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Dreamslide takes a new stance on pedaling

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September 27, 2010

The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling

The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling

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Eleven years ago, French rollerblading and boardsports enthusiast Jean‐Marc Gobillard decided that the small wheels of rollerblades weren’t quite speedy enough. He experimented with a few different ideas, which ultimately led him to design the Dreamslide. This unique device combines the standing stance of things like skateboards and roller blades with the efficient locomotion and larger, faster wheels of a bicycle. It even has its own special pedaling system, designed for a standing rider.

The first question people might have is, “Why would you want to stand instead of sit?” Well, for one thing, Gobillard likes the idea of being able to bodily lean into corners like a downhill skier – he believes that by standing on it, the Dreamslide becomes more like a part of the rider’s body, and less like a separate contraption.

Secondly, as anyone who has climbed a hill on a bicycle knows, you can deliver more power to the pedals by standing on them. If you try to ride a bike very far in a standing position, however, you’ll get tired pretty quickly. This is because you have to pump your entire body weight up and down with every pedal stroke. To get around this limitation, Gobillard has invented what he calls the Adaptive Pedaling System, or APS.

The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling

On a bicycle, the pedal crank arms are connected by an axle, so they move directly in proportion to one another. With APS, the cranks move independently, adapting to the rider’s muscle power. In the neutral position, both of the rider’s feet are down, one forward and one back. When they start a pedal stroke, the back foot moves forward and lifts slightly, as in a jogging gait, while the front foot slides back.

Not only is this system said to minimize the body-weight-bobbing drawback of pedaling while standing, but it also reportedly eliminates the “dead zone” in the conventional pedaling set up – a point in the pedal revolution at which it has been claimed that neither leg is delivering optimum power to the bicycle. This zone was addressed in the 80s with Shimano’s oval Biopace chainring, the wisdom of which is still debated to this day.

The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling

Gobillard asserts that the standing position combined with APS will mean riders can generate more torque with less effort, will have less knee problems, and greater control. If any mechanical engineers out there have an opinion on these claims, we’d love to hear from you.

The Dreamslide is just hitting stores in Europe this year, and is also available through the company website for €1,250 (US$1,682).

Via Popular Science.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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16 Comments

Sorry, but I need a seat. I hate stand up riding on my bike if I can avaoid it. However, I would like to try out the pedal action on this system.

Eletruk
27th September, 2010 @ 06:26 pm PDT

I sure they offer that pedal system on standard bikes.

davem2
28th September, 2010 @ 02:46 am PDT

Well, they've solved the uncomfortable seat problem at least ...

William Volk
28th September, 2010 @ 07:51 am PDT

This looks great, except for one thing: it looks like it would be _very_ easy to accidentally drag a pedal, especially the toe-end, since the ground clearance is so low.

If you drag that toe while going around a corner, you're almost certainly going to take a dive. Aside from that, I love it.

michael.teter
28th September, 2010 @ 08:47 am PDT

so, you've mad a really ugly bike with no seat? you cant put this into the category as being as fun as a board sport, your just rolling down a hill on your seat less bike ha

david.josh.power
28th September, 2010 @ 09:12 am PDT

Can't they just put a seat on there?

Paul Anthony
28th September, 2010 @ 10:11 am PDT

The pictures show rotating cranks and the description of "sliding" movement does not match the rotating movement of cranks, so I have no idea how this works. I doubt the rear foot can move forward and up slightly if the cranks rotate as they appear to be made to. Sliding would give up a lot of leverage too. The pictures and description are lacking if we are to understand how it works.

I don't see the point in eliminating the seat for anything other than a toy - which appears this is meant to be: "combines the standing stance of things like skateboards and roller blades." For transportation conventional bikes have it all over this design. A lack of a seat is one of the fundamental weaknesses of the Segway for transportation over distances it would be better to just walk.

Mark in MI
29th September, 2010 @ 09:23 am PDT

Imagine this drive on a Strida folding bike! Wow.

The object is to get through traffic quickly and easily, right? Eliminating the seat means less junk to carry up and down stairs, less hardware to fold up, and it definitely looks like fun! This appears to be a remarkable advance. We need to further improve the human/bike energy interface anyway and this looks good enough to take a significant share of high end folding bikes for energetic, wealthy people.

Generationz will thrill at this.

TogetherinParis
29th September, 2010 @ 10:07 am PDT

This bike is so great, It provides maximum torque at the top dead centre, least at the bottomest. I don't know, let the experts explain.

Akemai Olivia
29th September, 2010 @ 10:46 am PDT

There are so many things wrong with this that it's hard to know where to start. His "independent" cranks are nothing more than a phase advance mechanism, so the upper crank is past top dead center as the lower crank hits bottom dead center. It's been tried for bicycles, and it wasn't successful. It introduces more friction and more complexity, so it's more prone to failure. Standing is inefficient from a power standpoint. With the hip angle open to 180 degrees, there's almost no involvement of the gluteals, the largest and strongest muscles in the body. All that rocking of the handlebars isn't good from a control perspective. Sure, they got one guy who practiced enough so he can zoom among crowds, but the vast majority of people may find it hard to ride straight. Plus those wheels are definitely not as big as a bicycle's, no matter what the designer says.

Gadgeteer
29th September, 2010 @ 03:17 pm PDT

A bike seat is also very important for directional control. A bike is more stable and controllable seated than while standing. A seat also conserves a lot of energy by allowing you to SIT on it. The doubtful efficiency gains from an already tried and failed (as stated above) alternative crank system is more than lost in extra energy used to support the rider while standing. This looks like it is more practical than a skateboard, but not more than a bicycle.

Mark in MI
30th September, 2010 @ 02:03 pm PDT

I am not convinced that this is progress. The waggling of the handlebars seems inefficient and silly looking.

You could buy a $200 folding bike with 12" wheels and take off the seat and get a nearly identical ride experience:

http://www.amazon.com/Kent-Compact-Aluminum-Folding-16-Inch/dp/B001IDTKD6/ref=pd_sbs_sg_12

Michaelc
3rd October, 2010 @ 06:58 am PDT

I could see this crank setup as an option on a recumbent, where you can get the full force of the leg muscles, even moreso that standing would allow. The question is whether the parasitic loads of the cam followers is offset by the increased efficiency of the crank mechanism. The bike as it stands is, as stated earlier, just a toy (tiny wheels, twitchy ride).

Bruce H. Anderson
6th October, 2010 @ 06:46 am PDT

Eletruk- The seat has been removed because humans need to be in an upright position to get the most out of a cardiovascular workout.

davem2- To my knowledge there is no other bike in the world with the exact same APS system.

William Volk- Hear Hear sir!

michael.teter- I have had a Dreamslide for almost 2 months and the pedals have yet to slip or touch the ground.(Another reason for standing up all the weight is on the pedals in a running or jogging motion.)

TogetherinParis- Heres one who has figured it out!

Gadgeteer- Send I your e-mail and I will link you the original blueprints

Mark in MI- Whens the last time that you had control while in a resting position

Michaelc- You really needs to ride this to make that statement it's a lot of fun and I look forward to riding it every day

Bruce H. Anderson- My friend it may be a toy but when was the last time you saw an overweight jogger, runner or board rider

rwrimmer3
7th October, 2011 @ 02:19 pm PDT

J'adore ce projet ! Je ne me servais jamais de ma selle dans tous les cas ! Ces inventeurs sont des génies ! Surtout le type qui fait la démo !

Paul Lê
3rd October, 2013 @ 02:53 pm PDT

It allows you to stand up while pedaling? Don't all bikes do that?

What this one does is force you to stand up while pedaling!

Michaelc
8th September, 2014 @ 04:54 pm PDT
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