Friday, April 29, 2011

Bicycles - Old and New

Long time readers of the blog know of my love for bicycles but mostly if used for racing. So here a couple of short items in that regard:

Carbon fiber bikes have pretty much taken over the racing scene, so it's interesting that someone has found a process for recovering and recycling the scrap from their production as well as the frames themselves when they are retired.

The process seems to consist of more or less burning off the binder and recovering the carbon fibers for other uses.

Now for a polymer-free perspective or at least a synthetic-polymer-free perspective [*], two guys in England have built a bicycle entirely out of wood and they think they can produce a speed record on it of 31 miles per hour - not sluggish at all! It's a beautiful design just by itself:

The drive drain – chain free of course – is rather impressive. I'm surprised that the pedals are mere rods and not something broader. And I wonder how comfortable the seat is being that it is sloped so far forward.

I'm being picky, but those colors and letterings on the different segments of wood are not natural and must have a synthetic polymer binder. Regardless, it is still a neat idea, and a neat bike.

[*] Yes, wood consists of many different biopolymers – lignins, cellulose, the various proteins…

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