If you don't like cycling alone on a trainer all winter, you might be interested in Zwift
. Both of these systems let indoor cyclists "virtually" ride on animated roads or trails, along with other cyclists who join them via the internet and appear as avatars. Perhaps, however, that computer-generated scenery just isn't cutting it for you. In that case, VeloReality’s VRide Multi may be more to your liking. It's similar to those other multi-player systems, but it uses actual HD first-person video shot on various scenic roads around the world.
When Nick Stevovich analyzed speed skaters and cyclists, he noticed that the two groups use different sets of muscles to propel themselves forward. It occurred to him that if cyclists could use both
of those muscle groups, their pedaling power might increase. The result is the Nikola pedal, which slides out to the side in order to help bring that skating movement to cycling.
Last year, US entrepreneur Judah Schiller crossed San Francisco Bay on a bike
– and no, he didn’t ride that bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead, he mounted it on a Shuttle Bike kit, which adds pontoons and a propeller to a user-supplied bicycle. Since then, Judah has been working on designing an all-in-one "waterbike" of his own. The result, the Schiller X1, was officially unveiled this month.
When architect and engineer David Schwartz was watching an uphill section of the 2011 Tour de France, he noticed that the riders' bodies were bobbing up and down as they pedaled. If only their backs had something to push against, he figured, that vertical motion could be converted into increased leverage on the pedals. The result is his proof-of-concept Flying Rider prototype bike.
Bike chains can be dirty and noisy, so an increasing number of manufacturers are choosing to replace them with belt drives. Polish inventor Marek Jurek, however, has gone a step further with his IzzyBike prototype. Its drivetrain is built right into the front wheel hub, which gives it some claimed advantages over other bikes – besides there being less mess.
One of the things that keeps some people from cycling more often is the gears – although they need the gears to manage hills and headwinds, they're never sure which one they should be in. If that sounds like you, then you might like the Autobike. It shifts gears automatically based on the rider's cadence, and manages to do so without a battery.
Although cycling is a great form of exercise, it does involve simply doing one thing over and over – rotating the legs forward. Bicycles like the Varibike
have attempted to turn it into more of an overall workout, by getting the rider’s arms in on the action. biXe Italia, however, is taking another approach. Its namesake device reportedly allows riders to work different muscle groups, by pedaling forwards or
backwards in order to move the bike forward.
Earlier this year, we heard about a proposed arm- and leg-powered bicycle known as the 4StrikeBike
. At the time, we knew that if it were to reach production, it would be facing some competition from the existing Raxibo Hand-Tret-Velo
. Now, it turns out that another arm-and-legger has also recently hit the market – it’s time to meet the Varibike.
Although cycling is a great form of cardiovascular and lower-body exercise, it doesn’t do a whole lot for the upper body. Over the years, various arm-and-leg-powered bikes have
been developed, such as the Raxibo
. Now, however, retired surgeon Lex van Stekelenburg is hoping to get his own such vehicle into production, in the form of the 4StrikeBike.
If you're on a cycling holiday where you spend all day in the saddle, there's nothing like getting back to your accommodation and flopping down in front of the TV for a well deserved rest. But for guests at one UK bed and breakfast, it really is nothing like that ... because Cottage Lodge in Brockenhurst has installed a bicycle-powered television in one of its rooms.