other propriety additives. This fuel will be available for $2 a gallon at the pump, it will not leave carbon deposits on the engine parts or in the oil, and will produce more energy per gallon than petroleum derived fuels. If your fuel mileage is 20 MPG on petroleum-derived fuels your mileage on coal-derived fuels will be 26 MPG. Synthetic fuel at $2 a gallon is a better deal than gasoline at $1.50 a gallon, as it burns cleaner reducing engine damage due to carbon deposits, reduced lubricating oil service requirements, and reduced fuel consumption.
    I'll take science over political bluster any day. You don't get hydrocarbon chains out of hot rock, buddy. And you don't get "synthetic" coal fuel for free, for cheap, or anything at all. That crap ain't worth burning.

    The OP is still pretty silly. If the future wasteland you envision does come to pass, no bike you could design today would last more than a couple of decades (most optimistic estimate) before it became simply impossible to repair. I'd wait till the crisis hits and then see what you can come up with.

  25. #25
    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanparrish
    I will ride a fixed gear bike while dressed Mad Max style
    Swinging a heavy chain and padlock.

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