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Total change to face of modern cycling.(38 posts)

Total change to face of modern cycling.Moriarti
Oct 11, 2001 5:27 AM
I have perfected a system whereby, instead of pushing the pedals around, one simply pushes them up and down, rather like a stair-climber. This eliminates all of the knee and ankle problems associated with rotation. In addition, it is lighter than current rotational systems, and involves less wear on working parts. Gear range I have maintained on a par with conventional systems.

But I need your help (not money), as the cycling community. I now have to launch this product, and am not intending to sell out to the "big boys". Therefore I need to market well, so as not to waste money, of which I have not much to spare.

So - kindly tell me what you think of the concept, and what you feel the problems might be with accepting the design - that way, I can ensure that I address these on launch.

Thank you for your time and assistance: Together we will change the future of cycling. You will remember this day, just as you remeber the day you first used lever shifters and clipless, but this will be far, far, better.

Ride to enjoy, enjoy to ride.
Oct 11, 2001 5:35 AM
I'd like to see testing showing that this "eliminates all of the knee and ankle problems associated with rotation", as well as efficiency in terms of speed for the watts generated by the rider.

It's going to be pretty darn difficult to improve on the "standard" design. There have been many products thought to be "revolutionary", like oval chainrings, but somehow people pretty much stick with the standard.

Making a claim like "eliminates all the knee and ankle problems" I doubt can be backed up. I'd be concerned about false advertising without some proof.

Not to be too cynical, but I just doubt this will work as claimed. I'd keep an open mind to read any studies or tests, though.

my opinionthe insultan
Oct 11, 2001 5:36 AM
oh, to hell with it!
in fear of a trollMJ
Oct 11, 2001 5:41 AM
specs please

I see imagine something like a bike stairmaster (shudder) - doesn't do much for the fine feeling (and rhythm) of spinning (at a higher cadence for knee problems...)

do you cycle?
Indeed I doMoriarti
Oct 11, 2001 5:48 AM
see the post above (written before you had replied, but posted after). Point taken, but you will find a new rythem (or the same old one, different way).
Your commentsMoriarti
Oct 11, 2001 5:46 AM
Thank you for your replies. Of course I can not claim that all problems will be removed only that rotational ones will be. I have reserched the nature of the problems cyclist endure with knees (me being one of them) and there is no doubt that the rotation of the knee through the cycling stroke exacerbates these considerably. Of course with no rotation, the tissue surrounding the knee is better able to stabilise the joint during the pedal stroke, leading to less wear, and hence, problems. Perhaps this may be illustrated by reference to the number of people who are able to walk and even run without problems, yet suffer when cycling.

As to the other reply, thank you for reading my post. I have noticed when reading the other threads in this site (particularly when posted by those with little experience, knowledge, or a tendency to say something a little left of field) that it is considered good sport by very many others to make them feel as demeaned as possible. I ask only this: consider your response when you are first passed by a cycle conforming to my design on your 19th centuary one.
Your commentsjacques
Oct 11, 2001 6:13 AM
I don't know if you've done a patent search on your device. If you have, you've undoubtedly come across early 1900's patent drawings of bicycle propulsion systems very similar to yours.

In my opinion, all these pump-action systems rest on the flawed assumption that cyclists apply power only on the downstroke arc of the crank. While this is true of most casual cyclists, it is not true of fast recreational riders and racers. Most learn how to apply additional power as the crank comes through the top and bottom arcs. A pump-action system would probably rob riders of that additional source of power.
I have cycling friends who are ex-runners because they ......Live Steam
Oct 11, 2001 6:16 AM
have bad knees. They have been advised by their doctors to give up running, but that cycling could be a viable alternative. I even have a knee that I injured skiing that does not bother me when cycling, but acts up when standing too long or when walking a lot. I have never heard that cycling was bad for the knees.
too lateDA
Oct 11, 2001 5:54 AM
they already have these, and are not very popular (obviously). The drivetrain is much more inefficient as well.
Go to Interbike...TJeanloz
Oct 11, 2001 9:55 AM
The Taiwanese usually have a whole block devoted to retarded designs. Some where you swing your arms, some as you describe. The most amusing thing is that they don't seem to realize that the American IBD's are laughing at them not with them.
Tradition and acceptanceBipedZed
Oct 11, 2001 5:57 AM
My honest opinion:

Road cycling is steeped in tradition and fairly conservative regarding proven designs. It is unlikely that any new radical design will become widely accepted unless it is proven in European road racing. Most of the innovations you mention STI, clipless pedals are only a refinement of the basic cycling motion.

An idea such as yours falls into the category of recreational novelty and will most likely only find a market among non-enthusiasts who find standard bicycles too uncomfortable. Look in the basement at Interbike and the classified section of cycling magazines for other inventions such as weird platform seats, angle adjusting seatposts, etc. that never gain acceptance.
re: Alan-Ax?dzrider
Oct 11, 2001 6:12 AM
I think that was the name of a bike I tried in the 80's it had long levers that I pushed. One went up and as the other came down. It had a few gears in back (I think) and you made up the rest by shortening or lengthening how far you pushed the levers. The pedal motion had my hips rockin back and forth pretty good and my back was happy to get back on my regular ride. It sounds like something that would work well with the Moon Saddle that showed up yesterday.
I think it's a great idea....PT
Oct 11, 2001 6:16 AM
for the circus.
Initial ThoughtsLen J
Oct 11, 2001 6:55 AM
1.) I am an ex-runner who solved knee & hip problems with cycling. What does your invention do for me? Is this a solution looking for a problem? My experience says that knee problems from cycling are usually a result of setup. (No float, improper float, cleat setup, seat height etc.) I could be wrong though.

2.) Have you done any testing to determine wattage versus heartrate for same cyclist on conventional system & yours? What do test results say?

3.) Do you have documentation that supports your contention that knee problems are caused by rotation?

4.) Do you have documentation that supports your contention that your invention solves these knee problems.

5.) How "clunky" or how "elegant" does your invention look? Don't underestimate how much "look" affects cyclist buying decisions.

It seems to me that your marketing problem is going to be one of convincing people that what you have is better than what they have. This will take scientific studies, testimonials, incentives to try it, and most importantly, a tangible benefit that is worth it to someone to overcome the inertia of staying with what they know & going to something that makes that stand out in a crowd of cyclist.

Just my initial thoughts.
Do you have a picture?

A much better idea...mr_spin
Oct 11, 2001 7:10 AM
Eliminate the whole pedalling thing. That's such a waste of energy. Instead, get a lift to take you and your bike to the top of a mountain, then coast down. All of the fun with none of the work!

Oh wait. That already exists.
Moriarti, Arn't you Sherlock Holmes' nemesis?bikedodger
Oct 11, 2001 7:16 AM
I can see it...Spikedawg007
Oct 11, 2001 8:06 AM
not on a bicycle, but it might work better on a recumbent
Ah - there you have a pointMoriatri
Oct 11, 2001 8:17 AM
My thoughts run in the recumbant direction too, but I dare not mention it on this board - there seems very little tollerance for innovative opinions or ideas. In fact though, you'd be surprised how easy the system is to use in a standard position. Watch this space, as they said before the 1969 moon landing....
Are you going to answer any of the legitimate questions........Len J
Oct 11, 2001 8:29 AM
raised in response to your post?

Or have you decided that all questions come from our "Lack of tolerance for innovative opinions or ideas"?

Sure, some of the responses do exhibit intolerance, but some raise real questions and demonstrate a serious consideration of your idea. I think that they warrent to be taken as serious as they were intended.

Not trying to be ugly, just wondering if your post was really aimed at feedback or if you were marketing.

The problem with any new bike idea is "How do you sell 'em"?MB1
Oct 11, 2001 8:35 AM
I've seen so many really nifty bike related things that bombed. Bicycles have been around for long enough that there are very few new ideas. What happens is you get new varations of old ideas that may or may not have worked.

The bottom line problem all of the ideas run into is sales and marketing. Not to mention return on investment. The few that make the cut have to be really lucky and perhaps even good.
Oct 11, 2001 8:44 AM
Just look at the resistance to something as trivial as adding another rear cog. People flip out about it every few years every time it comes up. Tough market.

The recumbent market likely would be more accepting, though.

I just don't see the improvement, though. To me, the fluid circular motion of pedaling has got to be easier on the legs than a herky jerky up and down motion, in which the legs come to a full stop at the top and bottom, with all the inertia/change-in-direction problems associated with that. My guess is that is would be much worse on the legs.

right you areET
Oct 11, 2001 4:53 PM
I've seen literature about the harmful effect on knees of excessive stepper use. There's also literature on such things as ITB syndrome in cyclists, but the incidence is lower and the severity milder, especially given the even more "excessive" cycling.
Oct 11, 2001 8:32 AM
Sure, we have all thought we had an epiphany about some new invention. To us, it becomes a temporary obsession, and we guard our idea like our own child.

Then reality sets in. We find that others have already thought of or tried the idea. Or, we get criticism. Our "author's pride" prevents us from accepting any of it, though.

I think it's almost rude to present an idea here, requesting feedback, and then label those to criticize or show some skepticism "intolerant."

As with any new idea, sure, it might be good. However, don't get all defensive, or offensive, if someone wants to see you back up your claims. I'd thing you'd be more than wiling to do so if the thing worked.

No offense intended. Bottom line, though, I'd not buy it, I'd not recommend it, or even consider it, unless I've been shown some objective test results, or at least a good working model. I don't think it's out of the ordinary or out of line to request that.

Good luck.

Oct 11, 2001 9:09 AM
Valid points. I am all for inteligent feedback, else I would not have posted. I can not, for obvious patent reasons which you, as a lawyer will understand, get in to posting pictures, plans etc. I welcome less the somewhat childish "you are a freak" (subtext) HA HA HA etc posts - I am not precious, they are just not helpful. I also observed the reaction to the moon saddle post yesterday (which provided, via the link, all of the information requested of me, but to no avail) Similarly, I don't really want to get into a discussion about the medical position - it will simply go nowhere. I am very wary of how posts here can esclalate into personal attacks and ill founded argument, hence my reasonably narrow initial question. I don't think the marketing accusation is fair - I simply can not see how this is marketing. Market research, fair enough, but I did make that very clear from the outset.

I had rather hoped that this community might take an interest in new developments, and indeed many of you have - and I thank you for taking the time to respond constructively.

BTW, while I am on, re the feel the burn - the action is damped, so there is no "jerk" at the end of the stroke. That, however, is a very helpful post, as it conveys a concern that clearly must be addressed. Re the other evidence point though - do you really want all that documentary evidence, or a working examply to try? I would suggest the latter, but I stand open to correction.
It is a tough business, small egos don't last. nmMB1
Oct 11, 2001 9:50 AM
Reasonable reply....Len J
Oct 11, 2001 9:51 AM
I still would probably need a reason to try. The documentary evidence would move me to get interested in trying. Unfortunatly, experience has taught me (in cycling) that what seems to work in the first 15 minutes isn't worth anything (sometimes) after 3 hours. Are you thinking of a "try & Buy" program?

Think about the consumer that you are trying to sell. This person probably already has a bike (assuming that you want to appeal to existing cyclists) that he has invested time & money in.
Why should he change?
What benefit can you demonstrate?
Why should he/she think about trying?
Once he tries, what will get him over the next hurdle to spend money?

I read your initial post to ask for marketing help. Marketing is not about what you think or know about the product, it's about what needs/desires/concerns the person that you want to buy the product has, and how you address them. Good Marketing starts with a good product and then creates a message that is so compelling that the target consumer is motivated to buy. Bad marketing assumes that "any idiot" will see the benefit of this product. I, for one, was trying to convey the "needs/concern/desires" of me, a cyclist (your target market).

I hope this helps, if not, good luck.

Remember the Auto-Bike. Yikes! nmMB1
Oct 11, 2001 10:24 AM
Trollman?? Is that you??!!scottfree
Oct 11, 2001 10:54 AM
In yet another incarnation ...
jerk on the end of the stroke?the insultan
Oct 11, 2001 11:36 AM
Or is the jerk the one on the saddle??
damped or notMel Erickson
Oct 12, 2001 6:54 AM
you're still bringing your motion to a full stop, even for a fraction of a second, and then going in the opposite direction, this is still harder on joints than a fluid, circular motion. Damping would also use some of the force generated by you for puposes that don't move you forward. Logic tells me this damping action would rob me of some of my speed. Even if I'm all wet it's an example of what must be overcome to make your invention popular and it's a mighty tall mountain. For what it's worth I think I have a somewhat open mind when it comes to less conventional cycling as I ride a Softride road bike. Except for a recumbent it's probably as far out as you can get and still be part of the "mainstream" (and recumbent riders are probably just outside the "mainstream").
Feel the burn!jtolleson
Oct 11, 2001 8:40 AM
Spinning circles, for the experienced cyclist, is an opportunity to ride faster longer by using all major muscle groups.

This "piston motion" system will eliminate that, turning biking into a workout that is almost all quads, and steep climbing would feel like 2,000 leg presses. The quadricep is a large, strong muscle to be sure, but by largely losing the role of the hamstring, glutes and calves, I can't believe that endurance (not to mention speed) would be compromised. This might be nice for hobbyists, but otherwise I'm skeptical (but never intolerant!)
Cycling is just that...guido
Oct 11, 2001 11:09 AM
turning a crank in a circle. That's why we like to ride, and that's why it's so good for you. A stepping motion is very inefficient compared to a cycling motion. Give me a break. The type of people you'll get to buy a stepping bicycle are like the ones who bought Biopace chainrings and vegamatics: suckers. The basic road bike design hasn't changed in a hundred years because human anatomy hasn't changed. A bike is a highly perfected mechanical extension of the human body and that's why humans fall in love with cycling. That is not to say treadle operated vehicles could not be useful, but they won't compete with bicycles.
re: Total change to face of modern cycling.DINOSAUR
Oct 11, 2001 10:42 AM
Like someone has already pointed out, everything "new" in cycling technology is first tested in the racing circuit. I can't think of one item that isn't. Even Campy had difficulty marketing the derailleur when it was first introduced. I'd like to see how this invention works before passing judgement. The whole idea of spinning in small circes is based upon the round shape of the crank and the bicycle chain. I think your idea is to have a piston type up/down movement? When you think about it the bicycle is a marvelous machine. Very simple and durable. The invention you mention would change the whole technique of cycling. I don't think you can improve on what we use now, it all started when the caveman invented the wheel. Do you have perhaps have a diagram of this contraption? You must otherwise it wouldn't be a possibility. Let's see it and we can go from there....
Not sure if it's revolutionary...Warren128
Oct 11, 2001 10:54 AM
Your post led me to do some research on the topic of treadle drivetrains because the idea sounded vaguely familiar. Treadle drive actually pre-dates chain drive by 46 years. The first practical treadle drive bicycle was invented by Kirk Macmillan, a Scottish blacksmith. The chain drive was invented in 1885. Look this up on any web site about bicycling history. In the 1980's, a bike called the Allenax was introduced that used a treadle mechanism, but never succeeded.

There is a current treadle powered vehicle being sold today. I think it's a trike. See this site:

There is even a mpeg video on the site that shows it in action.

I don't think you need to be so secretive about your design, since the concept is not new, in fact it's very, very old. If your modern interpretation of the design is to be successful, you'll need to prove that this iteration will really be an improvement. To do so, you'll need to have prototypes that can be demonstrated.

In my opinion, there may be a small niche market for people with specific needs or preferences, but it will never take storm the market.

Just my $.02,


p.s. Are you really serious, or are you just messing with us?
team stepngo???Rusty McNasty
Oct 11, 2001 11:40 AM
I want one!!!! That would look just so rad with a big@$$ 2-spring Serfas gel saddle and some streamers!!! Do you think that I could order one with tubulars and campy hubs?????
Need more info. Not sure how any of this is possibleChris Zeller
Oct 11, 2001 11:02 AM
Without more information, I don't see how anyone on this board can help you. I'm not adverse to change if I can see a real improvement. But a lot of what you claim is pretty unbelievable. Unless you can show me something that backs up these claims, this all looks pretty ludicrous.

1. Not sure the knee and ankle problems associated with rotation are that serious. A small number of people experience knee and ankle pains, but my understanding is that they are much less than in impact sports like walking and running. Need some data here. Have you done any extensive testing on your device? You would need a large sample of people over a fairly long period to establish anything credible. The incident rates you are talking about are rare as it is.

2. How is it possible that this system is lighter and simpler than the crank? While still maintaining gear range? I'll believe it when I see it but as of now it sounds like you are talking about having invented, "walking".

You have given us nothing to consider. If you want our help about something so different than we are used to, you've got to give us some information.
Thanks, Warren128, that was a damn funny mpeg (nm)Dutchy
Oct 11, 2001 5:12 PM
Agree, too short though, wanted to see that baby climb. nmMB1
Oct 12, 2001 5:44 AM