Urban Superbike Fills Practical Needs for Commuters

November 17, 2014

Shoot, I want one!

Business Insider:

The unpredictability of a bike commute in densely packed cities is dangerous — a rider needs to navigate cars, buses, potholes, taxis, and distracted pedestrians.

In fact, there are so many hassles and dangerous elements that many people avoid it altogether.

But the nonprofit Oregon Manifest wants to change all that. They teamed up with Fuji Bikes and challenged five design teams from busy American cities to build the ultimate urban utility bike — something that would make commuting in a city not only safer, but more enjoyable, too.

After a public vote, the end result was “The Denny.”

Tea Party-ish Climate Deniers, of course, view any encouragement of bicycling with suspicion, as some kind of plot against our freedom, by dark international forces.

Denver Post:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes is warning voters that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s policies, particularly his efforts to boost bike riding, are “converting Denver into a United Nations community.”

“This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed,” Maes told about 50 supporters who showed up at a campaign rally last week in Centennial.

Maes said in a later interview that he once thought the mayor’s efforts to promote cycling and other environmental initiatives were harmless and well-meaning. Now he realizes “that’s exactly the attitude they want you to have.”

“This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms,” Maes said.

And then there are the reflexive, inexplicable bike hate psychopaths.

 

14 Responses to “Urban Superbike Fills Practical Needs for Commuters”

  1. A Siegel Says:

    Agreed — the Denny looks magnificent.

    Love the use of handlebars as lock.

    The sensible (small) cargo carry in front of the handlebars.

    And, that this is electric assist.

    Yup, Denny looks great.

    ——–

    Re anti-bike mania, Maes’ anti-bike mania isn’t new: http://getenergysmartnow.com/2010/09/19/stupid-goes-viral-patient-zero-and-climate-zombies-of-co-nc/

    “Maes said in a later interview that he once thought the mayor’s efforts to promote cycling and other environmental initiatives were harmless and well-meaning. Now he realizes “that’s exactly the attitude they want you to have.”

    “This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms,” Maes said…. “These aren’t just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor. These are very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program that mayors have signed on to.”

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    “The unpredictability of a bike commute in densely packed cities is dangerous — a rider needs to navigate cars, buses, potholes, taxis, and distracted pedestrians”.

    How very true. As a long time biker who has had to deal with all of the above (and has nearly been killed a couple of times while doing so), I found “the Denny” clip to be very interesting. A few problems I see:
    1) The projected cost of $3K to $5K is a bit off-putting. One can outfit a fine urban “war bike” for a lot less than $1K.
    2) The clip itself shows “bad biking”, in that more than half of the riders were not wearing helmets or proper biking shoes and one was casually riding between cars and the curb (which needs to be done way more carefully). The clip gives the impression that urban biking is easy and “no big deal”—-that may be a good marketing device for selling Denny’s, but it’s not honest.
    3) The oh-so-clever idea of making the handlebars function as a bike lock results in a configuration that is too narrow and awkward for good control. Bars with a wider stance should be fitted and a typical separate (and far stronger lock) obtained. A battery-powered Sawzall could cut through the thin tubular bar of the Denny (probably not hardened steel) in no time.
    4) An 11-speed “automatic” transmission does not have enough gears for use in hilly cities, and the “electric assist” won’t be much help, since there doesn’t seem to be a battery of any size on Denny. And I have never seen a bike rack equipped for charging.
    5) Most bike fenders are a bit “uncool” looking (and the designers of Denny were definitely looking for “cool looks”), but they work far better than the idiotic “whiskers” that are supposed to remove water from the Denny’s tires.
    6) Cargo is best carried on a rack BEHIND the rider for several reasons . The only folks carrying MUCH stuff up front are bike tourists that have things hanging off every part of the bike, and one seldom encounters them in cities.

    As A Siegel said, “….the Denny LOOKS magnificent”, and that’s because the marketers were too involved in the design process. I like the idea of some things like brake lights and directionals, and the Denny IS a clever collection of ideas, but IMO it’s not something that serious bike commuters will buy. If they sell any at all, it will be to trendy “first adopters” with too much $$$ and not enough bike sense. (The same folks that will be putting in Solar Roadway driveways)

  3. redskylite Says:

    Talking of bikes, the Dutch organisation TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research) has just opened the first solar power generating bike track just outside Amsterdam, with a view to extend if the research goes well.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-13/dutch-unveil-world-first-solar-power-bicycle-path/5888440

    • dumboldguy Says:

      I have commented on other threads about this bike path, and we have beaten the dead horse of Solar Roadway several times. This bike path is just as DUMB an idea and misapplication of the technology as Solar Roadway.

      It is absolutely amazing how much people can become enthralled with “clever” ideas without even understanding the science and and economics that doom them from the get-go. What is wrong with the human race?

      • redskylite Says:

        Sorry that you do not share my enthusiasm for this innovative use of space, the Netherlands TNO organisation has a worthwhile mission, and I do not think they would waste money on brainless issues.

        “TNO is an independent research organisation whose expertise and research make an important contribution to the competitiveness of companies and organisations, to the economy and to the quality of society as a whole. TNO’s unique position is attributable to its versatility and capacity to integrate this knowledge.

        Innovation with purpose is what TNO stands for. We develop knowledge not for its own sake but for practical application. To create new products that make life more pleasant and valuable and help companies innovate. To find creative answers to the questions posed by society.”

        What is wrong with the human race?

        One thing that is badly wrong is that many people can be more worried about the chance of climate change causing a chocolate shortage, than Pacific Islanders and Bangladeshi’s losing their homes to sea level rise, drought depriving poor of food and water, typhoons demolishing villages and peoples, disease etc etc….

        https://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/food/index/article/-/25534361/the-world-is-running-out-of-chocolate/

        • dumboldguy Says:

          I am sorry that you are so enamored of what you call “innovative use of space” that you have failed to examine the science and economics behind it. Did you read the extensive dialogue we had on earlier threads about Solar Roadways and view the 30 minute long video that debunked all aspects of it? Using solar panels for any kind of paving remains a dumb idea that is a misuse of funds that could be better spent on more practical PV applications.

          The Netherlands TNO organization does indeed have a worthwhile mission, but it’s a big organization with (obviously) too much money on it’s hands and is wasting it here. You delude yourself if you think they would not waste money on “brainless issues”—-that’s what big government agencies all too often do, even ones that tout themselves as “innovators” and “creative”. That’s marketing and PR BS, plain and simple.

          (You are aware that they have spent $3.7 million dollars to get to the point of having just over 200 feet of “solar bike trail”? Do the math.)

          • redskylite Says:

            Yes Sir – I did follow the Crock solar road discussions earlier, but the Dutch system is not the same design or project as the Brusaw’s vision that caused a heated discussion earlier.

            Yes it is expensive, but it is a pilot, with the aims of a pilot study, not a production system and never meant to be.

            It is actually a variant of a system that was piloted and implemented earlier and in 2009 went into production, installed in Avenhorn, Netherlands by Ooms Avenhorn Holding AV, using asphalt and tarmac to absorb the sun’s rays and heat water for use in domestic heating.

            http://www.restreets.org/case-studies/solar-roadway

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Saying “….the Dutch system is not the same design or project as the Brusaw’s vision…” is like saying that a rowboat and a nuclear aircraft carrier are not “the same”. and therefore one of them must not be a “boat”.

            They are most assuredly “the same”, since both enclose PV panels in glass and bury them in the ground as a pavement for wheeled vehicles to ride over. It is expensive because it is a misapplication of PV technology, which is far better applied in the traditional mode of roof-top or panels on poles and canopies (properly angled to catch the sun, which the roads are not).

            The only thing “pilot” about it is that it replicates the efforts by Solar Roadway to suck up government and investor $$$ that could be better spent elsewhere, but does so in Europe this time. There is no reason to “pilot” a concept that has already been put forth in the U.S., is being “tested” in the backwoods of Idaho, and is doomed to failure (other than to suck at the government $$$ teat). This is a case where the deniers CAN point their fingers and make accusations of wastage. Have you looked at the new solar PV “fabric”, which DOES seem to hold some promise? This is where TNO should direct some money.
            http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/11/14/3592449/solar-cloth-parking-lots/

            For a guy that seems to understand science and makes many good contributions on Crock, I am surprised to hear you say that “It is a variant of a system using asphalt and tarmac to absorb the sun’s rays and heat water for use in domestic heating”. Systems that convert the suns rays into electricity and systems that use thermal energy from the sun to heat water are so different that the principles behind them are found in widely separated sections of the Physics textbooks.

            PLEASE do not succumb to the bright-sidedness that seems to affect so many. Not all ideas that are “green” on the surface are good ideas. This one is not.

            (And you still need to “do the math”. This bike path is about 50 times more expensive per square foot than asphalt would be. I’d bet that a canopy of proper PV panels could be built over it for the difference, and the canopy would generate far more electricity and present fewer problems).

          • redskylite Says:

            Dumb Old Guy – I strongly disagree with everything you write on this topic, but still respect you in all other communications.

            Bright-sidedness is needed to encourage our youth, the Dutch did sign to U.N global agreements on climate change, and the Dutch organisation testing the solar bike path has nothing in common with the U.S version.

            The cost of the pilot project includes testing of many different experimental surfaces and is not reflective of a production cost. It is a vision that is worth consideration, you have not put forward a counter plan, just tried to put down this one. I am very disappointed in your response.

            Energy replacement is expensive.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            It is a bit of a non-sequitur to state “I strongly disagree with everything you write on this topic, but still respect you in all other communications”. If you find what I say in ALL other communications worthy of respect, how can you disagree with EVERYTHING I say here about Solar Roadway-Bikeway? That’s simply not logical. I speak on this topic from the same background of of knowledge of science as I do on all other Crock threads, and my opinions are based on rational analysis of fact, not bright-sidedness. If I don’t know what I’m talking about here, I don’t know what I’m talking about on any other topic either.

            Bright-sidedness about this may superficially “encourage” our youth, but this idea of burying solar panels in pavement is wishful thinking and will only distract them from studying better solutions. Like Denmark, what the Dutch do is largely irrelevant to the future battle against AGW, and I’m not sure what “…the Dutch organization testing the solar bike path has nothing in common with the U.S version” means. Nothing? What is the “U.S. version” and how does it differ from the Dutch?

            “The cost of the pilot project includes testing of many different experimental surfaces and is not reflective of a production cost”. True to a point, but production costs WILL be so much greater than the alternatives of asphalt bikeways and properly sited PV panels that it will prove uneconomic.

            It is a “vision” that is NOT worth consideration except as a way to bleed $$$ from better alternatives and enrich the “innovators”, and I have indeed “put forward a counter plan”. Did your cognitive dissonance cause you to fail to see this in my comment? “….which is far better applied in the traditional mode of roof-top or panels on poles and canopies (properly angled to catch the sun, which the roads are not)”.

            And this? “I’d bet that a canopy of proper PV panels could be built over it for the difference, and the canopy would generate far more electricity and present fewer problems)”.

            Did you not read about the Solar Highway project that the state of Minnesota is starting. I mentioned it on the earlier Solar Roadway threads.
            http://cleantechnica.com/2014/10/24/minnesota-gets-ready-launch-solar-highways/

            “I am very disappointed in your response”. Likewise. I hate to see otherwise sane and intelligent people succumb to cognitive dissonance and bright-sidedness. Energy replacement is expensive, but ignorance of science and economics is even more so.

          • redskylite Says:

            “what the Dutch do is largely irrelevant to the future battle against AGW”

            This is tragically true and you can say the same about my country (New Zealand) so are you implying that we should sit back and leave it to the big boys. ?

            “but this idea of burying solar panels in pavement”
            “What is the “U.S. version” and how does it differ from the Dutch?”

            If you had read the report on the Dutch Avonhorn project you would see it does not encompass solar panels technology.

            “Did your cognitive dissonance cause you to fail to see this in my comment”

            This I find deeply offensive and insulting, I may have left school at 15 to drive a fork lift truck, but recently I studied and passed 3 courses (with merit) on climate change and energy.

            I am deeply outraged by your offensive remarks, so I will take the Engineers Poet’s advise and find a local kiwi blog, you are just as insulting as those people on Judith Curry’s Climate etc. blog, and your language seems similar to Anthony Watts.

            Good Day Sir…I hope your country can stop CO2 emissions with China.

            http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/dutch-company-siphoning-heat-from-asphalt-for-energy-uses.html

          • dumboldguy Says:

            I myself am deeply saddened that your “deep outrage” over my “offensive remarks” pointing out some shortcomings in your comments has apparently caused you to abandon Crock. I hope you will reconsider that emotional decision. I have always thought you to be one of the most positive contributors to Crock, and you will be missed.

            That said, this needs to be said about the rest of your comment.
            1) You have let your anger and sensitivity get in the way of the common sense you have unfailingly displayed in the past about everything but Solar Roadway.
            2) I said no such thing as “leave it to the big boys”, and was merely implying that advanced European countries of 5 or 6 million can do little in the fight against AGW but serve as good examples. It’s the 3,000 million Indians and Chinese and Americans that need to get moving.
            3) I will repeat again what I have already said—-that the Avonhom project certainly does NOT encompass solar panels technology and the only thing they share is a reliance on solar energy—-the PV’s use the ~7% from the visible spectrum to generate electricity while the “hot water” systems use the ~93% from UV and IR to trap “heat”. It is actually very old technology that predates PV and is akin to the hot water heating panels that we saw on rooftops (and the U.S. White House) in the 1970’s. I have a 30 X 60 slab of concrete painted dark green in my back yard called a Sport Court. When it was constructed in 1978, I looked into using Avonhom-like technology with it as part of a “geothermal” energy storage system. It was far too expensive, the technology was a bit unproven, and the ROI too low.
            4) You need to stop carrying a chip on your shoulder about “having left school at 15 to drive a fork lift truck” and instead take pride in your successful efforts to educate yourself on climate change and energy, as well as your talents as an artist. I didn’t leave school at 15, but DID work my way through college with jobs akin to “driving a fork lift”. And some of the “smartest” people I have ever known dropped out of school at 15, while some of the “dumbest” had multiple PhD’s.
            5) I am not “outraged” by your reaction, but I AM quite surprised at how emotional it is. Calm down and rethink “….deeply outraged by your offensive remarks, so I will find a local kiwi blog, you are just as insulting as those people on Judith Curry’s Climate etc. blog, and your language seems similar to Anthony Watts” and “I hope your country can stop CO2 emissions with China”.

            Particularly “….your language SEEMS similar to Anthony Watts”? Please! All that is said in blind anger, not in rationality.

            Again, I apologize for having upset you, but there is no way that I can in good conscience ignore scientific realities just to please people who don’t fully understand the science. I don’t claim to be all-seeing and all-knowing like Omnologos, but I DO know more about the science behind some things (like Solar Roadways and Bikeways) than you do, just as you know more about other things than I. Crockers need to learn from each other, and emotions get in the way of learning.


  4. Not sure what the excitement is here. Turn signals for bikes exist for about $20. The bike lock is interesting but not much better than my mwave cable lock. Hmm, no fenders. I would have to wear a rain suit on my ride to work any day following a big rain here in Missouri. And as to pedal assist, my Currie ezip is superb. I just replaced my battery (24 volt li-ion) which lasted 3 years and the bike just keeps chugging. I thought maybe this story would concern safety. I still take my life in my hands every time I ride on streets but have found ways to weave around major roads on side streets. Bikers are still in danger from the 5% who are more focused on the cell phones than driving (yes, MO is still in the dark ages) and the .5% who are actively hostile to anyone on bicycles. Where is the air horn and siren-ha? That said, building all these features into a bicycle off the shelf is great because the concept represents another nudge of people toward rethinking transportation. Also, want to laud Peter’s work on this site, which has developed far beyond the original concept, especially the continuing focus on solutions.


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