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  1. #1
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    Help please! Ideas for new bike accessories

    I am currently an engineering student at the UW-Madison. In our intro to engineering course, we are assigned a problem which we must address by coming up with a creative solution. We will have to design and build a prototype of our product.
    Our project is to opitimize bike storage. The main goal of our portion of the project is to design a device that allows easy access storage while riding. We would appreciate any input from the biking community on this project. We are looking for what you would like to carry while your biking and ideas about how the storage should be set up.
    If anyone else has an idea for a different bike accessory that has yet to be made or improved on we would be glad to hear about it.
    Let me know what you think.

  2. #2
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    Look at some of the mail order bike catalogs. There are lots and lots of ideas around for bike storage...none of them deal with the BIG issue: "the wife who will NOT allow a bike into the house".

  3. #3
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    I want to carry this:

    The views expressed by this poster do not reflect the views of BikeForums.net.

  4. #4
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    We are specifically looking for ways to store items while riding but still be able to access without stopping. What would you like easy access to while you ride? Cell phone? Mp3? Water? Map? Gps? Others? And where would you like it to be located, handlebars? the frame? Under the seat? On yourself in a sort of vest or pack?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper View Post
    I want to carry this:

    Our other group is actually looking into long term storage for laptops and books.

  6. #6
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    I've got one for you. Being a college student, I keep my road bike in my dorm room (which none of y'all know about ). I would love to be able to stand my bike up on its back wheel in a corner to conserve floor space, but the tough issue is that I cannot nail anything to the wall. I have a piece of rope that I'm using right now, but what I think would be ideal is something very small and minimal. Like something that could just sit on the floor, maybe having a support point on the seat post. Ideally this could fold up for easy storage.

    I used to be an engineering major before switching over to forensic science. I've though about this idea before, but never have had the resources to do a feasible prototype. If you do decide to give this a go, please let me know, I'd love to see what you come up with!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by madisonengr160 View Post
    We are specifically looking for ways to store items while riding but still be able to access without stopping. What would you like easy access to while you ride? Cell phone? Mp3? Water? Map? Gps? Others? And where would you like it to be located, handlebars? the frame? Under the seat? On yourself in a sort of vest or pack?
    ONe of the things I always thought was neat about the RANS Stratus was that they made a handlebar bag for it--so you could keep smaller items (like road food) right in front of you while riding. THis worked well on a recumbent bike that had a pair of long handlebars anyway.

    On an upright bike, about the only place that's easily accessible would be a fairing-type container right on the handlebars, such as what standard motorcycles use. The headlight might need to have a mount on the front of the fairing however, as most headlights attach to the handlebars normally.
    ~

  8. #8
    I make stuff up
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    Here's something I've seen in use. Looks pretty good for small items, food, phone . . .

    http://www.tri-sports.com/benbakis.html

    As suggested earlier, check out some of the bag manufacturers websites.

    Also, maybe your class could reconsider the project's direction. Storage of bicycles was mentioned by multiple responders to your original post.

    You've got a tough assignment here. Who selected it and do they actually ride a bike?
    Last edited by MrPhil; 09-16-08 at 08:58 PM. Reason: had more to say.
    It's around here somewhere . . .

  9. #9
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    So have y'all made any progress on the projects?

  10. #10
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    ever noticed how XC racers duck tape snacks to their bars? maybe a handy detachable clip?
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

  11. #11
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    That is a stupid thing to design since it is unsafe to fiddle with gadgets while you are riding. You should stop if you need to access those things. I think your instructor is exercising very poor judgment having you work on a project like that. Laws should be passed to stop people from doing these activities while driving a car and it is just as important for cycling.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  12. #12
    An Army of Fred harleyfrog's Avatar
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    Here's an idea for you to consider. I ride with a pair of panniers I made from plastic buckets that held cat litter. However, the lids snap off and have, on a couple occasions, came off. I'd like to see:

    • Hard-sided panniers (like bucket panniers) that have a hinged lid that opens to the rear (less likely to blow open)
    • A hard-sided rack trunk that's easy to get on and off the bike.
    • All three should have external handles to carry off bike.
    • The trunk could be compartmentalized to store tools, pumps, spare tubes/folding tires, etc.
    • Panniers could just be open, but have any hardware covered to avoid damage to items inside.
    • Locking lids would be nice, but not necessary.
    • Reflective tape on the outside.
    • The hooks on the panniers should make it easy to clip/unclip from rack but latched so as not to become unclipped riding over bumpy roads.
    • Added bonus would be a way to use bungees to strap lighter gear to the tops of the panniers for added carrying capacity.
    • Trunk should not interfere with access to contents in panniers (in other words, not too wide).


    How's that?
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  13. #13
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    Thanks everyone for all the input!

    Our semester is wrapping up and we have finished our selection process and our almost done with our fabrication. We have chosen two designs to build and present:

    1) A small storage compartment and ipod/mp3 holder for the top tube of the bike that will be placed up against the handlebars. It will allow for some storage underneath the ipod for keys, wallet, or anything else small that you would like to store. The ipod will sit on top so the rider can see the song and make selections. The safety concern that was brought up has been our top priority. We have taken it into consideration while designing and have reached the conclusion that no matter what, people will use their ipod/mp3 player while riding, mainly during recreational use. This device will allow safer operation of the player as the rider will not have to reach into a pocket to get it out. They will be able to glance down and press one button quickly while still being able to concentrate on the path as the ipod is closer to their range of site. This device is not meant for doing complex operations while riding, the rider should stop the bike in order to do anything other than a quick button push.

    2) A seat/helmet cover for commuters and students. We witnessed the need for a secure and dry place to store a helmet once the rider's destination is reached. Also, many people have covered their seats in plastic grocery bags to keep them dry if it rains/snows. We have solved this by creating a universal cover out of ripstop nylon that will cover the bike seat and helmet. The helmet is placed on the seat and this cover goes over both and locks underneath to secure it to the seat. We hope this will promote people to wear their helmets as we have witnessed many students who do not wear their helmet simply b/c they don't want to leave it by their bike unprotected or carry it with them into class.

  14. #14
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    I feel sorry for you.

    I think your teacher asigned you all a mostly bogus assignment. Being that bikes have been around in roughly the same configuration for so long, people have already figured out what and where to carry things.

    You're sent to look for a solution to a non-existent problem.

    You should also try asking the touring community here, they might have some ideas.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Fantasminha's Avatar
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    That's a tough one. There are already so many things available. Here's my $0.02...

    I'm a commuter. I carry a laptop, my lunch (usually a frozen meal), a change of clothes (sometimes including shoes), a repair kit with extra tubes, those little air thingys, my mp3 player, my wallet and a bunch of miscellaneous items that go with my laptop like an external hard drive, extra battery, cords, etc.

    I think a better designed trunk rack would be nice. I would especially like it if it were "modular"... so for example, my laptop in a bag for the laptop with the track to put it on the rack horizontally (in panniers you must carry it vertically) with another track on the top to put the acutal trunk. I could have a small trunk and a large trunk. Maybe find a way to work the panniers in too.

    As for carrying things on the front, I wonder why there are not clip-on do-dads that use hardware like your front flashing light for stuff like cell phone, money, etc. If your cell phone rings while it's in your handlebar bag, you have to stop to dig it out (or, at least I do).

    Good luck with your project!

  16. #16
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    Here's my home-made clipboard holder, it could hold a small laptop too, but I wouldn't want to risk it.



    It's held on with a bolt attached to the handle bars with a hoseclamp.



    My clipboard drops into the clip and is then held on by the bungees.





    and I keep it in this when I'm not using it.


    This is usefull and all, but what I really want is a spill-proof coffee mug that attaches to the handlebar for my morning commute.
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