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QBike cleans bikes quickly

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September 9, 2013

The QBike system in use

The QBike system in use

Image Gallery (5 images)

Whether it’s dried-on mud or a thick coating of desert dust, mountain bikes can get pretty dirty. Usually, they end up getting cleaned with a garden hose, a sponge and bucket, or sometimes even the LOW setting at a car wash. Italy’s Novatec Engineering, however, has come up with something ... snazzier. It’s an automated bike-washing station, known as the QBike.

Users start by hanging their bike from its handlebar and saddle, on provided hooks and loops inside the washing station. They then select the wash cycle they want (longer washes cost more), pay, then close the station’s folding glass doors and hit the start button.

Two parallel rows of nozzles proceed to rise up from the floor of the machine, gently spraying both sides of the bike first with water containing eco-friendly detergent, and then with fresh rinse water.

Two parallel rows of nozzles rise up from the floor of the machine, gently spraying both s...

After several minutes, once the wash is over, the bike is removed and dried by hand. It would have been nice to see some sort of forced-air drying feature, to get at all those nooks and crannies that a towel won’t reach.

Although someone with too much money to spend could presumably buy a QBike for their own home, it’s intended more for use at places like bike-friendly hotels, bicycle rental businesses, or bike shops. It’s also designed not just for mountain bikes, but any style of bike that’s looking a bit dirty.

You can see it in action, in the video below.

Sources: QBike, Novatec Engineering via BikeRadar

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
8 Comments

I can see this as being very useful. If one lives in an apartment, one can get ones bike cleaned without having to figure out where to connect the hose or having to lug buckets of water.

I agree, a forced air drying system would make this device complete.

BigWarpGuy
10th September, 2013 @ 05:34 am PDT

So it removes some dirt with detergent, big deal. Now the QBike has created an even bigger problem than a dirty bike - a bike with insufficient lubrication. I'd rather have a bike full of dirt than have QBike degrease my chain, derailleurs, and suspension. Each of those parts need specific attention. Unless, of course, you were just dying to have your chain start rusting, then get pinched when you try to change gears because there's no remaining lubrication, which would have also destroyed your suspension, which would make you crash and die because you fell of the side of a mountain all because you used QBike.

Erik Wilson
10th September, 2013 @ 11:28 am PDT

I think it is a wonderful solution for bike rentals. It would have been complete with an forced air drying system. In fact I want to buy one. appreciate if you could direct me to the manufacturer.

Asanka

Asanka Gurusinghe
10th September, 2013 @ 11:33 am PDT

Fantastic! and a must have staff for a bike/service shop. Kudos to the innovators :)

Fuad Ahasan Chowdhury
10th September, 2013 @ 11:52 am PDT

Seems cool, I think if I had one around I would use it.

Micah Adams
10th September, 2013 @ 12:16 pm PDT

Even better if it's close to the ground level so the staff member doesn't have to lift heavy bikes all day in and out of the washer. A roll-in compartment > wash > forced air drying > roll out would be much better.

Fusionmkx
10th September, 2013 @ 08:05 pm PDT

@ Fusionmkx

Heavy bikes? When was the last time you picked up a bike.

@ Erik Wilson

There are detergents that break down sticky mud without notable affect on oils.

Slowburn
11th September, 2013 @ 08:17 am PDT

Or they could just have a compressed air hose at the drying station to blast out water hiding in the gears and other crannies.

dsiple
12th September, 2013 @ 02:24 pm PDT
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