Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Reaching beyond gravity inspired riding...

For quite a while, Truvativ teased the bike industry with HammerSchmidt (some interesting video commentary here - nice haircut, Bos). Caused lots of speculation. The most widely held opinion of what it would be was a gearbox for gravity type bikes. Close. Gearbox with two gears. Cyclingnews.com had a nice piece on it this morning. Since I am in no way a freeride or downhill rider, my mind doesn't quite look at this piece in the same way as the target customer. My first thought was, wow, that would be kind of neat on a single-speed bike. But then, it wouldn't be a single-speed bike, it'd be a two-speed bike. However, by incorporating it into a single-speed mountain bike, you could set it up to give yourself a bail-out gear for climbing steeps or to drag your sorry butt off the mountain when you have no more. Now, this gets into a whole different can 'o worms as to what is a "single-speed" mountain bike. At this point, my definition would lean more to a derailer-less mountain bike.

It would also be a neat set-up on a derailer-less commuter/urban transporter/cargo hauler bike. Pair this with an internal 3, 7, 8, 9-speed hub and you've just doubled your gears and give yourself the ability to possibly make that 3-speed more friendly for hilly terrain. Pair it with a Rohloff Speedhub and you've got 28 gears with almost infinite potential for getting up and down any thing.

I actually see SRAM moving more in this direction in the next couple of years by pairing the technology with their i-Motion internal hubs. I'm sure there is way more potential with bikes that employ internally geared hubs than with bikes that you can only drop off the face of mountains. Lots more places to ride in the urban jungle than freeride parks. I'm excited by this new development of SRAM's and what its potential is.

(What's playing: She & Him You Really Got a Hold On Me)


Jim G said...

Looks similar to the Schlumpf Mountain Drive.

On a related note, check out this interesting 3-speed "single speed" conversion that Bob Brown did to his old Bontrager...


Bob says he gets a high gear to ride to/from the trail, and then a low gear to ride on the trail (as well as a "silly-low" gear). Neat!

Anonymous said...

Derailer? Pfeh!

Marty said...

Too bad the damned thing weighs 4 lbs. I'm not a weight wienie, but dayum. Pair that with a Rholoff, and you've got quite the combo. Bomb proof, yes. Light? Um NO.

I do like the concept though. It'll be interesting to see how durable it is, and if they can take any wieght off of it.