Tag: Kickstarter

Inexpensive friction shift lever for any speed gearing

Sue Knaup founded One Street years ago to promote bike riding for all kinds of people around the world. She’s long been frustrated with the high cost that comes from the complexity of modern bike components, and has worked to source and popularize lower cost components that have the needed durability to survive the rugged conditions that utilitarian cyclists often encounter.

Among her latest projects: a universal, low-cost friction shifter made from six parts. The shifter can be made or repaired even with cast offs and discards.

Knaup’s goal isn’t to make a zillion gidgets for us to ooh and ahh about, but to make the components available for anybody around the world to manufacture these usable shifters. She believes these shifters can be manufactured and assembled for as little as a dollar each.

Low cost shifters are available, but Knaup notes that “friction shifters available today only last a few months of daily, hard use and cannot be repaired.” They’re essentially use for a few months of heavy use and discard. She points out the plastic components and riveted clamps break easily and don’t lend themselves to repair. She’s also reminds us of the reality that most people invert their bikes for repair, which often results in damaged shift levers.

The shifters made from these molds will hold up to daily, hard use. If any part does wear out or break, they can be easily repaired by the owner without having to bring their bike to a shop.

There’s a little over one week and $3,000 left to go on this Kickstarter campaign. Check it out.

2×4 electric cargo bike live on Kickstarter

Cargo bike parking sign

NTS Works just went live with their Kickstarter campaign for the 2×4 electric cargo bike.

The goal is $100,000. The first 100 bikes are deeply discounted on Kickstarter at $3,600. Other incentives for supporting NTS Works include a cargo bike parking sign (shown above) at the $50 level, and a desk sized scale model with moving parts made on a rapid prototype machine for $200. If you can’t afford the cargo bike I think that scale model sounds pretty cool as a gift for the bike nerd in your life.

Clever USB charging dynamo for bikes

My cell phone generally runs out of juice after three hours when the GPS is actively in use, which is the scenario when I’m tracking my bike rides. Engineers Aaron Latzke & David Delcourt in San Francisco designed this clever USB charging system that inserts over your bicycle rear wheel axle between the fork and the hub. It looks like they’ve thought of everything.

(At first I freaked out when I saw that women using her Kryptonite New York Lock on the top tube but then I noticed the locking skewer for her wheels, so she’s good.)

If my math is correct and the claims from Siva are accurate, it looks like this Siva Cycle Atom USB charger pulls a hair over 3 watts of power from my legs. I think I can sacrifice 1½% of my cycling effort on a long ride to keeping my phone charged.

Details at Kickstarter here. Via Kevin Shutt in Florida.

Carlton Reid drives a car!

Carlton Reid has been a cycling journalist for over twenty years and today publishes BikeBiz, a bike industry trade journal. I’ve never seen him in a car until I saw his Kickstarter video for this new book Roads Were Not Built for Cars.

Cyclists already know that early roads were paved at the behest of cyclists. Carlton reveals even more connections between driving and cycling, showing, for example, that early car enthusiasts such as Karl Benz and Charles Stewart Rolls (of Rolls Royce) were also avid cyclists. He writes that even Henry Ford was known for biking to work as he developed his Model T, no doubt thinking there’s got to be a way to show up to the office without getting covered in road grime and sweat.

Carlton is English and the prices for his Kickstarter campaign are in Pounds Sterling, but Kickstarter will convert UK currency into American dollars for us Yankees. He’s already met his fundraising goal, but supporter perks are still available for the project. Carlton spends almost as time in America as in the UK, and he covers American road history at least as well as he does of his home country in this two-year long project.

Go here to learn more and support Roads Were Not Built for Cars.