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Modifications or improvised stuff

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Modifications or improvised stuff

Old 10-28-12, 11:02 AM
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gtid2012
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Modifications or improvised stuff

Hey guys,

I'm working with a team of industrial designers at Georgia Tech to design a new commuter bike. One of the things we'd like to know is what bikers have done to meet their needs that haven't been met by the products they can buy. Have you strapped a milk crate to your rack with bungee cords? Or wrapped reflective tape around your frame? These modifications help to give us an idea of what users really need. Could you guys help us out and post some pics or describe these kind of modifications that you have made?

Like this one here:
http://eugenebicyclist.com/2011/07/1...-2011-stage-9/

Also, if you'd really like to help us out we have a quick 10-15 minute survey in the survey sub-forum!

Thanks!

Last edited by unterhausen; 10-28-12 at 12:50 PM. Reason: edited to remove unacceptable term
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Old 10-28-12, 11:58 AM
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chriskmurray
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I think the industry has plenty of things out there to meet the needs of most cyclists. To me what the industry needs is far less hype and more honest advertising. Most people that come through the shop are completely overwhelmed by choices and marketing BS but really all they want is a bike that just simply works and is comfortable to ride. Commuters have plenty of options that work great for carrying gear already with the slew of pannier designs and cargo bike options out there.

My suggestions if you want to do something integrated for carrying gear, if the bike has a built in rack make sure it will work with the majority of panniers on the market. Specialized really dropped the ball here when they tried something similar with their "Haul" line of bikes.

The only thing I would like to see more of is a bike that focuses on being more visible at night, Giant started to do this with some of their bikes but I really like the idea of integrated reflective material on both the frame and rims. If you can make a bike that lights up like a Christmas tree when headlights hit it and still look "normal" when sitting on the showroom floor that would be really cool.
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Old 10-28-12, 12:40 PM
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clawhammer72
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The reason I, and maybe we, use diy solutions is complex. Reason 1 is money. It's often cheaper to rig up your own solutions. Reason 2 is customization. Rarely is something bought exactly what you really want. Reason 3 is diy solutions are fun. Solving problems independently of the market is very satisfying.

PS I can't find your survey. Could you put up a link?

Last edited by clawhammer72; 10-28-12 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Add question
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Old 10-28-12, 12:52 PM
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survey is HERE
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Old 10-28-12, 02:38 PM
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Thanks for posting the link unterhausen! Those are some great responses so far. Does anyone have any storage solutions besides cargo racks and panniers or a backpack? What if you don't like the way panniers look or you prefer a briefcase? If you buy a bike that you like and then need to add storage, do you still like that bike just as much? Do you like it more? Does it change the way it rides or the way you feel riding it?
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Old 10-28-12, 03:10 PM
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What if you don't like the way panniers look or you prefer a briefcase?
buy a Brompton, their A bag is a briefcase , fits on their frame head-tube clip.
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Old 10-28-12, 09:06 PM
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Hi gtid -

There may already be a solution for this, but I'll toss it out, anyway.

On a couple of my bikes I'll use Planet Bike (or similar) headlamps. The issue I have with these is that whenever I park the bike somewhere, it's easy to steal the headlamps and mounting brackets (as what happened a while ago when I left my bike parked at the train station when I went out drinking). Of course, the obvious solution would be to take them with me, but I do not usually have a bag or any means to carry them, so it can be a small pain.

What'd be cool is to have a mounting bracket that a) locks on to the handle bars, and b) locks the light to the bracket using a hex screw (or similiar) that would allow these to be removed, if needed, but are secure enough to prevent grab-and-dash theft. Obviously, fail safe is impossible as a hacksaw will defeat most things.
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Old 10-29-12, 01:51 AM
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Covered the last 4 bikes in reflective films... My Avatar is an actual photo of the first one covered.

Mods? I'd love to find another bike w/disk brakes that don't compete for space with my off-the-shelf bike rack.
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Old 10-29-12, 03:45 AM
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I duck-tape the wires of my dynamo hub along the fork blade and along the brake cable and fender to the rear. An integrated wiring system would be neater, esp through the rear rack to the rear lamp..
I use a snap-on wrap-around pants protector as a reflector and frame protector for when I lean the bike against a rack.
I have a plank of plywood to use as a rear rack extender for hauling bags of plaster and cement. I just wire it on for when I need it.

Racks used to come with a side hook for mounting a standard briefcase.
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Old 10-29-12, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by K'Tesh View Post
Covered the last 4 bikes in reflective films... My Avatar is an actual photo of the first one covered.

Mods? I'd love to find another bike w/disk brakes that don't compete for space with my off-the-shelf bike rack.
You can buy racks that do not conflict with your disc brake. I did that with my mtn bike that does have disc brakes. What issues are you having?
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Old 10-29-12, 07:17 AM
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I would consider, perhaps, not offering a bike that has this and that but rather have a website that offers to sell a bike and then the user can customize it online themselves and it can be delivered to the end consumer that way.

For example, if I wanted a mountain bike from your company and then I want to pick to have reflective tape on the spokes and also on the rims and maybe I want bar ends, I can pick that. So the website offers massive customization.

just an idea.

But as others said, it's often cheaper to do it yourself and it meets your needs.
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Old 10-29-12, 09:28 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by clawhammer72 View Post
The reason I, and maybe we, use diy solutions is complex. Reason 1 is money. It's often cheaper to rig up your own solutions. Reason 2 is customization. Rarely is something bought exactly what you really want. Reason 3 is diy solutions are fun. Solving problems independently of the market is very satisfying.
Exactly!
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Old 10-29-12, 10:02 AM
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An easy to install bracket to adapt most any tail light to mount on a fender.
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Old 10-29-12, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by chriskmurray View Post
The only thing I would like to see more of is a bike that focuses on being more visible at night, Giant started to do this with some of their bikes but I really like the idea of integrated reflective material on both the frame and rims. If you can make a bike that lights up like a Christmas tree when headlights hit it and still look "normal" when sitting on the showroom floor that would be really cool.
I agree. I always thought that if bicycle manufacturers wanted to make bikes more visible they should make their logos reflective, and have reflective tape around the seatstays or chainstays. The bike manufacturer On-one made a bunch of their Pompino frames painted with glow in the dark paint. I haven't read reviews on them, but I did see a photo they took in a dark room with the frame glowing. That was pretty cool. However, I don't know how long light has to shine on it to charge it, or how long it actually will glow in the dark.

Most commuters have their own specific needs, and there is always some new product that can be used such as different approaches to pannier racks and seatpost racks...things like that. I have also seen some pretty ingenious fabrications people have done for mounting lights, cameras, and other accessories they may need.
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Old 10-29-12, 10:23 AM
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It would be cool if a camera manufacturer would make a camera that had a main hub (power supply, memory interface) that had 4 individual micro camera lenses (HD Widescreen) that could be mounted on front, back and sides. of a bike. More and more commuters are beginning to carry cameras on their bicycles.
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Old 10-29-12, 11:56 AM
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OP is a Kid just entering College, in a post industrial country..

So has no Background like the son of any midwest farmer's kid has grown up,
in making things work no matter what the Jury-rig is..

Likewise . Fishing boats.. you do what you have to to get back in to home port.
and you need to get Really Creative when taking on Water..
or Call The USCG and lose the boat and the catch.
when it sinks.
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Old 10-29-12, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by gtid2012 View Post
Does anyone have any storage solutions besides cargo racks and panniers or a backpack? What if you don't like the way panniers look or you prefer a briefcase? If you buy a bike that you like and then need to add storage, do you still like that bike just as much? Do you like it more? Does it change the way it rides or the way you feel riding it?
I don't know if anyone markets one, but a large frame bag that is quick to put on and off, and is a regular backpack off the bike. I jury-rigged my own, and it was so easy and works so well that I was embarrassed that I put it off so long.

I think that a frame bag has better aerodynamics than panniers or milk crates, and better balance than wearing backpacks.

Putting a briefcase attachment for panniers would be overkill and a bit silly in my opinion, because the design and fashion factors for briefcases are incompatible with pannier function. Better if you could put a briefcase IN the panniers.

Another one. I've said this before when this question comes up and there ARE solutions but none really satisfactory. I want a rear-view camera showing the image clearly on a largish screen on my handlebars, and not an uber-expensive top end bike computer gadget. I did rig one up from an auto backup-up camera, but it was too difficult to see in direct sunlight, and hard to make out the image sometimes. A good camera with just the right field of view, transmitting to a standard tablet would be ideal. Bundled with the quick release mount with shade/illumination possibly, and tablet app.

And finally, a new one. An idiot light or audible hooked up to a detector which can notify me in several defined situations. The detector must be able to measure the approximate distance, size, speed and direction of travel. That's the catch - a hundred feet range at least, and better a couple of hundred is beyond the capacity of inexpensive off the shelf pieces like sonar range detectors. Briefly, I'd be alerted when a motorcycle or larger is approaching (almost) directly towards me at 10mph relative velocity. In my lane yes, next lane, no. And when any object is behind me at about the same speed, with say 30 feet. Keep it simple, just a tone for each situation, or an LED or blinking icon on the tablet.

Last edited by wphamilton; 10-29-12 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 10-29-12, 02:14 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by gtid2012 View Post
Hey guys,

I'm working with a team of industrial designers at Georgia Tech to design a new commuter bike. One of the things we'd like to know is what bikers have done to meet their needs that haven't been met by the products they can buy. Have you strapped a milk crate to your rack with bungee cords? Or wrapped reflective tape around your frame? These modifications help to give us an idea of what users really need. Could you guys help us out and post some pics or describe these kind of modifications that you have made?

Like this one here:
http://eugenebicyclist.com/2011/07/1...-2011-stage-9/

Also, if you'd really like to help us out we have a quick 10-15 minute survey in the survey sub-forum!

Thanks!
I have done something I can't show you pics but i can explain the whole idea. I have been testing it for the last 2 years and the more i use it the more i discover hidden functions i didn't know about.

What is it?
It's a combo 2 cases + attach systems
Where ?
On the rear rack
It can be adapted to virtually any standard frame bike on the market, cargo bike as well

Functions of the cases + attach systems:
-professional looking
-carry more than 50kg with some cautious measures
-weight around 3kg
-it costs me around 80$ in total
-cases carry more volume than most backpacks on the market
-cases are attached in less than 30s (2 redundant attach systems)
-other items are attached in less than a minute
-cases can also be carried on the shoulders or by hand
-the attach systems can carry 2 backpacks
-a standard groceries bag can securely be attached to the system in less than a second (not a joke)

-With the attach systems I have easily attached and carried on my standard bike:
---a 6 feet long floor lamp
---a wooden chair
---big boxes, small boxes
---a small table
---monthly groceries (more than 100kg)
---suits

-adaptive shape
---accept from 2 to around 20 rear lights + reflective tape + signal lights
---adapt the height of the rear lights for more visibility
---carry from a small box to 2 6-feet-long lamps
---up to 4 suits with hanger for white collar or 4 wet clothes to dry on the road for touring
---a special compartment for up to 2 sleeping bags and mats easily attached

-security
---cases are secured by codes
---cases are easily attached to the bike for temporary absence
---cases are water and shock resistant
---reflective tapes can be added on the cases for lateral and rear visibility

By the way,
the tour milk crate from the link isn't secured because its center of gravity is way too high. Because of that it can accept only light items

Last edited by erig007; 10-29-12 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 10-29-12, 04:05 PM
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I don't do a lot of DIY stuff. When I do, it's almost always to install a rack or fenders on a bike where they don't quite fit right.

For example, I had a Muirwoods 29er that required considerable drop on the front fender, so I did this:



On my 2013 Jake, the disc-specific rack I bought (Topeak Explorer MTX disc) didn't quite work because of the bulky frame bits near the rear eyelet didn't mesh with the bulky rack mount points.



So, I filed away part of the rack mounts away.



Keep in mind now, that both of these bikes were designed to be commuters and in theory should have worked with standard accessories right out of the box, but they didn't. Stuff like that is quite common but entirely unnecessary. Just a little more thought in the original frame design would have avoided both of these projects.

The set of accessories that commuters want is pretty small. If you want to design a great commuting bike, just plan for it to work with the common commuting accessories.
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