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-   -   Land Rider (http://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/8797-land-rider.html)

Dahon.Steve 05-12-02 10:00 PM

Land Rider
 
I just noticed a new auto shifting bike on an infomercial called LandRider. www. landrider.com.

It looks like the AutoBike but the company states they are a different firm. The infomercial glorifies this auto shifting cycle as the wave of the future. They put this bike against a 3 speed cruiser and a ten speed on an uphill and guess who won? LandRider of course.

Don't get me wrong, anything that get more people on bikes is better than nothing but there are plenty of autoshifing cycles out there but people just don't know about them. This is not a new concept at all but a rehash of the failed Autobike which had only six gears Total!!

What gets me is this bike is heavy at 33 lbs and only has 14 gears. Here's what they state on their web site about all you guys who have 21 or more gears.

"The general perception is that 21 gears are better than 10 or 15 - and now you can even find bikes with 24 or 28 speeds! The fact is that many of these gears are duplicates. A typical 21 speed bike has 7 gears in the back and 3 in the front to give you 21 in all. The problem is that when you change gears in the front you will usually be in the wrong gear in the back - it's why people are usually riding in the wrong gear. It's confusing. With AutoShift and AutoMax, you'll have 7 high and 7 low gears. A simple twist of the left hand will allow you to select High or Low and AutoShift does the rest! You'll always be in the right gear! "

Well. I guess the folks at LandRider have figured changing gears is too difficult for us dummies and we should go back to 14 gears again.

The second problem with this bike is who is going to fix that AutoShift when it goes out of allignment? Needless to say, I called their 800 number provided on the web and it transferred me to a sex line called "Intimate Connections"? I called again and finally reached someone who told me I had to go to a LBS that was almost 38 miles away!!

What gets me folks is there are many quality bike companies out there and yet the only one's that market themselves on national television are the firms that offer gimmicks. The informercial insulted my intelligence several times and left me shocked at the bogus statements made on that program. I guess the only people who really believed what was advertised where those who are TOTALLY clueless about bicycles.

I just had to get this off my chest.

Allister 05-12-02 10:57 PM

Has there ever been a product worth buying that was advertised on an infomercial?

(speaking of insults to your intelligence, the word 'infomercial' is a standout example - and I like made up words. Anyone out there work in infomerce?)

mike 05-12-02 10:58 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Dahon.Steve



"The general perception is that 21 gears are better than 10 or 15 - and now you can even find bikes with 24 or 28 speeds! The fact is that many of these gears are duplicates. A typical 21 speed bike has 7 gears in the back and 3 in the front to give you 21 in all. The problem is that when you change gears in the front you will usually be in the wrong gear in the back - it's why people are usually riding in the wrong gear. It's confusing

This is a true statement. There is duplication of gear ratios. In fact, some sprocket combinations are not useable - or at least not recommended.

As simple as gear shifting is, a lot of people never figure it out and are intimidated by it. I heard that the state-of-the-art auto shifters still aren't perfected yet, but someday they will be.

I'm all for auto-shifting. If it facilitates human powered vehicle usage - super. Who says shifting has to be done manually?

velocipedio 05-13-02 06:19 AM

The Landrider shifts up when your pedalling cadence rises above 55 rpm and down when it drops below 50 rpm. Not much chance of much speed there... in fact, I see some knee injuries happening. It's also worth noting that it comes in two sizes and weighs 33 lbs.

Seems to me that a lot of people are getting ripped off for $400 [the base model] or $600 [the top model.

John E 05-13-02 07:27 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by velocipedio
The Landrider shifts up when your pedalling cadence rises above 55 rpm and down when it drops below 50 rpm.
They really should have made the shift points user-adjustable, preferably with a real-time lever for those who wish to vary cadence as they ride. I do not where they came up with a 55rpm redline -- mine is about twice that!

It is not difficult to configure a double or triple chainring system with nicely-spaced, non-redundant ratios (except for cross-chaining). My general formula is to use either a 3-tooth (for half-step) or an 8-tooth (for 1.5-step) drop between the two outer chainrings, with a 2-tooth progression in back. My "21-speed" mountain bike (48-40-24/13-15-17-19-22-24-26) has 18 good ratios. On-road, I use it as a 13-speed (two outer rings, avoid 48/26). Off-road, I use 40-24 rings, avoiding 24/13 and 24/15.

wabbit 05-13-02 09:02 AM

I was wondering when they'd start showing that infomercial again.

What a ripoff, just so you don't have to shift. Is it really worth it? I like when they say, "It's so much easier, I don't have to worry about shifting." ANd these people drive cars? It it really that complicated? They also look like they don't go terribly fast. What's the point? I mean you don't have to be Cipollini but it sort of defeats the purpose, all so you don't have to shift. The thing is I haven't seen one single Landrider yet.

Teresa 05-13-02 09:08 AM

I saw this infomercial the other day. I had fun ranting at it and telling it how silly it was.

They kept repeating foolish statements about how DIFFICULT it is to shift, and how it takes the fun out of everything. They pushed suspension seatposts like they had invented them, as well as their new super-cool brakes (I'm not a brake expert, but they didn't look that impressive to me).

If the bike gets more people riding it, then that's fantastic. But the statement by a guy who said he no longer had to do an hour of maintenance before he rode was just bizarre. I would think an automatic shifter would require either more maintenance or more trips to the LBS or manufacturer. I wasn't sure what maintenance he felt he didn't have to perform anymore.

But, as was stated earlier, it WAS an infomercial. If I watch them it's because I enjoy telling the people how dumb they are and why I would never buy their product.

Teresa

The Rob 05-13-02 09:41 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Allister
Has there ever been a product worth buying that was advertised on an infomercial?


Thigh-Master!

Oh...sorry, just realized your question was rhetorical...:p

-Rob

Richard D 05-13-02 10:19 AM

Plenty of people buy cars with automatic transmission rather than manual...

Richard

Rich Clark 05-13-02 11:04 AM

A good auto-shifting bike could be beneficial. It might well help encourage more people to ride. A market exists for such a thing. That's why there continues to be so much R&D into creating a viable design.

The Land Rider (and the Autobike) aren't it, of course. The obvious problem is a shifting system that doesn't account for individual differences in riders, and that therefore makes even approximate optimization of shifting a matter of chance. And it's still entirely possible to get "stuck" in too high a gear going uphill with one of these, and that's a newbie's most common shifting error with any type of shifting.

An even bigger problem is that these are heavy bikes that are unlikely to fit or be comfortable for most riders. When adults quit riding they do so because they find it unpleasant. It hurts, it chafes, they get saddle sores, they get knee pain, they get back pain. Most of these problems stem from buying mass-produced bikes at discount stores, and the bikes are the wrong size, not fit properly, have big fat soft saddles, and are poorly assembled.

These informercial bikes are just discount store bikes with a gimmick so they can double the price. They will not make riding any more comfortable for most buyers.

The focus on shifting as complex and maintenance-intensive is a classic "straw man" advertising strategy. It's easy to point to and talk about, and the gizmo is easy to point to and identify as a solution. The fact that shifting is not really a big problem, and not the thing that prevents most attempts to enjoy cycling, is not a message anyone is paying big advertising dollars to get aired, so it doesn't.

RichC

Allister 05-13-02 01:51 PM

What do you folks thik of Shimano's contribution in the 'autoshift wars'? PErsonally I reckon some of the statments in this article from the Shimano guy are as bogus as any infomercial.

I recently completed a survey on the Encycleopedia site about these things. one of the more judicrous questions was "Di2 [the snappy title they're giving it] technology should be adapted for use in competitive cycling." sheesh. See it here.

aturley 05-13-02 04:16 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Allister
What do you folks thik of Shimano's contribution in the 'autoshift wars'? PErsonally I reckon some of the statments in this article from the Shimano guy are as bogus as any infomercial.

I recently completed a survey on the Encycleopedia site about these things. one of the more judicrous questions was "Di2 [the snappy title they're giving it] technology should be adapted for use in competitive cycling." sheesh. See it here.

I have a little more faith in Shimano to get the system right. But it still will not be perfect, and the cost will probably remain high enough to discourage too many people from adopting it. They expect the new bikes to cost around 2000-3000USD. A little on the high end for what will effectively be a cruiser or commuter bike. Most will probably be ridden a few times and then hung up in the garage.

I don't think most cyclists have a huge problem with shifting. It isn't a complicated process like it is with a car, where you have to get the hang of the clutch. And you don't have to keep getting in and out of gear in stop-and-go traffic.

andy


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