BikeCommuters.com

technology

Two Great Belt Drive Resources

Interested in learning about bikes with those cool belt drives you’ve probably heard a lot about over the past year or two? Well, go no further: our friend Paul Tolme let us know about a new blog by the folks at Gates Carbon Drive Systems — called the Carbon Drive System Blog. The blog is filled with tech tips, links to bike manufacturers using the Gates Belt Drive and many other useful tidbits.

Spot + NuVinci CVP buildup
(photo courtesy of Richard Masoner/Cyclelicio.us)

Another resource for consumers and fans of the belt drive system is Beltbik.es — described as “The Definitive Source”. Beltbik.es is packed with a complete listing of bicycles equipped with the Gates drive, product reviews and a host of other information.

Check them both out…I think we’re going to see a lot more commuter-oriented bicycles with the Gates Carbon Drive in the coming months as it has already proven to be a low-maintenance and robust setup.

Interbike 2010 — A Look at the new Hutchinson Serenity Flat-free Tires

When we stopped by the Hutchinson Tires booth, we ran into our friend Steve Boehmke. He gave us a quick video rundown on the new Hutchinson “Serenity” flat-free tires:

I got a quick ride on carpeted show floor, so I really can’t tell you how they “feel” in real-world conditions. But, with a little luck, we’ll get a sample to test in the coming weeks. I know what you’re thinking: “hasn’t this been tried before by dozens of other companies?” Perhaps, but this is a different technology and one I hope is valid. Initial indications are pretty amazing, though.

A New Spin on Bike-Sharing Schemes

You may have read about the following elsewhere, but it is worth sharing here, too. Our friend Frederick sent a link to an article on Wired’s site about a novel concept in city bike-sharing setups. This one is from a startup in New York City called Social Bicycles (SoBi) and operates without dedicated kiosks or other infrastructure, and at a fraction of the per-bike cost of other bike-sharing schemes like Velib or B-Cycle. And, it has some really cool features that make the setup eminently user-friendly.

From Wired’s article:

SoBi doesn’t use cycle stations; the bikes are parked throughout the city (starting in New York) at regular racks. Bikes could, in fact, be anywhere at any given time, not just at a designated station that could be blocks away. Users can grab any bike that isn’t already reserved and drop it off anywhere. No need to search for a drop-off station.

Like a Zipcar, each SoBi bike has its own “lockbox? (shown above) that communicates wirelessly with SoBi servers via GPS and a cellular receiver (an H-24 module from Motorola). When you make a reservation online or via smartphone, a map displays all the bikes in the area and gives you the option of unlocking a specific bike by clicking on it.

Read the full article by visiting Wired.

If this scheme is successful, such technology and the relative ease of the setup may encourage other cities to try their hand at bike-sharing.