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Old 08-17-13, 07:30 PM   #1
Fastfingaz
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Automatio shifting bicycle

This just came to mind , a few years back they were advertizing a auto shift bicycle on TV the question is ,,,what happened to it? if anybody knows and did anyone here buy or own one?? just asking,,,,,
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Old 08-17-13, 07:38 PM   #2
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I saw those too, dismissed them pretty quick -- especially after curiosity moved me to search them and read a fistful of bad reviews. Poor shift-point selection, always in too low a gear, etc. When I looked closer at the bikes themselves, they're little more than the Walmart Next Avalon softail, MSRP $119. While THAT BSO is slightly better than the rest at or near the price, I wouldn't consider one until after I was about 75-y-o......
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Old 08-17-13, 07:55 PM   #3
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they never quite shift when you want them to.. and the parts QC is usually low grade.

Nu Vinci has the practical idea ..continuously variable ratio, the grip shifter is rotated till it feels right .

it does no more shift than the earth jumps from winter to summer.
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Old 08-17-13, 08:16 PM   #4
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They are low quality and hard to find parts for. Many bike shops here can't fix them. It's a lousy idea to start with.
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Old 08-17-13, 08:57 PM   #5
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They are low quality and hard to find parts for. Many bike shops here can't fix them. It's a lousy idea to start with.
Correct. Even a high quality auto-shift bike is a bad idea, because there is no one "right gear" for all the various situations.
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Old 08-17-13, 09:59 PM   #6
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They are a solution for which there is no problem.
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Old 08-17-13, 10:06 PM   #7
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What happened to them is they went out of business. It didn't take that long either. Probably because as others have said, it was a bad implementation. I actually think it's a good idea for a small niche customer but the implementation of this idea was quite poor. Hard to sink money into a business when not many people are going to buy it.
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Old 08-17-13, 10:45 PM   #8
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Landrider? Copyright in 2008 and there is no wiki article.
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Old 08-17-13, 11:07 PM   #9
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Nu Vinci has the practical idea ..continuously variable ratio, the grip shifter is rotated till it feels right .
+1. An experienced rider will shift in anticipation of a change in terrain or effort -- it would take a very "smart" system to shift for the rider, even after being calibrated for the individual's preferences.
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Old 08-18-13, 05:05 AM   #10
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Things like that come and go for a variety of reasons; poor execution, lack of repair parts, lack of market. Even the big boys miss the mark. Anybody remember the Shimano Coasting system? How about Shimano FFS (Front Freewheel System). I have examples of both in my collection. Neither one was around for very long. Shaft drive is another one that comes around every decade or so, then quietly goes away.

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Old 08-18-13, 09:08 AM   #11
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Automatic transmissions have become popular with cars because it's easy for a car to sense its engine load, speed, and figure out which gear is the most optimal. But a bicycle engine is the rider, and the rider knows best which gear to select, not the bike. I'd like to see a continuous variable transmission on bikes. That way, you can put out a constant force no matter the terrain.
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Old 08-18-13, 09:38 AM   #12
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when I saw the commercials I thought it was a good idea, I also knew i'd never own one thought they'd be expensive as hell! I did see one on one of the MS tour training rides ,It looked alright???
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Old 08-18-13, 10:17 AM   #13
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Things like that come and go for a variety of reasons; poor execution, lack of repair parts, lack of market. Even the big boys miss the mark. Anybody remember the Shimano Coasting system? How about Shimano FFS (Front Freewheel System). I have examples of both in my collection. Neither one was around for very long. Shaft drive is another one that comes around every decade or so, then quietly goes away.
A fellow near St Louis had a production run made of 2-wheel drive bicycles. They linked the wheels with a flexible drive shaft and bevel gears. I don't know what it was supposed to be good for - I thought it was a solution seeking a problem.

I've also had the opportunity to work professionally on a couple of Landrider bicycles. I couldn't see much benefit in them either.
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Old 08-18-13, 05:01 PM   #14
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Landrider? Copyright in 2008 and there is no wiki article.
Had one of those come into my clinic. Interesting idea,but as others have said,it can't provide optimal gearing,and there's no way to override it. Prolly works just fine for people in flat areas who just want to troll the local MUPs,but not too good for folks in hilly areas.

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How about Shimano FFS (Front Freewheel System).
Had one of those come into my clinic too. Didn't realize it until I started lubing the chain and tried to spin the cranks backwards to advance the links. That bike also had that weird groupo with the indexing in the derailleur and the solid push-pull cables. Sometimes I think Shimano does things just to prove they can.

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A fellow near St Louis had a production run made of 2-wheel drive bicycles. They linked the wheels with a flexible drive shaft and bevel gears. I don't know what it was supposed to be good for - I thought it was a solution seeking a problem.
I remember seeing those on a science show. The idea was 2WD would improve traction off road. There's a motorcycle called the Rokon that is still made with 2WD. Slower than a turtle,but they will plod through anything.
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Old 08-18-13, 08:19 PM   #15
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It will be back again as soon as they sponsor a racing team and manage to convince the wanna bees that it will make them as fast as drug popping, 140lb racers...
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Old 08-18-13, 09:22 PM   #16
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A fellow near St Louis had a production run made of 2-wheel drive bicycles. They linked the wheels with a flexible drive shaft and bevel gears. I don't know what it was supposed to be good for - I thought it was a solution seeking a problem.
The thinking is that if it works on cars, it should work on bikes. The difference is that most cars have plenty of power to spin one or two wheels if traction starts getting iffy, but not so with cyclists. With motorcycles, it seems you can go uphill fast and with lots of spinning, or slowly with 2WD and most people prefer the former. It's like the choice of going offroad using a monster truck or a bulldozer.
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Old 08-19-13, 06:37 AM   #17
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Rode One...

My older brother bought one a few years ago, and never rode it. Ever. I saw it in his storage shed with the cardboard tube wrappings still in place. He also bought the water bottle, light and pump kit. I asked if he'd like me to sell it for him.

So, last summer, I brought it home, cleaned and lubricated it, and rode it for about 8 miles. Upshifting is awkward and too early for my power band. Downshifting is clunky. There's a manual shifter for the front chainrings which are H and L range. The quality of the components is truly bottom range. The bike is heavy, too.

The only benefits that I could see would be:

(1) Relative ease of use for someone who finds the concept of shifting intimidating
(2) Comfort styling

The negatives:

(1) Made for low-wattage riders
(2) Heavy

I assembled all of the accessories, took good quality photos, and sold it within a week for $250, giving my brother the money. He lost about half on the original purchase, from which he received no benefit.

I would NEVER ride one, unless it came along with a beach rental or somesuch... PG
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Old 08-19-13, 06:38 AM   #18
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PS: I kept the neat (heavy) multitool, stamped LandRider, though. Hex wrenches and two screwdrivers.
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Old 08-19-13, 07:44 AM   #19
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Automatic transmissions have become popular with cars because it's easy for a car to sense its engine load, speed, and figure out which gear is the most optimal. But a bicycle engine is the rider, and the rider knows best which gear to select, not the bike. I'd like to see a continuous variable transmission on bikes. That way, you can put out a constant force no matter the terrain.
Even a car is very poor with automatic transmissions. They sense the engine load sure, but it can only sense it after the fact. A car can't see the hill coming up or the turn coming up any more than a bicycle can and can only react to what has already happened (already started climbing the hill or already accelerating out of the turn.) It just has more power to catch back up to the fact that the event has already happened.

Take the auto 4WD stuff for instance. It senses slip and applies the power to the back wheels for traction. It senses slip? Isn't the purpose of 4WD to eliminate slip? If it senses slip, slip has already happened. The auto 4WD vehicle is reacting to an even that has already happened. Give me a lever to pull a transfer case into 4WD when I as the driver can see it is slippery before my car slips please.

I despise automatic stuff in the car, I imagine I would really despise automatic stuff on a bike.
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