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What could possibly go wrong?

Old 08-27-23, 01:36 PM
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What could possibly go wrong?

At one time there were bicycle trade shows, and I attended them. I always made it a point to collect the literature of the goofiest, most dangerous, or otherwise ridiculous products on offer. I thought I would take this opportunity to share my stash, and encourage others to share their own.

Let's start with the Surf Bike. This is so safe, no helmet is even required.


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Old 08-27-23, 01:47 PM
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The Bodysail apparently only works on left hand drive bicycles.





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Old 08-27-23, 02:19 PM
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Old 08-27-23, 02:29 PM
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Do you have any idea how many times I've wished I could do this? Where I live it's a headwind no matter which direction I go, and I have occasional fantasies about rigging up a trench coat to tack into it; this is much better. What could possibly go wrong?

Originally Posted by Repack Rider
The Bodysail apparently only works on left had drive bicycles.



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Old 08-27-23, 02:47 PM
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September looms on the calendar.

I miss Interbike and all the odd and interesting components from some of the smaller less-well-known booths. It was fun to speculate which ones would go on to some success (like the iBert front-mounted child carrier) and the ones that wouldn't be quite as successful (the Taiwanese knockoff of the Burley Piccolo child trailer/rack combo which placed a vertical load behind the rear axle). And visiting the folks at the Ebon / Co-Union booth to see what wild new horn / grip / accessory design they'd come up with in the past year. Usually nothing in the aisles so magnificently misbegotten as for example the PMP crank, but you just never knew.

I will admit to buying that child trailer prototype, as I had a little one at the time, and I will say that we put successfully many hundreds of miles on it - after I loaded the adult bike with front bags to compensate for the vertical load in the rear.

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Old 08-27-23, 03:25 PM
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Interbike was the best. At the time it would have never crossed my mind to grab the swag from the nuttier vendors, but that might have been the smarter choice. We were so into the latest greatest road racing equipment we just blew by anything that wasn’t.
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Old 08-27-23, 03:46 PM
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Funny this discussion is happening at the same time the "Made" show is going on in Portland, OR. Seems like this might be the "new" Interbike.
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Old 08-27-23, 04:46 PM
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Interesting contraptions for the cycling enthusiast, it would be interesting to see how many were sold, the period that they were sold in "and" if there were any actions taken because accidents incurred while using them. I would like to be strapped to my bike, ride into a headwind and so on......anyone ever use any of these?
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Old 08-27-23, 04:55 PM
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When I was a volunteer firefighter, we would regularly attend the Fire Department Instructor Conference in Indianapolis. The trade show at the end of the week always had some interesting things in the booths. Some were from firefighters who were trying to sell their invention, others were from big companies testing the response. One product I saw that may have some use for cyclists was called Brief Relief. It was a bag with an absorbent material that you could urinate into and then seal up for disposal. They were marketing it to fire departments and utility companies who spend a lot of time outdoors without bathroom facilities.
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Old 08-27-23, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by markwesti
the Mattel X-15 Varoom cycle- a rear wheel steering recumbent trike came with a seat belt.
I have one, since about 1965? Christmas.
very cool but enough slop in the bushings to have wild speed wobble at speed downgrade.
joy stick steering. Switch to turn on the Varoom noise.
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Old 08-27-23, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Pompiere
When I was a volunteer firefighter, we would regularly attend the Fire Department Instructor Conference in Indianapolis. The trade show at the end of the week always had some interesting things in the booths. Some were from firefighters who were trying to sell their invention, others were from big companies testing the response. One product I saw that may have some use for cyclists was called Brief Relief. It was a bag with an absorbent material that you could urinate into and then seal up for disposal. They were marketing it to fire departments and utility companies who spend a lot of time outdoors without bathroom facilities.
It’s actually a frequently used product.

Quay crane or tower crane. Where’s the bathroom?
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Old 08-27-23, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
the Mattel X-15 Varoom cycle- a rear wheel steering recumbent trike came with a seat belt.
I have one, since about 1965? Christmas.
very cool but enough slop in the bushings to have wild speed wobble at speed downgrade.
joy stick steering. Switch to turn on the Varoom noise.
How does / did it work?
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Old 08-27-23, 08:49 PM
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I worked in a windsurfing shop in the late seventies when some agent of Darwinism came up with the idea of attaching a windsurfing sail to a skateboard. Two broken limbs among the more "adventurous" members of our clientele in the first week!
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Old 08-27-23, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Repack Rider
The Bodysail apparently only works on left hand drive bicycles.
Rans did it right with the Sailtrike. But that was long ago, and apparently Rans has now exited the cycling business entirely.

And is that a two-legged Pletscher kickstand on the (cough ::: drive side ::: ) of the bicycle?
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Old 08-28-23, 12:50 AM
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Old 08-28-23, 12:55 AM
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Old 08-28-23, 01:10 AM
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Old 08-28-23, 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by xiaoman1
Interesting contraptions for the cycling enthusiast, it would be interesting to see how many were sold, the period that they were sold in "and" if there were any actions taken because accidents incurred while using them.
Best, Ben
You're interested in stats and stories, of which their may be few! It's almost worth ones imagination to think up what might have happened when said product was received. Shenanigans.
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Old 08-28-23, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris
I worked in a windsurfing shop in the late seventies when some agent of Darwinism came up with the idea of attaching a windsurfing sail to a skateboard. Two broken limbs among the more "adventurous" members of our clientele in the first week!
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Oh, we used to do that in the 80's. But only if there was virtually no wind at all, or like 0.5 beaufort. Because braking in an emergency might cost you your surfing rig and that wouldnt be good...
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Old 08-28-23, 04:11 AM
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Now, if we could just get the bicycle buying public to look at the latest stuff they're pimping now, to think about these older "innovations".
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Old 08-28-23, 04:13 AM
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Nice collection of product info.

I too attended Interbike many times, as both a vendor and a dealer.

I always made note of the useless products, the money and effort put into them
and the presentations to try and sell them.

There are many, but my all time favorite useless item was the
Inclinometer. Small plastic tube, similar to a carpenters level, mounted next to a scale.

This thing was mounted to the top tube of the bicycle.

As you rode, the small ball in the tube would indicate the slope you were currently riding at.
First, the thing was difficult to read, especially while riding.

Second - who cares!

Sorry, no photo at this time.

rusty
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Old 08-28-23, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by 100bikes
There are many, but my all time favorite useless item was the
Inclinometer. Small plastic tube, similar to a carpenters level, mounted next to a scale.

This thing was mounted to the top tube of the bicycle.

As you rode, the small ball in the tube would indicate the slope you were currently riding at.
First, the thing was difficult to read, especially while riding.
Dude. I was getting to that.

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Old 08-28-23, 08:02 AM
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Actually, I know riders with those.


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Old 08-28-23, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by 100bikes
There are many, but my all time favorite useless item was the
Inclinometer. Small plastic tube, similar to a carpenters level, mounted next to a scale.

This thing was mounted to the top tube of the bicycle.

As you rode, the small ball in the tube would indicate the slope you were currently riding at.
First, the thing was difficult to read, especially while riding.

Second - who cares!

Sorry, no photo at this time.

rusty
As others have commented, there actually was/is a market for that.

Mount it sideways, and it's a ball bank indicator!

Now (according to my friend) Garmins do have this display mode in case the information is wanted.
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Old 08-28-23, 08:47 AM
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Timex Velo-Trak was my favorite. It's a wrist watch! It's a cyclocomputer! It didn't sell! I actually found them on closeout at Woolco (remember Woolco?) for $20 and could not resist, so bought one. Not a bad idea but it went inop shortly after purchase.
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