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Old 09-11-08, 10:12 AM   #1
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Help me out with my Engineering project?

Hi. I am a senior at the University of New Mexico working on a degree in Mechanical Engineering. For our final project we have to design a product and build a prototype. We are thinking of making a space saving bike rack that is unlike anything on the market and we need to get some feedback from potential customers. I was hoping that people could take a moment and fill out a survey that we have put together. It will not take very long and it would be a great help to us. If anyone finds major problems with the idea they can post here and maybe we could start a discussion. Hopefully we will be able to come up with a viable product that could be taken to market. The survey is at the link below. Thanks a lot for your help!
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Old 09-11-08, 10:20 AM   #2
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Done. I think some of the questions were a little hard to answer without knowing anything about what the rack will look like. Also, for feature preferences, yeah, I want it all, but.... not at any price. It might have been more useful to have questions like "How much would you be willing to pay for [feature]?"

P.S. I *am* a mechanical engineer, so if you would like some feedback on your design, let me know.
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Old 09-11-08, 10:52 AM   #3
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Added my 2c. It sounds like an interesting idea. But I'd be reluctant to store my mountain bikes with their open oil bath design. I understand the forks don't like to be stored upside down or sideways. Probably work well for road bikes.
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Old 09-11-08, 11:08 AM   #4
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"Where do you store your bikes"- one in the living room, 2 in the garage, but no way to put that in the survey.
"leaning against the wall in the garage"- uh, no, some bikes DO have kickstands.
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Old 09-11-08, 11:30 AM   #5
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My bikes are stored...

2 leaning against the bookshelf, 2 leaning against the closet in my daughter's room, 1 other in my daughter's room, 2 leaning against the sliding glass door in my bedroom, 1 in my son's room, 2 in the garage.

Space is at a premium here. The garage is full of stationary power tools. There's really no room for bikes and I don't want them in there. They get covered in sawdust. So the bikes end up in the house. It's crowded! I've been thinking about pulling pictures down and putting up hooks to hang them on the walls.

Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.
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Old 09-11-08, 04:27 PM   #6
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Is saving garage space important to you?
I don't have a garage. You actually asked that in an earlier question, as I recall.
Would you prefer a locking mechanism to secure the rack in the up position?
Huh? What position is 'up'? I'm still slightly hazy on the use of the different positions.
Would you prefer to have to remove you front wheel when storing?
I don't think anyone PREFERS to take the wheel off. Do they OBJECT to it? Is it an unacceptable burden? That might be a question.
Also, my bikes are parked with kickstands in the entryway.
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Old 09-12-08, 08:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by bwunger View Post
Added my 2c. It sounds like an interesting idea. But I'd be reluctant to store my mountain bikes with their open oil bath design. I understand the forks don't like to be stored upside down or sideways. Probably work well for road bikes.
I agree, probably also true for road bikes. I designed a rack for my garage wall that supports the bikes with two arms beneath the top tube - a common design. Hanging them sideways or upside down could put undue stress on the fancy carbon seat stays/forks and rims of a road bike. I am an architect and I too would be interested in seeing your project.
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Old 09-12-08, 11:10 AM   #8
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As with others, many of the questions are a bit ambiguous and difficult to answer without a better idea of what the rack looks like or how it functions, especially relative to any other ceiling mounted rack/lift on the market. And, also as mentioned, many of the features listed would be nice, but price comes into play.

I currently have 5 or 6 bikes at my place, 4 of which are mine. At any given time though the number can be has high as 8 or 9. Having the rack scale well is important, but price is a big factor. Most of the bikes get parked in the garage, next to the riding mower and lawn equipment. I don't park a car in the garage because it also doubles as a workshop so space is at a premium but with 14' ceilings, elevated storage has been something I've contemplated for a good while now.

The biggest problem is ease of use. I'd only be storing the bikes that I don't regularly use on the ceiling unless it was almost stupidly easy (and fast) to get them down safely. And those three things don't bode well with keeping it financially reasonable. The bikes I use regularly (nearly all of them) are stored either leaning against the wall or by their kick stands - or are being worked on so they're on the repair stand. If it was super easy and quick to use though I'd store them out of the way and maybe be able to fit my car in there.

Just nit picking but that's kind of how I saw it.
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