There's a blog dedicated to all kinds of carbon fiber gear called, appropriately enough, Carbon Fiber Gear. The publisher of Carbon Fiber Gear, Dave, told me about a post today by his friend Alyson on Cube's Urban Street Concept Bike. The Cube is a full size bike that can be collapsed for storage or transporting in a small car trunk. You can visit Carbon Fiber Gear for all the dirt on this bike, but briefly it has a few features that make it handy as a city commuter: disc brakes, built in lights, and internal hub gearing.
At a whopping 17 kg or 38 pounds, though, this bike is by far the heaviest carbon fiber bike I've heard of. This is about the same weight as Ellsworth's "The Ride" cruiser bike with the nine pound NuVinci CVT hub.
You might recall that James mentioned the Cube shortly after the New Year. James has a great post from Mark Sanders today on designing bikes for "the vast blue ocean of potential cyclists." Sanders is the guy who designed the ingenious Strida folding bicycle. He talks about the evolution of his designs, from the X-bike he designed for Clive Sinclair, the Strida, and to the full size folding bikes he's designing now for Pacific Cycles. It's a fascinating read: go check it out.
Cozy Beehive also discusses bicycle design issues a lot, but in this post he writes about the importance of communication in the bike industry between retailers and customers. He pulls up a case study on how Cannondale uses IT to get immediate feedback from customers on their designs.
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I like the Cube concept bike, but I suspect it's going to be far too pricey unless they offer an aluminum alternative.
And as for carbon fiber, I thought we were facing a shortage because of increasing aerospace use and military applications. Fritz, there was a podcast a month or two ago that discussed Chinese aluminum frames and their almost dirt-cheap prices, and if I recall right, the supposition was that they'd do the same with carbon before long.