Sunday, May 01, 2011

Five Engineering Students. Significant Budget. One Year. The Perfect Bicycle? [Bicycles]


Five Engineering Students. Significant Budget. One Year. The Perfect Bicycle?Voila! UPenn's super-sophisticated uber-bike. Five kids. Substantial funding and sponsorship dollars. Free reign to eliminate clunks gears and cables. It's called Alpha.

But what makes it so special, exactly?

For one thing, the drive train is completely enclosed within the bike's frame. There's a three-speed electric gearbox contained within the central hub, which is controlled by a handlebar-mounted LED screen. Also on that screen is a readout that displays current gear, distance traveled, speed and data from the SD card that you're completely free to insert into the bike's SD reader.

Powering all these onboard electronics is a dynamo in the front wheel housing. Safety lights (LED, naturally) are located in the rear for night riding.

And you probably already guessed this, but the frame is lightweight carbon fiber, which has been coupled with aluminum lugs and a titanium clutch. Sadly, weight was not given, but we'll assume it's "incredibly light."

Lastly, you will never ride this bike—it's one-of-a-kind and not slated for production. [Alpha via Core77 via DVICE]